The three words “would”, “should”, “could” are categorized together as conditional tense modifiers.
In English we could say “I would go” to imply that if one or more conditions were met, then I would take the action of going. It is usually preceded, or followed by a conditional statement using the word “if”, which we learned in the previous lesson.
In Esperanto, this concept is represented by a specific verb conjugation, just like the past (“-is”) and future (“-os”). For conditional tense, we drop the “-i” and add “-us”.
|I would go||Mi irus
|I would eat it||Mi manĝus ĝin
|I would like to visit you||Mi ŝatus viziti vin
In Esperanto, “should” is expressed by combining the conditional verb tense with the verb “devi”. You then use the main verb in the unconjugated form (infinitive). Thus, “devus” can be used like “should” is used in English.
|I should go||Mi devus iri
|I should eat it||Mi devus manĝi ĝin
|I should want to visit you||Mi devus voli viziti vin
In English, “could” can be expanded to “I would be able to”. It expresses an ability to do something given that some condition is true.
Esperanto uses “povus” to describe this notion, since “povi” is “to be able”, and “-us” adds a conditional tense to the verb. Check out these examples.
|I could go||Mi povus iri
|I could eat it||Mi povus manĝi ĝin
|I could want to visit you||Mi povus voli viziti vin
The imperative can be taken as a command toward another speaker. An example in English would be “do it” for positive case and “don’t do it” for the negative.
In Esperanto, the imperative is for commands, but it also expresses desire in general. It can be used instead of using the verb “voli” in your sentence. It is created by dropping the “-i” ending, and adding “-u”. Here are some examples:
|Eat your dinner||Manĝu vian vespermanĝon
|Don't eat that||Ne manĝu tion
|Let's go together||Ni iru kune
|I wish they had ice-cream here||Ili havu glaciaĵon ĉi tie
|I wish you would tell me||Vi diru al mi
Spend some time really understanding this one, since it is so different from how English expresses desire. This one will take some time to fully sink in, so don’t worry if you don’t understand each example. The first three examples are the most important for now.
That’s all there is in Esperanto for verb conjugations. Though, in a future lesson we will introduce verb endings that help us turn verbs into adjectives and adverbs. We have more vocabulary for you to study for this lesson, so get playing those games.
|place, position, location|
|to play, to perform, to act, play|
|to stay, to remain|