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AĈ = "bad quality, uselessness, without value".

  • domodomaĉo = badly constructed house that's falling apart; a hovel
  • ĉevaloĉevalaĉo = bad, worthless horse, nag, hack
  • babilibabilaĉi = chatter stupidly,maliciously, prattle
  • aĉa = of bad quality, useless, worthless

AD = "continuing action".

  • uzo = a (single) use → uzado = continuous, repetitive, or regular use
  • viziti = to visit → vizitadi = to visit often or regularly
  • konstruo = the act of constructing, the manner of construction, something built → konstruado = the act of constructing continuously
  • martelo = a hammer → marteli = to hammer → martelado = continuous hammering
  • reĝo = king → reĝi = to reign as a king → reĝado = the act of reigning (for a certain period of time)

If you want to show that something is an action, but don't want to add the sense of continuing action given by AD, you must use another action root without a meaning involving duration, or express yourself in another way entirely: martelado = (continuous) hammering → martelbato = hammer strike (a single strike of a hammer); brosado = (continuous) brushing → brostiro = brush stroke (a single stroke of a brush).

AĴ = "(concrete) thing".

  • belabelaĵo = a (concrete) thing that is especially beautiful, a physical embodiment of beauty
  • utilautilaĵo = a (concrete) thing that is useful
  • dolĉadolĉaĵo = a sweet (candy etc)
  • novanovaĵo = something that has just come out, just occured, news, news item
  • farifaraĵo = something that has been made, is being made, or will be made
  • desegni = to draw → desegnaĵo = a drawing, a picture that was drawn
  • kreskikreskaĵo = something that grows, a plant
  • kovrikovraĵo = a cover, something used to cover things
  • amuziamuzaĵo = something used to amuse oneself, a fun thing
  • havihavaĵo = a possession, something that is had
  • trinki = to drink → trinkaĵo = a drink; something that people drink
  • konstruo = the action of building, a way of building, something built → konstruaĵo = something built (usually a building)
  • lignolignaĵo = something made of wood
  • araneoaraneaĵo = a spider's web
  • azenoazenaĵo = a donkey-like (=stupid) thing
  • ĉirkaŭĉirkaŭaĵo = space/location/region around something
  • postpostaĵo = a bottom, behind, buttocks
  • sen sencosensencaĵo = a thing that lacks sense, something that is nonsense
  • kokidokokidaĵo = food made of chicken, chicken meat
  • ovoovaĵo = a food made from eggs
  • glacioglaciaĵo = a sweet made from frozen cream
  • aĵo = a concrete thing (of undefined type)

A participle suffix can sometimes be included for additional precision: draŝataĵo (grain that is currently being threshed), draŝitaĵo (grain that has already been threshed), draŝotaĵo (grain that someone intends to thresh later), brulantaĵo (something that is currently burning), brulintaĵo (something that has burned but already stopped burning). However, in most circumstances a simple AĴ word is totally enough.


AN = "a member of a group, an inhabitant of a place, a believer in a doctrine, a person who belongs to a place", and so forth.

  • kluboklubano = a member of a club
  • EŭropoEŭropano = an inhabitant of Europe, a European
  • IndonezioIndoneziano = an inhabitant of Indonesia, an Indonesian
  • vilaĝovilaĝano = a villager, an inhabitant of a village
  • IslamoIslamano = a believer in Islam, a Muslim
  • respublikorespublikano = a supporter of the idea that a state should be a republic, a member of a party that calls itself Republican
  • ŝipoŝipano = a person who serves on a ship
  • estraroestrarano = a member of a board
  • sama landosamlandano = an inhabitant of the same country
  • ano = a member of a society, party, family, religious organization, etc; aniĝi = to become a member, to join a group


AR = "a whole group or a collection of many things of the same type".

  • homohomaro = all people in the world, the whole human race
  • birdobirdaro = all birds in the world or in one region
  • gazetogazetaro = all newspapers and magazines in one region, the press
  • verkoverkaro = all works of one author
  • estroestraro = an elected group of leaders of one organization, a board
  • arboarbaro = a place with many trees growing together, a forest or wood
  • harohararo = all of the hairs on someone's head, a head of hair
  • ŝafoŝafaro = all sheep of one owner or in one place
  • meblomeblaro = all furniture of one room/apartment/house
  • altaj montojaltmontaro = a range or chain of high mountains
  • vortovortaro = a book with a list of words and explanations of them, a dictionary
  • horohoraro = a table of hours, in which something special is happening, a timetable
  • ŝtupetoŝtupetaro = a tool for climbing, constructed from two posts and many steps (= a ladder)
  • vagonovagonaro = a succession of wagons joined together, pulled by a locomotive (= train)
  • aro = a group, collection, herd, etc.


ĈJ is used to make informal nicknames for men. A shortened form of the name is used before ĈJ. Normally between 1 and 5 letters of the name are retained:

  • Johano (John) → Johanĉjo or Joĉjo (Joe)
  • Vilhelmo (William) → Vilhelĉjo or Vilheĉjo or Vilĉjo or Viĉjo (Bill or Will)
  • papago (parrot) → Papĉjo (a nickname for a male parrot)
  • Patro (Father) → Paĉjo (Dad)
  • Onklo (Uncle) → Oĉjo
  • Frato (Brother) → Fraĉjo (Bro)

ĈJ, like NJ, is a bit of an unusual suffix, in that it doesn't end in a vowel, and because you can shorten the root preceding it. In some cases, it is possible to add the suffix UL first, if that helps create a form that sounds better: PetroPetruloPetruĉjo, etc. However that is not traditional, nor is it, perhaps, completely logical, but when nicknames are concerned, neither tradition, nor logic, nor rigorous logic are very important. Nicknames can be created completely according to individual preference (for example by borrowing from other languages).


EBL= "can be done, possible, -able". EBL can only be used with transitive verbs:

  • manĝimanĝebla = such that it can be eaten, edible
  • nombrinombrebla = such that it can be numbered, countable
  • malhavimalhavebla = such that it can be lacking; unnecessary → nemalhavebla = such that it cannot be lacking, indispensable
  • komprenikompreneble = such that anyone can understand; self-evident, self-explanatory (often used as a shortened version of memkompreneble,of course)
  • esperiespereble = such that something can be hoped for, hopefully
  • supozisupozeble = such that something can be supposed, supposedly
  • eble = "can be"; eblo = something that is possible, a possibility; ebleco = a quality of something that is possible

EBL (as well as IND and END) is occasionally used after a verb that is normally intransitive, but which is able to take an object:

  • iriirebla = such that one can go or travel by it (= go on it or along it)
  • loĝiloĝebla = such that it can be inhabited, such that one can live in it

Normally we say iri sur/laŭ vojo (to go on/along a path) and loĝi en domo (to live in a house), but the expressions iri vojon and loĝi domon are also correct, though very rare.


EC = "quality or state (or someone or something)". EC always shows something abstract (a quality or a state).

  • bono = the abstract idea of good → boneco = goodness as a quality of something or someone
    • Vi estos kiel Dio, vi scios bonon kaj malbonon. - You will be like God, you will know good and bad.
    • Ili admiris la bonecon de lia ago. - They admired the goodness of his action.
  • ruĝo = the color red → ruĝeco = the state of being red
    • Ŝiaj blankaj vangoj estis kolorigitaj de freŝa ruĝo. - Her white cheeks were colored by fresh red.
    • La ruĝeco de ŝiaj vangoj malkaŝis ŝiajn sentojn. - The redness of her cheeks revealed her feelings.
  • longo = horizontal dimension (every concrete object has a length) → longeco = the quality of being long, having much length
    • Ni mezuris la longon de ĝiaj kruroj, kaj trovis, ke ili estas tre mallongaj. - We measured the length of its legs, and found that they were very short.
    • La longeco de ĝiaj kruroj tre surprizis nin. - The length of its legs surprised us very much.

      The legs were surprisingly long.

  • rapido = a measurement of distance travelled in a certain time (every moving thing has some speed) → rapideco = a quality of something that is going (very) quickly
    • La rapido de la aŭto estis nur 20 kilometroj en horo. - The speed of the car was only 20 kilometres per hour.
    • La aviadilo pasis kun fulma rapideco. - The airplane passed with lightning speed.
  • homohomeco = a natural quality of a human being
  • granda animograndanimeco = the quality of having a large ( = noble) mind)
  • korektokorekteco = the quality of being correct, without error
  • unuunueco = the quality of being like one, oneness
  • unuaunuaeco = the quality of being the first
  • estontaestonteco = future time, future tense. forms like estonto normally would show a person, like all participles with an O-ending, but sometimes estonto is used as an abbreviated form of estonteco.
  • pasintapasinteco = past time, past tense
  • infanoinfaneco = the quality of being a child, childhood, being child-like
  • eco = an attribute or quality

EC is occasionally used illogically because of influence from national language: Bedaŭrinde mi ne havas la eblecon tion ĉi fari. (Unfortunately, I don't have the possible-ness to do this). In fact, the sentence isn't talking about a quality, but about a eblo (possibility) (or even eblaĵo). It is preferable to say, as Zamenhof did: Bedaŭrinde mi ne havas la eblon tion ĉi fari. (When hesitating between eblo and ebleco, the form eblo should be chosen, because it is a form that summarizes both ebleco and eblaĵo, so eblo could hardly ever be an incorrect choice.)

EC can also be used with an A-ending or an E-ending (or a verb ending). These forms normally have the meaning "similar, in a similar way, looking the same as, in the same way as":

  • ligneca papero = paper looking partially like wood
  • Ni havas amikecajn rilatojn kun ili. = Ni rilatas kvazaŭ ni estus amikoj. - We have friendly relationships with them = We relate as if we were friends.

In some cases, for clarity, compound words like ŝajna, simila, maniera or stila may be used. Sometimes forms with ...eca mean "relating to that quality, about the quality in question": patreca testo = a test to determine paternity, a test to find out, if someone is the father


EG= "high(est) grade, great(est) type".

  • domodomego = (very) large house, mansion
  • varmavarmega = burning hot, very hot
  • bonebonege = very well, excellent
  • kriikriegi = to cry out (very) loudly
  • ŝatiŝategi = to like very much
  • dankon!dankegon! = thanks so much!
  • tretreege = very very
  • pordopordego = a main door of a building, the main gate of a city, farm, courtyard, etc.
  • grandagrandega = extraordinarily large
  • piedopiedego = a large, fat, disagreeable, or dangerous foot of a person or an animal
  • manĝimanĝegi = to avidly or excessively eat, to devour
  • ege = very strongly, very intensely, extremely


EJ= "a place, space, house, room etc. intended for something". The root standing before EJ always expresses what happens or what is found in the place.

  • lernilernejo = a place intended for learning
  • dormidormejo = room for sleeping
  • eliri (to exit, to go out) → elirejo = a place (normally a door) through which one can leave, or exit or go out.
  • redakti (to edit) → redaktejo = place where one edits (example, a journal or magazine).
  • akcepti (to accept) → akceptejo = place where one is accepted (in a hotel or a conference etc), a lobby.
  • necesanecesejo= place for performing certain actions which one would prefer not to name directly (namely urination and defecation)
  • preĝipreĝejo = place of worship and other religious activities. The word preĝejo is traditionally used primarily for a Christian church, while special words are preferred for houses of worship of other religions:moskeo, sinagogo, templo etc. But preĝejo can certainly be used for every kind of religion. For a Christian church there is also a special word kirko (rarely used). The simplest way of specifying is to use terms like: Kristana preĝejo, Islama preĝejo, Hinduisma preĝejo etc.
  • ĉevaloĉevalejo = stable
  • malliberomalliberejo = prison
  • libro (book) → librejo→ = book store, (a collection of books, or a library is biblioteko)
  • rizo (rice) → rizejo = place (fields), where one cultivates rice.
  • herbo (grass) → herbejo = place, where mainly grass grows, not trees, etc.,meadow
  • tajloro (taylor) → tajlorejo = place where a taylor works
  • ministro ministry → ministrejo = location (house, office) of the ministry.
  • malsanulo (sick person) → malsanulejo = Place where one nurses and cures sick people, a hospital.
  • TTT (WWW) (la Tut-Tera Teksaĵo pronounced "toe-toe-toe") → TTT-ejo (pronounced toe-toe-toe-eh-yo) = web server, a website, web page, a place where web content can be found.
  • ejo = place (for a defined purpose)

When talking about a factory or something similar we prefer to use a more unambiguous compound:tabakfarejo = "place where cigarettes and other tobacco products are produced", ŝtalejoŝtalfabriko = "steel plant," gisejogisfabriko = "foundry"


EM= "an inclination to something".

An EM-word usually indicates that something, due to its nature, often or continuously tends to that action:

  • timitimema = inclined to be fearful, often fearing
  • manĝimanĝema = inclined to eat often or copiously.
  • komprenikomprenema =such that one always wants to understand
  • venĝivenĝema = vengeful
  • purapuri = to be clean → purema = such that one wants to be clean

Sometimes EM is used for a momentary or occasional desire, or a passing need:

  • Ŝi sentis fortan manĝemon. (= ... fortan malsaton.) - She felt a strong urge to eat. (=...felt extreme hunger)
  • Subite li fariĝis terure dormema. (= ... terure dorme laca.) - Suddenly he became terribly sleepy.

Alternatively you can use a compound with vola: manĝivola, venĝovola. But usually EM is sufficient.

In some words EM shows ability:

  • produktiproduktema= productive
  • kreikreema = creative

One can also use a compound with pova or kapabla: produktipova, kreokapabla. But usually EM is clear enough.

In some words EM means that one is threatened by something due to one's nature, and that one risks something that is undesirable.

  • erarierarema = fallible, easily or often inclined to error.
  • mortimortema = mortal, such that one can, even must, die

Sometimes an EM-words is created from something other than a verb:

  • gastogastema = such that one likes guests
  • la sama seksosamseksema = such that one prefers one's own sex

Gastema therefore can be understood as "inclined to being a guest." If this is not the required meaning it might be better to use a compound with ama: gastama = "guest-loving", samseksama ="such that one loves one's own sex," On the other hand when AM seems too strong an expression or is inappropriate, then perhaps EM is preferable.

EM-words more often than not have an A-ending, but could have any ending. With an O-ending it was once customary to always add the suffix EC: manĝemeco, timemeco etc. But EC is normally not required. It is correct to say manĝemo, timemo etc. Before the suffix UL you can leave out EM if the meaning is clear: timemulotimulo, drinkemulodrinkulo.

EM is also used as an ordinary root: emo = a momentary inclination, a hankering, ema = inclined to, yearning for.


END = "must be done". You can only use END with transitive verbs.

  • pagipagenda = payable, such that it must be paid, account due
  • respondirespondenda = such that it must be answered


ER = "a very small part of the whole." ER is used when something consists of many parts of the same type. What stands before ER always indicates the whole that is made up of the parts:

  • sablosablero = grain of sand
  • neĝoneĝero = snowflake
  • monomonero = a coin (paper money is called monbileto or monpapero)
  • fajrofajrero = a very small (flying) burning spark. (An electric spark is also called sparko)
  • ero = small(est) constituent part

ER indicates one of many similar, hardly distinguishable parts which make up the whole. When talking about parts that are somehow individualized or of different types, then we don’t use ER, but PART: mondoparto (≈ kontinento), landparto, korpoparto, parto de libro. When indicating a part which has been torn off or broken off, then use PEC: Mi disŝiris la leteron kaj disĵetis ĝiajn pecetojn en ĉiujn angulojn de la ĉambro.


ESTR = "person who guides, decides, master". What stands in front of ESTR is always the place where the boss decides, or the matter about which the boss is deciding:

  • ŝipoŝipestro = the person who has command of the ship: captain
  • imperioimperiestro = emperor
  • grupogrupestro= leader of a group
  • urbourbestro = mayor
  • lernejolernejestro = person in charge of a school, principal, headmaster
  • centcentestro = officer in charge of a hundred soldiers
  • estro = boss with decision making powers


ET = " low(est) degree, small(est) piece".

  • domodometo = (very) small house, cottage
  • varmavarmeta = tepid
  • babilibabileti = to chat very little
  • iom (some amount) → iomete→ = only very little, a little bit
  • ŝtrumpo (stocking) → ŝtrumpeto = short stocking, which covers the foot and part of the leg immediately above the foot, a sock
  • ridi (to laugh) → rideto = to laugh without making a sound, with closed mouth, to smile
  • patro (father) → patreto = dear father, daddy, dad
  • manomaneto = charmingly tiny hand
  • eta = tiny,small,of low intensity; etigi = to make small, to turn down; etulo = small person

Sometimes ET is used as a prefix with a special meaning:

  • burĝoetburĝo = petit bourgeois
  • fingroetfingro = pinky, the smallest finger on the hand


ID = "born of". What stands in front of ID always shows what it is that gave birth.

Normally ID is used with words designating animals. Then ID shows an immature animal, the young offspring of the species in question:

  • bovobovido = calf
  • kokokokido = chick
  • ranoranido =immature frog
  • ido = the young of an animal, offspring

Sometimes ID is used for a young plant: arboarbido= young tree, sapling.

With human beings ID indicates a child, progeny, without respect to age. Thus ID is mainly used with titles and historic names:

  • reĝoreĝido = child of a king, prince
  • TimuroTimuridoj = princes descended from Sultan Tamerlane
  • IzraeloIzraelido = Israelite, descendent of the man Israel (Israelano = Israeli, related to the country of Israel)

Sometimes ID is used figuratively with a word designating a country or language:

  • landolandido = person born in a particular country, native
  • LatinoLatinida lingvo = language that stems from Latin, romance language (romance = coming from Rome)


IG = "to act on, to effect, to cause, to bring about something". What stands before IG always shows the result of the action.

  • akraakrigi = to sharpen, to make something sharp
    • Mi akrigas mian tranĉilon. - I am sharpening my knife.
  • longalongigi = to make something long
    • La kunveno devus esti mallonga, sed la multaj demandoj longigos ĝin. - The meeting should be short, but the many questions will make it long.
  • pli longaplilongigi = to lengthen, to make something longer
    • Ni devis plilongigi nian viziton en Hindujo. - We had to prolong our visit in India.

You can make an IG-verb from a root that describes an action (which is normally a verb). An IG-verb like this means that the subject causes someone or something else to perform the action in question. The object of this kind of IG-verb is the person or thing that would be the subject of the simple root verb.

You can do this with an intransitive verb:

  • sidisidigi = to make someone sit
    • Li sidigis sian infanon sur seĝon. - He sat his child down on the chair.

You can also do this with a transitive verb. The object of this kind of IG-verb is either the subject of the simple root verb, or the object of the simple root verb:

  • komprenikomprenigi = to make someone understand
    • Mi finfine sukcesis komprenigi lin, ke li devas iri hejmen. - I finally managed to make him understand that he had to go home.
    • Mi ne povis komprenigi la ŝercon al li. - I couldn't make him understand the joke.

You can also make an IG-verb from a root that is normally a noun.

That type of IG-verb can mean that one acts such that the object becomes what the root indicates. But it can also mean that you cause the object to be like the root, or it can mean that you cause the object to perform an action which relates to the root:

  • edzoedzigi = to make a husband out of someone i.e. to marry off (the feminine equivalent is edzinigi)
    • Li edzigis sian filon al riĉa fraŭlino. - He married his son off to a rich young lady.
  • pintopintapintigi = to make something pointy, to make something have a point
    • Se vi volas skribi, vi devas unue pintigi vian krajonon. - If you want to write you first have to sharpen your pencil. (make it pointy)
  • flamoflamiflamigi = enflame (to make something flame)
    • Petro flamigis la fajron per forta blovado. - Peter made the fire flare up by vigorously blowing on it.

You can also make an IG-verb from a phrase with a preposition:

  • en (la) domoendomigi = to make something go into the house
    • Kiam komencis pluvi, ŝi rapide endomigis la infanojn. - When it started to rain, she quickly got the children into the house.
  • sen vesto (without clothes) → senvestigi = to make someone become without clothes; to remove the clothes from someone, undress someone
    • Janjo estis senvestigita kaj endormigita. - Janjo was undressed and put in bed.

The opposite of sen...igi can theoretically be expressed by kun...igi, but that type of word is normally not used because many simple verbs by themselves have that meaning: maski = "kunmaskigi", vesti = "kunvestigi". In those cases an alternative to sen...igi would be the prefix MAL with IG: malvesti = senvestigi, malmaski = senmaskigi. Senfortigi is more or less equivalent to malfortigi. The opposite of senfortigi is theoretically "kunfortigi", but that is an unnecessarily cumbersome word. Instead we simply say fortigi.

You can also make an IG-verb from a particle or an affix:

  • for (away) → forigi = remove, wipe away, scrape off, get rid of
    • Per forta lesivo ŝi sukcesis forigi la nigrajn makulojn. - With strong suds she succesfully got rid of the black stains.
  • al (to, towards) → aligi = adjoin, attach, put on to
    • Ili baldaŭ discipline aligos siajn fortojn al tiu komuna granda armeo. - They soon with discipline will adjoin their forces to the large common army.

When the root is neither about quality nor action one might hesitate in deciding whether to use a verb without a suffix or a verb with the suffix IG. Often common usage gives the simple verb a meaning equivalent to an IG-verb: konfuzo = malordego → konfuzi = to create great disorder. Tradition may sometimes only favour the form with IG: grupogrupigi = to put into a group or groups. Sometimes tradition assigns different meanings to the simple form and to the IG-form, but they both have a causative (IG) meaning: kolorokolori = to give something its color, to be that which gives color to something; kolorokolorigi = to act such that something becomes colored. However, one can’t demand that everyone always follow these fine distinctions. You have to at least tolerate that somone may sometimes use kolori and kolorigi interchangeably. Sometimes the simple form has a meaning which is not of the IG-type, not causative: lumolumi = to give off rays of light; lumolumigi =to make something light up. Sometimes both forms have the same meaning: ordoordiordigi =to create order, put into order, make orderly. Nowadays we generally prefer the form ordigi.

Often a superfluous IG is added to a verb which normally doesn't require it. This can be tolerated, especially if the result is clearer, but normally we shoud use the traditional form. However these forms are not entirely stable in all cases. In some cases the IG-suffix may not be mandatory because the simple form could hardly have another meaning. Then it is likely that in future we might use the short form without IG. Often both forms can be used in parallel without any difference in meaning: loki/lokigi, arkivi/arkivigi, listi/listigi.

IG usually appears with a verb ending but could also have an O-ending, A-ending or E-ending. The meaning of these forms describes actions just as the verbal form does:akrigo = "the act of sharpening," akriga = "relating to the act of sharpening," sidigo = "the act of sitting down," sidige = "relating the the acting of sitting down," edzigo = "the act of getting married," edziga = "related to the act of marriage."

IG can also be used as an ordinary root:igi= to cause someone to do something.

IĜ = "changing to new state, to new place, to new action." Whatever comes before IĜ, always shows the result of this change.

  • palapaliĝi = to become pale, to pale
    • Li paliĝis pro la ŝoko. - He became pale from the shock.
  • longa (long) → longiĝi = become long, lengthen
    • La tagoj longiĝas, printempo alvenas. - The days grow longer, spring arrives.
  • pli longa (longer) → plilongiĝi = become longer
    • Li asertas, ke post la vizito al la miraklisto lia kruro plilongiĝis. - He claims that after the visit to the miracle worker his leg got better.

An IĜ verb made from an intransitive verb shows transition to the action in question. IĜ with that sort of verb is therefore almost equivalent to the prefix EK. Sometimes these IĜ verbs show a nuance, that the action happens by itself, or that the action happens unwillingly.

  • sidisidiĝi = to start to sit, to begin to sit down
    • Li sidiĝis sur la sofo. - He sat down on the sofa.
  • estiestiĝi = to start to be, to come into being
    • Estiĝis kverelo inter ili. - A quarrel arose between them.
  • mortimortiĝi = to become dead (unintentionally)
    • Mia onklo ne mortis per natura morto, sed li tamen ne mortigis sin mem kaj ankaŭ estis mortigita de neniu; unu tagon, promenante apud la reloj de fervojo, li falis sub la radojn de veturanta vagonaro kaj mortiĝis. - My uncle didn't die a natural death, however, he didn't kill himself and was also not killed by anyone; one day, walking beside the railroad tracks, he fell underneath the wheels of the moving train and was killed.

      The simple word morti already shows transition (from life to death). Here IĜ shows that the death happened accidentally, unintentionally.

An IĜ verb may also be made from a transitive verb. in this form of IĜ verb, IĜ doesn't indicate transition from one state to another. IĜ there only serves to make the verb intransitive, to change its role in the sentence:

  • malfermimalfermiĝi = to become open, to be opened (by itself)
    • La knabo malfermis la pordon. - The boy opened the door.
    • La pordo brue malfermiĝis. - The door noisily opened.
  • turniturniĝi = to become turned, to be turned (by itself)
    • La knabo turnis sian kapon. - The boy turned his head.
    • La tero turniĝas ĉirkaŭ sia akso. - The earth turns around its axis.
  • ruliruliĝi = to move through rolling, to roll (by itself)
    • Kiu rulas ŝtonon, al tiu ĝi revenos. - Whoever rolls a stone, to that person it will return.
    • Ili rulis sian ĉaron. - They rolled their cart.
    • La vinberoj elpremite ruliĝadis sur la teron. - The grapes, having been pushed out, rolled out onto the ground
    • La veturilo ruliĝis tre rapide. - The vehicle rolled very quickly.

An IĜ verb made from a transitive verb is often similar to a passive verb. The difference is that an IĜ verb shows that the action happens more or less on its own, or that the speaker isn't interested in who or what initiated the action: Li estis naskita en Januaro. A normal passive sentence. We are primarily interested in the action that was fulfilled with a certain result (because of the IT form). Li naskiĝis en Januaro. He became born. More attention is paid to the one who was born, the child, than to the one giving birth, the mother.

An IĜ verb can also be made from a root that is normally a noun. These IĜ verbs can mean that the subject is becoming the thing indicated by the root, or that it becomes similar to the root, or that some kind of action characterized by the root is happening to it:

  • edzinoedziniĝi = to become someone's wife, a woman gets married
    • Ŝi edziniĝis kun sia kuzo. - She got married to her cousin.
  • pintopintapintiĝi = to become pointy, to get a (sharp) point, to be sharpened
    • Malgraŭ liaj penoj la krajono ne pintiĝis. - In spite of his efforts, the pencil didn't sharpen.
  • flamoflamiflamiĝi = to begin to flame, to go up in flame
    • Ligno fendita facile flamiĝas. - Split wood easily goes up in flames.

An IĜ verb can also be made using a phrase with a preposition. The precise meaning depends on the preposition. If, for example, the preposition relates to location or motion, IĜ means "to move, to go, to change position":

  • en domoendomiĝi = to enter a house, to come into a house
    • Kiam la fulmotondro komenciĝis, ni tuj endomiĝis. - When the thunder and lightning began, we immediately went into the house.
  • sen vestosenvestiĝi = to become nude, to take off one's clothing, to undress
    • Senhonte mi senvestiĝis antaŭ ili. - I unashamedly undressed in front of them.

An IĜ verb can also be constructed using a particle or another affix:

  • alaliĝi = to be added, to join, to become a member, to announce one's participation, to sign up
    • Al lia antaŭa embaraso aliĝis nun iom da konfuzo. Ĉu vi jam aliĝis al la kongreso? - To his previous embarrassment, some confusion was now added. Have you already signed up for the congress?
  • senseniĝi = to become without something, to be freed of something, to be deprived of something
    • Mi ne plu eltenas ilin, ni devas seniĝi je ili. - I can't stand them anymore, we need to get rid of them.

IĜ is usually used with a verb ending, but can also take an O ending, A ending, or E ending. These forms show the same meaning of action as the verb: akriĝo = "the action of sharpening", akriĝa = "relating to the action of sharpening, becoming sharp", sidiĝo = "the action of sitting down", sidiĝe = "relating to the action of sitting down, while sitting down", edziĝo = "the action of becoming a husband", edziĝa = "relating to the action of becoming a husband", unuiĝo = "the action of unifying, becoming one".

Sometimes an IĜ word with an O ending can also show the result of a transitional action: Unuiĝo Franca por Esperanto (name of an association, French Union for Esperanto). Dio nomis la sekaĵon Tero, kaj la kolektiĝojn de la akvo Li nomis Maroj.

IĜ is also used as an ordinary root: iĝi = to become


IL = "an instrument, apparatus, means".

  • segisegilo = a tool for sawing, a saw
  • fosifosilo = a tool for digging, a shovel or spade, for example
  • kudrikudrilo = a small pointy tool for sewing, a needle
  • tonditondilo = an instrument consisting of two blades, for cutting with a scissor motion (scissors)
  • ŝlosiŝlosilo = a tool that is turned in a lock to lock or unlock, a key
  • manĝimanĝilo = a utensil for eating (a plate, spoon, knife, fork, chopstick, glass, or similar)
  • sonorisonorilo = a bell, an instrument that rings (a user of a bell doesn't ring [sonori] but causes to ring [sonorigi])
  • presipresilo = a machine for printing books, magazines, etc.; a printing press or a printer
  • komputikomputilo = an (electronic) apparatus for processing information and making very rapid calculations; a computer
  • aboniabonilo = a paper by which one subscribes to something, a subscription form
  • aliĝialiĝilo = a paper by which one signs up for something (for example, a congress), a sign-up form, registration form
  • kuracikuracilo = anything that serves to cure (for example, a medicine)
  • ilo = an instrument, a means, a tool; ilaro = a collection of tools or implements for work

The suffix IL has a very general meaning. To express an idea more precisely, it is possible to make compound words with other roots, for example: presmaŝino (printing machine), transportaparato (transport apparatus), vendaŭtomato (automatic vending machine). But frequently, a simple IL-form is sufficient.

In a few IL-words, the element of action is understood through context. Whatever comes before IL doesn't itself show the action, but for example, the result of an action: fajrofajrilo = a tool for making fire (not "a tool for firing")


IN = "the sex capable of giving birth", female. The IN suffix can be used only for something that can have sex, namely a person or an animal. IN adds the meaning of being female (and removes the meaning of being male, as necessary).

IN is most frequently added to a word that has a masculine meaning. The word then changes to have a feminine meaning.

  • patropatrino = a female human who has given birth to a child, a mother
  • virovirino = an adult female human, a woman
  • knaboknabino = a young female human, a girl
  • avoavino = the mother of a father or mother, a grandmother
  • reĝoreĝino = a woman who reigns the same way that a man does, the wife of a king, a queen

The IN suffix can also be added to a word that is gender-neutral, but that is done much less frequently. The gender-neutral word then changes to have a female meaning:

  • homohomino = a female human
  • aŭtoroaŭtorino = a female author
  • pasaĝeropasaĝerino = a female passenger
  • bestobestino = a female animal
  • mortintomortintino = a dead woman

With a neutral word, male gender can be shown by using the root VIR as a prefix or as an adjective.

There are several words that inherently indicate the female gender: damo (dame), nimfo (nymph), matrono (matron), putino (prostitute) (not a compound word!) and others. IN should not be added to this kind of word.

IN is also used as an ordinary root: ino = female animal (or person); investaĵo = clothing for a woman.


IND = "is worth doing, merits being done". IND can only be used with transitive verbs:

  • amiaminda = such that it merits being loved, loveable
  • vidividinda = so beautiful of good, that it is worth being seen, worth seeing
  • mirimirinda = so extraordinary that it inspires wonder, wonderful, awe-inspiring
  • bedaŭribedaŭrinde = so badly that it inspires regret; unfortunately, regretfully
  • inda = meritorious, worthwhile


ING = "a container or holder, in which something is (partially) placed". Whatever comes before ING is normally the thing that is partially placed into the holder.

  • glavoglavingo = a tube-like object in which the blade of a sword is placed, a scabbard
  • cigarocigaringo = a small tube in which a cigar is placed in order to smoke it, a cigar holder
  • ŝraŭboŝraŭbingo = a ring in which a screw is screwed, a nut
  • ovoovingo = a small cup in which an egg is placed for eating, an egg cup
  • ingo = a holder, especially for a sword, that partially covers the thing that it holds; eningigi = to place into a holder


ISM = "a doctrine, movement, system, way of behaving" and so forth. Sometimes an ISM-word also shows an individual example of some special behavior. The meaning of ISM varies widely, and greatly depends on the preceding root.

  • StalinoStalinismo = the political ideas of Stalin, Stalinism
  • KristanoKristanismo = the religion of the Christians, the religion of Christ, Christianity
  • koloniokoloniismo = exploitation of colonies by a strong state, colonialism
  • kapitalokapitalismo = an economic system of private possession of capital, capitalism
  • alkoholoalkoholismo = a pathological dependency on alcohol, alcoholism
  • diletantodiletantismo = amateurish and inept activity, dilettantism
  • patriotopatriotismo = love and dedication to one's own homeland, patriotism
  • la Angla lingvoAnglismo = something specially relating to the English language, an anglicism


IST = "a person who is often occupied with something (possibly professionally)". The part of the word coming before IST is always the topic that occupies the person.

There is often a misconception that IST equals a "professional", but its true meaning is much broader:

  • verki = to write (texts or books) → verkisto = writer, author; someone who often writes texts or books
  • kuraci = to heal, cure → kuracisto = doctor; someone who cures professionally
  • arto = art → artisto = artist; someone who practices art
  • biciklo = bicycle → biciklisto = bicyclist; a persono who often rides a bicycle
  • ŝteli = to steal → ŝtelisto = thief; a person who often steals
  • EsperantoEsperantisto = a person who knows and uses Esperanto, an Esperantist

According to need, it's possible to make more precise words. Instead of the general term fiŝisto, you can talk about a fiŝkaptisto (fisher, or literally: fish catcher), about a fiŝbredisto (fish breeder), and about a fiŝvendisto (fish seller, fishmonger).

For an IST-word, there is often a very similar ISM-word. The relationship between the two forms of these word pairs can be very diverse alkoholisto (alcoholist) = a person dependent on alcohol, afflicted with alcoholism; alkoholismo (alcoholism) = a pathological dependence on alcohol; kapitalisto (capitalist) = a person who possesses a great amount of capital; kapitalismo (capitalism) = an economic system characterized by private possession of capital. There are also many words that end in "ist" or "ism", which do show various -ists and -isms, but aren't constructed from a root and a suffix, for example: turisto = tourist — turismo = tourism (has nothing to do with the word {1]turo, which means 'tower'), faŝisto = fascist — faŝismo = fascism (the word *faŝo* doesn't exist), ekzistencialisto = existentialist — ekzistencialismo = existentialism (the word *ekzistenciala* doesn't exist).

IST often means "a supporter of the corresponding -ism". In that case, IST = ISM-AN: oportunisto (opportunist) = 'oportunismano', someone who acts according to opportunism; komunisto (communist) = 'komunismano', a supporter of communism. But IST isn't always the same as ISM-AN. For example, kapitalisto (capitalist) isn't the same as kapitalismano (a member of the capitalist system).

Note: AN and IST are, in come cases, very close. In that case you can choose according to preference. It is customary to use the one that creates the most international form. For example, we normally talk about Kristo (Christ), Kristano (Christian), and Kristanismo (Christianity). The forms Krististo ('Christist') and Kristismo ('Christism') never appear. They would be just as logical, but less international. Compare with Budho (Buddha), Budhisto (Buddhist) and Budhismo (Buddhism), where the preference is the opposite, also due to internationality. Alongside Budhisto the term Budhano ('Buddhan') is also used, which is just as logical, but Budhanismo ('Buddhan-ism') is never used. (Some use the terms Budao, Budaisto and Budaismo instead.)

The terms kirurgisto, astronomisto, ekologisto, etc. should absolutely not be used, because "kirurgo", for example, already means "surgeon" by itself, so it doesn't make sense to add IST to that. But in many situations, you can still use the IST suffix to create a parallel word for these kinds of people, if there is another word for that person's occupation:

  • surgery = kirurgiokirurgiisto = surgeon (also called "kirurgo")
  • diplomacy = diplomatiodiplomatiisto = diplomat (also called "diplomato")
  • gymnastics = gimnastikogimnastikisto = gymnast (also called "gimnasto")


Using NJ, nickname or diminutive versions of women's names are formed. NJ is attached to a shortened form of the name. Normally, between 1 and 5 letters are used:

  • MarioManjoMarinjo - Mario [Mary, Maria] → Manjo or Marinjo
  • KlaroKlanjo - Klaro [Clara] → Klanjo
  • SofioSonjoSofinjo - Sofio [Sophia] → Sonjo aŭ Sofinjo
  • PatrinoPanjo - Patrino [Mother] → Panjo [Mom]
  • OnklinoOnjo - Onklino [Aunt] → Onjo [Auntie]
  • FratinoFranjo - Fratino [Sister] → Franjo [Sis]

Using NJ, the IN suffix is normally removed. However, the vowel of IN can sometimes be retained if it helps the name sound better: kuzinoKuzinjo, knabinoKnabinjo. The superfluous IN ending may even be used, if it helps the name sound better: KlaroKlarinoKlarinjo.


OBL = "multiplication". OBL can be used only with number words and words with similar meanings. The root coming before OBL always shows the factor of multiplication:

  • duduobla = double, multiplied by two
  • duduoble = doubly, multiplied by two
  • duduoblo = a double quantity, twice as much
  • dekdekobla = multiplied by ten
  • dekdekoble = multiplied by ten
  • dekdekoblo = a ten-fold quantity
  • cent dek ducent-dek-du-obla = multiplied by 112
  • cent dek ducent-dek-du-oble = multiplied by 112
  • cent dek ducent-dek-du-oblo = a 112-fold quantity

An OBL-word with an A-ending can also mean that something consists of that many parts:

  • duobla vesto = a suit of clothing that consists of two layers of clothing
  • duobla fadeno = two threads put together and used as one

The number is always written together before OBL. For clarity, hyphens may be used to divide the word. The hyphens should normally be put where there are spaces in the original number: dek dudekduoblo or dek-duoblo; dudekdudekoblo; du mil dudekdumildudekoble or preferably du-mil-dudekoble. The same rules of writing are also valid for the suffixes ON and OP.


ON = "division". ON can be used only with number words and words of similar meaning. Whatever comes before ON always shows the number by which one is dividing:

  • duduono = one of two equally large parts of a whole, a half, ½
  • duduona = as large as a half, being half (of something)
  • duduone = as largely as half, being half (of something)
  • dekdekono = one of ten equally big parts of something, a tenth, 1/10
  • dekdekona = as large as a tenth, being a tenth (of something)
  • dekdekone = as large as a tenth, being a tenth (of something)

For ON-words, we use the same rules of writing as for OBL.

Sometimes ON is confused with the root PART. It isn't possible to say, for example, landono for landparto = "part of a country". ON doesn't show the part of whatever stands before it, but part of something else. Triono (a third) isn't a part of tri (three), but one of three equally large parts of something else.


OP = "a group with a certain number of members". OP can be used only with number words and words of similar meaning. Whatever comes before OP always shows how many members are in the group:

  • unuunuopo = only one thing or person, a solo
  • unuunuopa = only, taken individually
  • unuunuope = each one for itself
  • duduopo = a group of two, a pair
  • duduopa = consisting of two members, a duo
  • duduope = in a group with two members, in groups of two, as a duo
  • dekdekopo = a group of ten
  • dekdekopa = consisting of ten members
  • dekdekope = in a group of ten members, in groups of ten each

For OP-words, we use the same rules of writing as for OBL.

The suffix OP can be left out before an O-ending, because a simple O-form, used with number words, also has the meaning of a grouping of that number.

  • duo = a pair or the number two
  • trio = a trio or the number three
  • deko = a group of ten, or the number ten


UJ = "something that is intended to contain something specific". UJ has three practically different meanings: "container", "plant" and "country". The elements preceding UJ always show what is (or happens) in the thing.

UJ can show a special receptacle, container, box, etc., that serves to hold something, or in which an action is performed:

  • salosalujo = a small container, which salt is held for use at a dining table
  • cigarocigarujo = a box for cigars
  • abeloabelujo = an artificial house for bees, a beehive (a natural dwelling for bees can be abelejo, but that word can also mean "a place where a beekeeper keeps beehives")
  • monomonujo = a small bag (or another sort of small holder) for carrying money, a wallet or purse
  • banibanujo = a basin or similar, in which one bathes oneself or someone else
  • trinkitrinkujo = a large, elongated container (trough) from which animals drink

For precision, compounds can be made with other roots, i.e.: teskatolo (tea box), tekruĉo (teapot), tetaso (teacup), cigarskatolo (cigar box), cigaredpaketo (cigarette packet), konservoskatolo (canned fruits or vegetables).

Note that whatever comes before UJ must show the contents, while whatever comes before SKATOL, VAZ, etc. can sometimes show contents, or sometimes material, or something else; for example: ladskatolo = "a tin can", lignositelo = "a wooden bucket". But ladujo must be "a container for tin", and lignujo is always "a container for wood".

Attached to the name of a fruit, berry, or flower, UJ can show the plant, normally a tree or a bush, that produces that fruit, berry, or flower:

  • pomopomujo = an apple tree
  • vinberovinberujo = a grape vine
  • rozorozujo = a rose bush

The forms pomarbo, vinberarbusto, etc. may also be used.

With the name of a people, UJ always means "the country of that people":

  • FrancoFrancujo = the country of the French
  • ĈinoĈinujo = the country of the Chinese
  • SomaloSomalujo = the country of the Somalis

Sometimes an UJ-word to indicate a country or region is made using a word of another type:

  • patropatrujo = fatherland, home country, country of origin
  • EsperantoEsperantujo = Esperanto-land, the (imaginary) land of the Esperantists, the Esperanto world (the congresses etc.)

In names of countries, as an alternative to UJ, the root LAND may also be used as a suffix, in addition to the unofficial suffix I. Most countries, however, have a name that isn't formed in this manner, for example Usono (the United States), Birmo (Burma), Liĥtenŝtejno (Liechtenstein), Islando (Iceland -- which, however, is not constructed using the rooto LAND!) et al. In these situations, the suffix AN is used to name the inhabitants of the country: Usonano (American), Birmano (Burman), etc.

UJ is used also as an ordinary root: ujo = a jug, container, box, holder; enujigi = to put into a jug, and so forth. In these instances, UJ never has the meaning of a country or of a plant.


UL = "a person with some kind of characteristic". What precedes UL always shows what characterizes the person.

  • juna = young → junulo = a person characterized by youth; a yongster, a youth
  • dika = fat → dikulo = a fat person
  • fremda = foreign, strange → fremdulo = a stranger, a foreigner; a person from a foreign country, region, city, etc.
  • sankta = holy → sanktulo = a saint; a person who is especially holy
  • blanka = white → blankulo = a white person; someone of the so-called white race
  • timi = to be afraid → timulo = a scaredy cat, a coward; someone who is often afraid
  • ĝibo = hump → ĝibulo = a person with a hunchback
  • miliono = million → milionulo = a millionaire, a person who has a million (or more) dollars/euros/yen...
  • sen kuraĝo = without courage → senkuraĝulo = coward; a person who is without courage
  • antaŭ = before → antaŭulo = predecessor, ancestor; a person who existed or acted before
  • alia = other → aliulo = someone else, another person

UL is also regularly used in some names of types of animals, although animals are not people:

  • mamo = breast → mamuloj = mammal; a class of animals who nurse their young with breasts
  • branko = gill → brankuloj = animals who breathe with gills

UL can be used figuratively for various things, including non-living things, that may be presented as if they were people:

  • nubojn skrapi = to scrape clouds → nubskrapulo = a skyscraper; a building so very tall that it seems to scrape the clouds
  • tri mastoj = three masts → trimastulo = a three-master; a ship with three masts

With words that inherently show some kind of person, UL shouldn't be used without need. Particular attention should be paid to participles with the O-ending. This sort of participle always shows a person, and the addition of UL is usually a mistake. Don't say parolantulo, kurintulo, konatulo, but simply parolanto (speaker), kurinto (person who ran), konato (acquaintance). If, however, UL has nevertheless been added to a participle with the O-ending or to another personal word, this addition creates a word with a special meaning. Virulo isn't the same as a viro (man), but means "a person characterized by manliness" = vireculo (a manly man). Konatulo in principle should be "a person characterized by being well-known" = famulo (a famous person), while konato is simply "a person known by someone".

UL is also used as an ordinary root: ulo = a person without any special characteristic that is worth mentioning. "Ulo" is often used in a similar fashion to "guy", "fellow", "chick", etc. but unlike in its English equivalents, "ulo" does not indicate a gender.


The suffix UM doesn't have a defined meaning. It is used to construct words that have some kind of relationship to whatever precedes UM. Every UM word must be learned separately. However, there are some groups of UM words with similar meanings.

Many UM-verbs mean "to act in a certain way, with whatever UM is attached to":

  • foliofoliumi = to turn the pages of a book or magazine to rapidly skim the contents
  • palpebropalpebrumi = to rapidly close and open the eyelids, to blink
  • brakobrakumi = to embrace, to put one's arms around something or someone

Some UM-verbs mean "to provide in a certain manner, by means of the root standing before UM":

  • aeroaerumi = to put out in the air, to let in air to freshen, to air out
  • sukerosukerumi = to cover with sugar, to sugar something

A group of UM verbs shows a manner of execution, killing:

  • krucokrucumi = to nail or bind to a cross to kill, to crucify
  • pendipendumi = to hang by a rope around the neck to kill, to hang

Some UM words are the name of a part of a garment or a similar item. The root preceding UM shows the part of the body where the thing is found:

  • kolokolumo = collar (Notice the similarity between 'kolo' and 'collar' because the latter comes from the French 'col' =neck)
  • nazonazumo = a type of eyeglasses that are worn by pinching them to the nose, pince-nez

UM is used in mathematics to construct the names of number systems. UM is placed after a number that shows how many numerals the system uses.

  • duduuma nombrosistemo = a system with two numerals, a binary system
  • dekdekuma nombrosistemo = a system with ten numerals, a decimal system

Some other UM-words:

  • malvarmamalvarmumi = to become sick with a cough, runny nose, etc. (supposedly due to cold); a cold
  • plenaplenumi = to do (a task, a duty, etc.) fully, to fulfill
  • gustigustumi = to taste, to sense a taste, to try a taste
  • lotolotumi = to give out or award according to a decision by lottery
  • komunakomunumo = an administrative district around a city, society, or organization that lives, works, etc. together; a community
  • dekstradekstruma = such that it turns or revolves to the right (direction of the clock)
  • proksimaproksimume = approximately
  • umo = a thing whose name we momentarily don't recall, something strange or indescribable.

When creating a new UM-word, it is necessary to take some care, because it may be that others won't understand it. An UM-word that joins one of the groups mentioned above will be accepted more easily, while an UM-word that doesn't resemble an existing UM-word is more difficult to introduce. However, UM-words are frequently constructed in the context of a conversation, and are understood through context, then disappear and are not used again.

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