Kwa maudhui

missing tenses?

ya Alex Stephen, 20 Januari 2007

Ujumbe: 14

Lugha: English

Alex Stephen (Wasifu wa mtumiaji) 20 Januari 2007 12:08:30 asubuhi

i just started learning today, but i noticed when they showed me the verb tenses it only had (present, past, and future).

estas - present (am)
estis - past (was)
estos - future (will/shall)

There are supposed to be 3 more tenses, are they missing or something?

? - perfect (like I have done something)
? - pluperfect (like I had done something)
? - future perfect (like I will have done something)

Kwekubo (Wasifu wa mtumiaji) 20 Januari 2007 12:26:38 asubuhi

Hi Alex, welcome to lernu! All those tenses, and more, are present and correct in Esperanto; the difference is that some of them are constructed using more than one word. Usually this means adding a past, present or future participle to the word estas, estis or estos. Flick through this thread from a while ago for a glimpse of how the participles work in Esperanto.

Examples:

1. Pluperfect -

I had done something = Mi estis farinta ion.

2. Future perfect -

I will have done something = Mi estos farinta ion.

erinja (Wasifu wa mtumiaji) 20 Januari 2007 2:09:12 asubuhi

Everything Kwekubo says is correct. In case you don't feel like reading through the whole thread that he mentioned, here's a summary of one very important point - it's important for beginners to understand that just because Esperanto has these capabilities, doesn't mean we always use them.

So even though it is possible in Esperanto to distinguish between "I run" and "I am running", in practice, we don't distinguish unless we're trying to add strong emphasis.

So in most cases, in Esperanto we use a simple past, present, or future, even if in English we would not. In most cases, "mi kuris" would be used to mean not only "I ran", but also "I was running" and "I had run".

This is why you will not usually see these more complicated verb tenses in brief Esperanto grammar guides - they are not used very much. Of course, you do need them sometimes, so you need to learn them eventually, but it's important to be aware that there isn't a 1:1 correspondence between English verb tenses and Esperanto ones.

RiotNrrd (Wasifu wa mtumiaji) 20 Januari 2007 2:39:34 asubuhi

There are three other tenses that you've left out, as well: the infinitive, the conditional, and the imperative.

So, the six "simple" tenses (using est- as an example):

Infinitive: esti (to be)
Past: estis (was, were)
Present: estas (is, am, are)
Future: estos (will be)
Conditional: estus (would be)
Imperative: estu (be!)

As erinja says, the participles and perfects aren't used much, although I still tend to use them more than I probably should.

nw2394 (Wasifu wa mtumiaji) 20 Januari 2007 4:07:36 asubuhi

Perfect tenses are often formed using "jam". Srtictly this means "already" and can, indeed, often be translated that way. But just as often, when you see "jam" in an E-o text, it would be better translated as a perfect tense in English.

Nick

gxosefo (Wasifu wa mtumiaji) 4 Februari 2007 6:08:27 alasiri

could one say:

li estis mangxintonta
(he was going to have eaten)

?

T0dd (Wasifu wa mtumiaji) 4 Februari 2007 9:23:14 alasiri

gxosefo:could one say:

li estis mangxintonta
(he was going to have eaten)

?
I don't think so--but is there really a difference between this and "He was about to eat?"

pastorant (Wasifu wa mtumiaji) 5 Februari 2007 5:57:08 asubuhi

One mood that Mr. Zamenhof forgot (I think because Polish doesn't have it) is the verb "should".
Esperanto uses devus to express that mood.
Mi devus iri is "I should go" but Mi devas iri is "I have to go"

Here's a whacky one:
Ili devus esti irintaj!
They should have gone ridulo.gif

Amuziĝu!

awake (Wasifu wa mtumiaji) 5 Februari 2007 12:39:40 alasiri

Actually, the imperative mood covers this in Esperanto. When used with the 2nd person, (which is often omitted) it indicates a command

(vi) Fermu la pordo! (you) Close the door.

However, when it is used with the first or third person, it indicates not a command but a desire or wish.

Often you see something like

"Ni iru al kinejo" translated as "Let us go to the cinema"

but, this can also be translated as "We should go to the cinema"

It's simply using the imperative mood to express a desire or a will to do something (or that something should be done).

This is seen more explicitly in translations of the question form (which tends to use "should" more than "let us"

for example, "ĉu ni iru al kinejo?" = Should we go to the cinema?

if you take away the ĉu particle, the tranlation becomes "we should go to the cinema" as noted above (or "let us go..." depending on context)

Now, devus can also mean should, but it implies an obligation more than a desire.

Ni devus iri al preĝejo, kontraŭe Dio punos nin

We should go to church, otherwise god will punish us.

Here, devus means should, but is expressing an obligation rather than a desire. contrast that with

Ni iru al preĝejo nun, kontraŭe ni estos malfrua.

which translates as "We should go to church now, or else we'll be late."

We could stay home and watch football, but we'd rather go to church and not be late. here the imperative mood works better.

ridulo.gif

pastorant:One mood that Mr. Zamenhof forgot (I think because Polish doesn't have it) is the verb "should".
Esperanto uses devus to express that mood.
Mi devus iri is "I should go" but Mi devas iri is "I have to go"

Here's a whacky one:
Ili devus esti irintaj!
They should have gone ridulo.gif

Amuziĝu!

erinja (Wasifu wa mtumiaji) 5 Februari 2007 4:07:03 alasiri

pastorant:One mood that Mr. Zamenhof forgot (I think because Polish doesn't have it) is the verb "should".
Esperanto uses devus to express that mood.
Mi devus iri is "I should go" but Mi devas iri is "I have to go"
Some other users have already covered this use of "devus" but for people interested in grammar, here's another take on the situation. It's not so much that Polish doesn't have a verb like "should", but that most languages don't have it. The English verb "should" is classified as a modal verb (look it up on Wikipedia for more info). Modal verbs are characteristic of Germanic languages; Romance and Slavic languages don't really work this way. Other modal verbs in English are must, can, and may (there are more but these are just some common ones). If you think about it, these verbs are a class apart in English. They don't function the same way as other verbs; we can say to love, to work, to say, to have. But "to should"? "to can"? "to may"? These don't work, and this is a clue that these verbs are in a separate category. Modal verbs generally express ideas like desires, wishes, necessity, and uncertainty.

In reality, even if Zamenhof wanted to include a verb like "should", he would have to make up separate grammar to regulate it, since it doesn't work like other verbs. This would clutter Esperanto unnecessarily. Zamenhof would certainly have known about modal verbs, since he spoke German and English, so it's my assumption that he intentionally did not include them.

On the other hand, Esperanto's use of "devi" and the -u ending to express desires, wishes, suggestions, suppositions, etc is very much in line with Romance languages, which function very similarly. We can see the similarity in the verbs as well - Italian dovere, Spanish deber, French devoir. Esperanto's -u ending has a sort of dual purpose, expressing both commands and wishes; this is also common in Romance languages. The imperative (command) form of a verb is often the same as the subjunctive form, which expresses desires, wishes, and uncertainty. I know this is true in Italian and I'm pretty sure it's true (or similar) in Spanish and French as well.

Kurudi juu