As I have been taught by the Duolingo course, the word kioma is used when asking for the time:

Kioma horo estas?

I realise that it is made from the word kiom + -a (to make it an adjective?) but the other correlatives do not seem to have such forms (e.g. there is no tioa, kiea, etc.).

Is kioma an exception that is used only when asking for the current time or does it have a more broad meaning? Can you give any other examples of its use?

  • 1
    "Taught" and "realize" appear to be spelled wrong. The system does not allow me to suggest this as an edit because fixing these doesn't generate a big enough change to the text to warrant an edit. Commented Oct 5, 2016 at 9:42
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    @TomasoAlexander Fixed "taught". As for "realise", that is valid British spelling, from what I (double-)checked (I am not a native English speaker). Commented Oct 5, 2016 at 10:02
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    Yes, “realise” is good old British spelling. Also, @TomasoAlexander has spelt “spelt” wrong :p
    – Neil Roberts
    Commented Oct 5, 2016 at 10:11

2 Answers 2


Just think of kiom as a numeral like unu, du, tri...kiom? (one, two, three...how many?)

Unua means first, dua is second, tria is third, dudeka is twentieth. Kioma is, well, there is no word for it in English (other languages do have such words), but you might imagine something like "how manyeth?". Saying kioma you are asking for an ordinal number:

  • Kioma prezidanto de Usono estas Barack Obama? Li estas la kvardek kvara (aŭ: kvardek-kvara).

  • Kioman lokon vi havas en la atendovico? Mi estas jam la tria, do ne plu daŭros longe.

In Esperanto we usually tell the time using ordinal numbers: Estas la kvara (horo). Mi revenos je la naŭa, je la dudeka (horo)

That's why it is natural to ask Kioma horo estas?, but kioma is a useful word for many questions.

  • oh that makes perfect sense! Commented Oct 5, 2016 at 10:03

Kioma is used to ask about anything which is an ordered sequence.

Here are some examples of it being used other than to ask the time.

  • Kaj li rememoris (kioman fojon en ĉi tiu jaro!) la maljustaĵojn
  • De la kioma etaĝo vi estas?
  • ĝis kioma grado (dua, tria, ktp.)
  • de kioma tago kaj de kiu monato

Kiome is much less common. My take is that it's a synonym for kiom.

  • Kaj ne forgesu, kiome diferencas ankaŭ la popolo ĉi tie kaj tiu de la Atena agora.

The Ekzercaro contains examples of correlatives turned into words in this way. Some of these are used moderately often.

  • Ekster tio el la diritaj vortoj ni povas ankoraŭ fari aliajn vortojn, per helpo de gramatikaj finiĝoj kaj aliaj vortoj (sufiksoj); ekzemple: tiama, ĉiama, kioma, tiea, ĉi-tiea, tieulo, tiamulo k. t. p. (= kaj tiel plu).

Kialo is not on the list, but it springs to mind as an example of a very common word formed from a correlative. Tiele is also very commmon (especially in the phrase tiele diras la Eternulo. I first encountered it used the way Latin sic is used to show a typo or error in a quotation. It often seems like a synonym for tiel. According to PIV, it has a stricter meaning: laŭ tia maniero.

  • kredu al mi, tiele estas pli bone!

In summary, I would say kioma horo is hardly an exception. There are lots of words built from correlatives - the list could go on and we haven't even gotten to kiomope and the like.

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