E.g. the sentences

  • mi volus salti.
  • mi saltus.

both mean something related to wanting to jump. What is the difference between these two forms?

  • 1
    Actually, just one of those phrases means something related to wanting to jump. Mi saltus doesn't necessarily mean I would want to jump or I want to jump.
    – apaderno
    Oct 14, 2016 at 5:59

2 Answers 2


Mi volus salti only states that I would want to jump, but not that I necessarily would do so.

Mi saltus means that I would jump, not just want to but actually do it (in whatever the context is).

  • Mi saltus sur la tegmenton de nubskrapanto por savi vin!
    (I would jump onto the roof of a skyscraper to save you!)
  • Se li enirus la ĉambron, mi volus elsalti tra la fenestro!
    (If he entered the room, I'd want to jump out the window!)
  • "Sed kion vi farus, se leono aperus nun?" "Kompreneble, mi simple saltus en la aŭton!"
    ("But what would you do, if a lion appeared now?" "Of course, I'd just jump into the car!")
  • Se mi estus en la supra etaĝo de brulanta domo, mi certe volus salti tra la fenestro. Sed eble mia fobio de altaĵoj malebligus tion.
    (If I were in the upper story of a burning house, I'd certainly want to jump through the window. But perhaps my fear of heights would prevent that.)
  • Isn't If I were in the upper story supposed to be If I were in the upper floor (or If I were on the upper floor)?
    – apaderno
    Oct 14, 2016 at 6:05
  • @kiamlaluno I usually hear "story", but "floor" is another term for it; which term is more common may depend on where you are. (And with "floor" you would be on and not in it (at least as far as I've heard)).
    – kristan
    Oct 14, 2016 at 7:48

Mi volus salti on its own means "I would like to jump", which is a weaker form of "I want to jump." It suggests either that you probably won't jump, or that your statement is a request that you be allowed to jump. See PMEG for discussion of this use of volus without a condition.

Se mi sidus sur varma forno, mi volus salti means "If I were sitting on a hot stove, I would want to jump."

Mi saltus means "I would jump." Presumably a possible situation has just been mentioned.

  • Mi volus salti seems more like I would want to jump.
    – apaderno
    Oct 14, 2016 at 5:28
  • Yes, when a condition is supplied. See the 2nd paragraph. Oct 14, 2016 at 9:23

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