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In PIV multe has several meanings, including

II- Uzata subst-e., kun la signifo «amaso, granda kvanto, granda nombro»

Similarly, multo means

Amaso, granda kvanto aŭ nombro.

Both definitions come with a lot of examples but I can not see any difference between them. Is there any difference between multo and multe(II)?

  • 3
    I'm thinking that multo is used where a lot is used in English, while multe is used like much. Am I wrong? – Antonia Montaro Oct 19 '16 at 18:58
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The adverbs of quantity, like multe, kelke and sufiĉe, can function like nouns, i.e. be used as synonyms for multo, kelko and sufiĉo. This is explained well in PMEG. Zamenhof already made this synonymity apparent in the Fundamento de Esperanto, where one can find the following sentence:

Sur la arbo sin trovis multe (aŭ multo) da birdoj.

So in this sentence, "multe da birdoj" means the same as "multo da birdoj".

Of course, there are situations where only multe can be used, as an adverb is required. Here are some examples:

  • Ni multe dancis dum la IJK.
  • Mi multe amas ŝin. (Here one can also use tre instead of multe.)
  • Ŝi estas multe pli alta ol li.

But whenever you can use multo, you can also use multe, and actually multe is more common than multo in situations where either one is correct. Here are some examples:

  • Li havas multe/multon da mono.
  • Mi havas multe/multon por rakonti.
  • Multe/Multo okazis dum la pasintaj semajnoj.

Somewhat special is the situation with pluvi, which usually does not take a subject, but may take one, if one wants to indicate that something other than rainwater fell in a rain-like way (see PMEG). To say that it rained a lot, one would normally say Pluvis multe. Here pluvis does not have any subject, and multe functions in an adverbial way, not like a noun. But since pluvis can also take a subject, the sentence Pluvis multo is also grammatically correct. However, as pluvi is normally only used with a subject when something other than rainwater falls in a rain-like way, Pluvis multo would probably be understood to mean 'A lot of things rained', rather than 'It rained a lot'.

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It just depends on what allows for you to best articulate yourself. Multo is a noun, multe is an adverb.

Here's an instance where multo must be used because it can stand alone as a subject:

Multo estas riskata. [A lot is as stake.]

and for multe, in this case because it is describing a verb:

En Okinawa multe pluvas. [It rains a lot in Okinawa.]

You may see both multe and multo in something like "multe/multo da arboj", but multe is far more common. So I suppose use your own judgement, but personally I'll only use multo if it's strictly defined as a subject or object.

  • What do you actually mean by makes the most grammatical sense? And is it wrong to use multe as a subject(like I think Jonny M does in "Dankon", singing "multe okazis, multe sukcesis")? – svendvn Oct 19 '16 at 10:00
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    keep in mind, in those instances multe still describes a verb, so the adverb form is best. Also, Jonny M is great. – matthewncover Oct 19 '16 at 11:06
  • ah, I think you are right about the lyrics. But it doesn't answer the questions in my comment. – svendvn Oct 19 '16 at 17:45
  • Then, is "Pluvas multo" wrong? – Antonia Montaro Oct 19 '16 at 18:55
  • @svendvn I suppose I was being redundant, sorry for the confusion. @ AntoniaMontaro You could get away with "pluvas multon", but "pluvas multe" is more frequent. – matthewncover Oct 19 '16 at 23:29
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That is simple. You can use multo as a description of a big number of something countable. For example multo da tabloj. Like you say - ten, hundred, thousand - multo. And, sure, multo is a noun

Multe can be used as a description of something uncountable. Pluvas multe - "It rains a lot". Multe - adverb

  • I don't think it is related to countability. Multo is a noun, while multe is an adverb. Adverbs modify verbs (as in your pluvas multe example) or adjectives (Li estas multe longa). – Oliver Mason Oct 19 '16 at 14:23
  • Agreed. I also ment that "multo" is a noun, that can describe like other counts, like "hundred" or "million". I mentioned countability to explain, that you can't say "pluvas multo". But now I understand, it wasn't a really good explanation. Thank you for correction. – Kira Vergil Oct 20 '16 at 5:47
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    "Multe" can not only function in an adverbial way (as in "Pluvas multe"), but also in a noun-like way, as in "Mi havas multe por rakonti". See my answer for a clarification. – Marcos Cramer Nov 2 '16 at 11:10

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