In Italian I can use the Future Tense not to express something that will surely happen in the future. For example:

  • Referring to myself, talking with somebody

    Andrò a letto. (I am bored. Maybe it is better I go to sleep.)

  • Referring to somebody else (e.g. because somebody asked me where that person is going)

    Andrà da suo cugino. (I am not sure where she is going, but I think probable she is going to her cousin's.)

Is there a tense or a mood I can use in Esperanto to express probability or uncertainty as in Italian, or is using adverbs the only way to express the same in Esperanto?

1 Answer 1


In general, you need an adverb: eble (possibly), probable (probably), verŝajne (it is likely). You can also say miaopinie or laŭ mi (in my opinion), or laŭŝajne or ŝajnas ke (it seems that).

Verŝajne, ŝi iras al ĉe sia kuzo. Most likely she's going to her cousin's.

In your first example, you can say "I ought to go to bed" (Mi devus enlitiĝi) or "Maybe I had better go to bed" (Eble pli bonus se mi enlitiĝus) or you could use the -u verb ending, as you are essentially making a recommendation to yourself:

Mi enlitiĝu. [literally] Go to bed, me.

  • The last sentence is possible also in Italian, but the Imperative mood is just used for commands. In Italian it would get to mean I am going to bed. (It would not be clear if I use the Present Tense, or the Imperative.) Does Esperanto use the -u verbs for recommendations?
    – apaderno
    Oct 24, 2016 at 5:02
  • 2
    Yes. The -u ending is not just imperative, but technically a "deontic mood", which is much vaguer and covers wishes, aims, recommendations, etc. adventuresinesperanto.wordpress.com/2012/01/23/… Oct 24, 2016 at 6:45

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