I know that one of them is an adverb and one of them is an adjective.

But what is the more deeper meaning of the sentences? Can you create a proper context for them please?

Do also similar examples exist in other languages, like Latin, German and so on?

  • I'm not sure if "Mia onklo venas sana" is a correct Esperanto sentence. "Mia onklo venas sane" means "My uncle came healthily (in a healthy way)" (perhaps he walked or cycled rather than driving), but "venas" is not a descriptive verb ("priskriba verbo" in the terminology of PMEG) so I don't think it can take an adjective as an argument.
    – Max
    Aug 26, 2016 at 8:04

2 Answers 2


When you use "sana", it describes a property of "mia onklo", i.e. it expresses that the uncle was healthy while he came. If you use "sane", it describes "venas", i.e. you are saying that the action of his coming was healthy, which doesn't make any sense.

Here is a sentence where both forms make sense:

  • "Mi venis sole por ne ĝeni ŝin." This means that the only reason why I came was so as not to disturb her. (Here "sole" actually describes "por ne ĝeni ĝin" and not "venas".)
  • "Mi venis sola por ne ĝeni ŝin." This means that I came by myself so as not to distrub her.

Some people use "sole" when "sola" should be used (I myself did it for many years), but I think that this deviation from the norm cannot be recommended.

  • How can you be sure that in "Mi venis sole por ne gheni shin" the adverb sole does not describe venis? Isn't this just ambiguous?
    – mondano
    Aug 25, 2016 at 18:45
  • I really like the answer, but I agree with @mondano that this part is a little confusing. Sole in the sentence above describes venis, but applies to por ne ĝeni ŝin. That is, the answer to the question, "How did you come?" is, "I came solely." Aug 26, 2016 at 14:52
  • Wouldn't it be better to say “nur por ne ĝeni ŝin”? There are languages where “sole” and “nur” are the same word, but in Esperanto we have both to avoid this ambiguity...
    – marcus
    Jun 19, 2018 at 15:56

In general the adverb (-e) modifies the verb, so the sentence could be translated My uncle comes in a healthy way (eg walks without a limp).

The adjective (-a) modifies the noun, so My uncle comes (and is) healthy.

It is a bit of a strange sentence without any further context, though.

  • I think you meant "limp" instead of "limb", but I can't even suggest an edit because the system doesn't let you submit an edit of less than 6 characters different.
    – Lokathor
    Aug 26, 2016 at 6:36
  • @Lokathor Thanks! Yes, one letter, completely the opposite meaning! :) Aug 26, 2016 at 14:37
  • But no! "Walks without a limb" was much funnier!!! ;-) Aug 26, 2016 at 14:53
  • @nerimarkinde reminds me of the Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. "'Tis but a scratch". Aug 26, 2016 at 14:56

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