In Italian, and American English, I could use the Present Tense for something happening in the future.

Domani inizio il mio nuovo lavoro. (Tomorrow I start my new job.)

As said in the answer to Can I always use the present tense for something happening in the future? American English uses the Present Tense for future events when these are regarded at the present as immutably fixed (e.g. schedules or timetables).

Can I use the Present Tense for the same purpose, in Esperanto? If not, what tense should I use for events regarded as immutably fixed?

On 26.2.1. Nun-tempo: AS-finaĵo there is the following example:

Hodiaŭ mi studas Esperanton. (Today I study Esperanto.)

Since the sentence is talking of today, it is also talking of the future (today as from the moment I am talking until the day is over), I take the example could express an intention or it is talking of an event that at the present is regarded as fixed.

  • 1
    Possible duplicate of Can you write "Mi baldaŭ foriras" instead of "Mi baldaŭ foriros"?
    – Max
    Aug 26, 2016 at 8:24
  • 1
    The other question is not about future events regarded at the present as immutably fixed. It is about using baldaŭ with the Present Tense.
    – apaderno
    Aug 26, 2016 at 8:26
  • Whether it's "tomorrow" or "soon" makes no difference. Perhaps it is not a duplicate, but my answer there is just as valid here.
    – Max
    Aug 26, 2016 at 8:32
  • It makes a difference, since soon is not used for events regarded at the present as immutably fixed. There is a difference between I will soon go to the mall and Tomorrow I go to the mall. In fact, the first sentence is also used not to express certainty.
    – apaderno
    Aug 26, 2016 at 8:38
  • I meant that it does not make a difference in Esperanto; sorry if I was unclear. As I said in the linked question, the present tense in Esperanto is used for actions or states that have "started, but not finished." For future reference, it does not help to clarify your question if you simply repeat the same phrase ("events regarded at the present as immutably fixed") over and over; if you think somebody is not understanding you, rephrase instead of repeating.
    – Max
    Aug 26, 2016 at 8:42

2 Answers 2


When read too literally, the statement that tense-marking in Esperanto is obligatory is only approximately correct and not totally helpful. As infinitives, verbs can be used without any tense-marking. And for the other verb forms, it's not just obligatory - all other verb forms are automatically marked for tense. What is really meant is that present tense in Esperanto is not a default tense that can sometimes be used instead of other tenses. The 'wrong' formulation of this principle probably comes from natural languages, where the present tense is often marked by the absence of special tense markers.

In most other languages, present tense is more fundamental than the other tenses, and amounts more or less to not marking for tense. Consequently, present tense verbs are ambiguous between actually meaning present tense and a more general use. (This is particularly relevant for languages which lack a future tense -- a very common phenomenon.) The resulting complications or ambiguities are completely unnecessary for Esperanto with its simple -is/-as/-os distinction. On the flip side, it is slightly harder for speakers of Germanic languages to express themselves in Esperanto because they must remember to always use it, even when it's clear they are talking about the future.

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    Not just the infinitive (fari) lacks tense marking, but also the conditional and imperative (farus, faru) are tenseless forms. You can say Se mi hieraŭ farus tion, mi hodiaŭ pentus, Se mi morgaŭ farus tion, mi postmorgaŭ pentus, Faru tion postmorgaŭ, tuj kiam vi revenos de Parizo). Oct 6, 2016 at 9:14

No. Tense-marking in Esperanto is obligatory; the fact that the future time is regarded as fixed does not make a difference. According to PMEG (the Complete Handbook of Esperanto Grammar):

AS-verbo montras, ke la ago aŭ stato estas reala, efektiva, kaj ke ĝi komenciĝis, sed ne finiĝis.

A verb ending with -as shows that the action or state is real, actual, and that it has started, but not finished.

(emphasis mine)

Thus, the present tense cannot be used for actions which have not yet started.

  • Re Tense-marking in Esperanto is obligatory: I didn't say I would not use any tense-marking.
    – apaderno
    Aug 26, 2016 at 8:52

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