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Suppose I have a verb, for example kunfandiĝi (hopefully something like to merge), but I want a noun describing a process of that word (in this case, to merge would in English become merging).

Is there a general rule for creating these nouns from the verbs in Esperanto? Can it be done with all the verbs?

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Yes, there is, and the reason you found it to be hard find by keywords may be that this is actually a trivial task in Esperanto that goes beyond the specific case of verbs and nouns. Any word is formed of a

  • root (here fand - melt)
  • optionally one or more affixes (here kun- is a prefix meaning roughly "together", and -iĝ-, making this an intransitive verb, i.e., that something merges)
  • a grammatical ending (-i)

The last part is what makes kunfandiĝi a verb in the first place. And it's by nothing more than by replacing it by another ending that you make it a noun (-o) or an adjective (-a)! So the quick answer would be

kunfandiĝo : consolidation, fusion, merger (source)

But you have more possibilities, depending on what exactly you want to say. The affix -iĝ- is what distinguishes between the following two uses of the corresponding English word:

  1. The two groups merged in 2007. ← does not take an object (intransitive), they did not merge something
  2. Would you please merge your findings into mine? ← takes an object (you → merge → findings, thus transitive)

What you ask for seems like an use of merging something, so option 2. The difference is that you drop the -iĝ- there, obtaining

kunfando : fusion, merging

Finally, you may actually add some additional affixes. I think kunfandado would make sense as the continuous process of merging.

  • But you have to be careful with verbs whose base is not verbal, i.e. verbs that have been derived from a noun or adjective by just changing the ending to a verb ending. An example is "marteli" ("to hammer"), derived from "martelo" ("a hammer"). For such verbs, just changing the ending back to "-o" won't do to describe the process or action. In the example of "marteli", you can't use "martelo" to name the process or action of hammering, as it means "a hammer". To name the process of continuously hammering, you use "martelado", whereas a single hammering action is "martelbato" ("a hammer hit"). – Marcos Cramer Dec 15 '16 at 22:55
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It's called the gerund form. In Esperanto it's generally done with the "-ad-" affix (means continual action). Sometimes the affix isn't necessary and you can just use the noun form ("-o") of the root. But often, the noun form has a specific meaning. So a few examples:

kuri (to run) -> kurado (running). Kuro doesn't work because it means course like race course or course of a river.

aĉeti (to buy) -> aĉetado (buying). aĉeto doesn't work because it means purchase like a purchase or an acquisition.

kuŝi (to lie) -> kuŝado (lying). "kuŝo" isn't used.

I think one of the Duolingo examples is: "La butikumado estas farenda." ("The shopping needs to be done.")

  • Don't forget that -ing can also be expressed as a participle - la kuranta viro - the running man. – Tomaso Alexander Jan 23 '17 at 13:24
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Converting a verb to a noun simply requires changing the ending. You can do this with almost any verb, although some verbs don't make sense as a noun in which case you cannot.

  • kunfandi: To merge something
  • kunfando: A merger of something

http://www.reta-vortaro.de/revo/art/fand.html#fand.kun0i

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