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It seems like I only see Kiom da jaroj vi havas? but I don't understand why it would be correct.

Which is correct, between Kiom da jaroj vi havas? and Kiom da jarojn vi havas?

5 Answers 5

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Da is a preposition. You don't use an -n after a preposition unless the preposition shows a location and there is motion toward the location, which doesn't apply here.

Kiom is actually an adverb and also doesn't ever take an accusative.

So Kiom da jaroj vi havas? is correct.

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I very much like how lernu.net presents it. I'll try something similar here.

To understand kiom da, we should begin with looking at da-constructions in general.

Li havas amason da pomoj.

He has amason, that is the object here. Think of da pomoj as a description of the object.

Here are some more examples:

Ni bezonas kilogramon da faruno.

Vi trinkis litron da akvo.

Mi vidis plurajn botelojn da suko en la fridujo.

The words kiom, tiom, iom, tro and multe are not nouns and does not take the accusative-ending, but you can still think of the da-phrase as a description.

Ĉi tiu kuko enhavas tro da sukero, laŭ mi.

Ili ricevis multe da laŭdoj pro sia bona laboro.

Ŝi ŝatus iom da kafo.

Along with numbers, da is not used, and the accusative steps in as usually.

Li havas dek pomojn.

I believe this is why so many are confused by the very question you are bringing up. The answer almost never contains a da construction, and often the accusative-n, which clashes with the way the question is built.

Kiom da jaroj vi havas?

  • Mi havas dudek-kvin jarojn. (a number is standard)
  • Mi havas tro multajn!
  • Mi havas tro da jaroj.
  • Mi havas dekojn da jaroj.
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The first one. After "da" you don't use the accusative. It's actually because the object is "kiom," the "of years" part tells you what you're talking about.

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You can search the tekstaro for the following:

 Kiom da \w+oj [mvnlŝ]i \w+[iaou]s

 Kiom da \w+ojn [mvnlŝ]i \w+[iaou]s

The first one you mentioned is correct because da is a preposition. Have a look at this page for more detials: http://esperanto.50webs.com/EsrGrammar-3_10.html

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EDIT: This answer is incorrect as pointed out in the comments.


I just want to add some points to what others mentioned.

What I do to identify an accusative is to ask what to the verb. If you can answer that without breaking the meaning, then that answer will be the accusative or direct object. Put an -n at the end of it. If you can't answer that then the sentence does not have an accusative.

Eg:

I like you - (Like what? You!) - Mi ŝatas vin

What are you singing? - (Singing what?) - Kion vi kantas?

In your sentence, you won't get an answer like this. So there's no direct object.

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  • 1
    This answer is incorrect. The answer to the question "kiom da jaroj vi havas" is indeed something like "mi havas dudek jarojn" -- I have 20 years. Have what? 20 years. The question, however, is why "kiom da" doesn't take an accusative, even when your rule of thumb would suggest that it does. This has been answered in the other answers to this question. Commented Dec 24, 2016 at 1:54
  • Oh! I'm a beginner and I was using tips like these to remember things. Thank you so much for correcting that. Your comment is really helpful.
    – Neerkoli
    Commented Dec 24, 2016 at 5:35

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