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For example, which of these is preferred?

Ĝi estas bongusta

or

Ĝi bongustas

I prefer the latter aesthetically, but I'm not sure what is more idiomatic.

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    For the most part, the verbified form suggests a temporary state rather than a permanent property. Note also that the transformation doesn't always work: e.g. sperti does not equal esti sperta. – Andrew Woods Dec 28 '16 at 2:15
  • Andrew, I've heard this claim before but it contradicts my experience and I've never seen a reference for it. For the most part, a verbified adjective is more "active" than a regular adjective. Often the meaning changes in ways that are hard to predict without experience. – Tomaso Alexander Dec 28 '16 at 3:45
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For that example, I don't think it matters. I would probably say, "Ĝi bongustas". But it could matter in other cases. PMEG has a couple things to say about the subject if you're interested.

  1. Sometimes the phrase just sounds weird. "La ĉielo bluas" is an example of that. People just tend to say "La ĉielo estas blua". If you want to add variety to your conversation, then you may say "La ĉielo bluas", but don't overuse it.

  2. Sometimes the phrase changes meaning when you change the adjective to a noun. An example of this is "La bildo estas kolora" versus "La bildo koloras". The former means, "The picture is colorful" and latter means, "The picture is giving color".

Check out this page for more info on when to omit esti.

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  • I believe you made some translation errors - assuming this is meant to be a translation of PMEG. Note meaning of "la bildo koloras" in PMEG is different from what is presented here. – Tomaso Alexander Dec 28 '16 at 3:47
  • Oh, I wasn't trying to translate. And I guess PMEG does say kolori is giving color. – alanxoc3 Dec 28 '16 at 6:01
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It is possible (and increasingly common) to drop the esti form and apply the verb ending directly to the adjective stem to form a “stative” verb:

  • Vi pravis. = You were right.
  • La mono ĉiam necesas. = Money is always necessary.
  • La muro ruĝos. = The wall will be red.

There are a few people who are very depressed by this structure... It is part of Esperanto, but not yet common to the whole community of speakers.... Accordingly if you use stative verbs very much you can expect occasional whining and grumbling... they obviate the overuse of esti; and they will probably be a dominant form in Esperanto by the year 2050.

http://pages.ucsd.edu/~dkjordan/eo/colloq/colloq042.html

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  • This is from a book published in 1992. I think "vi pravas" is already the dominant form, but not for all verbs. – Lumo5 Dec 28 '16 at 6:53
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    Yeah, "pravi" and "necesi" are already very common nowadays. So much so that I didn't even realize that they actually belong in the same group of words as "ruĝi" and "bongusti" – Raizin Dec 29 '16 at 14:19