Is it possible to use an adjective when there is no noun? I have seen this done, such as "sekva" on lernu.net. What's the rules around this? My belief was you used an adverb ending when there was no noun.


You are correct that under most circumstances, you don't use an adjective when there is no noun. Adjectives modify nouns, so if you're not modifying a noun, you almost never use an adjective.

There are some circumstances when a noun is implied. In that case, you can use an adjective. A common example of this is "la angla" which implies "la angla lingvo."

Looking at the "sekva" button on Lernu.net, I would say that this usage is OK because the noun is strongly implied. It means sekva paĝo or sekva alineo.

In rare circumstances, and adjective and be used to modify a whole phrase if doing so would resolve an ambiguous reading. I'm still looking for the reference and will update this answer when I find it.

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Adjectives modify nouns. Sometimes the noun is implied.

  • Mi parolas la hispanan (lingvon).

  • Mi legas la verdan (libron).

  • Alklaku ĉi tie por iri al la sekva (paĝo).

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  • La vorto estas alklaki, ne surklaki* ;). – Joffysloffy Sep 11 '17 at 10:57
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    @Joffysloffy Dankon. Vi pravas. – Lumo5 Sep 17 '17 at 6:49

A noun phrase (article adjectives noun) can do without noun. This Esperanto copied from its national languages.

Or otherwise: it is an adjective when a noun is implied, certainly when there is an article. Or when one can add a noun.

For a language feeling: when the word relates to a subject or object it is an adjective.

the next (the next one)
la sekva (tio sekva / la sekva ...)

at three (at three o'clock)
je la tria (horo)

And for a difference between adjective and adverb:

mi lernas la anglan
mi parolas en la angla
mi parolas angle                 (relates to 'parolas')
mi angle parolas
mi lernas pri la angla (kulturo)
WRONG: mi lernas angle           (angle does not relate to 'lernas')
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  • Why would ‘mi lernas angle’ be incorrect? It just means that you learn in English / using the English language. – Joffysloffy Sep 11 '17 at 10:55
  • @Joffysloffy yes that is correct. Still it would be wrong to translate "pri la angla" as angle here. I wanted to make a point that an adverb (angle) cannot simply substitute a prepositional phrase with the same adjective, as the adverb relates to the verb. Mi lernas angle I would understand too as learning some subject using the English language. – Joop Eggen Sep 11 '17 at 11:48
  • Aha, fair point. I also wanted to make sure that people know that ‘WRONG’ relates merely to the meaning, not the grammatical structure. – Joffysloffy Sep 11 '17 at 12:43

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