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.


3 Answers 3


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.


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).

  • La vorto estas alklaki, ne surklaki* ;). Sep 11, 2017 at 10:57
  • 1
    @Joffysloffy Dankon. Vi pravas.
    – Lumo5
    Sep 17, 2017 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')
  • Why would ‘mi lernas angle’ be incorrect? It just means that you learn in English / using the English language. Sep 11, 2017 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, 2017 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. Sep 11, 2017 at 12:43

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