I know that this is true:

Mi iris en la domo = I went in the house (whole time in the house)

Mi iris en la domon = I entered the house

Mi naĝis sub la akvo = I swam under the water (whole time under water)

Mi naĝis sub la akvon = I swam under the water (I started above surface)

Is this true as well?

Mi iris tra la muro = I went through the wall (whole time in the wall)

Mi iris tra la muron = I went through the wall (in one side, out the other)

  • My understanding is: yes, as it describes a movement to somewhere, which is what the accusative signifies. Jan 17, 2017 at 17:15
  • The trouble with "tra" is that it's kind of half and half as to whether the -n is required in the second case. Some of the answers will bring that out. Jan 17, 2017 at 17:45

2 Answers 2


The -n has several meanings in Esperanto. One if them is to distinguish the accusative case, in other words: mark objects of sentences. However, with prepositions, the -n shows direction. (PMEG covers all the uses of -n, http://bertilow.com/pmeg/detala_enhavo.html part 12.2, all written in Esperanto)

Theres even a paragraph about direction-n along with specifically tra (in the page titled "tra")

Tra + direkta N-finaĵo Por klare montri, ke moviĝo plene trairas, kaj pluiras el la loko, oni povas uzi tra + N-finaĵon. Jam simpla tra povas havi tian signifon, kaj oni uzu N-finaĵon nur kiam tio helpas al klareco:

  • Mia brako estas sufiĉe forta, por porti vin tra la arbaron.
    • ...la tutan vojon tra la arbaro kaj el ĝi.
  • La sago iris tra lian koron.
    • La sago plene penetris lian koron.
  • Mi pafos per mia pafilo tra la kradan aperturon de la pordego, kaj tiam ĉiu gardu sian nazon!
    • La pafoj eble trafos tiujn, kiuj staros ekstere.

Komparu kun similaj uzoj de ĉirkaŭ, preter, trans kaj kontraŭ.


To clearly show that a movement completely goes through, and further out of the location, one may use tra + the N-ending. Already a simple tra can have that meaning, and one should use the N-ending only when that helps towards clarification.

(Read the examples above)

Compare to similar uses of ĉirkaŭ, preter, trans and kontraŭ.

  • 1
    On this same subject, Lee miller wrote: There's a small group of prepositions where the use of the n-ending isn't always required. "Tra" and "ĉirkaŭ" are like this. Adding the -n emphasizes the directional movement, but isn't essential. "La birdo flugis tra la arbaro(n)", "Mi vojaĝis ĉirkaŭ la mondo(n)". Jan 17, 2017 at 17:49

I believe that your examples and understanding is correct.

Tra without the accusative is enough to mean that the movement was from one side out the other, it could be both. With the accusative is more clear.

  • Could you edit your response to include the information that tra la muro usually is enough to indicate that something came out the other side. It is possible, and sometimes you do see "tra la muron" which essentially means the same thing, but with a stronger focus on the fact that something came out the other side. See: bertilow.com/pmeg/gramatiko/rolmontriloj/rolvortetoj/… Jan 17, 2017 at 17:41

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.