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I know about the examples given of "the man kissing the woman" or "boy kissing the girl". My question is, how do I use the -n if the object ends in, for instance, the letter n as in John, or in y as in Mary? Do I add an o and then the n? Do I just add the n by itself. How would you even pronounce the word Maryn?

  • Esperantized names (Johano/n, Jozefo/n, possibly Maria/n) get an n, the rest in general not. – Joop Eggen Nov 22 '17 at 16:10
  • There are a few elements in your question and it's hard to tease them apart. I would encourage you to make the subject match the actual question better. Something like "marking direct object of non-Esperanto names." Your question about how to pronounce "Maryn" calls to mind the question of how to pronounce foreign words in Esperanto at all - and it's tempting to answer in terms of "why is it important to experantize words?" – Tomaso Alexander Nov 22 '17 at 17:37
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My perception is that the most common thing to do is just to not bother marking the object, so in your example it would just be something like “John kisas Mary”. Even though Esperanto has a flexible word order, the default is subject-verb-object like in English. When it is not possible to mark the object you can usually just rely on this default to be understood.

For a more complete answer, see this similar question: What is the best way to express the accusative of non-Esperanto words in an Esperanto text?

  • On what basis to you assert that this is most common? – Tomaso Alexander Nov 22 '17 at 16:32
  • My first superficial attempts at quantifying this objectively - searching for foreign terms in Tekstaro.com - suggests that leaving foreign terms unmarked for accusative is actually uncommon. (I also found out that I am listed in the Tekstaro as a foreign term.) – Tomaso Alexander Nov 22 '17 at 20:21
  • @TomasoAlexander I’m not sure if Tekstaro would be a great source because it is mostly works of fiction. In that case it seems very likely that authors would artificially pick names that are easily esperantoisable. Maybe it would be better to scan through Telegram chats. – Neil Roberts Nov 22 '17 at 20:34
  • So, by "most common in Esperanto" you mean "subjectively and unverified to be most common in Telegram chats"? I do believe you're mistaken when you say "mostly works of fiction" especially when searching specifically for foreign names. I've searched for "Thomas" and for names starting with "John" - and most of the hits were not fiction... well, at least that's my subjective impression at this point. – Tomaso Alexander Nov 22 '17 at 21:43
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    I thought it would be interesting to know what is more common. I thought about posting an answer, but I think this should be closed as a duplicate - and you've already pointed to the other question. – Tomaso Alexander Nov 22 '17 at 23:56
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I often try to rephrase things so that the accusative isn’t required on a non-Esperanto word or name. If all else fails, there is always the passive.

John estas kisata de Mary. (John is kissed by Mary.)

Mary estas kisata de John. (Mary is kissed by John.)

I don’t believe it is common, and some will likely call it bad style.

  • Any particular reason to order it as “kisata estas” instead of the more usual “estas kisata”? – Neil Roberts Nov 28 '17 at 8:42
  • @NeilRoberts: Only old habits from Latin. I’ll change it. – Robert Fisher Nov 28 '17 at 14:22

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