How should I translate “to set a clock” in the sense of “to set a clock to the correct time.” (Not in the sense of “to set a clock on a table”.)

2 Answers 2


El ReVo: Oni ĝustigas la horloĝon.

  • Of course. That’s a “why didn’t I think of that?” I had searched ReVo, but I didn’t turn that up. Any tips for how I could have found it? Mar 12, 2018 at 5:10
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    @RobertFisher These are actually tricky things to find. My first thought was agordi and that referred me to the more suitable ĝustigi. I later tried searching a bilingual dictionary, but did not find anything. So I unfortunately don't have any advise there, except maybe just take a wild guess and see where the related words take you. Checking tekstaro might help (e.g. “Komparante la sunhorloĝon kun bona poŝhorloĝo, oni certiĝos pri la ĝusteco de la unua.” might have helped get ĝustigi). Asking it here seems to work very well in cases where you cannot find it :p. Mar 12, 2018 at 9:31
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    I wonder if this word is still appropriate if you’re not setting the clock to the correct time or if you’re setting an alarm on the clock. To me it seems in those situations agordi might be more appropriate, but I’m not sure.
    – Neil Roberts
    Mar 14, 2018 at 13:31
  • @NeilRoberts I think you are right that agordi would work well in that situation. In fact, when I read only your truncated comment in the notification I received my immediate thought went back to agordi. Mi agordas la horloĝon al 8:05 atm; I think that works fine. Mar 14, 2018 at 14:34

According to PIV, the example ĝustigi horloĝon is from Zamenhof. It's not the only possible way to say this. It also leave me wondering how to say "set your alarm clock."

As for how to find the answer - my first thought was to check PIV for horloĝo - but it's not there. I then checked kiel diri (praktika esperanta frazeologio) by Lentaigne - a list of useful phrases pulled from authorative sources. I looked in the index under horo and found the following phrases:

  • havi la ĝustan horon
  • fruigi, streĉigi horloĝon (apparently: to set back, to wind)
  • akordigi horloĝon ... kun la observatorio (also in PIV)

You can also check a bilingual dictionary such as Wells or Benson.

I'm not finding a set expression (no pun intended) for setting your alarm clock - but based on what I'm seeing, I would suggest

  • starigi alarmon en la vekhorloĝo
  • enmeti vekhoron
  • enŝalti vekhorloĝon

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