The original sentence

Babies are easily frightened by thunders.

And how does timas and timigas change the meaning of the sentence?

Many thanks!

  • 1
    Would it be possible to adapt the question-title so that more people can make use of it? I mean, it may answer more than just the title, which is very specific. – Antonia Montaro Jun 17 '19 at 17:54

Your sentence does not have a subject, whilst the main verb requires it, so it's not even grammatical. In the original sentence ‘babies’ is the subject with a passive construction, which can be translated as

Beboj estas facile timigitaj de tondroj.

However, because of Esperanto's flexible word order in these simple sentences, we can easily make this an active construction with tondroj as the subject:

Bebojn facile timigas tondroj.

The difference between timi and timigi is, that the subject of timi is the thing that is scared while the object is the thing that causes fear; with timigi it's the reverse: the subject is the thing causing fear while the object is the thing being scared.

Note however, that with timigi the thing that causes fear need not be the thing that is being feared; for instance, I can cause you to be scared with a scary story about ghosts, which means you would be scared of ghosts, not of me; then still Mi timigis vin (I scare you) while Vi ne timas min, sed vi timas fantomojn (you're not scared of me, but of ghosts).

EDIT: Because of the comment left by marcus I thought it would be good to also clarify the use of de in my suggested sentence as opposed to per in the one from the asker. Consider:

Beboj estas facile timigitaj per tondroj.

This has the implication that someone may utilize thunders in order to scare babies, rather than babies just passively being scared by them. The actual agent of the passive participle timigitaj is completely left out. An active formulation of the above would be

Mi facile timigas bebojn per tondroj.

“I easily scare babies using thunders.” On the other hand, de in the sentence

Beboj estas facile timigitaj de tondroj.

has the meaning of the agent related to the passive participle timigitaj. That is, an active version of this sentence is precisely the one I gave above:

Tondroj facile timigas bebojn.

  • 1
    In case anyone is wondering, the Esperanto sentence literally means: "«missing subject» scares babies easily using the thunder". The suggestions given by @Joffysloffy are very good +1 – marcus Jun 13 '19 at 22:02
  • Thank you! Also, due to your comment (seeing ‘using’ in the translation) I have added more clarification on the difference between de and per in the sentence I suggested. – Joffysloffy Jun 14 '19 at 6:52

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