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What is the usual pattern for expressing bumping into something? From what I can tell, to walk into something is "promeni en ion", to fly into something is "flugi en ion", and so on. What about "to bump"? I heard somebody say "enpuŝi ion", using an "en-" prefix instead of a following preposition. Does this then imply that one can instead say "enflugi ion" and "enpromeni ion" for the other two examples?

In any case, how can (and should) one express "to bump into something" (in the physical/literal sense of the phrase)?

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You have many options: trafi, renkonti, kolizii, bati ... I don't know of a pattern to describe that.

en as a prefix or preposition only works if you end up inside the the thing; enpaŝi (room), enpuŝi (plug), enflugi (somebody's airspace).

How could you say it then?

She bumped into me

Ŝi koliziis kun me

But depending on the situation you could use another verb, say the you turn around and bump into somebody, because you were not paying attention:

Mi turniĝis subite kaj nevole batis iun.

kolizii feels a bit formal, but it's right. Colloquially I mostly hear/use bati, trafi, rekonti, sometimes with adverbs to emphasize the surprise for example (tute hazarde, subite, ktp).

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  • I think the specific kind of "bump" I'm looking for is in the case of gentle bumping, like when a stray ball rolls into one's ankle. – Mona the Monad Nov 7 '19 at 15:40
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    In the context of the ball resalti kontraŭ could be used. The thing is, there is no pattern or affix (that I know of) to generally describe the bumping. But you have many verbs, and they will also take -eg or -et. With bati you could use la pilko batetis ... or even la pilko dolĉe batetis/resaltis/trafis... (because for things that you throw, trafi tends to be a better option) – Eduardo Trápani Nov 7 '19 at 15:51
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    I would like to add to the Eduardo's list one more verb. If you accidentally hit [=with physical contact] something, you can use frapiĝi, e.g. mi frapiĝis kontraŭ tablo (see PIV). – Juha Metsäkallas Nov 8 '19 at 11:07
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I think a good way to express bumping into something could be kolizii kun io. Here are some examples from the Tekstaro:

Elirante tiun matenon, ŝi preskaŭ koliziis kun Marta Martin.

La 20an de decembro 1995 usona aviadilo koliziis kun monto en Kolombio.

However, this might be considered a bit more violent than bumped into. John Well’s dictionary suggests kunpuŝiĝi. For example:

Ni eliras la straton kaj sub la ŝtona arko kunpuŝiĝis kun Otto

If you just want the metaphorical sense of meeting someone randomly without actually physically touching them, you can use renkonti:

Hieraŭ mi renkontis vian filon

I’m not sure that your other examples are correct. I think a phrase like with en X-on would be understood to be literally moving into the inside of something. Like:

La birdo flugis en la domon

That would mean the bird flew and ended up inside the house. I guess in English that would be ambiguous as to whether the bird just flew in through the window or collided with the house.

Also, promeni is probably not the right word in this case. It is more about walking for pleasure, like going for a stroll. Instead you could use the word paŝi for more general walking.

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    If "kolizii" is too "violent", as you put it, could one say "kolizieti" (diminutive)? – Mona the Monad Nov 7 '19 at 15:59

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