Ŝi ne legis ĝin.

Kial Duolingo tradukas la frazon al "She hasn't read it", anstataŭ al "She didn't read it"?

3 Answers 3


While in English the difference between has'nt read it and didn't read it seems to be quite subtle - at least for none-native speakers, in Esperanto you can use the Participle to express different aspects very nicely.

By using

  • -ant-
  • -int-
  • -ont-

you have already a big range of expressions. You can actually say things easily that you need a lot of words for in German. I think in English it's quite similar, but I'm not native in English.

Combined with

  • -estas
  • -estis
  • -estos

there are more possibilities than you'll ever need. Please don't take me to court about the following translations. As I mentioned: I'm not a native English speaker. But you get the idea.

ŝi ne legis - she did not read

ŝi ne estas leginta - she has not read

ŝi ne estis leganta - she was not reading

ŝi ne estis leginta - she had not read


  • 1
    Koran dankon, Sinjor' @Olafant pro via helpo.
    – Qàtrè
    May 6, 2020 at 12:59

There are three tenses in Esperanto: the past, the present and the future tense. The simple verbs (those ending in is, -as and os and without any additional pre- or postfixes) have an aspect called la reala modo. They simply express acts and states that are real.

You can say that English also has a single past tense, but the aspects make it look different, i.e. "didn't read" and "hasn't read" as just two aspects of the same tense. They both can be used to show la reala modo.

  • So what? Is that translation wrong, and should be changed to "didn't read"?
    – Qàtrè
    Apr 28, 2020 at 7:07
  • No, the Esperanto sentence simply describes an act that happened in the past. I'm not sufficiently skilled in English to speak about the differences in aspect between those two translations, but I strongly suspect that without further info or context both will do. Apr 28, 2020 at 7:39
  • 1
    If someone said to me "I haven't read that book" I would understand them to mean that they have never read the book. If they said "I didn't read it," that would mean that they did not read it in a specific period of time. For instance, they were asked to read it in preparation for a class, but didn't. For example, "Did you read the book the teacher assigned us last week?" Answer: "I was too busy. I didn't read it. Actually I have read that book, but it was a long time ago." But in Esperanto, "ŝi ne legis ĝin" could be used for either meaning, depending on the context. May 1, 2020 at 10:39
  • Dankon Sinjoro @AJWentworth pro via respondo.
    – Qàtrè
    May 6, 2020 at 12:53

She hasn't read it. = Ŝi ne estas leginta ĝin.

But for verbosity of the Esperanto form, one often uses past tense instead of perfect tense:

She hasn't read it. = Ŝi ne legis ĝin.

For a help language an entirely practical solution.

Border line usage applies also legintas for estas leginta saving syllables.

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