I do not understand this verb. It's parts, far and igx, would make me think that it means "get made" as in

The cookies were made in 20 minutes / La kuketoj farigxis dum 20 minutoj

However, I have seen farigxi mean "become" as in

She became a doctor / Sxi farigxis kuracisto


She got made into a doctor?????

This doesn't make sense. Why not just say

Sxi igxis kuracisto

And farigxi can be reserved for a more literal meaning of "get made"?

PMEG says, on this page https://bertilow.com/pmeg/gramatiko/specialaj_priskriboj/perverba/subjekto.html#i-gia:

fariĝi (= “komenci esti”): La domo fariĝis alta. Mia frato fariĝos doktoro. Fariĝis tre varme en la ĉambro.
iĝi (= “komenci esti”): La mistero iĝas pli kaj pli stranga.

So igxi and farigxi have the exact same meaning of "komenci esti"? What is going on here?

  • As CodeWeawer points out both fariĝi and iĝi mean "to become". My (limited) experience is that fariĝi is more common in speech and standalone iĝi is more frequent in articles etc. thought-out writings. Dec 30, 2021 at 1:28
  • Oh, ok, cool! Thanks for explaining! So does that mean that both "ŝi iĝis kuracisto" and "ŝi fariĝis kuracisto" are correct, it's just that "ŝi fariĝis" is more common in spoken language?
    – Olivro18
    Dec 30, 2021 at 16:51
  • Yes, both are correct and mean the same thing, but fariĝi clearly beats iĝi when it comes to frequency. Dec 30, 2021 at 20:08
  • That is so interesting! Thanks for explaining! Do you understand why this is/how it started?
    – Olivro18
    Dec 30, 2021 at 21:03
  • Why fariĝi is more common? No, I do not know, I can only guess. Quite likely the idea of using suffixes by themselves was so radical or strange idea to the early Esperantists, that they opted for fariĝi. At least to me the longer fariĝi sits better in the flow of speech, while iĝi causes a break. Jan 2, 2022 at 11:51

2 Answers 2


The suffix -iĝ· has slightly different meanings, depending on the type of the word to which it's being appended. Using it instead of a passive phrasing (Maria naskis Jesuon en Betlehemo.Jesuo naskiĝis en Betlehemo.) is only one of its purposes.

Some uses of the suffix -iĝ·

-iĝ· appended to a property-word (usually an adjective) produces a verb that indicates that the subject receives that property:

  • pala (pale) → paliĝi (turn pale)

-iĝ· appended to an intransitive verb (a verb without direct object) means that the subject begins the corresponding action, or that the subject performs the action involuntarily.

  • sidi (sit, = be in a seated position) → sidiĝi (sit, sit down = become seated, get into a seated position)
  • morti (die) → mortiĝi (lose one's life)

-iĝ· appended to a transitive verb (a verb with a direct object) means that the subject does this action to itself or by itself, or that we don't care about the actual actor.

  • La knabo turnis sian kapon. (The boy turned his head.) — La tero turniĝas ĉirkaŭ sia akso. (Earth turns around its axis. There's nothing/nobody turning the Earth, it turns by itself.)


fari is a transitive verb. (It usually has a direct object):

  • Mi faras kukojn. — I make cakes.
  • Oni faris lin generalo. (They made him a general.)

The sentence

La kuketoj fariĝis dum 20 minutoj.

would thus mean that the cookies somehow made themselves (or at least that it was as if they did so, i.e. they were very easy, quick and non-laborious to make, so that it didn't really matter who did that little work.)

Ŝi fariĝis kuracisto.

means that she made herself become a doctor. (Not that she forced herself, but that she worked towards becoming a doctor and succeeded. Think maybe of the term "self-made man".) In practice, it's used pretty much synonymous with just iĝi (become) (see PMEG).

  • 1
    But what if we just don't care about who made the cookies? Why does it make it seem like there was no work involved? With giving birth, there is clearly work involved, we are just choosing not to mention the person giving birth. Why are the cookies and farigxi different? We are just choosing not to mention who made them. In that PMEG article, it says "ke IĜ-verbo montras, ke la ago okazas pli-malpli per si mem, aŭ ke oni ne interesiĝas pri eventuala kaŭzanto de la ago". It say "aux", so doesn't that mean it could be either?
    – Olivro18
    Jan 1, 2022 at 17:47
  • 1
    I do see that you say "The suffix -iĝ· has slightly different meanings, depending the word to which it's being appended". So does this just mean that it is random? And you just need to memorize the specific meaning of a certain transitive verb when -igx- is added onto it? Isn't this kind of memorization supposed to be avoided in Esperanto?
    – Olivro18
    Jan 1, 2022 at 17:49
  • 1
    I meant that the meaning of "-iĝ·" depends on the type of the word/root (adjective, transitive verb, intransitive verb, noun, ...) to which that suffix is appended. I've edited the answer accordingly. For this aspect, memorizing that suffix's meaning for the categories on that PMEG section should be sufficient.
    – das-g
    Jan 1, 2022 at 22:27
  • 1
    But there might be special established meanings of compound words that you can't completely derive from Esperanto's word building system. "Malsanulejo" e.g. is not just any arbitrary place or facility for not-healthy persons, it's quite specifically a hospital. It seems to me like "fariĝi" has such an established meaning, which is probably why it has got (together with "iĝi") it's own section in PMEG.
    – das-g
    Jan 1, 2022 at 22:31
  • 2
    As usual the oni-passive is simpler: Oni faris la kuketojn en 20 minutoj. Or if you want to emphasise the cookies: La kuketojn oni faris en 20 minutoj. Jan 2, 2022 at 11:46

Consider how broad the verb "to make" can be in English, just as in Esperanto:

They made her a star.

He made it rain.

I made it more pleasant.

These examples are practically just causative: "They [caused] her [to become] a star", for example.

Meanwhile, -iĝ- is an intransitivizer, which in this case essentially leaves us with this sense "to become". That having been said, "She became a doctor" doesn't strictly go hand-in-hand with "She was made a doctor", because -iĝ- doesn't necessarily say anything about whether an action was done to someone/something, as PMEG points out:

la sufikso IĜ, [kiu] montras ŝanĝon de stato sen ekstera kaŭzanto.

… but in the case of far/i it doesn't matter, because its meaning is as broad as the English verb "to do". If you prefer, you can think of "fariĝi" like "do become", "did become", etc. "She did become a doctor".

  • Interesting! Cool! Can I also use "farigxi" in the cookie context? "La kuketoj farigxis"? And with the doctor, could I also say "Sxi igxis kuracisto" as well as "Sxi farigxis kuracisto"?
    – Olivro18
    Dec 29, 2021 at 23:47
  • "La kuketoj fariĝis kio?", sed ili estis kaj estas kuketoj. Eble: "ili (fin)kuiriĝis post 20 minutoj" aŭ "ili pretis post 20 minutoj". Dec 30, 2021 at 1:02
  • La kuketoj ne fariĝis io ajn. Ili nur fariĝis. The reason I am confused is because with any other verb, you could use it exactly like that: Mi fandis la glacion / La glacio fandiĝis. The ice didn't melt into anything, it just melted. Same with the cookies, they didn't get made into anything. They just got made. I also like your ideas of kuiriĝi and preti, but I don't see how this doesn't word with fariĝi. Isn't this how -iĝ- works with intransitive verbs?
    – Olivro18
    Dec 30, 2021 at 16:49
  • Also, with those examples of "They made her a star", "He made it rain", and "I made it more pleasant", wouldn't it be better to use "ig"? "Ili igis ŝin stelulo", "Li pluvigis", and "Mi pliagrabligis ĝin" instead of "Ili faris ŝin stelulo", "li faris pluvi" and "Mi faris ĝin pli agrabla"?
    – Olivro18
    Dec 30, 2021 at 16:56
  • Or are "ig" and "fari" equal in this context?
    – Olivro18
    Dec 30, 2021 at 16:56

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