After having read apaderno's question about uncountable nouns, I thought I understood them well.


I thought that the sentence "Ili multe ŝatas pastaĵojn" was properly translated as "They like pastas a lot" (as in different kinds of pasta).

Duolingo and Google Translate both think otherwise.

Duolingo Translation

Both Duolingo and Google Translate completely ignore the plural "j" in "pastaĵoj" and translate to "pasta".

How is "pastaĵoj" anything but crystal clear about its meaning? Clearly, it should mean "pastas"! ... ?


Possibly related - On Duolingo, jengaship clarifies the difference between "pasto" and "pastaĵxo"

Pasto is the actual pasta noodle. Pastaĵo is the dish made with pasta noodles, which generally has other ingredients such as sauce and spices. If they are eating "pasto" they are eating plain pasta. If they are eating "pastaĵo" they are eating a dish made with pasta noodles (which is usually still just referred to as "pasta" in English.

1 Answer 1


The word pasto has three meanings according to PIV:

1 Faruno, knedita kun likvo (precipe akvo aŭ lakto), por fari panon, kukon, ⁓aĵon ks, laŭrecepte kun graso, salo, sukero, bakpulvoro ks

2 Substanco, havanta similan konsiston

3 ⊕ Matrico de magmaj petroj

A dough, paste resp. paste(?) in geology. So, when it comes to food, pasto simply means dough.

One of the uses of the suffix -aĵo is to denote food, dish. The ending may denote how the food is made, fornaĵo is food made in an owen (forno), or more often the main ingredient, fisaĵo is a dish that has fish as the main ingredient. In many cases the food names have been lexicalised, have become to mean a particular food. Pastaĵo is such. It is a dish where the main ingredient is pasta (macaroni, spaghetti etc.), and not just any cooked or fried dough.

The plural pastaĵoj simply means several types of pasta dishes.

  • 1
    When it comes to translating between Esperanto and English, remember that Esperanto tries to avoid ambiguities in order to be as widely understood as possible, while English is full of them. Commented Jan 26, 2023 at 7:25
  • Thanks for the clarification. That last comment is what I really needed. I would give you vote if I could.
    – Daba McD
    Commented Jan 26, 2023 at 10:48

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