The English verb "to expect" has 2 common meanings:

  • to predict: "I expect that they will arrive within 2 hours"
  • to demand: "I expect you to give me back my money within 2 weeks"

How can one express these best in Esperanto? As far as I understand, "atendi" is a potential choice for expect-as-predict, but it also simply means "to wait" (which is usually mapped back to "atendi"). So I suppose "anticipi" might work. As for expect-as-demand, perhaps "postuli" is a good choice.

  • How do Esperanto speakers most commonly express these two senses?
  • How can one express these two senses unambiguously?

3 Answers 3


Atendi covers the same ambiguity as expect.

However the verbal tense should actually be different: os/u.

Disambiguation can be done with supozas/postulas where supozi means assume rather than the English suppose.

  • to predict:
    • I expect that they will arrive within 2 hours
    • Mi atendas/supozas ke ili alvenos antaŭ 2 horoj
  • to demand:
    • I expect you to give me back my money within 2 weeks
    • Mi atendas/postulas ke vi redonu mian monon antaŭ 2 semajnoj

Here are three examples of 'expect' as 'demand' from the Wiktionary Vortaro angla-Esperanto https://eo.wiktionary.org/wiki/Aldono:Vortaro_angla-Esperanto_e#EX

all visitors will be expected to wear a face mask - ĉiuj vizitantoj devos surmeti higienan maskon;

the advanced degrees an applicant is expected to have just to get an interview - la superaj diplomoj kiujn kandidatoj devas havi nur por ricevi intervjuon;

do they really expect fans to fork out for yet another edition of the same game? - ĉu ili vere kredas, ke fervoruloj de la ludo pagos por ankoraŭ plua eldono de la sama ludo?;

  • While Eduardo's answer shows that atendi can be used in different senses, Mike's answer takes up an important point that atendi may not be the best way in all cases. In other words apply the axiom: translate ideas, not words. Mar 3, 2023 at 8:23

Mi sugestas, kiel antaŭdemandan esploradon, kontroli vortarojn, ekzemple PIV.

Jen signifoj de atendi:

  • Antaŭvidi ion kiel probablan
  • Esperi ricevi de iu ion kvazaŭ ŝuldatan

Tiuj estas du el la kvin signifoj listigitaj en tiu vortaro, kiuj respondas vian demandon.

  • I did check dictionaries (though not PIV), and they (and also PIV) don't answer my questions, neither the one about standard usage, nor the one about unambiguous usage. (A different but related point is that in practice people don't use all meanings listed in comprehensive dictionaries.) Mar 1, 2023 at 6:19

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