There are a couple of verbs after which I always hesitate which word to use. For example:

La domo aspektas bela. / La domo aspektas bele.

La viro ŝajnas afabla. / La viro ŝajnas afable.

Now that I look at it, the adjective is certainly correct for the second one. Are there other verbs like these that go with adjectives? Is there a list of them somewhere?

2 Answers 2


I dug into this question back in May of this year and this is what I found out.

Verbs of sense perception (odori, gusti) take an adverb.

  • La supo gustas bone.

The verb aspekti can take either/or (according to PMEG.)

  • La supo aspektas bone/bona.

The verb ŝajni (and presumably any other verb that allows you to shove an esti after it - like ŝajnas esti bona) would take an adjective

  • La supo ŝajnas bona.



It depends on what the adjective/adverb is exactly refering to. An adjective is refering to a noun while an adverb is refering to a verb.

Lets take "aspekti" as an example.

La pano aspektas bone.

This is the adverb form, thus refering to a verb, the verb is "aspektas". So this sentence means, that be bread is looking good just in terms of appearence but we don't conclude about the actual quality of the bread.

La pano aspektas bona.

The adjective refers to a noun, thus to "pano". So here we say, that according to the appearence the bread is of good quality.

  • The trouble with this explanation is that it would seem to be applicable to other cases, but it is not. Aspekti is the only verb that goes both ways like this. Eble la pano estas bona, sed oni ne rajtas diri "la pano gustas bona. It's also not possible to say La pano ŝajnas bone. Finally - the difference in meaning you describe is not reflect in other sources that I have checked. For example, PMEG makes no mention of it here. bertilow.com/pmeg/gramatiko/specialaj_priskriboj/perverba/… Sep 22, 2016 at 12:04
  • 1
    I disagree about that you cannot say: "La pano gustas bona." The distinction between discribing appearence ("aspekti bone") and quality according to appearence ("aspekti bona") works the same way like the one between taste ("gusti bone") and quality according to taste ("gusti bona"). It's true, that using the verb "gusti" you almost always refer to taste rather than to quality. Speaking of "ŝajni bone" you are right that it's not valid. But in my interpretation not due to grammar but due to semantics. It makes no sense to say "La pano ŝajnas bone." because ... well, what would it mean? Sep 22, 2016 at 12:17
  • Johmue - in April of this year, I would have agreed with your last comment. Even today I wish in my heart of hearts that you were correct. Having looked into this question in detail in May of this year, I have come to conclusion that la pano gustas bona is not defensible in terms of actual Esperanto usage over the last 129 years. Sep 22, 2016 at 12:25
  • 1
    It is not heard because it semantically makes no sense. Maybe it makes sense when talking about wine: La vino gustas bone malbona. So we have a low quality wine from the gas station, and we can tell this by tasting it. But at the same time its taste is pleasant. Why not? It's completely logical. Sep 22, 2016 at 12:34
  • Of course it's semantics. If the semantics were obvious, then Antonia would not have asked the question. There's no obvious reason why ŝajni behaves differently from aspekti - yet one learns the semantics of these verbs by observing how they behave. I don't agree that the examples you're making up here are good examples. I invite you to read the article in PMEG that I linked to and also read the examples in PIV. Sep 22, 2016 at 16:18

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.