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19 votes
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How do I know when a verb is transitive?

Unfortunately one has to memorize this. But it is not as hard as it seems. You already have to memorize the precise meaning of a verb and transitivity or intransitivity is part of its meaning. The ...
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18 votes

What is the difference between the affixes fi- and -aĉ?

PMEG explains that fi is not a "real" affix, while aĉ is. Then it goes on and says, talking about the difference between them: Prefikseca fi kaj la sufikso AĈ estas similaj. Fi estas pli subjektiva....
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17 votes
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What is the usefulness of the 'um' suffix?

Zamenhof created the Esperanto affixes so as to reduce the burden of learning vocabulary: It is easier to memorize a word that is formed through an affix based on an already known word than to ...
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17 votes
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Is it possible to mix feminine suffix (in) and offspring suffix (id)?

Yes you can. This can be done with all suffixes, with how many suffixes you want. But keep things reasonable. Only add a suffix when it adds a valuable information. By the way, remember to read them ...
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15 votes

When is the prefix ne- and when is it mal-?

The meaning of ne is not really vague: It is just negation. You can use either to express what you mean, but in some cases the opposite and negation coincide: For instance with vera; nevera and ...
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14 votes
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Why does "glaciaĵo" mean "ice cream"?

As explained in PMEG, -aĵ- is often used to form words for prepared foods. The word glaciaĵo falls into this category. I always found it very logical, once one knows that -aĵ- can have the special ...
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13 votes
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Is the word "laboristo" irregular?

-ant- means that someone is doing something -ist- means that someone is doing something regularly professionally or at least in a very skillful way with lots of experience. So: Paroli - to speak ...
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11 votes
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Are people misusing the ek- verbs?

For better or worse, eklerni is a well-established expression. Personally, I've never had a problem with the logic of it. Ek- doesn't always imply suddenness - as with the examples you gave. One ...
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11 votes
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If a word is a plural object, which suffix comes first?

These are actually not suffixes, but endings. The plural ending -j is always written before the accustaive -n. Other endings are -o (for nouns) -a (for adjectives), -e (for adverbs) and the verb-...
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10 votes
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What's the difference between -ujo and -io in country names?

There is no difference in meaning betweeen -ujo ans -io in country names that are derived from a demonym (a word referring to a person's nationality). Zamenhof used -ujo, whereas -io was introduced ...
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10 votes
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What is the difference between the affixes fi- and -aĉ?

Put simply, "-aĉ-" is the one that means "Bad, of poor quality", whereas "fi-" actually means "Immorral/corrupt". For example, A "Fiprezidento" would be a corrupt president, say taking bribes from ...
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10 votes

Is the "ge-" prefix in "gefratoj" necessary?

Given that the original game is named “Smash Brothers” and not “Smash Siblings”, regardless of context, I would say that you could very well remove the ge- prefix.
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10 votes
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Can I duplicate an affix for exaggerated effect?

I had an interesting conversation with Bertilo Wennergren about reduplication in Esperanto. He and I have a different view of things. I am convinced that reduplication happens in Esperanto. His ...
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9 votes

Which if any esperanto words are not viable as affixes for constructing new words?

Any word is viable as part of a compound. The only limitation is whether it makes sense. Even "la" could be used in a compound if it makes sense to do so. As a contrived example: senlaa frazo.
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9 votes
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When is the prefix ne- and when is it mal-?

To your list of prefixes, you could add sen-. If something has a clear opposite, then it's mal- (e.g. malvera, malsimila, malsama). If it's something that is either there or not, then it's -ne (e.g. ...
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9 votes
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Prefixes vs Suffixes: Which one is strongest?

Someone said to me years ago that language is not math. That is, when trying to express something in Esperanto, so-called "logic" can only take us so far. Eventually we have to use common sense, ...
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8 votes
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Can the suffix -iĝ- be added to any noun?

In general, the root of a word falls into one of three categories. What happens when you add iĝ depends on the category of the root: Verb/Action roots: adding iĝ turns a transitive verb into an ...
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8 votes

Is the "ge-" prefix in "gefratoj" necessary?

Pri la ĝenerala demando ĉu oni devas meti la ge- kiam temas pri kaj fratoj kaj fratinoj mi dirus ke jes, oni ja bezonas tion. La vorto frato strikte temas pri viroj, kaj uzi fratoj por priskribi ...
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8 votes

What is the difference between the affixes fi- and -aĉ?

From Plena Ilustrita Vortaro: Inter fi k aĉ estas tia diferenco, ke aĉ esprimas, ke iun aŭ ion oni juĝas malbonkvalita, netaŭga ks, dum fi esprimas negativan juĝon el morala vidpunkto. (Between ...
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  • 3,759
8 votes

What's the difference between -ujo and -io in country names?

See the similar question Why are country names in Esperanto so "irregular"?. The suffix -uj- is used in the Fundamento, while -i- is a newer addition. But they mean the same in the context of country ...
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  • 3,759
8 votes
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Creating new verbs with -um and nouns

Certe oni povas fari vortludojn per la sufikso -um. Unu el la plej konataj estas geumi, kiu povas havi diversajn signifojn depende de la kunteksto: amindumi, flirti, seksumi kun aliseksa partnero. ...
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8 votes

Are people misusing the ek- verbs?

As often occurs in PIV, the definition is a bit narrower than actual usage. Certainly ek- can connote abruptness, but such abruptness isn't necessarily part of the meaning. It's worth noting the that ...
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7 votes

Why does "glaciaĵo" mean "ice cream"?

I think the word formation from suffixes should be thought of as more of a tool to aid memorisation rather than a completely logical system. Often the constructed word takes on a very concrete meaning ...
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  • 17k
7 votes

Using -njo and -ĉjo for family members

I have definitely seen franjo and fraĉjo and I use them myself. Here is a PMEG page describing possible familiar ways a person might call their family: Parencoj kaj familianoj Antono nomas Hugon ...
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  • 1,495
6 votes

What are some example-words to show how well affixes work?

Here are some that come to mind, not chosen very scientifically... Farendaĵo - far-end-aĵ-o - A thing that must be done, an errand, an obligation. More literally: a "must-do" thing. fari = to do -...
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  • 1,495
6 votes

What are some example-words to show how well affixes work?

I have programmed a tool that has parsed all the words in the Tekstaro de Esperanto. The most common compounds with four roots+affixes in this corpus are the following ones (the number of occurrences ...
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6 votes

What are some example-words to show how well affixes work?

A nice example which comes to my mind is senarbarigo (deforestation). It is based on the radical arb/o (tree), with the following affixes: -aro: a set (with some internal consistency), so arbaro ...
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  • 1,163
6 votes

What is the usefulness of the 'um' suffix?

"Um" is generally used when there is no other root or suffix which matches the definition and the word is too specific to create a new root or suffix. For instance: aerumi = to expose to the air ...
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6 votes

Ĉu la pasiva formo "esti x[iao]ta" maloftiĝas favore al la uzado de -iĝ-?

Mi havas la saman impreson, sed ne povas provizi vin per datumoj. Laŭ mia scio neniu ĝis nun sisteme esploris la fenomenon, kvankam ĝi meritus magistran, se ne doktoran laboraĵon. Ke -iĝ- eniras en ...
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6 votes

"Stresiĝi" kontraŭ "Ek-stresi"

-iĝ' kun la signifo fariĝi (ĉi tie limigita aplikeble), implicas disvolvon/transiron de unu stato al al alia. Tio do estas daŭro, fluo. ek- kun la signifo de komenco, estas pli abrupta. Do eĉ se la ...
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