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Part II: Potentially Troublesome Words

This list includes various words and expressions that can be a potential source of confusion or embarrassment. In some cases they are falsaj amikoj = “false friends,” that is, words with different meanings from their English cognates. For example, demandi means “to ask, inquire,” not “to demand.” In other cases they are so-called paronimoj, i.e., words that are quite similar to each other in form but differ in meaning or shade of meaning. For example pesi means “to weigh” in the sense of weighing an object, but pezi means “to weigh” in the sense of weighing such and such a number of kilograms. Finally, some of the items included are simply words that have given me trouble at one time or another or that seem interesting.

*-The most accessible source of Zamenhof’s usage of particular words is Nomura Rihej 1987 Zamenhofa ekzemplaro: esprimoj cititaj el la ĉefaj verkoj de d-ro L.L. Zamenhof. Provizora eldono. Nagoya: Nagoya Esperanto-Centro.

In English translations I have sought to make meaning contrasts very clear and to be colloquial, not necessarily to follow the Esperanto literally. A raised letter Z after an example indicates that it comes from the writings of Zamenhof, although the quotation has often been abbreviated here. In many cases such examples are cited in the Plena Ilustrita Vortaro.* The symbol ~ means “alternates with.”

A B C Ĉ D E F G Ĝ H Ĥ I J Ĵ K L M N O P R S Ŝ T U V Z
abstrakto = abstraction. See resumo
adepto = initiate.
Not to be confused with:
lerta = quick to learn.
lertulo = a quick learner, clever person.
Ŝi estas adepto de la Sekreta Mistera Antikva Societo “Zameg’”.
= She was an initiate of the Secret Mysterious Ancient Society “Zameg’.”
Li estas tre lerta lernanto de Esperanto.
= He is a very adept student of Esperanto.
adiaŭ = goodbye.
The implication is that one is leaving forever or at least for a very long time. See Ĝis la revido.
adulto = adultery.
Not to be confused with:
plenkreskulo = adult, grown-up.
*-The rare and awful word adolto = “adult” also exists if you insist on a cognate.
plenaĝulo* = adult.
Li adultis kun la edzino de sia amiko.
= He committed adultery with his friend’s wife.
Vi estas plenaĝulo; vi ne rajtas prizorgi idealismon, nur monon.
= You’re an adult; you can’t concern yourself with idealism, only money.
Panjo, mi ankoraŭ ne estas plenkreskulo; mi rajtas ludi!
= Mommy, I’m still not an adult; I’m entitled to play!
afekcii = to have an emotional impact on. See afekti.
*-English usage is potentially confusing here:
afekti = to be affected*, put on airs; pretend.
Not to be confused with:
afekcii = to have an emotional impact on; (of disease) to affect the health of. Hence: afekcio = a sudden change of emotion.
influi = to affect, influence.
koncerni = to concern, relate to, affect.
rilati = to be connected to, related to, entailed by (+ al).
(kor)tuŝi = to have an emotional impact on.
emocio = an emotion, (an) affect.
efektivigi = to bring about, to effect.
rezulto = a result, an effect.
Ŝi celas afekti klerecon sed ne parolas Esperanton!
= She tries to pretend she’s educated, but she doesn’t speak Esperanto!
Li afektis ĉiutage antaŭ la spegulo ĝis la prezento estis efika.
= He put on airs before the mirror each day till the presentation was effective.
La malsano nun afekciias ankaŭ lian hepaton.
= The disease is now affecting his liver too.
Pro fortaj afekcioj li ne plu povis instrui Esperantan verkadon.
= Because of his mood shifts he could no longer teach Esperanto composition.
See also efektiva.
afero = matter, affair, thing.
Esperanto uses afero much as English uses “thing” when the referent is unspecified. Despite the similarity to English “affair,” the Esperanto word can also refer to physical objects.
Mi devas riparigi certan aferon.
= I have to get a certain thing repaired.
Lia eksedziĝo estas delikata afero.
= His divorce is a delicate matter.
Lasu viajn aferojn en la blua ĉambro, ĉar tie mankas fantomoj.
= Leave your things in the blue room, since there’re no ghosts there.
Pri ŝiaj personaj fiaferoj mi nenion scias.
= I know nothing of her sordid personal affairs.
Sometimes the Esperanto movement is referred to as la Afero. This apparently derives from the more ambiguous referent of the phrase in a portion of a poem by Zamenhof that was eventually adopted as the anthem of the Esperanto movement:
Sub la sankta signo de l’Espero
kolektiĝas pacaj batalantoj,
kaj rapide kreskas la afero
per laboro de la Esperantoj.
Under the sacred sign of Hope
the peaceful warriors assemble,
and the afero grows rapidly
through the work of those who Hope.
afiŝo = poster. See plato.
agnoski = to recognize (by official declaration). See also rekoni.
Not to be confused with:
agnostika = agnostic.
agnostika = agnostic. See agnoski.
agonio = death-throes. Contrast angoro.
Not to be confused with:
Ĉiu pentraĵo montris la agonion de Kristo.
= Each painting showed the passion of Christ.
Ĉu agonio estas ĉiam dolorega?
= Is dying always painful?
See also angoro.
akcento = stress on a syllable; musical accent.
Not to be confused with:
akĉento = accent (of a certain dialect region).
En Esperanto la akcento estas ĉiam sur la antaŭlasta silabo.z
= In Esperanto the accent is always on the second-to-the-last syllable.
Ŝia stranga usona akĉento en Esperanto baldaŭ lacigis la aŭskultantojn.
= Her strange American accent in Esperanto soon exhausted the listeners.
akcepto = reception. See festi.
akĉento = accent. See akcento.
akrido = locust. See lokusto.
aktuala = topical, present-day. See efektiva.
akurata = punctual, prompt.
Not to be confused with:
ĝusta = accurate, correct, right.
preciza = precise, accurate.
senerara = accurate, without errors.
Ĉu vi do postulas monon? Ĝuste.
= So are you then demanding money? Exactly.
Li ĉiam estas akurata, sed li faras multegajn erarojn.
= He is always on time, but he makes loads of errors.
See also ĝusta.
al = to, toward. See also fare de.
alero = awning, eave, or other roof overhang. See halo.
alineo = paragraph (in ordinary text). See paragrafo.
alo = the side or wing of something. See halo.
aludi = speak (of), allude (to). See referi.
amaso = mass, pile, crowd. See maso.
ambaŭ = both.
As in English, this may be used as an adverb or pronoun or as though modifying a noun:
La ursoj ambaŭ bone dormis.
= The bears both slept well.
Ambaŭ ursoj bone dormis.
= Both bears slept well.
Ambaŭ bone dormis
= Both slept well.
Anĝeloj ilin ŝirmis ambaŭflanke.
= Angels sheltered them on either side.
ampleksa = bulky, large. See bulko.
amuzi = to amuse (someone). Hence: amuziĝi = to be entertained, amuza = entertaining.
Contrast enua, tedi.
The contrasts among these words are caused in part by underlying characteristics of the roots.
Amuza means “funny” in the sense of “amusing.” “Funny” in the sense of “ridiculous” or “worthy of mockery” is ridinda (from ridi = “to laugh”). Most of us would like to think we are amuzaj; we would prefer to think we are not ridindaj. “Funny” in the sense of “strange” (as in “it’s a funny thing that she didn’t come”) is stranga or kurioza. See kurioza.
*-Caution: Although it refers to worry, angor- does not work very gracefully as a verb. The English expression “Don’t worry!” gets rendered variously as ne zorgu, ne ĝeniĝu, ne ĉagreniĝu, ne estu maltrankvila, etc., all of which seem a bit too English. Restu trankvila is more colloquially Esperanto. The ominously optimistic expression of International Broken English “No problem!” finds an appropriate equivalent in the equally ominous Senprobleme!
angoro = anxiety (clinical or general), anguish, agony.*
Not to be confused with:
kolero = anger.
doloro = pain (physical or psychological).
Kiam li ekŝoforis mian aŭton mi sentis angoron.
= When he set out driving my car, I felt anxiety.
Kiam li difektis mian aŭtomobilon mi sentis koleron.
= When he wrecked my car, I felt rage.
La milito kaŭzis al ili teruran angoron.
= The war caused them terrible anguish.
Mi sentis dentodoloron tiun tagon kaj ne kapablis labori.
= I had a toothache that day and couldn’t work.
See also agonio.
ankoraŭ = still. Hence: Ankoraŭ ne = “not yet.”
Contrast jam = “already.” (Hence: Ne jam = "not yet," although this is a rare usage.) In most cases, the usage of jam and ankoraŭ is identical with that of their English translations, but speakers from different language backgrounds sometimes cut the terrain a little differently, especially with negative words, so you should be prepared for variation even in published works. (Zamenhof himself was inconsistent.) 4
See also ekde.
Ĉiu ankoraŭ memoras ŝian prelegon.
= Everyone still remembers her speech.
Li ankoraŭ restas en Senegalio
= He is still staying in Senegal.
Li ankoraŭ ne venis.
= He has not come yet. = He still has not come.
Li ankoraŭ ne komprenas nian sistemon de impostoj. Ankaŭ mi ne!
= He still doesn’t understand our tax system. Nor do I!
Ŝi ankoraŭ ne loĝas en Japanio.
= She does not yet live in Japan.
Li jam venis.
= He already came.
Ŝi jam studis la japanan kiam ŝi renkontis sian estontan japanan edzon.
= She had already studied Japanese when she met her future Japanese husband.
Ŝi jam ne loĝas en Japanio.
= She no longer lives in Japan.
Ŝi ne jam loĝas en Japanio.
= She does not yet live in Japan.
anstataŭ = instead of. Hence: anstataŭi and anstataŭigi:
anstataŭi = to act in place of, take the place of, replace
Ŝi anstataŭos min en la kunveno.
= She’ll take my place in the meeting.
Nenio povas anstataŭi la sanon.
= Nothing can replace health!
anstataŭigi = to replace (something) with (something)
Ni anstataŭigos la sikomorojn per cedroj.
= We’ll replace the sycamores with cedars.
Caution: As in other cases where a transitive verb has -ig- added to it, either the displaced or the stand-in can be the direct object of anstataŭigi!
La ĵonglisto anstataŭis la nudan dancistinon.
= The juggler replaced the nude dancer.
La direktoro anstataŭigis la nudan dancistinon (per la ĵonglisto).
= The director replaced the nude dancer (with the juggler).
La direktoro anstataŭigis la ĵongliston (al/anstataŭ la nuda dancistino).
= The director substituted the juggler (for the nude dancer).
As a preposition, anstataŭ of course takes an object with no accusative endings. However in some cases what follows is actually an infinitive and its object (naturally with an accusative ending). The infinitive may be left out, leaving the accusative:
Ŝi trinkos lakton anstataŭ kafo.
= She’ll drink milk instead of coffee.
Ŝi trinkos lakton anstataŭ trinki kafon.
= She’ll drink milk instead of drinking coffee.
Ŝi trinkos lakton anstataŭ kafon.
= She’ll drink milk instead of [drinking] coffee.
It usually makes little difference whether the accusative is left in place or not, but occasionally it can remove ambiguity:
La lupo manĝos vin anstataŭ mi.
= The wolf will eat you instead of me. (Instead of eating me or instead of my eating you?)
La lupo manĝos vin anstataŭ min.
= The wolf will eat you instead of [eating] me.
antaŭ = before, in front of; ago.
Antaŭ tri tagoj = “three days ago.”
When antaŭ refers to space and means “in front of”; the opposite is malantaŭ = “behind”; when antaŭ refers to time and means “before,” the specialized word post = “after” is its opposite.
La preĝejo estas malantaŭ la remizo.
= The church is behind the garage.
Vi iru antaŭ mi.
= You go ahead of me.
Mi iris malantaŭ li. = I went behind him.
Mi iris post li.
= I went after he did.
Post fierinda historio, subite malaperis la kolegio Radcliffe.
= After a proud history, suddenly Radcliffe College disappeared.
Post kiam ŝi foriris, ĉiu ekridegis.
= After she left, everyone burst out laughing.
Nun estas tri minutoj post la kvara. = It’s now 4:03.
*-It would be logical to say post ol, but Slavic languages do not do it that way, and Zamenhof’s instincts apparently led him to follow the Slavic languages without thinking much about it. Post ol keeps getting reïnvented on the model of antaŭ ol, but speakers of Slavic languages, in my experience, tend to find post ol surprisingly confusing. Because it is logical for most other Esperantists, it may someday become standard. Meanwhile, one is better advised to stick with post kiam.
When antaŭ is used before a verb or clause, it becomes antaŭ ol. The ol is not ordinarily used after post in the same circumstances. Before verbs or clauses (that is, when used as conjunctions) post becomes post kiam.*
antaŭ ol eniri la domon
= before going into the house
antaŭ ol li eniris la domon
= before he went into the house.
Infero frostiĝos antaŭ ol mi loĝos kun vi, sentaŭgulo!.
= Hell will freeze over before I live with you, you creep!
post kiam eniri la domon
= after going into the house
post kiam li eniris la domon
= after he went into the house
Li murdis ŝin post kiam ŝi mordis lin.
= He murdered her after she bit him.
aparato = device, apparatus. See devizo.
apenaŭ = barely, just. See ĝusta.
apologio = formal justification.
Not to be confused with:
pardonpeto = apology.
Ŝi prezentis nenian apologion por sia rimarkebla agado.
= She presented no justification for her remarkable activity.
Li estis apologisto por la monarkio.
= He was an apologist for the monarchy.
Kio diable?! Ho, mi pardonpetas, sinjorino.
= What the devil? Whoops, I beg your pardon, madam!
Ŝi petis la pardonon de sia edzo.
= She asked her husband’s pardon.
aranĝi = arrange, dispose. See disponi.
argano = drilling hoist, crane (machine). See krano.
argumento= point put forward.
Not to be confused with:
*-Perhaps under the influence of French, sometimes diskuto can also mean “argument” in addition to meaning “discussion.”
disputo = argument, disagreement*
La malesperantisto bone argumentis, ke la mondo estas plata, kaj li konvinkis ĉiun.
= The anti-Esperantist argued well that the world was flat, and he convinced everyone.
Neniu disputis kun li.
= Nobody disagreed with him.
aserti = assert, claim. See pretendi.
asfalto = pitch, asphalt, tar. See piĉo.
aspekti = look, appear (in the sense of how one looks to others).
Aspekti normally takes an adverb as complement.
Ŝi aspektis malgaje.
= She looked sad.
Zamenhof sometimes used an adjective rather than an adverb after aspekti if the complement was itself modified by an adverb:
Vi aspektas tiel vire maltima!z
= You appear so manfully unafraid!
It is especially usual to use aspekti with kiel = “like” and kvazaŭ = “as though”:
Vi aspektas kiel bela rozo, mia kara.
= You look like a beautiful rose, my dear.
Vi aspektas kvazaŭ vi vidis fantomon.
= You look as though you had seen a ghost.
atendi = to await, to wait for; to expect.
Not to be confused with:
ĉeesti = attend.
Dum du horoj ŝi atendis la aŭtobuson por ĉeesti la kunvenon.
= She waited for the bus for two hours to attend the meeting.
atentigi = remark, call someone’s attention to (pri) something. See rimarki.
aŭreolo = halo (over a head). See halo.
aŭ…aŭ… = either…or…
Aŭ vi aŭ mi devos kapti Daĉjeton kaj enlitigi lin.
= Either you or I must catch Little Davey and put him to bed.
Ŝi venos aŭ morgaŭ aŭ sabaton.
= She’s coming either tomorrow or Saturday.
Li aŭ kantos aŭ ludos la gurdon, eble ambaŭ!
= He’ll either sing or play the hurdy-gurdy, maybe both! .
averti = to warn.
Not to be confused with:
forturni= to avert, direct away.
eviti = to avoid.
Ni avertu ĉiun, ke venos la pluvego!
= Let’s warn everyone that the deluge will come!
Ni ne kapablos forturni la pluvegon!
= We won’t be able to avert the deluge!
Ili penos eviti la pluvegon per vojaĝo al la dezerto!
= They’ll try to escape the deluge by a trip to the desert!


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A B C Ĉ D E F G Ĝ H Ĥ I J Ĵ K L M N O P R S Ŝ T U V Z
bagatela = trivial. See vulgara.
balai = to sweep, mop. See kombi.
balanci = to swing, rock (something).
Not to be confused with:
bilanci = to balance (an account) (from bilanco = a balance sheet)
stabiligi = to stabilize, to balance
ekvilibri = to balance, be in equilibrium
ekvilibrigi = to bring into balance (forces, expenses, scales, etc.)
Vi devos lerni ekvilibrigi vian budĝeton, mia elspezemuleto.
= You must learn to balance your budget, my little spendthrift.
Ŝi balancis la katidon kiel infanon en malgranda lulilo.
= She rocked the kitten like a child in a little cradle.
Niaj fortoj kun tiuj de la malamikoj tute ne ekvilibras.
= Our forces are completely out of balance with those of the enemies.
Li ne sukcesis stabiligi la kafotasojn, kiuj laŭte falis.
= He didn't succeed in balancing the coffee cups, which fell loudly.
baloti = to vote. See selekti.
bankedo = banquet. See festi.
benzeno = benzene. See gaso.
benzino = gasoline (for automobiles). See gaso.
bilanci= to balance (an account). See balanci.
biliono = trillion.
Not to be confused with:
miliardo = billion (= thousand million)
1,000,000,000,000 estas biliono
1,000,000,000 estas miliardo
1,000,000 estas miliono
1,000 estas milo
1 estas kiom mi havas en la monujo.
= One is how much I have in my wallet.
Caution: There is a fundamental logical difference between the way Americans (and the French and Italians and others) calculate large numbers and the way the English and Germans and some others do it. (Asia is yet different, but Asians do not use cognate vocabulary, so they do not affect this discussion.) Esperanto tends to follow the Anglo-German conventions. Here is a table of Franco-American as against Anglo-German usage:
Amount Franco-American Anglo-German
106 1 million1 million (miliono)
107 10 million10 million
108 100 million100 million
109 1 billion1,000 million;
= 1 milliard (miliardo)
1010 10 billion10,000 million;
= 10 milliard
1011 100 billion100,000 million;
= 100 milliard
1012 1 trillion1 billion (biliono)
1013 10 trillion10 billion
1014 100 trillion100 billion
1015 1 quadrillion1,000 billion
1016 10 quadrillion10,000 billion
1017 100 quadrillion100,000 billion
1018 1 quintillion1 trillion (triliono)
1019 10 quintillion10 trillion
1020 100 quintillion100 trillion
1021 1 sestillion1,000 trillion
1022 10 sestillion10,000 trillion
1023 100 sestillion100,000 trillion
1024 1 septillion1 quadrillion (kvariliono)
1027 1 octillion1,000 quadrillion
1030 1 novillion1 quintillion (kviniliono)
blago = joke, joking fib. Hence:blagi = to put somebody on.
Not to be confused with:
mensogi = lie, be mendacious.
blogo = Internet blog.
Vi blagas!
= You’re putting me on!
Mi ne blagas!
= I kid you not!
Mi ne mensogas.
= I am not lying.
Ne atentu tiun blagulon.
= Pay that joker no attention!
Lia blogo estas tute blaga!
= His blog is all blather!
Li eĉ gajnis premion por la blagado!
= He even won a prize for tall tales!
Donu al mi vian monon kaj vi eniros paradizon! Sen blago!
= Give me your money and you'll get into heaven! No kidding!
blasfemi = to cuss and swear; to blaspheme.
Compare: sakri = to cuss and swear. See juro.
Ĉiu kiu blasfemos sian dion, portos sian pekon.
= Whoever blasphemes his God shall bear his sin.
Vi blasfemas, Isaak, kontraŭ la sola Dio.z
= You blaspheme, Isaac, against the one God.
Li parolas elegante en la litova sed en la rusa li povas nur sakri
= He speaks elegantly in Lithuanian, but in Russian he can only cuss.
Ĉiu vizaĝo ruĝiĝis kiam li blasfemegis per la blasfemegaĉo “Zamenfek!”
= Every face reddened when he swore with the terrible oath “Z…t!”
blogo = Internet blog. See blago.
bokalo = wide-mouthed jar; fishbowl.
Not to be confused with:
pokalo = trophy cup; goblet, grail, stemmed glass (especially for church or royal use).
La fiŝeto pasigis sian tutan vivon en bokalo kaj tute ne bezonis Esperanton.
= The little fish passed its whole life in a bowl and had no need of Esperanto.
Ŝi ricevis pokalon por teniso
= She got a trophy in tennis.
Li dediĉis sian vivon al serĉado al la Sankta Pokalo.
= He dedicated his life to the search for the Holy Grail.
boko = buck. See buklo.
Bonan apetiton!
This expression has no American equivalent. Europeans say it to anyone who is sitting down to eat, or when they walk in on someone already eating, or when leaving a table where people are still eating. The response is to repeat it if the other person is about to eat or otherwise to say Dankon.
bonvoli. See voli.
breto = shelf. Hence: bretaro = “set of shelves.” See ŝranko.
broso = a brush. See kombi.
broŝuro = (1) unbound pages; (2) paperback book.
Not to be confused with:
faldfolio = brochure, pamphlet.
broŝureto = pamphlet, booklet
pamfleto (= paskvilo) = libelous, often humorous, often political pamphlet.
Faldfoliojn ni donacos al vi; broŝurojn ni devas vendi.
= We’ll give you brochures; we have to sell the booklets.
La libro estas broŝurita; ĝi ne estas tole bindita.
= The book is paper bound; it is not cloth bound.
La pamfletistoj libere kalumniis lin, kaj poste li procesis.
= The pamphleteers freely insulted him, and later he sued.
Mi legis broŝuron dum la flugo.
= I read a paperback during the flight.
brovo = brow, eyebrow.
Not to be confused with:
frunto = brow, forehead.
La ŝvito de la frunto faletis de liaj brovharoj.
= The sweat of his brow dripped from his eyebrows.
Li kuntiras la brovojn kiam ajn mi parolas pri la kunveno en Havano.
= He knits his brows whenever I talk about the meeting in Havana.
bruego = noise. See raketo.
buklo = curl, ringlet.
Not to be confused with:
buko = buckle.
libro = book.
dolaro = buck, dollar.
*-The “buck” referred to in the expression “pass the buck” (and hence “the buck stops here”) refers to a marker that used to be placed in front of a poker player to indicate that he would be the next dealer. It is short for “buckhorn knife,” which presumably once served as such a marker. I have never learned what such an object is called in any language other than English. The most literal Esperanto translation of the American idiom “pass the buck” would presumably be pasigi la bokon, which, unfortunately, is nonsense. Fordoni la respondecon = “give away the responsibility” conveys the sense, but obviously lacks color. And phrases like pludoni la torĉon = “pass on the torch” seem too positive in tone.
boko = buck
(The word boko tends to be used especially of deer and goats, but any male, grass-eating beast may be called a boko. More specific terms are words like vircervo = “male deer,” virkapro = “billygoat”; virkuniklo = “male rabbit” etc.).*
Siajn harojn ŝi kombis en buklojn.
= She combed her hair into curls.
Bukon grandan la zono havis.
= The belt had a big buckle.
La bubo libron grandan havas.
= The boy has a big book.
Jen la cervino kaj ŝia boko! = There’s the doe and her buck!
Se buko kostas tridek dolarojn, vi probable estas en Norda Ameriko.
= If a buckle costs 30 bucks, you are probably in North America.
Se buko kostas tridek bokojn, vi ne estas en Norda Ameriko.
= If a buckle costs 30 billygoats, you are not in North America.
See also bokalo.
buko = buckle. See buklo.
bulko = roll.
Not to be confused with:
bulo = loaf, lump, ball.
ampleksa = bulky, large.
dika = bulky, plump.
Ni manĝis bulkojn anstataŭ pano.
= We ate rolls instead of bread.
Li preparis viandbulon el hundaĵo por ŝi, sed ŝi tamen ne edzigis lin.
= He prepared dog meatloaf for her, but she still didn’t marry him.
La reĝa kuristo preparis reĝan panbulon.
= The royal cook prepared a royal loaf of bread.
Per neĝbulo Daĉjeto senĉapeligis la lernejestron.
= Little Davey knocked off the principal’s hat with a snowball.
bulo = loaf. See bulko.
butikejo = market (as a set of shops). See debito.


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A B C Ĉ D E F G Ĝ H Ĥ I J Ĵ K L M N O P R S Ŝ T U V Z
celo = goal. The verb therefore means to aim, have as a goal.
Ŝi celis internacian vojaĝon.
= She was aiming for an international trip.
Li celis lerni la korean.
= He sought to learn Korean.
La celo estas gajni premion.
= The goal is to win a prize.
cifero = number, written sign for a number. See nombro.
cinika = (1) relating to the ancient Greek philosophical school of Cynics (Cinikoj); (2) libertine, indecent, obscene (especially of people).
Not to be confused with:
*-The Cynics defied social convention, which accounts for the Esperanto meaning of cinika as “indecent.” It is the English word which has drifted away from its Greek sense. Note that in Esperanto a ciniko is an ancient Greek Cynic. But a libertine (cinika persono) is a cinikulo.
skeptik(em)a = cynical, skeptical.
nekredema = skeptical, not credulous.
seniluzia = without illusions, skeptical, cynical.
Cinikoj = ancient Greek philosophical school of Cynics.*
Kial vi ĉiam estas skeptika pri la motivoj de aliaj?
= Why are you always cynical about others’ motives?
Vi estas konstanta skeptikulo.
= You are ever the skeptic.
Ŝi estas cinikulino! Mi neniam permesos al vi edzinigi ŝin!
= She is indecent. I will never permit you to marry her!
Antisteno fondis cinikismon.
= Antisthenes founded Cynicism.


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A B C Ĉ D E F G Ĝ H Ĥ I J Ĵ K L M N O P R S Ŝ T U V Z
ĉantaĝo = racket, especially blackmail. See raketo.
ĉaro = carriage, cart, chariot. See pramo.
ĉe = at, in the sense of location.
Some speakers use this with street names (where others use sur or en). It is also often used to mean “at the home of.”
Li staris ĉe la fenestro.
= He was standing at the window.
Ŝi loĝas ĉe la strato Midan Tarir.
= She lives on Midan Tahrir Street.
Mi estos ĉe mia frato.
= I’ll be at my brother’s.
ĉeesti = attend. See atendi.
ĉesi = to cease (doing something). See halti.
ĉi = this, here.
The particle ĉi is normally used to make “that” or “all” correlatives into “this” and “all this” correlatives. Ĉi may be placed before or after the correlative it refers to, or even slightly separated from it:
tiam = then ĉi tiam = now
tial = therefore tial ĉi = for this reason
tiu seĝo = that chair tiu seĝo ĉi = this chair
ĉiel = in every way ĉi ĉiel = in all these ways
In general, ĉi is omitted except as a matter of emphasis, regardless whether in English we would say “this” or “that.”
Kiu estas tiu Roberto kiu deziras vin edzinigi?
= Who is this Robert who wants to marry you?
Ĉi can also be used with other words, sometimes (preferably) taking the form of a prefix with a hyphen, sometimes simply standing beside the word to which it refers:
ĉi-semajne = this week ĉi-kune = herewith
ĉi matene = this morning ĉi letero = this letter*
ĉi-koncerne = with respect to this matter
*-The use of ĉi directly with a noun occurs but is thought substandard by some.
Note that languages differ in the meaning of “this” and “that” and hence actual Esperanto usage may differ according to the experiences of the speaker. In many European languages, for example, “this” is used to refer to what has been most recently mentioned rather than what is physically closest to the speaker, a usage also common in Esperanto, but not in English:
*-In English you would probably get the dollars. In Esperanto you would as likely get the eruos. Actually, because the example is a bit contrived to be brief, you might get both amounts. The point is that you can’t count on it.
Ŝi donis kafon, sukeron, kaj lakton; ĉi tiun donacis la bovino.
= She offered coffee, sugar, and milk, this last contributed by the cow.
Du dolaroj kuŝas apud mi kaj kvin eŭroj apud vi; tiom ĉi mi donacos al vi.
= Two dollars are here by me and five euros by you; I’ll give you this much.*
Ĉi is not a preposition. Its use has no effect on whether what follows takes an accusative (-n) marker or not.
Ĉi tiu estas mia amiko.
= This one [here] is my friend.
Ne manĝu ĉi tiun.
= Don’t eat this one [here].


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A B C Ĉ D E F G Ĝ H Ĥ I J Ĵ K L M N O P R S Ŝ T U V Z
damaĝo = damage. See domaĝo.
Dankon! = Thank you!
Note that thanking, like tipping, handshaking, bill-splitting, and calling people by first or last name, varies from place to place. Should one thank someone for performing his duty? Or for an act motivated simply by family membership? It can be insulting to do so. Chinese do not thank close family members who help each other because to do so would imply that they were outsiders. In general you should expect to be thanked (or not) unexpectedly by foreign Esperantists, while yourself thanking pretty much anything that moves.
The most usual response when someone says dankon to you is ne dankinde = “it was nothing.” Other possible responses include:
Estas nenio.
= It’s nothing.
Estas mia plezuro.
= My pleasure.
Plezure.
= With pleasure.
Danko ne necesas; vi ricevos mian fakturon.
= No need for thanks; you’ll get my bill.
daŭri = to last, endure.
Hence: daŭrigi = to continue (something, doing something).
La profesoro daŭrigis sian prelegon.
= The professor continued his lecture.
La profesoro daŭrigis.
= The professor continued.
La profesoro daŭris ĝis la fino de la prelego.
= The professor lasted out the lecture.
Vi daŭre misprononcas mian nomon: ne “Pirozo” sed Piroso!
= You keep mispronouncing my name, not “Pirozo” (heart-burn), Piroso!
de = by, of, from.
In general this preposition is used to show a relationship between two nouns whereby the first depends on or “belongs to” the second.
la patro de Roberto
= Robert’s father
la letero de la hungarino
= the Hungarian woman’s letter
la leciono de Esperanto
= the Esperanto lesson
Notice the contrast between de and el:
Mi venas de Francio.
= I come from France (i.e., I’m French).
Mi venas el Francio.
= I am coming from France (i.e., I’ve been in France).
De kiu planedo vi venas?
= What planet do you come from?
With passive participles, de is used to show agency:
la libro de Mizakawa verkita
= the book written by Mizakawa
telero purigita de mia filo
= plate washed by my son
li estis naskita de Sana
= he was born to Sana
la proponita de li leĝo
= the law he proposed
See also fare de.
With another preposition, indicating a place, de (or el) shows motion away from the place:
Li prenis ĝin de sub la lito.
= He took it out from under the bed.
La kato saltis de sur la ŝranko.
= The cat jumped down off the shelf.
Ŝi envenis de ekster la scenejo.
= She entered from off-set.
Note that in the case of sentiments, Esperanto distinguishes de from al or kontraŭ to show the direction of the action or sentiment:
amo de Dio = God’s love amo al Dio = love for God
serĉo de Maria = Maria’s quest serĉo al Maria = search for Maria
Caution: English “of” is not necessarily translated by Esperanto de:
Pri kio, diable, vi pensis?
= What on earth were you thinking of?
Mi estas laca pro vojaĝado.
= I am tired of travelling.
debeto = debit (~ ŝuldo = debt). See debito.
debiti = to sell retail. See debito.
debito = market (for something, either at wholesale or at retail).
Not to be confused with:
merkato = market (as a system of trading).
butikejo = market (as a set of shops), shopping mall.
bazaro = outdoor market, flea market.
vendejo = market, shop.
ŝuldo = debt. Hence: ŝuldanto = “debtor, one who owes money.”
debeto = debit. Hence: debetanto = “creditor, person who debits the account.”
debiti = to sell retail.
grosieri = to sell wholesale (from grosiero = a wholesaler).
debitoro = debtor (unrelated to debito!)* .
*-If there is a confusing word in this, it is debitoro, which is a borrowing into Esperanto that somewhat interferes with the logic of two already very similar roots: debit- = “retail” and debet- = “debit.” Since almost nobody uses debitoro, I recommend ignoring it. After all, a debtor can also be called a ŝuldanto.
Mi debitis Volapukajn librojn.
= I retailed Volapük books.
Mi ilin aĉetis pogrande de grosiero en Manilo.
= I bought them in large lots from a wholesaler in Manila.
Mi celis fariĝi granda debitisto.
= I sought to become a great retailer.
Ankoraŭ ne ekzistis bona debito por Volapukaj libroj.
= There still was not a good market for Volapük books.
Mi havis terurajn debetojn sed vivotenis per kreditkartoj.
= I had terrible debts but lived by credit cards.
Ĉiu kreditkarta kompanio maksimume debetis mian konton.
= Each credit card company debited my account to the maximum.
Mi estas nun granda debitoro.
= Now I am a great debtor.
Mi esperas vendi malnovajn ŝuojn en la bazaro.
= I hope to sell old shoes in the flea market.
debitoro = debtor (unrelated to debito!). See debito.
debuti = to debut, appear for the first time. See also debito.
La sumoisto de 75 kilogramoj debutis malsukcesege.
= The 165-lb sumo wrestler debuted extremely badly.
Nia debuto, kiel klubo, venis el ekspozicio.
= Our beginning as a club came from an exhibit.
Mia filo estas debutanto en Esperanto.
= My son is just getting launched in Esperanto.
deca = decent. See vulgara.
defii = to challenge.
Not to be confused with:
spiti = to spite, openly defy.
Mia nuna defio estas profunde kompreni komputilojn.
= My current challenge is to understand computers thoroughly.
Li defiis ĉampionon de bokso; nun li kuŝas en paca tombo.
= He challenged the champ in boxing; now he lies in a peaceful tomb.
La de li kuirita manĝo estis por ŝi vera defio!
= The meal he made was a real challenge for her!
Ĉu civilizacio kapablas respondi la defion de homa batalemo?
= Can civilization respond to the challenge of human belligerence?
Adoleskantoj ege tro ofte spitas la gepatrojn, laŭ nia opinio!
= Teenagers much too often defy their parents in our opinion!
Ŝi spitis Panjon per tio, ke ŝi aperis “ĉefeste senveste”.
= She spited Mama by appearing at the party without clothes.
Ŝia konsterna konduto defias la imagon.
= Her shocking conduct defies the imagination.
deliri = to rave, be delirious. See ravi.
demandi = to ask (someone about something).
Not to be confused with:
peti = to ask (someone for) something.
postuli = to demand, require something (from someone)
Li demandis ĉu necesas labori por havi monon.
= He asked whether it was necessary to work to have money.
Li demandis ĉu mi iros.
= He asked if I would go.
Li petis, ke mi iru.
= He asked me to go.
Ŝi petis, ke li dancu kun ŝi.
= She asked him to dance with her.
Li petis monon de/al sia edzino.
= He asked his wife for money.
Petu lin al mi.z
= Ask him [to come] to me.
Por gasto ne petita mankas kulero.z
= For an uninvited guest there is no spoon.
Li postulis, ke mi iru.
= He required me to go.
Poste li postulis cent dolarojn.
= Later he demanded a hundred dollars.
Ŝi postulis, ke li dancu kaj kantu antaŭ ol manĝi.
= She required him to dance and sing before eating.
demisii = to resign. See rezigni.
devi = to have to.
Note that with the -us ending, this is often closer to English “ought to.” Because there is little precise indication of time in the US-mood, some English expressions do not have close Esperanto equivalents.
Ŝi devis iri hejmen.
= She had to go home.
Ŝi devas esti jam hejme.
= She must already be at home.
Ŝi devus iri hejmen.
= She ought to go home.
= She ought to have gone home.
= She would have to go home.
= She would have to have gone home.
When necessary (rarely!) it is possible to provide greater precision with expressions like devus esti irinta = “would have to have gone,” and the like.
Because devus means “ought” and other forms of devi mean “must,” it is possible to create sentences with both. Although the English translations work fine, the use of devi twice in the same Esperanto sentence is likely to be confusing:
Mi devus ne devi esti sklavo.
= I shouldn’t have to be a slave.
Vi devus ne devi esti devigata.
= You shouldn’t have to be compelled.
In some languages a negative form of a word like devi means “must not” regardless of word order. In Esperanto the element ne, exactly as in English, is sensitive to word order:
Mi devus trinki pli da lakto.
= I should drink more milk.
Mi devus ne trinki tiom da viskio.
= I shouldn’t drink so much whiskey.
Mi ne devus trinki tiom da viskio.
= I needn’t drink so much whiskey.
This last example risks being misunderstood by some speakers as meaning “I shouldn’t” rather than “I needn’t.” These speakers are wrong, perhaps, but the point is that they may also misunderstand you. You can avoid this by rephrasing the sentence to avoid ne devas entirely:
Ne necesas, ke mi trinku tiom da viskio
= It’s not necessary for me to drink so much whiskey.
Potentially even more confusing are sentences in which both verbs are negated even though technically this is perfectly logical:
Mi ne devas ne trinki lakton. = I don’t need not to drink milk.
Better: Ne necesas, ke mi evitu lakton.
= I don’t need to avoid milk.
devizo = (1) watchword, motto; (2) currency, foreign exchange.
Not to be confused with:
rimedo = device, means, solution, resource.
aparato = device, apparatus.
Ili vendas aparatojn por komuniki kun aliplanedanoj.
= They sell devices to communicate with extraterrestrials.
Ilia devizo estas “Trompeblulo naskiĝas ĉiuminute!”
= Their motto is, “There’s a sucker born every minute!”
Lia devizo estas “Evitu defiojn!” sed mankas al li la rimedo ĉar por li ĉio estas defio.
= His motto is, “Avoid challenges!” but he lacks the means to do so, since for him everything is a challenge.
See also sentenco.
diboĉi = to be degenerate and licentious. See festi.
difekti = to damage, break..
Not to be confused with:
malperfektaĵo = defect, imperfection.
manko = defect, lack, missing part.
(See also manki.)
nenormalaĵo = defect, abnormality.
ribeli = to defect, rebel.
transfuĝi = to defect, hide out.
See also domaĝo.
Kiu tro alten rigardon direktas, tiu tre baldaŭ okulojn difektas.z
= He who directs his gaze too high will soon spoil his eye.
Ŝi difektis al si la brakon ludante basbalon.
= She broke her arm playing baseball.
En ĉiu objekto troviĝas difekto.z
= There is a flaw in every object.
En lia pulmo ni trovis nenormalaĵon.
= We found an abnormality in his lung.
Ni fine ribelis kontraŭ la klubestro kiam li forlasis precize cent akuzativojn.
= We at last rebelled against the club president when he left out an even hundred accusatives.
dik(et)a = plump, fat. See plumpa.
dika = bulky, plump. See bulko.
direkti = guide, govern, direct, manage. See guverni, kontroli.
diservo = religious service. See servo.
disponi = to have available, have access to.
Not to be confused with:
aranĝi = arrange, dispose.
dispozicii = to arrange, place, set out.
forigi = to cast off, put aside.
forĵeti = to cast off, throw out.
Vi disponas plenan bibliotekon da Esperantaĵoj.
= You have a whole library of Esperanto materials available.
= You have access to a whole library of Esperanto materials.
Mi estos disponebla je la 22a.
= I’ll be available at 10 pm.
Li tute redispoziciis la meblaron de la salono.
= He completely rearranged the living room furniture.
Ŝi forigis la neleĝan infanon.
= She disposed of the illegitimate child.
Ne forĵetu mian malnovan perukon; ĝi estas pli komforta ol la nova.
= Don’t throw out my old wig; it’s more comfortable than the new one.
dispozicii = to arrange, place. See disponi.
disputo = argument, disagreement. See argumento.
dolaro = dollar.
Not to be confused with:
doloro = pain. See also angoro.
dolĉa = sweet, gentle. See ĝentila.
dolorego = horrible pain, agony. See agonio.
dolori = to hurt (said of body parts).
Dolori is a transitive verb. A thing hurts a person. See also angoro.
Not to be confused with:
vundi = to hurt, wound.
La sago vundis ŝin.
= The arrow wounded her.
Mia internaĵo min doloras.z
= My innards hurt.
Min doloras la nepovado helpi vin.z
= The inability to help you hurts me.
Sometimes the object (or even subject) is only implied.
Min doloras ĉi tie, Panjo.z
= I hurt here, Mommy. (subject omitted)
Tia operacio tre doloras.z
= Such an operation hurts a lot. (object omitted)
La vundo estis tre dolora.
= The wound was very painful.
Since dolori is what a body part does to one, to hurt someone else one uses dolorigi:
koloroj kiuj dolorigas la okulojn z
= colors that hurt the eyes
Mi dolorigis al mi la piedfingron.
= I hurt my toe.
La kluba kantado dolorigas la orelojn.
= The club’s singing hurts the ears.
If you want to hurt somebody without specifying a body part, it is more usual to use vundi:
Li dolorigis al mi la ŝultron.
= He hurt my shoulder.
Ŝi vundis min.
= She hurt me.
doloro = pain (physical or psychological). See dolori, angoro.
domaĝo = a regrettable loss, actual or potential.
Hence: domaĝi = “to fear such a loss,” i.e., “to overvalue.”
Not to be confused with:
damaĝo = damage.
(NB: Damaĝi usually means to inflict metaphorical or immaterial damage, as against difekti, which refers to physically harming something.) See also difekti.
*-Domaĝo in this expression superficially corresponds with the English “shame” in “What a shame!” or “That’s a shame!” This is perhaps its most common use, but it is important not to equate it with any other English sense of “shame,” such as “She is without shame” = Mankas al ŝi hontemo.
Estas domaĝo, ke mi devas labori anstataŭ ricevi heredaĵon.
= It’s a shame that I have to work instead of receiving an inheritance.
Post domaĝo venas saĝo.z
= After a loss comes wisdom.
Kia domaĝo!
= What a loss! What a shame!*
Ŝi domaĝas la hundidon; li domaĝas ĝian eventualan prezon.
= She worries about losing the puppy; he worries about paying its possible price.
Li nenion aĉetas, ĉar li tro domaĝas monon.
= He buys nothing, for he too much begrudges spending the money.
Ŝi domaĝis nenion por tiu fripono.
= She spared nothing for that jerk.
La herezo multe damaĝis la eklezion.
= The heresy much damaged the church.
Lia kabeado damaĝis la Esperantan klubon.
= His apostasy damaged the Esperanto club.
dorno = thorn. See piki.
dresi = to train, to tame (wild animals).
Not to be confused with:
vesti = to dress (a child, a model, oneself).
vestiĝi = to get dressed.
pansi= to dress (a wound).
robo = a dress.
mantelo = robe, mantle, coat.
kamenŝranko = mantel, mantelpiece.
Kvankam malriĉa, ŝi ĉiam vestis sian infanon pli bone ol aliaj.
= Although poor, she always dressed her child better than others did.
Ŝi portis gajan ruĝan robon en lia funebra solenaĵo.
= She wore a cheerful red dress to his funeral.
Li pansis ŝian kruron tiel kiel eblis en ĝangalo tia.
= He dressed her leg as well as possible in such a jungle.
Leonojn kaj tigrojn mi dresis, sed mia infano daŭre sovaĝemas.
= I’ve tamed lions and tigers, but my kid is still pretty wild.
La reĝino portu bluan mantelon super blanka robo.
= The queen should wear a blue robe over a white dress.
Kolapsis la kamenŝranko dum tertremo.
= The mantelpiece collapsed in an earthquake.
See eduki, kultivi.
drinki = to drink (something alcoholic) to excess, guzzle, booze it up on (something).
Not to be confused with:
trinki = to drink (including alcohol in moderation)
The fact that something is alcoholic does not necessarily mean one has to drinki it rather than trinki it. It is the combination of alcohol and excess that dictates the word drinki.
Mi amegas trinki ĉampanon.
= I love drinking champagne.
Veraj viroj emas drinki, ĉu ne? Nu, ĉu ne?!
= Real men are inclined to booze it up, aren’t they? Well, aren’t they?!
Li drinkis bieron ĝis li ekdormis.
= He guzzled beer till he fell asleep.


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A B C Ĉ D E F G Ĝ H Ĥ I J Ĵ K L M N O P R S Ŝ T U V Z
ebena = flat (not bumpy). See plata, plato.
eduki = to bring up, rear, train.
Not to be confused with:
klera = wise, well informed, cultivated, educated.
Tiu infano Daĉjeto ŝajnas misedukita.
= That Little Davey child seems poorly brought up.
La instruisto strebegis klerigi la sovaĝan infanon.
= The instructor strove mightily to educate the savage child.
See also varti.
edz(in)o = husband/wife.
Hence: geedzoj = one or more married couples. From this are derived three distinct terms for getting married:
*-Because Esperanto specifies the sex(es) of the person or people being married, it is more precise than English, and geedziĝo is necessarily marriage involving people of the opposite sex. In the case of gay marriage, kunedziĝo or kunedziniĝo, as appropriate, is to be recommended. A life partner is sometimes referred to as a kunulo, a more appropriate term if legal marriage is not involved. The term partnero is just as ambiguous as its English cognate.
edziĝi = to get married (become a husband).
ediniĝi = to get married (become a wife).
geedziĝi = to get married (become a married couple*).
Similarly what the cleric or justice of the peace (or the other partner to the marriage!) does is:
edzigi = to marry (make somebody into a husband).
edzinigi = to marry (make somebody into a wife).
geedzigi = to marry (make people into a married couple*).
Mi edziĝis en 1996 kaj eksedziĝis la sekvan jaron.
= I got married in 1996 and divorced the following year.
Miaj gepatroj geedziĝis en 1960.
= My parents got married in 1960.
La pastro geedzigis ilin.
= The pastor married them.
Li deziris edzinigi ŝin kaj poste heredi ŝian monon.
= He wanted to wed her and then inherit her money.
Mi deziras geedziĝi kun vi.
= I want to marry you.
En tiu eklezio, geja duo rajtas kunedziĝi.
= In that church a gay couple can get married.
efektiva = actual, actually existing.
Not to be confused with:
efika = effective, efficacious.
aktuala = current, up to date, topical, present-day.
Ĉi tiu gazeto estas de hieraŭ; ĝi ne plu estas aktuala.
= This is yesterday’s paper; it’s not up-to-date any more.
Aktualeco ne influos min; mi studos la latinan!
= That it be current does not bother me; I shall study Latin!
Efektiveco ne influos min; mi studos Volapukon!
= Its existence or not doesn’t bother me; I shall study Volapük !
Ŝi estas malefika prelegisto ĉar ŝi parolas nur pri sekso inter ursoj.
= She is an ineffective speaker, for she talks only about sex among bears.
Ĉi tiu gazeto estas de hieraŭ; ĝi ne plu estas aktuala.
= This is yesterday’s paper; it’s not up-to-date any more.
efektive = really.
Much overused in Esperanto. (The more you use this, the more fluent you will seem.) It is used when listening to someone else to show you are in agreement. It can be used to answer a question that contains its own answer. It can be muttered under one’s breath in the privacy of empty elevators or shower stalls. Think of it as Esperantists’ revenge against our “Mmmm hmmm.”
Li efektive konas neniom de la bengala.
= He actually knows no Bengali at all.
Efektive, li kaj mi ne plu estas bonaj amikoj.
= Actually he and I are no longer good friends.
La prezo estas tre alta. Efektive.
= The price is very high. Mmmm hmmm.
efektivigi = to bring about, to effect. See afekti.
efika = effective. See efektiva.
ekde = (1) from the very moment that; (2) from the very beginning of. (The logical but rare opposite of ekde is depost = “after.”)
Ekde kiam mi gravedis mi komencis ŝanĝi mian sintenon pri li.
= From the moment I became pregnant I began to change my mind about him.
Ekde mia infanaĝo mi deziris esti aktoro.
= From my childhood I wanted to be an actor.
Note that what follows ekde is an indicator of a point in time. To indicate a length of time one uses de or jam de:
Jam de longa tempo mi estas esperantisto.
= I have been an Esperantist for a long time now.
eklezio = church (an organization). See preĝejo.
ekshibicio = exhibitionism.
Not to be confused with:
ekspozicio = exhibit.
Mia patrino ege ĝuis mian ekspozicion.
= My mother much enjoyed my exhibit.
Mia patrino ege ŝokiĝis je mia ekshibicio.
= My mother was greatly shocked at my exhibitionism.
Ekshibicio estas psikiatria malsano. = Exhibitionism is a psychiatric illness.
eksiĝi = resign. See rezigni.
ekspozicio = exhibit. See ekshibicio.
ekvilibri = to balance, be in equilibrium. See balanci.
ekvilibrigi = to bring into balance. See balanci.
ekzameno = examination. See testo.
ekzemplero = copy (e.g., of a book). See kopio.
ekzemplo = example, instance. See kopio, instanco.
ekzerci = to exercize (someone). Hence: ekzerciĝi ~ sin ekzerci = to practice (as the piano). See praktiko.
el = from, made from. See also de.
Li revenis el la domo.
= He came back out of the house again.
Mi venos el Peruo.
= I’ll be coming from Peru.
La kaliko estas el rusa vitro.
= The goblet is made of Russian glass.
Ni manĝis kompoton el prunoj.
= We ate a plum compote.
Oni elektis lin el inter 500 viroj kiel la plej belan.
= They picked him out of 500 men as the best looking.
Fine, timeme, ŝi venis el sub la sofo.
= Finally, timidly, she came out from under the sofa.
elekti = choose, pick out.”
For most speakers there is no significant difference between selekti and elekti. Elekti is the far commoner word. A few speakers reserve selekti to mean “selectively breed.”
emo = tendency. See tendenco.
emocio = an emotion, (an) affect. See afekti.
entrepreni = to undertake. See klopodi.
enua = bored.
Hence: enui = to be bored, enuigi = to bore (someone), enuiga = boring. Contrast amuzi, tedi.
envii = to envy. See ĵaluza.
esperantisto = a person who both knows and uses Esperanto.
Knowing Esperanto without using it, using Esperanto social networks without using Esperanto to do so, or eagerly supporting Esperanto without learning it are all ways of not being an Esperantist. Never having heard of Esperanto is another way.
Esperanto = name of a language.
The noun Esperanto, its associated adjective Esperanta, and adverb Esperante are all conventionally (but not inevitably) capitalized to differentiate them from the literal words referring not to the language but to hoping:
Ĉu vi skribis Esperante?
= Did you write in Esperanto?
Mi parolis Esperanton, esperante ke iu min komprenos.
= I spoke Esperanto hoping someone would understand me.
Ŝi estas denaska esperanto.
= She’s been a hopeful person from birth.
esperi = to hope; to hope for.
En feliĉo ne fieru, en malfeliĉo esperu.z
= Be not proud in happy times but be hopeful in times of despair.
Mi neniel esperis sukceson.z
= I didn’t in any way hope for success.
*-Note the use of alportos, not alportu. Esperanto does not routinely use the U-mode after the verb esperi.
Mi esperas vidi vin sekrete, kara.
= I hope to see you secretly, my dear.
Mi esperas, ke li alportos* kukon!
= I hope he’ll bring a cake!
esprimo = phrase. See frazo.
esti = to be.
Used as the first word of a sentence, esti usually corresponds with English “there is/are.”
Estas muso en la kuko!
= There’s a mouse in the cake!
Some speakers begin a sentence with esti because they consider the subject to be understood:
Kia vi taksas ĝin? Estas bela!
= How do you like it? It’s beautiful!
Being in a particular place is often expressed by troviĝi = “to be found,” trovebli = “to be findable,” or situi = “to be situated”:
La kunvenejo situas norde de la urbo.
= The hall is located north of the city.
Troviĝas balenoj en la maro.
= Whales are found in the sea.
Troveblas filibroj bruligendaj en ĉiu antaŭurba biblioteko!
= Vile books we must burn are to be found in every suburban library!
estonta = future, eventual. See eventuala.
estraro = board of directors. See guverni.
estri = govern, direct, manage. See guverni.
etaĝo = floor, story.
In Asia and America people number the stories of a building beginning with the ground-level floor as 1. In Europe it is the customary practice to begin numbering with the floor above the one at ground level (presumably dating from a time when the ground-level was dirt, hence floor-less).
Seen another way, Europeans count stairways while we count levels. Esperanto tends to follow the European convention, although the influence of the new influx of Chinese speakers may help to change that. Meanwhile, you have to expect anything. Since elevators in different countries are differently numbered, my best recommendation is to follow whichever logic dictates elevator numbering in the country where you are talking. If you follow the European convention, the term for the “ground floor” (the American “first floor”) is teretaĝo. A basement is called a subetaĝo.
eventuala = possible, in case of need.
Not to be confused with:
estonta = future, eventual. Hence: estonteco = “the future.”
*-Although futuro refers only to grammar, borrowings from European languages sometimes entangle it in derivatives that having nothing to do with grammar. Thus futurismo is “futurism” (a movement in European art).
futuro = future tense (in grammar).*
fina = final, last, eventual. Compare lasta.
Oni aĉetas asekuran polison pro eventuala katastrofo.
= You buy an insurance policy in case of possible catastrophe.
La aktoro bezonas eventualan anstataŭulon.
= An actor needs an understudy in case of need.
Ĉio fine kadukiĝas.
= Everything eventually goes to pieces.
Morgaŭ estos mia fina tago en Filipinio.
= Tomorrow will be my last day in the Philippines.
En la estonteco memoru alporti kreditkartojn al la kongreso.
= In the future remember to bring credit cards to the convention.
Oni parolas pri la estonteco per la futuro.
= We speak of the future by using the future tense.
eviti = to avoid. See averti.


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A B C Ĉ D E F G Ĝ H Ĥ I J Ĵ K L M N O P R S Ŝ T U V Z
fakultato = university faculty. See fakulto.
fakulto = faculty, capability.
Not to be confused with:
fakultato = (1) university faculty; (2) university division, college, or department.
fako = (1) department (including university departments); (2) branch (of science, art, etc.); (3) professional specialty; (4) section, compartment (of a drawer or box).
Mankas al la universitato ĝia fakultato.
= The university lacks its faculty.
Perdis la profesoro siajn fakultojn.
= The professor has lost his faculties.
Diplomon belan sed sensignifan mi ricevis de la fakultato pri frenologio.
= I received a beautiful but meaningless diploma from the department of phrenology.
Kio estas via fako, profesoro?
= What is your specialty, professor?
Por butero havas la fridujo specialan fakon.
= The refrigerator has a special compartment for butter.
faldfolio = brochure, pamphlet. See broŝuro.
fanfaroni = to brag, put on the dog, show off.
Not to be confused with:
fanfaro = musical fanfare.
Unu fojon oni donas, kaj tutan vivon oni fanfaronas.z
= One gives once [to charity] and then brags about it all one’s life.
Ŝi fanfaronis] per sia granda riĉeco.z
= She really put on the dog.
Li fanfaronis, ke neniu povos lin venki.z
= He bragged that no one would be able to beat him.
Rano malfacile fanfaronas.
= It’s hard to put on the dog when you’re a frog.
*-On the other hand there are instances of prepositions being used as verbal stems (such as peri = “to mediate” or anstataŭi = “to be a replacement for”). In any case, far as a preposition is probably destined to remain with us.
far = by. Contraction of fare de. See fare de.
Note that, although far has become relatively common, the Academy of Esperanto, like many Esperantists, (rightly) objects to it because it is irregular to use a verbal stem as a preposition.*
fare de = by. There is a tendency for de’s to pile up in some sentences:
De ŝi mi ricevis bileton de la ludo de la Filharmonio de Novjorko de la "Simfonio de Printempo" de Ŝalov aranĝita de Volaŝ.
= I received a ticket from her for a performance by the New York Philharmonic of Shalov’s "Spring Symphony" arranged by Volash.
The number of such de’s can be reduced by recasting the sentence slightly, selecting other prepositions when possible, and switching potentially confusing ones that represent the person who does something to fare de:

Ŝi transdonis al mi bileton por la ludo de la Novjorka Filharmonio de la Simfonio pri Printempo fare de Ŝalov aranĝita de Volaŝ.

Caution: A few Esperantists resist using fare de except with verbs that include the suffix -iĝ-:
La teatraĵo verkiĝis fare de fama mongola poeto.
= The play was written by a famous Mongolian poet.
The limitation seems prissy, especially since there is no very good reason to use -iĝ- in such sentences in the first place:
La teatraĵon verkis fama mongola poeto.
= A famous Mongolian poet wrote the play.
farmi = to farm (land) as a tenant.
Hence: farmo = “rental farm land”; farmisto = “tenant farmer.”
Not to be confused with:
bieno = farm, real rural estate, property.
etbieno = family farm.
grandbieno = landed estate.
kolĥozo = Soviet collective farm.
kibuco = Israeli collective farm.
Li farmas je duono.
= He farms land and gives half the harvest to the landlord.
La proprietulo bienigis al li bonan farmon.
= The owner let him cultivate a good rental plot.
Karlo esperis fariĝi bienisto ĝis li renkontis la dancistinon.
= Charles hoped to become an independent farmer till he met the dancer.
Miaj prapatroj estis etbienistoj en Pensilvanio.
= My ancestors were family farmers in Pennsylvania.
Hispanoj fondis grandbienojn en Meksiko.
= Spaniards founded land grants in Mexico.
farti = get on, fare.
Not to be confused with:
*-Speaking of breaking wind is indelicate in most countries, but the word furzi itself is not a vulgar word.
farĉi = to stuff (especially food: pork chops, grape leaves, etc.).
furzi = to fart.* See also peti.
Mi esperas, ke via patro nun pli bone fartas.
= I hope that your father is now better.
Kiam la reĝo bone fartas, la ŝtato bone fartas.
= When the king is well, the state fares well.
Plaĉegas al mi farĉitaj kotletoj de porkaĵo.
= I’m very fond of stuffed pork chops.
Kiam la imperiestro envenis, la ĉefministro malbonŝance furzis.
= When the emperor came in, the chief minister unfortunately broke wind.
Tiu triviala stultulo ne parolas; li furzas per la buŝo!
= That vulgar idiot doesn’t talk; he farts through his mouth!
fatalo = bad luck, fell fate.
Hence: fatala = “fated, unlucky, ill-starred.” The less common term fato = “ill fate” is used identically.
Not to be confused with:
mortiga = fatal.
Super ni regas neŝanĝebla fatalo.z
= Over us there reigns an immutable bad fate.
Kia fatala kaj malagrabla eraro!z
= What an unlucky and disagreeable error!
En fatala falo, ŝi rompis al si la brakon.
= In an unlucky fall she broke her arm.
Li estis tro fatalista por labori por Esperanto.
= He was too fatalistic to work for Esperanto.
Ŝi preparis mortigan trinkaĵon.
= She prepared a fatal drink.
See also sorto = “luck, fate” under speco.
favorata = favored.
Not to be confused with:
plej ŝatata = favorite, best liked.
preferata = favorite, preferred.
plej amata = favorite, best loved.
favori = to be favorable toward; to favor.
La policestro favoris sian filon.
= The police chief favored his son.
Malsaĝulon favoras feliĉo.z
= Felicity favors the foolish.
Li estos favoranto de la nova leĝo.
= He will be a supporter of the new law.
Glaciaĵo estas mia preferata manĝaĵo.
= Ice cream is my favorite food.
Ŝi estis la plej ŝatata aktorino de la lando.
= She was the country’s favorite actress.
favori = to be favorable toward; to favor. See favorata.
Fek! = Shit! See ve.
felo = pelt. See pelto.
festeni= to make merry. See festi.
festi = to fête, to honor (someone) with a party or dinner. Hence: festo = “dinner party,” “reception.”
Not to be confused with:
festeni = to feast, to have a party, to attend a party. Hence: festeno = “a gala banquet,” “dinner party.”
diboĉi = to make excessively merry, to attend orgies, to be profligate, degenerate, licentious, and dissolute.
festivalo = festival, as in “film festival.”
festono = festoon.
bankedo = formal banquet.
akcepto = reception. From akcepti = “to receive formally.”
Por la festeno oni ornamis la akceptejon per festonoj.
= For the banquet they decorated the reception hall with festoons.
Ni festis lin post lia sukcesoplena prelego pri verdaj insektoj.
= We fêted him after his successful lecture about green bugs.
Kelkaj venas por studi Esperanton, aliaj nur por diboĉi!
= Some come to study Esperanto, others only to yuk it up.
Mi festenis dum vespero kaj diboĉis ĝis mateno.
= I went to a dinner party in the evening and made merry till morning.
Ni festis ŝin pro la plej grava kontribuo al la klubo en 2001.
= We fêted her for 2001’s most important contribution to the club.
Ĉiun decembron la klubo havas bankedon. Ne festenon, nur bankedon.
= Each December the club has a banquet. Not a party, just a banquet.
festivalo = festival, as in “film festival.” See festi.
festono = festoon. See festi.
Fik! = Fuck! See ve.
fina = final, last, ultimate; eventual. See lasta, eventuala.
fini = to finish (something, doing something). See halti.
*-Finnujo and Finnio are theoretically possible, but I have never seen them.
finno = Finn.
A citizen of Finland is a finno. This avoids confusion with fino = “end.” Similarly the country is Finnlando, not finlando = “the end place.” The Finnish-derived word Suomio is gradually coming into limited use as the name of the country, but Finnlando remains more usual.*
flata = flattering. See plata.
flaŭro = flora. See floro.
floro = flower.
Not to be confused with:
flaŭro = flora.
La flaŭro de la suda poluso produktas malmultajn florojn.
= The flora of the South Pole produces few flowers.
fojo = occasion, time (as in “one time” or “next time”). This gives the adverb foje, which usually means “once” but for some speakers means “sometimes.”
Not to be confused with:
tempo = time (as in “time of day”).
Du fojojn ŝi penis ŝteli la kronon.
= Twice she tried to steal the crown.
Dufoje ŝi penis ŝteli la kronon.
= Twice she tried to steal the crown.
Foje mi vizitis ŝin.
= I once visited her.
Foje oni diras, ke li estos prezidento.
= Sometimes they say he’ll be president.
See also okazo = “opportunity, occasion” under instanco.
fondo = founding, from fondi = to found.
Not to be confused with:
fondaĵo = fondumo = charitable foundation.
fonduso = fund, charitable trust.
fonto = (1) fountain, spring; (2) font, origin.
fontano = fountain.
fundo = bottom, base, underside; innermost part (think of “profound”).
fono = background.
literaro = typefont.
Li fondis fonduson.
= He established a trust.
En la fono videblis bela fontano.
= A beautiful fountain was visible in the background.
Ŝi estas fonto de misinformo.
= She is a font of misinformation.
Ĝi loĝas en la fundo de la maro.
= It dwells at the bottom of the sea.
Italio famas pro fontanoj.
= Italy is famous for fountains.
La fondumo “Amikoj de Komiksoj” prizorgas la monon de la fonduso “Zambalzam.”
= The Friends of Comic Books foundation manages the money in the Zambalm fund.
fonduso = fund, charitable trust. See fondo.
fono = background. See fondo.
fonto = (1) fountain, spring; (2) font, origin. See fondo.
for = distant, away.
This particle functions as an adverb or a prefix. Because it is not formed in -e like derived adverbs, it does not require a final -n when it shows movement:
Ŝi iris for ĉagrenite.
= She went away, vexed.
Li forestos morgaŭ.
= He’ll be away tomorrow.
Irena nun estas for.
= Irene is away at present.
fraŭl(in)o = miss/master. See also sinjor(in)o.
Since the distinction between fraŭlino and sinjorino usually depends upon whether a woman is married (as we’ll see below) the word fraŭlo, although not normally used as a title for men (any more than “master” is in English), is sometimes used to mean “bachelor,” regardless of age:
Ĉu li estas fraŭlo?
= “Is he single?”
*-Cf. madame in French, dama in Spanish, or nüshi in Chinese.
For some Esperantists, sinjorino and fraŭlino straightforwardly distinguish married from unmarried women. For others, however, it would be insulting to address a middle-aged or elderly woman as fraŭlino, and she is sinjorino regardless of marital state.* Sinjorino in that sense corresponds to American “ma’am,” in addition to its use in the sense of English “Mrs,” although it is much higher in frequency than “ma’am.”

In America we have traditionally tended to use “Miss” for stage names, regardless of the age or marital status of the stage star. That usage is not standardized in Esperanto.
*-Some people, not understanding that usage is not standardized and does not always correspond to what they are used to, are prepared to make that ground even shakier!

Accordingly: you are always on shaky ground selecting between fraŭlino and sinjorino if you don’t know what a woman prefers to be called.* One logic that is at least defensible, if rarely followed, is to use sinjorino for all women on the grounds that sinjoro is usually used for all men. A few speakers simply say -ino, which is potentially interpretable as a bit abrupt. Another approach is to call a woman samidean(in)o = “fellow-Esperantist” and leave it at that. (If she is not a fellow-Esperantist, you presumably would not be speaking Esperanto to her!)
frazo = sentence.
Not to be confused with:
frazero = phrase.
esprimo = expression, turn of phrase, phrase.
Ĉu ĉiu frazo havas verbon?
= Does every sentence have a verb?
Post prepozicio venas substantiva esprimo.
= After a preposition comes a noun phrase.
“Fundamenta Krestomatio!” povas esti blasfema esprimo.
= “Basic Chrestomathy!” can be a swear word.
Ŝia esprimo de amo al mi vere kortuŝis, sed indikis nur, ke ŝi estas malsata ĉar la aliaj katoj formanĝis jam ĉion.
= Her expression of love for me was really touching, but indicated
= only that she was hungry, since the other cats had already
= eaten everything up.
freneza = crazy. See ravi.
frunto = brow. See brovo.
fundo = bottom, base, underside; innermost part. See fondo.
funebro = mourning (sentiment or costume).
Kiam okazos la funebra rito?
= When will the funeral take place?
Vi portas funebron, eble pro la patrino?z
= You wear mourning, perhaps for your mother?
La ĉinoj funebras tri jarojn pro la gepatroj.
= The Chinese go into mourning for three years for their parents.
Ili dungis tri funebristojn.
= They hired three professional mourners.
Akceptu mian funebran saluton!z
= Accept my condolences.
Li funebre ridetis.
= He smiled mournfully.
furzi = to fart. See farti.
fuŝi = to mess (something) up. Hence: fuŝ! = rats! See ve.
Ŝi probable fuŝos la ekzamenon.
= She’ll probably screw up the exam.
Vi tute fuŝis mian vesperon.
= You have utterly ruined my evening.
Lia amafero ege fuŝiĝis.
= His love affair went utterly to pieces.
Ho fuŝ! Mi forgesis la monon.
= Oh bother! I forgot the money.
Sometimes fuŝ- is used almost as a prefix:
Mi estas fuŝfotografisto.
= I am an amateur photographer.
Savu nin de fuŝtenoruloj.
= Save us from amateur tenors.
futuro = future tense (in grammar). See eventuala.


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A B C Ĉ D E F G Ĝ H Ĥ I J Ĵ K L M N O P R S Ŝ T U V Z
*-A gejo is a homosexual person. The root does not normally occur as a prefix, but, mostly when joking, a few Esperantists use gej-- as a prefix anyway, meaning homosexual. Thus the contrast between, say, gekamaradoj and gejkamaradoj depends entirely upon the contrast between -e- and -ej-. If you are one of those people who has been inattentively pronouncing them the same way all these years, be prepared to use the suffix ge- with circumspection or else get with it on correcting your pronunciation!
gaja = jolly, festive, high spirited, carefree.
Not to be confused with:
geja = homosexual, gay.*
Ili estas gegejoj. Ankaŭ ŝi estas geja.
= They are gays. She is also gay.
La gaja junulo plej amis junulinojn blondajn.
= The carefree youth loved young blondes best.
Ŝi vestis sin en gajaj koloroj.
= She dressed in cheerful colors.
Gaja gejo estis li.
= He was a carefree gay [person].
gajni = earn or win (money).
Most Esperantists use this verb to mean “earn.” Dictionaries tend to ignore that sense, even though it accounts for by far the most occurances of gajni in actual speech. A few speakers prefer to use lukri = “to earn,” thereby reserving gajni for the specific sense of winning money, especially in a lottery. The term perlabori was used in earlier Esperanto to mean “earn” but is now largely obsolete.
Li gajnis po 40.000 pesetojn semajne.
= He earned/won 40,000 pesetas each week.
Li lukris po 40.000 pesetojn semajne.
= He earned 40,000 pesetas each week.
Mi aĉetis loterian bileton kaj jes gajnis!
= I bought a lottery ticket and actually won!
gardi = to guard; keep.
Not to be confused with:
ŝirmi = shield, protect, guard.
protekti = protect, especially through one’s influence or authority.
Caution: Gardi has a much wider range of meaning than English “guard,” importantly including the idea of keeping. However, it means specifically keeping something without damaging it. There is no exact Esperanto equivalent of “keep” with the English implication of ownership. Other Esperanto words that overlap with “keep” include teni = hold, reteni = retain, and konservi = preserve.
Skatoleto en kiu oni tenas cigarojn estas cigarujo.z
= A box in which one keeps cigars is a cigarbox.
Li tenas hoteleton en Halifakso.
= He keeps a hotel in Halifax.
Gardu la tombon, por ke oni ne ŝtelu la kadavron kaj juvelojn!
= Guard the tomb so that no one will steal the body and jewels!
Ŝirmu la infanon kontraŭ la malvarma vento.
= Guard the child against the cold draft.
La rabokaptistoj tenadas ankoraŭ la aviadilon kaj pasaĝerojn.
= The hijackers are still holding the plane and passengers.
Vi rajtas gardi la libron; mi ne plu bezonas ĝin.
= You may keep the book; I don’t need it any more.
Bonvolu reteni la libron; mi jam finlegis ĝin.
= Please keep the book; I’ve finished reading it already.
Kiun reĝo protektas, tiun ministro elektas.z
= [Him] whom the king protects, the minister selects.
Estu mia genio protektanta kontraŭ tiu ĉi fremdulo.z
= Be my protecting genius against this stranger.
*-Benzene, or benzol, Esperanto benzeno, (or C6H6) is a clear, colorless, flammable liquid used to make DDT, detergents, insecticides, etc. Benzine, or ligroin, Esperanto ligroino, is a mixture of hydrocarbons, obtained by distillation and used as a solvent. Esperanto benzino is not benzine/ligroin, but rather gasoline, the common auto fuel.
gaso = gas (as against liquid).
benzino = gasoline (for automobiles).
ligroino = benzine.
benzeno* = benzene.
petrolo = petroleum.
gazo = gauze.
La mondo dependas de Arabio por petrolo.
= The world depends on Arabia for oil.
La kuracisto dependas de flegisto por gazo.
= The physician depends on nurse for gauze.
Lavu ĝin per benzeno.
= Wash it with benzene.
Aŭto kun benzino, kaj adiaŭ al edzino!
= A car well gassed and the wife is past.
gazetaro = “the press.” See ĵurnalo, medio.
gazeto = periodical, including magazines & newspapers. See ĵurnalo.
gazo = gauze. See gaso.
gazono = decorative lawn. See herbo.
geja = homosexual. See gaja.
gepatroj = parents. See parenco.
*-Many speakers, following the spelling, pause between the two Ts to emphasize the distinction from the word geto. Geto, however, does not exist! (Japanese wooden clogs, called geta in Japanese and English, are getaoj in Esperanto.) See> note at piĉo.
getto = ghetto.
This is usually written with a double T, although the pronunciation is not necessarily affected by this.* It means ghetto in the sense of “Jewish quarter.” American English now extends the word “ghetto” to refer to any sort of socially closed ethnic enclave. To speak of the “Black ghetto” in Los Angeles is not particularly metaphorical in English, but is more strongly so in Esperanto, where listeners might be led to believe that a negra getto was where Black Jews lived!
Not to be confused with:
kvartalo = a district of a city.
Zamenhof loĝis en la getto.
= Zamenhof lived in the ghetto.
Kiel li povis loĝi en lageto?
= How could he live in a lake?
Li parolis la jidan, la lingvon de tiu kvartalo.
= He spoke Yiddish, the language of that district.
Ĉu do la fiŝoj parolis la jidan?
= And so the fish spoke Yiddish then?
giĉeto = sales counter, sales window. See kontoro.
*-Since human institutions differ so much from one society to another, there is no easy way to define terms for them that can be used rigorously in all places. As generic terms, elementa lernejo = “elementary school” usually refers to the first six years or so of school; mezlernejo = “middle school” usually refers to junior high school and high school, roughly grades 7 to 12 (and hence largely overlaps with gimnazio and liceo), and alta lernejo, literally “high school” corresponds with our college (grades 13 and above), sometimes implying technical college rather than university. The word universitato = “university” is used roughly as in English in most countries. Students at a university are called studentoj. Those at a lower level are referred to as lernantoj = “learners, pupils.”
gimnazio = high school (especially in German-speaking countries).
Not to be confused with:
liceo = high school (especially in French-speaking countries).*
gimnastikejo = gymnasium.
sportejo = gymnasium, stadium.
Gimnazianoj plej rapide progresas en Esperanto.
= High school kids make fastest progress in Esperanto.
En gimnastikejo mi studis Esperanton, ĉar oni ĉiam sidigis min.
= I studied Esperanto in the gym because they always made me sit down.
La gimnastikejo estis lia dua hejmo.
= The gym was his second home.
glata = smooth. See plata.
graflando = territory ruled by a count, county. See kantono.
granda = large, big. See larĝa.
graso = oil, fat.
Hence: grasa = “containing a lot of fat or oil” (sometimes including fat people!).
Not to be confused with:
*-Fat people have conventionally been described by the word dika = “fat,” since saying they were grasaj could also mean they were greasy. Zamenhof sometimes used the word grasdika, which seems a bit much. Today the more polite (even conspicuously polite) terms korpulenta = “corpulent” and korpulentulo = “corpulent person” are considered preferable by some, but dika will probably remain the most common term.
dika = (1) thick; (2) stout, fat (of people or animals)*.
grejso = sandstone.
greso = grazing material, pasturage. Hence engresigi = “to put out to pasture.”
Skulptaĵo el grejso facile difektiĝas.
= A sandstone sculpture is easily damaged.
Li sendis la grasajn ŝafojn en la gresejon.
= He sent the fat sheep into the pasture.
Malmultaj dikiĝis per Esperantaj bankedoj.
= Few people have grown fat off of Esperanto banquets.
grejso = sandstone. See graso.
greko = a modern Greek.
Not to be confused with:
heleno = an ancient Greek.
La helenoj estis la prapatroj de la grekoj.
= The ancient Greeks were ancestors of the modern Greeks.
greso = grazing material, pasturage. See graso.
grilo = cricket. See lokusto.
grosieri = to sell wholesale. See debito.
groto = grotto. See kavo.
gruo = crane (both bird and machine). See krano.
guverni = be governess or tutor.
Not to be confused with:
estri = govern, direct, manage. (Hence: estraro = board of directors.)
direkti = govern, direct, manage.
regi = to govern, direct, manage, reign over; to understand (a subject); to speak (a language) well. (Hence: registaro = government.)
La guvernanto vipis la infanon.
= The tutor whipped the child.
La registaro malpermesis politikajn opiniojn en ret-sitejoj.
= The government forbade political opinions in web sites.
Li ja bone regis la landon.
= Indeed he ruled the land well.
Ŝi mirinde regas la araban.
= She has a marvelous command of Arabic.
Vi tre bone regas la tajan.
= You have a very good command of Thai.
Li sukcese regis nek la infanon nek sian koleron.
= He succeeded in controlling neither the child nor his anger.
Mi estas la klubestro kaj mi do estras ĝin!
= I am the president of the club and so I run it.
Pardonu, sinjoro! Nur estraranoj rajtas voĉdoni.
= Excuse me, sir! Only board members may vote.
gvardio = guard, as in “Swiss Guard” or “Red Guard”; a single guardsman is a gvardiano. Compare polico.


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A B C Ĉ D E F G Ĝ H Ĥ I J Ĵ K L M N O P R S Ŝ T U V Z
ĝentila = polite, genteel.
Not to be confused with:
milda = gentle, mild.
dolĉa = sweet, gentle; (of water) sweet, fresh, not salty.
Post la vespermanĝo, ŝia patro ĉiam fariĝis tre ĝentila.
= After supper, her father always became very gentle.
Li ĝentile sed severe kondamnis la pekinton al la morto.
= He politely but severly condemned the sinner to death.
En la montoj ili trovis lagon dolĉan.
= In the mountains they found a freshwater lake.
ĝis = until, till; by; as much as.
Li restos ĝis morgaŭ.
= He’ll stay till tomorrow.
Mi lamentos ĝis vi revenos.
= I’ll lament till you return.
Ĝi devos esti preta ĝis morgaŭ.= It will have to be ready by tomorrow.
Oni vendis ĝis mil biletojn.
= They sold as many as 1000 tickets.
Because ĝis can refer both to a point in time (by tomorrow) and to an extent of time (till tomorrow), some sentences are ambiguous:
Ŝi kantos ĝis la tagiĝo.
= She’ll sing by dawn. / She’ll sing until dawn.
Mi preparos la prelegon ĝis morgaŭ
= I’ll prepare the speech by/until tomorrow.
Ĝis is sometimes used to refer to space.
Ili flugis ĝis Tokio.
= They flew as far as Tokyo.
For some reason, one also finds frequent mistakes linked to the use of this word, even in books edited by reputable publishers:
La plimulto de la taskoj devas esti preta ĝis hieraŭ.
= The majority of the jobs must be ready by yesterday.
(should be past tense?)
[La] densarbara zono kontinuas ĝis la okuloj povis atingi…
= The zone of dense trees continues until the eye could see.
(should be ĝis tie kie = “as far as”?)
Ĝis mi vivos mi helpos al vi kaj via familio.
= I shall help you and your family until I live.
(should be dum = “while”?)
For the foreseeable future, be prepared for occasional guesswork.
Ĝis (la) revido = Goodbye.
This is sometimes shortened to ĝis la or simply ĝis. If the speakers will never meet again or are parting for a very long time, they may say adiaŭ instead. This produces the verb adiaŭi = “to take leave of.”
*-The basic form is the verb korekti = “to correct.” Accordingly the adjective korekta ought to mean “corrective,” as in la korektaj procezoj = “the procedures for making corrections.” Korekta more often turns up with the English sense of “correct,” however, and doesn’t seem to bother anybody.
ĝusta = correct.
Not to be confused with:
justa = fair, just.
precize = exactly, just.
korekta = relating to correction.*
tuj = immediately, just.
ĵus = a moment ago, just.
apenaŭ = barely, just.
nur = merely, just.
Ŝi estas la sola persono kiu ĝuste respondis.
= She is the only person who replied correctly.
Via kalkulo estas malĝusta—jen la eraro!
= Your calculation is incorrect—here’s the mistake!
Ĉu vi do postulas monon? Ĝuste.
= So are you then demanding money? Exactly.
La tribunalo estas ĉiam justa, ĉar ĝuste tiel la juristoj difinas justecon.
= The court is always just, since that is just how jurists define justice.
La sorĉisto ĵus envenis; venu tuj! = The sorcerer just arrived; come quick!
Li donis al mi trinkmonon de nur kvin enoj! = He gave me a tip of just five yen!
Ĝis is sometimes also used as a prefix:
Li estis ĝisosta esperantisto.
= He was an Esperantist down to his bones.


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A B C Ĉ D E F G Ĝ H Ĥ I J Ĵ K L M N O P R S Ŝ T U V Z
halo (1) = hall, large room.
Not to be confused with:
*-An aŭreolo radiates from the head of a sainted personage represented in art. A similar radiance from the body is a nimbo.
haloo = halo (in astronomy); a halo over a saint is an aŭreolo*
alo = the side or wing of something, including an airplane, a building, or even a nose!
alero = awning, eave, or other roof overhang.
salo = salt.
Dum la pluvo ŝi staris sub la alero.
= In the rain she stood under the awning.
La danca halo estas en la alia alo.
= The dance hall is in the other wing.
Ĉirkaŭ la luno ni vidis haloon.
= We saw a halo around the moon.
Li portis aŭreolon, do mi sciis, ke li estas sanktulo.
= He was wearing a halo, so I knew he was a saint.
*-It is interchangeable in this usage with vulgar, rhymed catcalls. Because these other catcalls are noun phrases, halo may be evolving into a Chinese slang noun, meaning roughly “grubby foreigner.” I have heard children say the Chinese equivalent of Jen revenas la halooj! = “Here come the hellos again!”
halo (2) = yoo-hoo; (by telephone) = hello?
Halo should be used sparingly. It is proper Esperanto only to answer the telephone. It is not used in ordinary conversation to mean “hello,” which is simply Saluton! The English word “hello,” from which halo is derived, has penetrated various other languages with a variety of meanings and connotations. In France allô is used to answer telephones and to precede announcements on public address systems. In Palestine halo is shouted urgently by cart-pullers at people they are about to run down. In India “hello” is used by street vendors to attract the attention of obviously foreign tourists to whatever they are selling. In Taiwan halo is shouted at tourists by small children to see if they will react (like tapping the glass on the snake cage in the zoo).* In short, outside the English-speaking world, halo is rarely very polite, and Esperantists from some countries may not take well to being hailed with a hearty halo. Others may try to hail you that way without thinking it particularly insulting. Give them the benefit of the doubt (or a piece of your mind if you must), but avoid this word yourself except for telephones.
haloo = halo (in astronomy). See also halo.
halti = come to a halt.
Not to be confused with:
ĉesi = to cease (doing something).
ĉesigi = to discontinue (something).
fini = to finish (something, doing something).
Haltu, ŝtelisto!
= Stop, thief!
Haltis nekonata sorĉisto ĉe la palaca pordego.
= There stopped an unknown sorcerer at the great gate of the palace.
Ĉesu kanti, mi petegas!
= Stop singing, I beg of you!
Ĉu li neniam finos prelegi?
= Will he never stop talking?
Ili decidis ĉesigi sian laboron por Volapuko.
= They decided to stop their work for Volapük .
Ili ĉesis labori por Volapuko.
= They stopped working for Volapük .
hano = an ethnic Chinese.
Not to be confused with:
ĥano = a khan (leader of Turkish, Tartar, or Mongol tribe).
kano = cane, as in sugar cane.
Ĉinio = China.
China has, like most nations, a number of ethnic groups living in it, of which by far the most numerous are the hanoj = Han, or “ethnic Chinese.” In principle a ĉino is a citizen of China and a hano is a member of the Han ethnic group anywhere in the world. In practice, the term Ĉino predominates in both senses when the distinction is not the focus of discussion.
La ĥano batigis la hanon per kano.
= The khan had the Chinese caned.
En Vankuvero loĝas multaj ĉinoj.
= Many Chinese live in Vancouver.
En Vankuvero loĝas multaj hanoj.
= Many Chinese live in Vancouver.
haro = a hair.
To speak of a group of hairs (the hair on one’s head, the fur on an animal, etc.) one must use the plural haroj = “fur, hair” or the collective hararo = “fur, hair.” See also pelto.
Kombu viajn harojn; vi timigus furion!
= Comb your hair; you’d frighten a fury!
Mia frato Esav estas ja homo harkovrita, kaj mi estas homo glata.z
= Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man.
heleno = an ancient Greek. See greko.
helpi = to help.
In Esperanto you can help someone (or something) or you can help to someone (or something). However, it is most usual to help to someone. The following examples are all from Zamenhof.
Helpu al la sinjoro porti lian keston.z
= Help the gentleman carry his chest.
Li tre multe helpis al la vastiĝo de tiu lingvo.z
= He greatly helped the spread of that language.
Min helpu forigi la erarojn.z
= Help me get the errors out.
Pli helpas guto da feliĉo ol barelo da saĝo.z
= A drop of happiness helps more than a barrel of wisdom.
Kion helpas al mi la beleco?z
= What good does beauty do me?
Kontraŭ doloro helpas bona humoro.z
= Good spirits help against grief.
Ĉiuj esperantistoj volonte helpados la organizantan komitaton per siaj konsiloj.z
= All Esperantists will willingly help the organizing committee with their advice.
herbo = grass (one plant or blade of grass).
A field or lawn of grass is herbaro.
Not to be confused with:
drogherbo = medicinal herb.
aromherbo = seasoning herb.
gazono ~ razeno = decorative lawn.
horizontala = horizontal. See plata.
humoro = humor (emotional state, body fluid). See humuro.
humuro = humor (wit).
Not to be confused with:
humoro = humor (emotional state, mood; body fluid).
Post la bankedo okazis distra programo ege humura.
= After the banquet came a hugely humorous variety show.
Al miaj recenzistoj ĉiam mankas senso de humuro.
= My reviewers never have a sense of humor.
Li estas persono de melankolia humoro.
= He is a person of melancholy moods.
Mia avino ankoraŭ kredas je medicino de la kvar humoroj.
= My grandmother still believes in medicine based on the four humors.
Troviĝas du ridetoj en la vort’ “humuro’; sed en “humor’” nur unu, kaj apude moro.
= Two smiles (the letter U) are in the word “humuro,” though in “humoro” only one plus one exotic custom (moro).


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A B C Ĉ D E F G Ĝ H Ĥ I J Ĵ K L M N O P R S Ŝ T U V Z
ĥano = a khan (leader of Turkish, Tartar, or Mongol tribe). See hano.


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A B C Ĉ D E F G Ĝ H Ĥ I J Ĵ K L M N O P R S Ŝ T U V Z
implici = imply.
Not to be confused with:
impliki = implicate, entangle.
Tiu argumento implicas la neekziston de Dio.
= That argument implies the non-existence of God.
La drako sin implikis en la reto.
= The dragon entangled itself in the net.
Ne impliku min en via krimo!
= Don’t implicate me in your crime!
impliki = implicate, entangle. See implici.
imposti = to tax. See taksi.
inciti = to incite, stir up, agitate. See inici.
influi = to affect, influence. See afekti.
inici = to initiate, indoctrinate (into a society).
Not to be confused with:
inciti = to incite, stir up, agitate.
iniciati = to initiate, be the first to do.
Li ankoraŭ ne estas inicito. Ne parolu antaŭ li!
= He is not an initiate yet. Don’t talk in front of him!
Kiu iniciatis la uzon de la esprimo “krokodili”?
= Who initiated the use of the expression “to crocodile”?
… por mi estis ĝojo inciti la humdon
= … for me it was fun to rile up the dog.
Li incitis grandan popolamason, kiu bruligis ŝian palacon.
= He stirred up a great crowd, which fire to her palace.
instanco = authority, the authorities (normally used in the plural).
Not to be confused with:
ekzemplo = example, instance.
okazo = occasion, opportunity, instance.
La instancoj faras nur malrapide decidojn.
= The authorities make decisions only slowly.
Vi devas montri vian pasporton al ses instancojn ĉi tie.
= You have to show your passport to six authorities here.
Tio, ke li bruligas eĉ akvon estas ekzemplo de lia kuira malkapablo.
= That he burns even water is an example of his culinary incompetence.
Ŝi neniam havis okazon lerni la sanskritan.
= She never had the chance to study Sanskrit.
Mi kaptis la okazon kaj ŝtelis la du anasojn.
= I took advantage of the opportunity and stole the two ducks.
insulti = yell at, abuse, revile.
Not to be confused with:
ofendi = insult, offend.
(The medical technical term “insult” is vundi in Esperanto.)
Ŝia silento ofendis min.
= Her silence insulted me.
Li laŭte insultis la hundidon kiam ĝi urinis sur lian ŝuon.
= He yelled loudly at the puppy when it wet on his shoe.
interesi = to interest.
The noun intereso is also used for a financial interest, conflicts of interest, etc.
Not to be confused with:
interezo = interest rate.
Tio interesis ŝin.
= That interested her.
Tio interesis al ŝi.
= That interested her.
Antaŭ ol subskribi, nepre enketu pri la interezo.
= Before signing, be sure to ask about the interest rate.
Lin interesas la lingvoj.
= He’s interested in languages.
Min interesegas amori.
= Making love fascinates me.
Mi interesiĝas pri hundoj.
= I’m getting interested in dogs.
Mi havas financan intereson en ŝia kantado, kara, sed ŝi mem ne interesas min,
= kredu min.
= I have a financial interest in her singing, my dear, but she herself does not
= interest me, believe me.
Caution: Some English speakers try to build a calque on “I am interested in…” by saying Mi estas interesata pri…. That is not wrong, but it makes unnecessarily awkward Esperanto:
Clumsy: Mi estas interesata pri fikologio.
Better: Min interesas fikologio.
= I am interested in phycology (the study of algae).
interezo = interest rate. See rento.
iri = go. See veni.


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A B C Ĉ D E F G Ĝ H Ĥ I J Ĵ K L M N O P R S Ŝ T U V Z
jaketo = (1) book jacket, (2) baby’s jacket. See jako.
jako = jacket (as in bed jacket, ski jacket, smoking jacket, etc., usually for a man).
Not to be confused with:
jaketo = (1) book jacket; (2) baby’s jacket; (3) little jako.
ĵako = electrical or telephone jack.
ĵaketo = (1) morning coat; (2) a woman’s suit jacket.; (3) little ĵako.
smokingo = smoking jacket.
La libro pri ĵakoj havas belan jaketon.
= The book on jacks has a nice jacket.
Li portis plumpan smokingon.
= He was wearing an inelegant smoking jacket.
Ĉu mi lasis jakon ĉe vi? = Did I leave a jacket at your place?
jam = already. See ankoraŭ, ekde.
je = at.
The preposition je can often be translated “at,” but really has no stable English equivalent. It is defined as the preposition to use when you need a preposition and none of the other ones is suitable. Since Esperanto prepositions have fairly closely defined meanings, an all-purpose, “meaningless” preposition like je is arguably a necessary fudge factor. On the other hand, its very flexibility makes overuse of je stylistically painful. In its article on je, the Plena Ilustrita Vortaro quotes Zamenhof’s 1894 recommendation against excessive use of je. Modern usage is quite sparing of this preposition, perhaps even excessively so.
An important use of je is in mentioning time:
Je kioma horo vi revenos?
= What time will you return?
Mi revenos je la 6a.
= I’ll be back at 6.
Je la fino de la tago
= At the end of the day
A handful of other usages are also conventionalized:
Mi ne kredas je Dio.
= I don’t believe in God.
Ŝi malsanas je la okuloj.
= She has something the matter with her eyes.
Ties karnon mi disŝiros je pecetoj.
= I shall rip his flesh to bits.
Ŝi prenos lin je la mano.
= She will take him by the hand.
Ŝi estis graveda je filo.
= She was pregnant with a son.
Mi estas riĉa je pensoj, ne je mono.
= I am rich in thoughts, not money.
*-If we used de after mokado it would seem as though the previous generations had been doing the mocking.
Finally, je sometimes helps in resolving a cluster of de’s — see fare de:
Ĉion ĉi elpensis la historio-skribantoj pro mokado je* la foririntaj generacioj.
= All this the writers of history thought out because of their mocking of previous generations.
jen = “here is,” “behold.” The word jen, followed by a noun or pronoun, constitutes a complete sentence:
Jen patro, tiu nedorminto.
= There’s a father, the one who hasn’t slept.
Jen tiu damninda koko! = There’s that damned rooster!
The verb estas can follow it optionally with no change in meaning:
Jen estas patro.
= There’s a father.
Jen estas tiu damninda koko! = There’s that damned rooster!
Jen is also what you say when you hand somebody something, comparable to English “here”:
Ĉu vi dezirus kafon? Jen! = Would you like coffee? Here!
Vi deziras mian monon? Jen do! = You want my money? Here it is then!
Jen can also be followed by a complete sentence:
Jen la nova patro ŝanĝas la fetoran vindotukon!
= Ah, behold the new father changing the stinking diaper!
Of course if you are actually someone who goes around saying “behold,” jen is the word to use:
Mi ekrigardis lian ĉambron kaj jen la Ĥaoso de ĉiaj Ĥaosoj!
= I looked into his room, and behold! The Chaos of all Chaos!
jes = yes. Even as ne can be placed before a verb to negate it, so jes is occasionally placed before a verb to stress it (just as in Spanish). The closest English equivalent to this usage may be “do too”:
Mi jes ŝatas manĝi kukon! = I do too like eating cake!
This usage is quite rare in Esperanto, however. When one wants to stress the verb it is much commoner to use ja, corresponding roughly to English “indeed”:
Mi ja ŝatas manĝi kukon.
= I do indeed like eating cake.
ju pli … des pli… = the more … the more….
Ju pli ŝi manĝas, des pli ŝi amas manĝi.
= The more she eats, the more she likes eating.
Ju pli mi legas, des pli interesa fariĝas la libro.
= The more I read, the more interesting the book becomes.
Ju pli multe da mono havas vi, des pli malŝparema vi estas.
= The more money you have, the more spendthrift you are.
Ju malpli dika estas fraŭlino, des pli ŝin ŝatas fraŭloj. Krom Alberto.
= The thinner a girl is, the more the fellas like her. Except Albert.
Des pli is occasionally used alone:
Kiam vi estas kolera mi amas vin des pli.
= When you are angry, I love you all the more.
Gravas des pli, ke vi ne forgesu.
= It’s all the more important that you not forget.
juro = jurisprudence, the science of law.
Not to be confused with:
*-But to swear as in “cuss and swear” is blasfemi or sakri.
ĵuro = an oath. Hence: ĵuri = to swear (an oath).*
ĵurio = a jury.
Laŭ nia juro oni ĵuras antaŭ la ĵurio.
= In our law one swears before the jury.
justa = fair, just. See ĝusta.
justeco = justice, just-ness. See justico.
justico = justice, the administration of law, the judicial system.
Not to be confused with:
justeco = justice, just-ness (from justa = fair).
La justico tie estas maljusta.
= The judicial system there is unfair.
See also ĝusta.


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A B C Ĉ D E F G Ĝ H Ĥ I J Ĵ K L M N O P R S Ŝ T U V Z
ĵaketo = (1) morning coat, (2) a woman’s suit jacket. See jako.
ĵako = electrical or telephone jack. See jako.
ĵaluza = possessive, jealous.
Not to be confused with:
envii = to envy.
Note that Esperanto routinely observes a distinction between ĵaluza = “afraid of losing someone or something or unwilling to share,” and envia = “wishing to have what belongs to someone else.” (In colloquial English, “jealous” tends to get used in both senses, although purists do sometimes insist on the same distinction that Esperanto makes.) In addition, in Esperanto, ĵaluz- is normally an adjective root, while envi- is usually a verb, and one may envii a person or thing:
Nia Dio estas ĵaluza Dio.
= Our God is a jealous God.
Mi ĵaluzas mian hundon.
= I am possessive about my dog.
Li estas ĵaluza pri siaj libroj.
= He is possessive about his books.
Kial vi estas tiel ĵaluza pri via edzo?
= Why are you so possessive/jealous of your husband?
One can envy someone “for” (pro or pri) something or you can envy something “to” (al) somebody:
Mi envias ŝin pro ŝia voĉo.
= I envy her for her voice.
Mi envias ŝian voĉon al ŝi.
= I envy her her voice.
Mi envias mian patron pri la fotoalbumo.= I envy my father his photo album.
Mi envias la fotoalbumon al mia patro.
= I am envious of my father’s photo album.
ĵeti = to throw. See disponi.
ĵeto = a pitch, toss, throw. See piĉo.
ĵuri = to swear (an oath). See juro.
ĵurio = a jury. See juro.
ĵurnalo = newspaper.
(As a mnemonic, think of French jour = “day,” as in “daily newspaper.”)
Some speakers prefer the expression tagĵurnalo = “daily newspaper.”
Not to be confused with:
revuo = magazine, journal, technical journal.
gazeto = periodical, including magazines and newspapers.
Hence: gazetaro = “the press.” (In practice gazet- is used almost exclusively in this expression.)
magazino = popular magazine (for amusement).
magazeno = (1) powder magazine (for explosives); (2) warehouse; (3) department store, supermarket.
Ĉiun matenon la ĵurnalo enhavas la saman novaĵon.
= Each morning the newspaper has the same news in it.
La ĵurnalo kunportas magazinon ĉiun dimanĉon.
= The newspaper has a magazine with it each Sunday.
Ni kalkulis, ke ni abonas preskaŭ kvindek revuojn!
= We figured out that we subscribe to almost 50 magazines!
Eĉ en la plej grandaj magazenoj oni ne trovos librojn volapukajn.
= Even in the largest department stores you won’t find Volapük books.
ĵuro = an oath. See juro.
ĵus = a moment ago, just. See ĝusta.


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A B C Ĉ D E F G Ĝ H Ĥ I J Ĵ K L M N O P R S Ŝ T U V Z
k = common abbreviation for kaj = and.
kabei = to give up Esperanto or the Esperanto movement.
The term derives from the name of Kazimierz Bein, pen-named Kabe, who contributed importantly to Esperanto in the early years of its existence but eventually abandoned the movement.
Dum tridek jaroj ŝi penis instrui Esperanton al sia edzo, sed fine kabeis.
= For thirty years she tried to teach her husband Esperanto, but finally quit the movement.
kabineto = office, study. See ŝranko.
kaj…kaj… = both…and…
Kaj li kaj ŝi estas esperantistoj.
= Both he and she are Esperantists.
Mi kaj amas kaj malamas lin.
= I both love and hate him.
Li estas kaj forta kaj bela.
= He is both strong and handsome.
kalkuli = to calculate, to count up, to count on, to depend on (= je) (someone).
kalumnio = libel, slander. See libelo.
kamero = closet; chamber in a machine (as “combustion chamber”). See ŝranko.
Not to be confused with:
fotilo = camera, especially a still camera.
kamerao = movie camera; videocam.
kano = cane, as in sugar cane. See hano.
*-When the word “county” refers to the territory governed by a count (grafo), it is a graflando. Lacking grafoj, the counties Americans live in are best called kantonoj.
kantono = Swiss canton; American county.*
kaprico = caprice, change of will.
Not to be confused with:
kapriĉo = caprice (in music).
Ŝi ludis la kapriĉojn de Paganini.
= She played Paganini’s caprices.
Ŝi lin vizitis laŭ kaprico.
= She visited him on a whim.
kapriĉo = caprice (in music). See kaprico.
kara = expensive; dear, precious.
Not to be confused with:
kompato = sympathy; compassion, forgiveness.
simpatia = agreeable, compatible (of people).
En Svisio ĉio estas tre kara.
= In Switzerland everything is very expensive.
Al mi tre kara estas la hundo.
= The dog is very precious to me.
Kara estas dono en minuto de bezono.z
= A gift is dear indeed given in time of need.
Ŝia edzo estas tre kara.
= Her husband is very dear.
Tiu ĉi lando havas la simpation de la mondo.
= This country has the world’s affection.
Ŝi vidis … eksterordinare simpatian viron.z
= She saw an extraordinarily pleasant man.
Ili vivis en mirinda simpatio.z
= They lived in wonderful harmony with each other.
Mi tute ne kompatas krimulojn.
= I have no sympathy for criminals.
Dio kompatu nin, pekulojn.z
= God forgive us sinners.
Ĉu mi kompatu eĉ krokodilojn? = Should I have compassion even for crocodiles?
In some contexts, especially direct address, kara loses much of its force and becomes merely polite, informal, or slightly ironic (partly depending upon the personality and language background of the speaker):
Karaj gesamideanoj
= Ladies & Gentlemen
Kara s-ino Zhang!
= Dear Ms. Zhang,
Ne forgesu, kara, ke vi ŝuldas monon al mi.
= Don’t forget, sweetheart, that you owe me money.
Kisu min, kara; milfoje kisu min.
= Kiss me, darling; kiss me a thousand times.
katuno = cotton (cloth). See kotono.
kavao = kava. See kavo.
kavo = hole, cavity, sunken spot, eye-socket, dimple. Hence: kava = “hollow” or “sunken.”
Not to be confused with:
kavao = kava (both the plant and the drink made from its root).
poro = tiny hole, pore. Hence: pora = “ porous.”
truo = hole.
(A hole through something is a truo. A cavity on the surface of something is a truo or kavo. A cavity within something is generically a kavo.)
kaverno = cave, especially a natural cave.
groto = small cave, especially a decorated or artificial cave.
strigo en kavo de arboz
= an owl in a hole in a tree
Liaj okuloj preskaŭ elŝoviĝis el siaj kavoj.z
= His eyes nearly popped out of their sockets.
la ĉarmaj kavetoj de fraŭlinaj vangojz
= the charming dimples of girlish cheeks
Lia tombo estos simpla kavo en la tero.
= His tomb will be a simple hole in the earth.
Kaverno estas subtera kavo.
= A cave is an underground cavity.
La serpento reiris en sian truon.
= The snake went back into its hole.
En mia monujo estas granda truo kiu nomiĝas imposto.
= In my pocket there is a large hole named taxes.
En okcidenta Ĉinio ni vizitis groton plenan de antikvaj pentraĵoj.
= In western China we visited a cave full of ancient paintings.
En Francio ni vidis groton kie aperis la Virgulino.
= In France we saw a cave where the Virgin had appeared.
Kiel infano en Tongo li trinkis kavaon.
= As a kid in Tonga he drank kava.
kep = See kiel eble plej.
kiel eble plej = as … as possible.
In writing, the abbreviation k.e.p. is not unusual. In extremely slangy Esperanto, the abbreviation is occasionally spoken as an acronym, kep:
Kuru kiel eble plej rapide.
= Run as fast as possible.
Bonvolu faksi ĝin al ni k.e.p. baldaŭ.
= Please fax it to us as soon as possible.
Kuru kep rapide.
= Run as fast as possible.
Ni iru kep baldaŭ = Let’s go as soon as possible.
klaso = sort, species, class; class in school. See speco.
klera = wise, well informed, cultivated, educated. See eduki.
klopodi = to make efforts, set about, endeavor to, take steps to. Klopodi usually implies a degree of concern or anxiety, and can even extend to the idea of “fussing over” something.
Not to be confused with:
peni = to try, strive, make an effort.
strebi = to strive.
provi = to try, test.
entrepreni = to undertake.
Li klopodis pri sia familio.
= He worked for [the good of] his family.
Ŝi klopodis por fondi Esperanto-klubon.
= She worked to found an Esperanto club.
Ŝi penis fondi Esperanto-klubon, sed nur ĝenis la aliajn papagojn.
= She tried to found an Esperanto club, but only annoyed the other parrots.
Ŝi provis fondi Esperanto-klubon kaj konstatis, ke ĉiu havas intereson.
= She tried founding an Esperanto club and found that everybody was interested.
Ne necesas klopodi pri mi.
= There’s no need to worry about me.
Klopodi pri ĉies favoro estas plej malsaĝa laboro.z
= To work for everyone’s favor is a foolish labor.
Compare zorgi, celo.
kolero = anger. See angoro.
komandi = control, command. See kontroli.
kombi = to comb (through something, especially hair).
Not to be confused with:
rasti = to rake up, comb up.
balai = to sweep, mop.
ŝvabri = to wetmop.
Each of these terms except ŝvabri is of far more general application in Esperanto than the English translation would suggest. Kombi means somethng like “to run a forked object through a field of stringy stuff,” so the same verb is potentially used for brushing, raking, or any similar operation. The emphasis is on the stringy stuff. In contrast, rasti tends to place the emphasis on what it is that the rake pulls up. One rakes the leaves. (In actual usage, one can also rasti the lawn, however, so the distinction is not always closely observed.)

One naturally combs with a kombilo and rakes with a rastilo. Kombo (or kombado) is the action of combing; rasto (or rastado) is the action of raking. To push something around with a long-handled, fuzzy-ended instrument is balai, which can mean either to sweep or to mop. One naturally does this with a balailo. Although one can balai wet or dry material, the rather rare verb ŝvabri is specific to wet material.

There are some more specific names for particular kinds of tools. Most important among them perhaps is broso = “brush.” Since broso is already a noun, there is no need to call it a “brosilo” to make it an instrument. (Naturally one can convert it to a verb, brosi. The act of brushing must be brosado. It is more Esperanto however to say that one kombas per broso.)
Li kombis la harojn.
= He combed his hair.
Li kombis al si la harojn per broso.
= He brushed his hair.
Ŝi kardis kaj poste kombis la lanon.
= She carded and then combed the wool.
Ili rastis la foliojn.
= They raked up the leaves.
Ŝi rastis zorge la laŭsoj el la hararo de la infano.
= Carefully she combed the lice from the child’s hair.
Li rastis fojnon per forkego.
= He gathered the hay with a pitchfork.
Li balais la straton antaŭ sia butiko.
= He swept the street before his shop.
Li balais la sablon desur la breto.
= He swept the sand off of the shelf.
Li balais la plankon per franĝbalailo.
= He mopped the floor.
Ŝvebrante la plankon, li glitis kaj falis.
= He slipped and fell mopping the floor.
komisiito = chair of a committee, special delegate in charge of something, etc.
(From komisii = “to commission, charge with responsibility.”)
komodo = chest of drawers.
Not to be confused with:
truseĝo = toilet seat, commode (literally: hole-seat).
Li gardas la vestaĵojn en la komodo.
= He keeps his clothes in a dresser.
La infano ĉiam timis tion, ke li eventuale falos en la truseĝon.
= The kid was always afraid that he might fall into the commode.
kompato = sympathy; compassion, forgiveness. See kara.
kompensi = make up for (something), offset, compensate for. (One kompensas something, not someone.)
Not to be confused with:
rekompenci = repay (a kindness or service). (One may rekompenci something or someone.)
La asekura kompanio kompensos la perdon.
= The insurance company will compensate the loss.
La interesa enhavo kompensas la plumpan stilon.
= The interesting content offsets the gauche style.
Vi devos pagi kompenson de 3,000 eŭroj!
= You’ll have to pay compensation of 3,000 euros.
Li pagis monon kiel kompenson pro la difektita telefono.
= He paid money in compensation for the broken telephone.
Oni detruis la domon por nova ŝosejo kaj kompensetis ĝin al ni.
= They destroyed the house for a new highway and compensated us a bit for it.
Kiel mi povos rekompenci tiun helpeman knabon?= How can I repay that helpful boy?
Dio rekompencos vin per la feliĉo de tiuj, kiujn vi amas.z
= God will repay you with the happiness of those you love.
komplezo = favor, kindness. Hence: komplezi = to be good enough to, to oblige.
Mi komplezos al vi ankaŭ en ĉi tiu afero.z
= I’ll do this for you too.
Dankon pro via afabla komplezo.
= Thanks for your kindness.
Ŝi estra tre kompleza persono.
= She is a very obliging person.
komuniki = to communicate, report.
In Esperanto you always communicate something, usually to somebody.
Ŝi ne komunikis vian mesaĝon al mi.
= She didn’t pass on your message to me.
koncerni = to concern, relate to, affect.
Ŝiaj aferoj tute ne koncernas vin!
= Her affairs don’t concern you at all!
La romano koncernas tri fratojn.
= The book is about three brothers.
kondamno = a verdict and/or sentence (in court).
“Verdict” is also expressed as juĝaĵo. See also sentenco.
kondiĉo = condition (of a contract).
(In recent years, this has been sliding towards the additional mean of “situation,” or “state of things.”)
Not to be confused with:
stato = condition, situation, state (of being).
ŝtato = nation, state (including states of the USA).
Je 93 jaroj, mia avino estas en bona sanstato sed babilaĉas senĉese.
= At 93, my grandmother is healthy but natters incessantly.
La ŝtatestro prelegos pri la ŝtatostato.
= The governor will speak on the state of the state.
Mi kisos vin kondiĉe, ke vi antaŭe nek fumos nek manĝos ajlon.
= I’ll kiss you on condition that you don’t smoke or eat garlic beforehand.
konduki = conduct (an orchestra).
Not to be confused with:
kondukti = conduct (an electrical current).
konduktoro = conductor (on a train or bus).
konduti = conduct (oneself well or badly - intransitive verb!).
La birdo malbone kondutis malpurigante la kapon de la prezidento.
= The bird behaved badly, dirtying the head of the president.
La infanoj bone kondutis dum la meso.
= The children behaved well during mass.
Lia onklino estas kondukisto de granda orkestro, sed Daĉjeto deziras fariĝi konduktoro en bruega metroo.
= His aunt is the conductor of a large orchestra, but Little Davey wants to become the conductor of a noisy subway.
kondukti = conduct (an electrical current). See konduki.
konduktoro = conductor (on a train or bus). See konduki.
konduti = conduct (oneself well or badly - intransitive verb!).See konduki.
koneksa = logically related.
Not to be confused with:
konekti = connect (e.g., an electrical circuit)
Li konektis la draton al la ŝaltilo.
= He connected the wire to the switch.
Historio kaj arĥeologio estas koneksaj studoj.
= History and archaeology are related studies.
La unua fakto koneksas al la dua.
= The first fact connects with the second.
konekti = connect. See koneksa.
*-As far as I can establish, this obsolescent word was slightly derogatory in days when “ordinary” clothing was made to measure.
konfekcio =mass production of ready-made clothing; a ready-made garment.*
Not to be confused with:
sukeraĵo = confection, candy.
Ideala onklo ĉiam portas en la poŝo sukeraĵojn por la genevoj.
= In his pocket an ideal uncle always carries candies for nephews and neices.
Mia onklo portis konfekciojn ĉiam de malĝusta grandeco.
= My uncle always wore discount house clothes of the wrong size.
Mia onklo konfekcias vestojn.
= My uncle mass-produces clothing.
kongreso = convention; congress.
Mi ĉeestos kongreson de malfamaj verkistoj.
= I’ll attend a convention of unkown writers.
Mia edzino estas kongresano.
= My wife is a conventioneer.
Mia edzino estis kongresano.
= My wife is a member of Congress.
koni = to know, be acquainted with.
Not to be confused with:
scii = to know, be aware of (a fact)
povi = to know how to, to be able to (do something).
scipovi = know how to (more specific form of povi). See also studi, rekoni, renkonti.
Koni min estas ami min!
= To know me is to love me.
Feliĉe venas la aŭtobuso; mankas tempo por ekkono.
= Fortunately the bus is coming; there is no time to meet you.
Mi konas la nomon, sed ne la homon.
= I know the name, but not the person.
Neniu scias ĉion.z
= No one knows everything.
Mi scias lokon kie oni vendas maldecajn varojn.
= I know of a place where they sell indecent stuff.
Mi ne diris, ke mi konas la lokon, nur ke mi scias ĝin.
= I didn’t say I knew it well, only that I knew of it.
Ĉu vi konas lian patrinon?
= Do you know his mother?
Mi scias, ke ŝi estas tre maljuna.
= I know that she is very elderly.
With languages both koni and scii (and scipovi) are used, more or less interchangeably, with Zamenhofan precedents for both koni and scii. Current taste seems to favor koni for languages.
Mi ne scias la hispanan.z
= I don’t know Spanish.
… koni la lingvon rusan.z
= to know the Russian language
Ĉu vi scipovas la turkan?
= Can you speak Turkish?
Ŝi estas la lasta kiu konas la familian lingvon.
= She is the last one who knows the family language.
konkurenco = competition. See also konkuri.
konkuri = to compete.
Rajtas konkuri nur membroj de la klubo
= Only members of the club may compete.
Li havas konkurantajn interesojn.
= He has competing interests.
Mi ne deziras konkuri kontraŭ/kun vi.
= I don’t want to compete with you.
Konkuri is a term of very broad application. Specialized kinds of konkuro are:
ludo = game.
konkurso = contest (with judges and rules).
konkurenco = competition (especially commercial or political)
loterio = drawing.
Gajnis Argentino en la olimpika konkursaro.
= Argentina won in the Olympic games.
Malplaĉas al mi la konstanta konkurenco de kapitalismo.
= I don’t like the constant competition of capitalism.
Ŝi gajnis flugbileton en loterio.
= She won a plane ticket in a drawing.
Ŝi gajnis stipendion en konkurso de violono.
= She won a scholarship in a violin contest.
*-Drawings are distinguished from lotteries in American law, with implications for tax exempt organizations, but the distinction is not made in Esperanto. Indeed, most Americans are probably hard pressed to tell the difference even in English.
In my dialect of English, a drawing is a kind of contest.* Not so for most Esperantists, who distinguish carefully between a loterio where you win by chance and a konkurso where you have to be good at something.
konkurso = contest. See also konkuri.
konsekvenco = logical result. Hence: konsekvenca = logical, consistent; orthodox.
Not to be confused with:
rezulto = effect, result.
sekvo = fall-out, subsequent event, consequence.
In general, konsekvenco refers to what follows logically; rezulto refers to what is caused; and sekvo refers to what follows in time.
Frenezulo parolas nekonsekvence.
= A madman speaks nonsensically.
Per siaj senkonsekvencoj refutiĝas la doktrino.
= The doctrine is refuted by its own inconsistencies.
Tie ĉi la lingvo germana ĉesas esti konsekvenca.z
= At this point the German language ceases to be logical.
La rezulto de ŝia konduto estis enkarcerigo.
= The consequence of her behavior was incarceration.
Post diplomiĝo pri la medicino li senkonsekvence studis la juron.
= After graduation in medicine, he, oddly, studied law.
Katastrofoj venis sinsekve.
= Catastrophes came one after another.
konstanta = permanent, regular.
Post la disfalo de la laktodentoj, kreskas la konstantaj dentoj.
= After the baby teeth fall out, the permanent teeth grow in.
Li ludas konstante la saman muzikon.
= He constantly plays the same music.
Ŝi estas tre konstanta amikino.
= She is a very faithful friend.
Ŝi estas konstanta kliento en la biblioteko.
= She is a regular patron of the library.
Nia klubo havas konstantan oficon de instruisto.
= Our club has a permanent office of teacher.
Ni havas konstantan rendevuon je la 5a en la trinkejo.
= We have a standing engagement at five in the bar.
konstati = to prove, discover, find out, scientifically demonstrate.
This useful word is much more frequent in Esperanto than its translations in English are:
Ni konstatis, ke Esperanto facilas.
= We discovered Esperanto was easy.
Mi konstatos, ĉu ŝi mensogis.
= I’ll find out whether she was lying.
Mi telefonis kaj konstatis ke la flugo okazos je la 7-a atm.
= I telephoned and learned that the flight will leave at 7 am.
Li konstatis, ke la bronzoj venis de la dinastio Zhou.
= He showed that the bronzes came from the Zhou dynasty.
kontoro = office (clerical workplace).
Although the distinction between kontoro and oficejo seems potentially useful, modern Esperanto tends to make almost exclusive use of oficejo to designate a place where office work is done.
Not to be confused with:
ofico = office (a profession or position).
Hence: oficejo = a professional office (place)
giĉeto = sales counter, sales window.
vendotablo = sales table, sales counter.
nombrilo = counter, numbering device.
Li havas komfortan seĝon en la kontoro.
= He has a comfortable chair in the office.
Inter la kuirejo kaj la manĝejo troviĝis giĉeto, kiel en banko.
= Between the kitchen and the dining room was a counter, as in a bank.
Ŝi staris ĉe la pordo kun nombrilo por scii kiom venos da gastoj.
= She stood at the door with a counter to know how many guests would come.
Sur la vendotablo kuŝis porkaĵo, ŝafaĵo, kaj hundaĵo.
= On the counter lay pork, mutton, and dog meat. See also ŝranko.
kontroli = to inspect, check, supervise.
Not to be confused with:
komandi = control, command.
direkti = guide, direct (as questions, one’s feet, a hose, or a tourist).
Oni prezentas la pasporton por kontrolo ĉi tie.
= You present your passport for inspection here.
Ho! Kontrolu la naĝkostumon! = Wow! Check out the bathing suit!
Li komandos tutan taĉmenton.
= He will command a whole detachment.
Ŝi komandis al li surgenuiĝi.
= She commanded him to kneel.
Li direktis siajn okulojn ĉiam al ŝi.
= He always directed his eyes to her.
Oni direktis la pafon al lia koro.
= The shot was directed at his heart.
Li direktis la turistojn tuj al la butiko, forgesinte la muzeon.
= He directed the tourists immediately to the shop, having forgotten the museum.
See also guverni.
konvena = fitting, wellsuited, appropriate; seemly.
Not to be confused with:
oportuna = convenient, handy.
kunveno = meeting (literally kun-veno = “together-coming”).
renkonti = to meet, run into (someone).
taŭga = suitable, valuable (for something).
See also taŭgi.
Nur la kulero estas konvena por la supo, Daĉjeto, ne la forko.
= Only the spoon is suitable for soup, Davey, not the fork.
Renkontiĝo kun vi hodiaŭ estas ja tre oportuna, aĉa ŝuldulo!
= A meeting with you today is indeed quite convenient, wretched debtor!
Nur lundo oportunas por la kunveno de la birdrigarda klubo.
= Only Monday is convenient for the birdwatching club meeting.
Konvene ni kunvenos dum via vizito.
= As it happens, we’ll be meeting during your visit
Mi aĉetis la skribmaŝinon kiel oportunon por li.
= I bought the typewriter as a convenience for him.
Komputilo estas pli oportuna ol skribmaŝino, kaj preskaŭ samkosta.
= A computer is handier than a typewriter, and almost the same price.
Ruĝaj ŝuoj por funebro certe estis ne tre konvenaj.z
= Red shoes certainly were not very seemly for a funeral.
Ruĝaj ŝuoj ne taŭgas kiel manĝaĵo.
= Red shoes are no good as food.
kopio = imitation, reproduction, photocopy.
Not to be confused with:
ekzemplero = copy (e.g., of a book).
ekzemplo = example.
numero = copy, edition (of a magazine); number.
Mi ankoraŭ ne ricevis la aprilan numeron de Esperanta Mondo.
= I still have not received the April copy of Esperanto World.
Ĉu mi rajtos fari fotokopion de via ekzemplero?
= May I photocopy your copy?
korekta = corrective. See ĝusta.
korespondi = to exchange letters or other messages. See respondi.
koto = muck, mud. See mukozo.
kotono = cotton (fiber).
Not to be confused with:
katuno = cotton (cloth).
kraĉi = to spit.
Not to be confused with:
kraki = to crack, to clatter (intransitive)
Liaj dentoj ĉesis kraki nur kiam li kraĉis.
= His teeth stopped clattering only when he was spitting.
La sekaj folioj krakis sub miaj piedoj.
= The dry leaves cracked under my feet.
krajono = pencil.
Not to be confused with:
paŝtelo = crayon.
Infanoj skribu per krajonoj, sed faru bildojn per paŝteloj.
= Children should write with pencils but draw pictures with crayons.
kraki = to crack, to clatter (intransitive). See kraĉi.
krakmaĉa = crisp, crunchy. See krispa.
kramfo = cramp (medical condition).
Not to be confused with:
*-Krampoj in printing are rondaj (…), rektaj […], angulaj <…>, or kurbaj {…}. Some people call them all parentezoj, but a parentezo is properly the parenthetical material that goes between them.
krampo = Clamp, bracket; parenthesis.*
parentezo = parenthetical expression.
Ŝi suferis kramfon kaj necesis operacii.
= She suffered a cramp and it was necessary to operate.
La ĥirurgo lasis en ŝi krampon.
= The surgeon left a clamp in her.
La krampo kaŭzis al ŝi pluajn kramfojn.
= The clamp caused her more cramps.
Skribu la vorton inter krampoj.
= Write the word in parentheses.
Tio skribita inter krampoj estas “parentezo”.
= What is written between parentheses is a parenthetical expression.
Parenteze, ĉu vi jam manĝis?
= By the way, have you eaten yet?
krampo = Clamp, bracket; parenthesis. See kramfo.
krano = faucet.
Not to be confused with:
kranio = skull, cranium.
*-There exist people who object to using gruo both for a bird and for a construction machine, insisting that the industrial crane should be called an argano. Technically, an argano is a drilling hoist, not really a crane, so this does not solve the “problem” very well. Ordinary mortals use gruo both for bird and for machine, don’t seem to get very confused, and lead full and productive lives despite using one word in two meanings.
gruo = crane (both bird and machine).
argano = drilling hoist, crane (machine only).*
Gruoj flugis super niaj kapoj.
= Cranes flew over our heads.
Mi ne kapablas ripari la kranon. Ni devos novan aĉeti.
= I can’t repair the faucet. We’ll have to buy a new one.
Oni uzis gruon por levi la gigantan kranon super la enirejon.
= They used a crane to lift the giant faucet over the entry.
Kial vi diras “gruo”? Ne temas pri birdo, diable! Temas pri “argano”!
= Why do you say “crane”? It’s not a bird, dammit! It’s a “hoist”!
Kial vi diras “argano”? Ne temas pri argano, diable! Temas pri “gruo”!
= Why do you say “hoist”? It’s not a hoist, dammit! It’s a “crane”!
Jen la kranio de la antaŭa abato.
= Here’s the skull of the former abbot.
kredi = to believe. See pensi.
krevi = burst, explode, pop apart. Hence: krevmaizo = popcorn.
krispa = crinkled, wavy.
Not to be confused with:
*-Caution: Krusto can also be the scab or “crust” that forms on a healing wound. Be circumspect in complimenting your host’s “crusty” potatoes!
krusta = crisp (from krusto = crust*).
facilrompa = crisp, fragile.
krakmaĉa = crisp, crunchy.
vigla = attentive, alert; crisp, brisk, smart.
La krisphara fraŭlino maĉis krake krakmaĉan lardon.
= The wavy-haired girl crunchingly munched the crunchy bacon.
Nur plenkreskuloj kapablas taksi bongusta la pankruston.
= Only adults can imagine the crust of the bread tastes good.
*-Occasional antic wags insist that one can krokodili only in one’s own language and that speaking yet a different language instead of Esperanto is to aligatori = “to alligator,” but this nicety is rarely recognized in practice. Other wags, yet more antic, maintain that speaking a language native to neither party but also not Esperanto is kajmani = “to cayman.” Some people have peculiar ideas.
krokodilo = (1) crocodile; (2) a person who speaks a language other than Esperanto during Esperanto get-togethers, despite knowing Esperanto.*
Manĝis krokodilo la kompatindan raneton.
= The crocodile ate the poor little frog.
Horloĝon manĝis la krokodilo bonan svisan.
= The crocodile had eaten a good Swiss clock.
Sobeko, kun kapo de krokodilo, estis dio pri morto.
= Sobek, with a crocodile head, was a god of death.
Kiam ajn ŝi pritraktas monon, tiam ŝi ekkrokodilas.
= Whenever she talks about money she lapses into her bizarre native tongue.
Bonfartu malkrokodileco!
= Let incrocodility thrive!
*-Note that today kulturo/-i principally refers to something socio-cultural, while kultivo/-i refers to something biological, but, as in other Latinate languages, there is an historical heritage of the two roots overlapping slightly. Thus you will still find people who use kulturi to refer to raising plants or animals or who speak of an educated person as kultivita.
krusta = crisp. See krispa.
ktp = kaj tiel plu and so forth. This abbreviation is occasionally actually pronounced ko to po and produces the slang acronym kotopoaĵoj = “miscellany.”
kulturi = to raise, develop, cultivate.
Not to be confused with:
kultivi = to cultivate (crops); to till (soil).*
*-The curious and rather charming verb erudi “to teach deeply” seems to exist as a back-formation from erudita = “erudite.” I have never heard it used except with slightly comic intent.
eduki = to tame, domesticate; to cultivate (a talent); to breed; to bring up, rear, educate.
(See also dresi.)*
instrui = to teach (someone or something); to teach how (to do something).
Ŝi kultivis novan varion de orkideo.
= She developed a new variety of orchid.
Oni edukadis min kiel idealiston.z
= I was raised as an idealist.
Niaj kongresoj povas veki entuziasmon, sed ne eduki ĝin.
= Our conventions can awaken enthusiasm, but not cultivate it.
Li edukis leonon, kiu fine loĝis en lia domo.
= He tamed a lion, which finally lived in his house .
Mi neniam plu penos eduki vulturon.
= I shall never again try to tame a vulture.
Mi neniam plu penos instrui vulturon.
= I shall never again try to teach a vulture.
Mi promesas neniam plu instrui Esperanton al papago.
= I promise never again to teach Esperanto to a parrot.
Kiu instruis al Daĉjeto uzi blovpafilon?
= Who taught Little Davey to use a blowgun?
Ili kultivis la saman bienon jam dum generacioj sed neniam rimarkis la groton.
= They had cultivated the same spread for generations but never noticed the cave.
Li kultivis magian pirujon.
= He raised a magic pear tree.
Ŝi estas tre bone edukita persono.
= She is a very cultivated person.
kun = with, in the sense of “together with” or “along with,” never in the sense of “by means of,” which is per.
Ŝi vojaĝis kun sia edzo.
= She travelled with her husband.
Ŝi vojaĝis per ŝipo.
= She travelled by ship.
Li ludis kun siaj infanoj.
= He played with his kids.
Ili ludis per pafiloj.
= They played with guns.
Oni kantas kun amikoj.
= You’re singing with friends.
Oni kantas per la buŝo.
= You sing with your mouth.
Avoid using kun to correspond with English “with” when you mean “against.” Esperanto kun is likely to be taken literally to mean “alongside”!
La litovoj batalis kontraŭ la poloj.
= The Lithuanians fought with (against) the Poles.
La litovoj batalis kun la poloj.
= The Lithuanians fought alongside the Poles.
Daĉjeto ĉiam friponis kiam li ŝakludis kontraŭ sia fratineto.
= Little Davey always cheated when he played chess with his little sister.
Similarly being in love “with” may be reciprocal (literally “with” = kun) or may be unrequited (love “towards” = al rather than “with”). Not everybody worries about this fine a distinction, but when in doubt about matters of love, al may be the better choice.
Ŝi enamiĝis kun sia dentisto.
= She fell in love with her dentist [and he with her].
Ĉiuj fraŭlinoj enamaĝis al la bela stelulo.
= All the girls fell in love with the handsome star.
(Naturally marriage has to be reciprocal, so, unlike love, engagement and marriage —fianĉiĝo and geedziĝo— are kun a partner!)
kunveno = meeting (literally “together-coming”). See konvena.
kurioza = strange, inscrutable.
Not to be confused with:
scivolema = curious, wanting to know. (From sci- = “know” plus vol- = “desire.” Hence: scivoli = “to wonder.”)
Lia murdo estis kurioza afero.
= His murder was a strange business.
Scivolemo mortigis la katon; sed kion scivolis la kato?
= Curiosity killed the cat, but what did the cat want to know?
Ŝia patrino estos tre scivolema pri lia bankkonto.
= Her mother will be very curious about his bank account.
Mi scivolas, ĉu ŝi memoros min.
= I wonder if she’ll remember me.
Ĉu ne estas kurioze kiom da tempo necesas por ellerni “facilan” lingvon kiel estas Esperanto?
= Isn’t it odd how much time is required to learn an “easy” language like Esperanto well?
kurso = course (made up of lessons). See speco.
kvartalo = district, quarter. See getto.
kvazaŭ = like, as, as though, as if, as if it were, seemingly.
This word does a lot of work in Esperanto, but tends to be underutilized by English speakers because it has no single, simple translation.
La ĉielo aspektis, kvazaŭ ĝi estus balaita.z
= The sky appeared as though it had been swept.
La patro frapis sur la pordo, kvazaŭ li estus fremdulo.z
= The father rapped at the door, as though he were a stranger.
La lando aperis al li kvazaŭ abunda fruktoĝardeno.
= The country appeared to him as though it were a beautiful orchard.
En sia mano ŝi sentis kvazaŭ brulantan fajron.
= In her hand she felt something like a burning fire.
[Li] prezentis kvazaŭ belegan tapiŝon, kiu invitis sidi.z
= [He] presented something like a beautiful carpet, which invited one to sit on it.
Ili paroladetis, kvazaŭ dezirante moki iun alian.z
= They nattered on as though wanting to make fun of someone else.
Estas ia kvazaŭa trompo, se oni silentas pri la vero.
= It’s practically a kind of fraud if one keeps quiet about the truth.
Oni povis ekkoni el tio kun kvazaŭa certeco la skalon de la astroj.
= You could tell from this with near certainty the scale
= of the stars.
Ŝi estis lia kvazaŭedzino.
= She was his concubine.
For sentences 1 and 2, many American Esperantists would say kiel. That is not wrong, just overworked. (If you read early Esperanto works, you will find a couple of other uses of kvazaŭ that are now obsolete.)
kvesti = ask for contributions.
Not to be confused with:
misio = quest, mission. Hence: misiejo = mission building or complex.
serĉo = search, pursuit.
La Esperanta Societo bezonis monon; do mi kvestis ĉe la najbaroj.
= The Esperanto Society needed money, so I took a collection among the neighbors.
La agento havas sekretan mision.
= The agent has a secret mission.
Ni vizitis la misiejon de Capistrano.
= We visited the Capistrano Mission.
Li kvestas por la preĝejo.
= He’s asking for contributions for the church.
Ŝi serĉas monon por aĉeti novan komputilon.
= She is looking for money to buy a new computer.
Lin obsedis serĉo al la Sankta Pokalo.
= He was obsessed by the quest for the Holy Grail.


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A B C Ĉ D E F G Ĝ H Ĥ I J Ĵ K L M N O P R S Ŝ T U V Z
*-The verb lardi means to put bits of bacon on other meat before cooking it, e.g., lardita ŝafofemuro = “larded leg of mutton.” From it comes the metaphor of decorating something unnecessarily: Li lardis sian prelegon per seksismaj ŝercaĉoj por plaĉi al la trivialuloj. = “He larded his address with sexist cracks to please the lowlifes.”
lardo = bacon* .
Not to be confused with:
porkograso = lard.
Mi ĉiam manĝas lardon kun ovoj.
= I always eat bacon and eggs.
Ŝi kuiras ĉion en porkograso kun cepoj.
= She cooks everything in lard with onions.
larĝa = wide.
Not to be confused with:
granda = large, big.
Ŝi naskis bebon surprize grandan.
= She bore a surprisingly large baby.
La ĉambro estis larĝa sed mallonga.
= The room was wide but short.
Li havas larĝajn ŝultrojn, sed ĝenerale malgrandajn ostojn.
= He has broad shoulders, but generally small bones.
lasi = to leave, to let.
Ŝi lasis la infanon en la aŭto.
= She left the kid in the car.
Li forlasis Tajbejon.
= He left Taipei.
Lasu min sola!
= Leave me alone!
*-To avoid two accusatives here, one could also say lasu al ŝi kisi lin or lasu, ke ŝi kisu lin. Ever more common is use of the verb permesi = “to permit” rather than lasi: Permesu al ŝi kisi lin.
Lasu ŝin kisi lin!
= Let her kiss him!*
Note that in Zamenhof’s usage (though rarely today) it was possible after lasi to use an active verb as though it were passive:
Mi lasis min moki.
= I allowed myself to be mocked.
Li ne lasis esplori sin.
= He did not allow himself to be explored.
Malmultaj lasis sin kapti.
= Not many let themselves be captured.
A rather inelegant Germanic usage occasionally is found:
Vi lasis min voki.
= You had me called.
(Better: Vi vokigis min.)
lasta = recent.
Hence: lastatempe = antaŭ nelonge = recently.
Hence: plej lasta = most recent, last (in a series). See also eventuala.
En lasta gazeto mi legis pri ŝia granda sukceso.
= In a recent magazine I read about her great success.
Multe pluvis lastatempe.
= It’s rained a lot recently.
La fina ludo okazis nur tre laste.
= The last game took place only very recently.
laŭ = according to; along. Laŭ is used to mean “along” in reference to long, narrow things like streets and rivers. It means “according to” in other contexts. In some sentences “according to” is not a very idiomatic English translation, however:
laŭ la rivero
= along the river
laŭ la vortaro
= according to the dictionary
laŭ la mastro
= according to our master
laŭ li
= according to him
laŭ mi
= in my opinion/experience
leki = to lick. See liki.
Not to be confused with:
lekanto = marguerite (a large daisy).
En la hasto de la vivo nepre paŭzu por leki la lekantojn.
= In the hurry of life, be sure to take time to lick the daisies.
Li estas lekanto-lekanto!
= He is a daisy-licker!
lekanto = marguerite (a large daisy). See leki.
lernanto = student. See studento.
lernejo = school (a place where learning takes place). See skolo.
lerni = learn, study.
Lerni contrasts with studi = “study,” but the relationship between the two words is different in English and Esperanto. See studi.
lerta = quick to learn, adept. See adepto.
lertulo = a quick learner, clever person. See adepto.
libelo = dragonfly.
Not to be confused with:
kalumnio = libel.
Libelo flugis super la florbedo, kiel fluganta drako.
= The dragonfly flew over the flower bed like a flying dragon.
Ni povos procesi kontraŭ vi pro via kalumnio kaj gajni milionojn da dolaroj; bonvolu do kalumniu nin!
= We will be able to sue you over your libel and gain millions of dollars, so please do libel us!
libro = book. See buklo.
liceo = high school. See gimnazio.
ligroino = benzine. See gaso.
liki = to leak.
Containers leak (likas), but note that when a liquid leaks out of something it likiĝas. (A better verb in that case may be elflui = “to flow out.”) See also leki = to lick.
Likis la malnova kaldrono.
= The old kettle leaked.
Akvo likiĝis tra la truo.
= Water leaked out through the hole.
Studentoj likiĝis el lia klaso.
= Students leaked out of his class.
liva = left (~ maldesktra).
loĝi = to dwell (somewhere). See vivi.
lokalo = place, locale.
Not to be confused with:
loko = place.
Loko is equivalent to the English “place” in all its broad range of senses. Lokalo refers to a place in the more specific sense of a part of town, a quarter, a site or to part of a building intended for a particular purpose. Kvartalo is specifically a district in a city or town. See also getto.
loko = place. See lokalo.
lokusto = grasshopper.
Not to be confused with:
akrido = locust.
grilo = cricket.
Akridoj en pestego formanĝis ĉiujn herbojn de la lando.
= A plague of locusts devoured all the grasses of the land.
Lokustoj lope leviĝante loze ludas ĉi-loke.
= Grasshoppers rising in circles play loosely here.
En Disneyland mi ĉiam tagmanĝas ĉe “Grill” de la Grilo!
= In Disneyland I always lunch at Jiminy’s Grill.
lordo = lord (British nobility). Hence: lordino = “lady.” See sinjoro.
loterio = drawing. See also konkuri.
ludo = game. See also konkuri.
lukri = to earn, gain; to win. See gajni.
lupo = wolf. See vulpo.
*-The spelling matĉo for a sporting match exists to avoid confusion with maĉo = “chewing.” For most speakers there is no detectable difference in pronunciation.


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A B C Ĉ D E F G Ĝ H Ĥ I J Ĵ K L M N O P R S Ŝ T U V Z
maco = matzo.
Not to be confused with:
maĉo (also spelled matĉo*) = sporting match. See also konkurso.
maĉo = chewing, from maĉi = “to chew.”
Ne maĉu macojn per malferma buŝo! = Don’t chew matzos with your mouth open!
maĉo = (1) chewing; (2) sporting match. See maco.
magazino = popular magazine. See ĵurnalo.
malantaŭ = behind. See antaŭ.
malgraŭ = in spite of, despite.
Not to be confused with:
spite de = in defiance of.
Ŝi restis ĉarma malgraŭ la subita heredaĵo.
= She remained charming in spite of the sudden inheritance.
Ŝi iris spite de la ordono de sia patrino.
= She went in defiance of her mother’s orders.
Li iris al la teatro kun Mimi spite de sia eksedzino.
= He went to the theatre with Mimi to spite his ex-wife.
maltrinki = “urinate.” See pisi.
mandareno = Mandarin, an official in Imperial China.
Hence: la mandarena = a dialect of spoken Chinese, slightly modified and officialized as the official language of China.
Not to be confused with:
mandarino = Mandarin orange.
Mandarenoj mandarinojn maĉe manĝis.
= Mandarins chewed on Mandarin oranges.
mandarino = Mandarin orange. See mandareno.
manki = to be missing, to be needed; to be missed.
Whatever is missing is the subject of the verb manki. The same verb, in the same structure, corresponds with our verb “to miss” somebody, i.e., to regret the absence of a person.
Mankas al ŝi kuko.
= She doesn’t have any cake.
Kio mankas al nia Esperanta klubo estas bonaj kantistoj.
= What is missing in our Esperanto club is good singers.
Kio mankas en la nia estas mono.
= What’s missing in ours is money.
Vi tre mankis al ŝi dum via vojaĝo.
= She missed you very much during your trip.
“Panbulo,” diris la Rosmaro, “Jen kio mankas al ni ĉefe.”
= “A loaf of bread,” the Walrus said, “is what we chiefly need.”
manko = defect, lack, missing part. See difekti.
mantelo = robe. See dresi.
masiva = solid, not porous (pora) or hollow (kava).
Not to be confused with:
granda = massive, large.
solida = massive, dense.
La lignoblokon enloĝas vermoj; ĝi ne plu estas masiva.
= Worms have moved into the wood block; it is no longer solid.
La magiisto uzis kavan bastoneton, ne masivan.
= The magician used a hollow baton, not a solid one.
Spongo estas pora, ne masiva.
= Sponge is porous, not solid.
maso = mass, indefinite quantity; mass (in physics).
Not to be confused with:
amaso = mass, pile, crowd.
Hence: amase = in throngs or in large quantities; amasigi = to amass (e.g., money).
meso = mass, Catholic service.
Ili strebis kalkuli la mason de la ora ringo.
= They tried to calculate the mass of the gold ring.
Kiel vi amasigis tiom da mono?
= How did you amass so much money?
Ili venis amase por vidi la monon.
= The came in droves to see the money.
Ŝi preparis nigran meson.
= She prepared a black mass.
matĉo = sporting match. See maco.
matraco = mattress.
Not to be confused with:
matraso = long-necked glass vase.
matrico = matrix, mold. See also ŝimo.
Ĉu ekzistas matrico por la matraso?
= Is there a mold for the vase?
Alportu matraseton por la rozo.
= Bring a bud-vase for the rose.
Ŝi sentis la pizon tra dek sep matracoj.
= She felt the pea through 17 mattresses.
matraso = long-necked glass vase. See matraco.
matrico = matrix, mold. See matraco.
meblo = piece of furniture.
Furniture taken collectively is, of course, meblaro.
medicino = the theory or practice of medicine.
Medicine that one takes is a medikamento.
medikamento = medicine (as something to be taken). See medicino.
medio = environment.
Not to be confused with:
meza = medium, middle.
rimedo = medium, means.
perilo = an intermediary, means.
*-Gazetaro is used in Esperanto very much as “media” is in English, but remember that it technically refers only to the press media. If you wish to speak specifically of the “broadcast media,” for example, it would be inappropriate, and you would probably have to specify televido kaj radio.
mediumo = spirit medium.
gazetaro = (press) media,*- “the press”
La mediumo eniris trancon kaj parolis per la voĉo de Grabowski.
= The medium entered trance and spoke with the voice of Grabowski.
Ĉiuj gepatroj pripensas la medion de siaj infanoj.
= All parents think about the environment of their children.
Mankas alia rimedo por esprimi min sufiĉe kolere, do mi uzas bombojn
= laŭ mia rajto de libera parolo.
= There is no other way to express myself with sufficient anger, so I use
= bombs in accordance with my right of free speech.
La gazetaro estas interkomunika perilo nur se oni povas ĝin legi.
= The press is a means of intercommunication only if one can read it.
mediumo = spirit medium. See medio.
merkato = market (as a system of trading). See debito.
meso = mass, Catholic service. See maso.
meza = medium, middle. See medio.
milda = gentle, mild. See ĝentila.
miliardo = billion. See biliono.
misio = quest, mission. See kvesti.
montri = show, demonstrate by illustration. See pruvi.
mopso = pugdog. See pugo.
mordi = to bite.
Not to be confused with:
morti = to die.
Hence: mortigi = to kill.
murdi = to murder.
La serpento mordis lin kaj li mortis.
= The snake bit him and he died.
Li mortis antaŭ ol mi kapablis lin murdi.
= He died before I could murder him.
Li pasigis la nokton sen dormo, mortigante moskitojn.
= He passed the night without sleep, killing mosquitos.
Probable mordis la hundidon Daĉjeto pli ofte ol lin la hundido.
= Little Davey probably bit the puppy oftener than the puppy bit him.
morti = to die. See mordi.
mosto = grape juice.
Not to be confused with:
moŝto = highness, majesty, grace (a title for royalty) See also plej.
Dum la aliaj trinkis vinon, li trinkis nur moston.
= While the others drank wine, he drank only grape juice.
Informu lian moŝton, ke venkis la armeo.
= Tell his majesty that the army has won.
moŝto = majesty. See mosto.
muko = mucus. See mukozo.
*-Caution: -oz- is usually an unofficial suffix meaning “full of”. Here, however, it is part of the root. Thus mukoza may mean muk-oz-a =“full of mucus” or it may mean mukoz-a = “relating to the mucous membrane”! In the interest of clarity, avoid adding -oz- to muk-.
mukozo = mucous membrane.*
Not to be confused with:
muko = mucus.
malpuraĵo = muck, filth.
koto = muck, mud.
El akvo kaj polvo Johano produktis koton.
= John produced mud from water and dust.
Per sia nazo, Daĉjeto produktis mukon.
= Little Davey produced mucus with his nose.
Mukon produktas la mukozo.
= The mucous membrane produces mucus.
Kataro estas mukoza inflamo.
= A “catarrh” is an inflammation of the
= mucous membrane.
muldi = to mold.
Hence: muldilo = a mold. See also matraco, ŝimo.
multa = much.
Note that this is generally avoided in the singular in favor of multe da, but in the plural multaj is commoner. Similarly in the comparative pli (multe) da is generally preferred in the singular, but in the plural pli multaj.
Multe da mono li ne havas.
= He doesn’t have a lot of money.
Multajn infanojn li havas.
= He has a lot of kids.
Ŝi portas multegajn orelringojn.
= She wears a whole lot of earrings.
Vi bezonas pli da kuraĝo por fariĝi fama boksisto. Ekzemple, ne plu kaŭru!
= You need more courage to become a famous boxer. Stop cowering, for example.
murdi = to murder. See mordi.


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A B C Ĉ D E F G Ĝ H Ĥ I J Ĵ K L M N O P R S Ŝ T U V Z
negoco = a commercial transaction; a business.
Not to be confused with:
intertrakti = negotiate.
Li zorge kontrolis la kvitancojn de ĉiuj negocoj de tiu tago.
= He carefully inspected the receipts for all the transactions of that day.
Li posedas sian propran negocon; edzigu lin tuj!
= He owns his own business; marry him immediately!
La du landoj intertraktis aktojn de armistico.
= The two countries negotiated acts of armistice.
negro = Negro. See nigra.
nek…nek… = neither… nor….
Like English, but in contrast to some languages, Esperanto does not use a ne with nek…nek….
Nek ĝojo nek malĝojo daŭras eterne.z = Neither joy nor sorrow lasts forever.
Iros nek Johano nek Marko.
= Neither John nor Mark will go.
Al mi plaĉas nek teo nek kafo.
= I like neither tea nor coffee.
In some cases a single nek can mean “not a single”:
Mi forlasis nek unu kluban kunvenon de esperantistoj.
= I did not skip a single Esperanto club meeting.
A single nek occasionally occurs with a negative verb, where it has the quality of an afterthought:
Mi neniam renkontis ŝin, nek ŝian fratinon.
= I never met her, nor her sister either.
neta = clearly visible, distinct.
Hence: neto = “final copy, clear copy”; malneto = “draft copy.”
Not to be confused with:
reto = net, network.
la reto = the Internet.
TTT = tut-tera teksaĵo = world-wide web (WWW)
La drako sin implikis en la reto.
= The dragon entangled itself in the net.
Mi aŭskultas esperantajn dissendojn per la reto.
= I listen to Esperanto broadcasts on the Web.
Mi sendos malneton per nia komputila reto.
= I’ll send a draft through our computer network.
Esperantaj sitejoj en la TTT kompreneble estas avangardegaj.
= Esperanto WWW sites are of course very avant-garde.
nigra = black (color).
Not to be confused with:
negro = Negro, black (person of African ancestry).
For the African-derived portion of the American population, terms in American English have varied over the years, and some that are respectable in one period are politically incorrect in another. In Esperanto there have been less obvious swings of usage. In general people in Africa and of African descent are referred to as either negroj or nigruloj (lit.: “black people”), and neither term seems to be particularly contaminated with racial prejudice. For Americans of African ancestry one could propose the aditional term afriko-usonanoj or afrikdevenaj usonanoj, I suppose, but I have never actually seen or heard these in colloquial Esperanto. Most discussions of race in the United States seem to contrast nigruloj and blankuloj as symmetrical color terms.
Ŝi portis nigran robon.
= She had on a black dress.
La foto estos nigra-blanka.
= The photo will be black-and-white.
La negra profesoro estis kuvajta civitano.
= The Negro professor was a Kuwaiti citizen.
nombrilo = counter, numbering device. See kontoro.
nombro = number, amount. Hence: nombri = (1) “to count,” (2) “to be at the quantity of.”
Not to be confused with:
numero = (1) copy, edition (of a magazine); (2) number, digit, cipher.
Hence: numeri = “to number, put numbers on.” (Some speakers use the still unusual term diĝito = “digit,” especially in technical contexts.)
numeralo = numeral.
numeratoro = numerator.
cifero = number, written sign for a number.
Diru al mi vian telefonnumeron, fraŭlino. Neniam!
= Tell me your telephone number, miss. Never!
Kiom da gastoj venos? Diru al mi nombron.
= How many guests will be coming? Give me a number.
Prenu numeron por pli bona servo.
= Take a number for better service.
Ni plej bone evitu romaniajn numeralojn en Esperanto.
= It’d be best for us to avoid Roman numerals in Esperanto.
Ŝi legadas la novan numeron de Diĝita Mondo (antaŭe Numera Mondo).
= She is reading the new issue of Digital World (formerly Number World).
Nun ni nombras nur dek ses, sed baldaŭ ni venkos la mondon.
= Now we number only sixteen, but soon we will conquer the world.
Ŝi misnombris la gastojn kaj preparis tro multe da sakeo.
= She miscounted the guests and prepared too much sake.
Li havas dek jarojn sed apenaŭ povas nombri.
= He is ten years old but can scarcely count.
Laozi ne numeris la paĝojn de la malneto antaŭ ol li faligis ĝin.
= Laozi didn’t number the pages of the draft before he dropped it.
El la kvar ciferoj, ni povis legi nur du.
= We could read only two of the four digits.
*-Some purists have worried that nomi seems ambiguously to mean both to give a name to something for the first time and to call something by a name it already has. This is true, but it is an ambiguity shared with many other languages, and nobody seems to have died of it yet.
nomi = to name; to call (a name).*
Not to be confused with:
nomumi = to name, appoint (to a post).
Patro kaj patrino kune estas nomataj gepatroj.z
= Father and mother taken together are called parents.
Ni nomis Johanon Joĉjo kiam li estis bona, Joĉjaĉo kiam li estis malbona.
= We called John Jacky when he was good, Jucky when he was bad.
Mi nomas min Adamo. Ĉu vi deziras esti mia Eva?
= My name is Adam. Do you want to be my Eve?
Mi nomiĝas Eva, sed mi tute ne deziras, ke vi estu mia Adamo!
= My name is Eve, but I don’t at all want you to be my Adam!
Li estis nomita en la listo de ŝiaj viktimoj.
= He was named in the list of her victims.
Ne sufiĉas nomi lingvon internacia, por ke ĝi estu tia.z
= It is not enough to call a language international for it to be so.
Oni nomumis ŝin komitatestro.
= They named her chair of the committee.
Li estis nomumita heredonto nur post la eluzo de ĉiom de la mono.
= He was appointed heir only after all of the money had been used up.
*-To avoid confusion between “novel” and “Roman,” a few Esperantists use a capital letter on the latter, even though most names of peoples are not capitalized. This follows a convention already well established of capitalizing Esperante (and other variants on the name “Esperanto”) when it refers to the language to avoid confusion with esperante = “while hoping.” In fact, however, there is little danger of confusion in most contexts, and such capitalization distinctions are merely decorative most of the time.
nomumi = to name, appoint (to a post). See nomi.
novalo = land lying fallow. See novelo.
novao = nova (in astronomy). See novelo.
novelo = short story.
Not to be confused with:
romano = (1) novel; (2) Roman* .
novalo = land lying fallow.
Hence: novali = to lie fallow*.
novao = nova (in astronomy).
novulo = novice, layperson, newbie (from nova = new).
novico = novice (in a religious order or in the sense of inexpert).
See also Romo.
*-I have noticed that people seem to lie fallow sometimes too. Novali thus seems a perfect translation for English “wool gathering.” It can also be felicitously used to describe people who drop out of an Esperanto club for a time and then return.
Parizanoj legas romanojn, sed romanoj preferas novelojn.
= Parisians read novels, but Romans prefer short stories.
Li verkis novelon pri murdo en novalo.
= He composed a story about a murder in a fallow field.
Mi estas novico pri komputiko.
= I am a novice about computing.
Novicinoj ne rajtas legi romanojn.
= Novices are not permitted to read novels.
La novicoj novalis dum teda prediko.
= The novices’ minds wandered during the boring sermon.
Se la stelo subite plibriliĝos, ni nomos ĝin novao.
= If the star suddenly gets brighter, we’ll call it a nova.
novico = novice (in a religious order or in the sense of inexpert). See novelo.
novulo = novice, lay person (from nova = “new”). See novelo.
numeralo = numeral. See nombro.
numeratoro = numerator. See nombro.
numero = number, digit, cipher. Hence: numeri = “to number.” See nombro.
nur = merely, just. See ĝusta.


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A B C Ĉ D E F G Ĝ H Ĥ I J Ĵ K L M N O P R S Ŝ T U V Z
ofendi = insult, offend. See insulti.
oferi = offer as a sacrifice.
Not to be confused with:
*-Some readers of draft copies of this book complained that they had never heard of this word, that it was unbelievably ugly, and that if it did exist it should be stamped out. I concede that it is less common than the broader-purpose term proponi, but it is rarely misunderstood.
oferti = offer (something for a price).
ofri = offer (to a guest) (a non-standard word*).
proponi = offer (something, to do something).
Li ofertis ses bananojn por unu dolaro.
= He offered six bananas for a dollar.
Ni ofertas al vi librojn je pli bona prezo ol aliaj libroservoj.
= We offer you books at a better price than other book services.
Ekonomio sekvas leĝojn de oferto kaj postulo.
= An economy follows laws of supply and demand.
Li oferis sian vivon por la partio.
= He offered up his life for the party.
Per sanga ritaĉo al fia diaĉo ili oferis la koron de la junulo.
= In a bloody rite to a foul demon they offered up the youth’s heart.
Li proponis sian seĝon al la gasto.
= He offered his chair to the guest.
Li ofris sian seĝon al la gasto.
= He offered his chair to the guest.
Ŝi proponis al li vinon kaj montron de artaĵoj en ŝia loĝejo.
= She offered him wine and a showing of art objects in her quarters.
Permesu al mi proponi al vi kafon, sinjorino. Dankon, afabla sinjoro.
= Allow me to invite you to have coffee, madame. Thank you, kind sir.
Permesu al mi “ofri” al vi kafon, sinjorino. For, fineologisto!
= Allow me to offer you coffee, madame. Away, vile neologist!
oferti = offer (something for a price). See oferi.
ofic(ej)o = office. See kontoro.
ofri = Offer (to a guest). See oferi.
okazo = occasion, opportunity, instance. See instanco.
okupi = to occupy.
Hence: okupiĝi to occupy oneself (+ pri = with [about] or + per with [by means of] or + kun = with [along with]). Hence: okupita = busy (literally “having been occupied”). (Some Esperantists say okupata instead.)
Ŝi okupiĝis pri siaj libroj.
= She was busy with her books.
Ŝi okupiĝis per libroj.
= She kept herself busy with books.
Ŝi okupiĝis kun sia amiko.
= She kept busy with her friend.
Li estas tro okupata por esti la ĉefa servisto de la loka klubo.
= He is too busy to be the chief servant of the local club.
ol = than. See also antaŭ.
Ol is nearly always paired with pli or malpli:
Ŝi kuras pli rapide ol vi.
= She runs faster than you do.
Via domo estas pli luksa ol la nia.
= Your house is more luxurious than ours.
Li vin amas pli ol ĉiujn.z
= He loves you more than all [the rest].
Li vin amas pli ol ĉiuj.
= He loves you more than all [the rest do].
Estas por mi nenio pli bona, ol ke mi forkuru.z
= There’s nothing better for me than to run away.
Occasionally one finds ol elsewhere when a comparison is made without pli:
Tiu esprimo signifas ion tute alian ol jam ne.z
= That expression means something entirely different from “not yet.”
Li havas malsaman karakteron ol lia patro.
= He has a different character from his father.
Mi preferas kukon ol glaciaĵon (or al glaciaĵo).
= I prefer cake to ice cream.
Ni alvenis antaŭ ol komenciĝis la muziko.
= We arrived before the music began.
See also antaŭ.
opinii = to have the opinion that. See pensi.
oportuna = convenient. See konvena.
An “opportunity” is most often expressed as an okazo. See instanco.
oranĝerio = conservatory, greenhouse.
Apparently the word comes from the French orangerie, which was an appropriate name when French conservatories were largely given over to orange trees. The name stuck so well that it entered Esperanto, where it refers to any sort of greenhouse. Another word, used interchangeably for greenhouse and lacking any connotation of orange tree production, is forcejo, from the verb forci = “to raise (plants) in a greenhouse because the outdoor weather is too cold for them.”


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A B C Ĉ D E F G Ĝ H Ĥ I J Ĵ K L M N O P R S Ŝ T U V Z
*-The accusative is generally used with amounts, regardless of the verb: Ŝia robo kostis 200 dolarojn. = “Her dress cost 200 dollars.” Lia filino pezas 30 kilogramojn. = “His daughter weighs 65 pounds.” And so on.
pagi to pay (One pays al = “to” someone por = “for” something. The amount paid is in the accusative. One can also pay a cost or a bill (both in the accusative).*
Mi pagos al vi tri magiajn fabojn por la bovo.
= I’ll pay you three magic beans for the cow.
pamfleto (= paskvilo) = usually libellous, often humorous, often political pamphlet. See broŝuro.
pansi = to dress (a wound). See dresi.
paragrafo = paragraph (numbered part of a legal document).
Not to be confused with:
alineo = paragraph (in ordinary text)
Por retositejo oni pli ofte alineigas ol por presita teksto.
= For a web site you indent more often than for printed text.
Vi trovos la regulon en paragrafo n-ro 432.B.xii.a. Kiel vi forgesis tion?!
= You’ll find the rule in paragraph 432.B.xii.a. How did you forget that?!
paroli = speak. Hence: parolo = speech (a capacity, an action).
Not to be confused with:
prelego = speech, lecture
prediko = sermon
En la universitato oni aŭskultas prelegojn, en la preĝejo predikojn.
= In the university we hear lectures, in church sermons.
Ŝi predikas virton, sed praktikas pekadon.
= She preaches virtue but practices sin.
Lia parolo estas tre malklara, eble pro ikto.
= His speech is very mushy, perhaps because of a stroke.
parenco = a relative.
Not to be confused with:
gepatroj = parents.
Ĉiuj parencoj sendis donacojn okaze de la nasko.
= All the relatives sent gifts on occasion of the birth.
Viaj gepatroj misedukis vin; vi estas kaj fripono kaj friponido.
= Your parents miseducated you; you are a rascal and the son
= of rascals.
See also peranto.
parentezo = parenthetical expression. See kramfo.
paskvilo (= pamfleto) = usually libellous, often humorous, often political pamphlet. See broŝuro.
paŝtelo = crayon. See krajono.
pato = frying pan; stalemate (in chess).
Not to be confused with:
poto = pot, saucepan.
frapeto = pat (as in “pat on the backside”).
Lardon oni fritas en pato.
= We fry bacon in a frying pan.
La falantan ovon ŝi kaptis en pato.
= She caught the falling egg in a frying pan.
La malamikan reĝon ŝi kaptis en pato.
= She captured the enemy king in a stalemate.
Reĝo kaptita en pato nek venkas nek malvenkas, sed nur patas en pataĵo.
= A king caught in stalemate neither wins nor loses, and the game ends in a draw.
Supon oni boligas en poto.
= You boil soup in a saucepan.
Misiistojn la sovaĝuloj kuiris en potego.
= The savages cooked missionaries in a great pot.
La katon ŝi turmentis per frapetoj sur la kapo.
= She was tormenting the cat with little pats on the head.
peĉo = pitch, tar. See piĉo.
pelto = a furpiece.
Not to be confused with:
felo = pelt.
Kuniklo havas belajn harojn kaj tial valoran felon.
= A rabbit has pretty fur and thus a valuable pelt.
La pelto sur mia ĉapelo estas el felo de kuniklo.
= The furpiece on my hat is made of a rabbit pelt.
See also haro.
peni = to try, strive, make an effort. See klopodi.
per = by means of, with. See kun.
peranto = go-between, agent, facilitator.
Peranto is derived from the verb peri = “to mediate, act as go-between,” which in turn is derived from the preposition per = “by means of.”
Not to be confused with:
svatisto = marriage broker See also gepatroj, parenco.
Subramania Krisnakumar kaj Wu Guozhu geedziĝos: Esperanto vere estas edz-peranto.
= Subramania Krisnakumar and Wu Guozhu are to be married;
= Esperanto really is a marriage broker.
Ĉar la knabo estis tiom malagrabla, la gepatroj decidis dungi svatistinon
= por trovi taŭge senesperan fianĉinon.
= Since the boy was so disagreeable, the parents decided to hire a matchmaker to find an appropriately desparate fiancée.
perforti = to rape. See ravi.
perilo = something intermediary, means. See medio, peranto.
perlabori = to earn. See gajni.
pesi = weigh (something). See pezi.
pesto = plague.
Not to be confused with:
damaĝbesto = pest, household beasty.
Rato estas damaĝbesto.
= A rat is a pest.
Ĉiu mortis pro malsato post pestego de akridoj.
= Everyone died of hunger after the plague of locusts.
Tiu infano kaj pestas kaj bestas! Neniam mi vartu lin plu!
= That kid is both pestiferous and bestial! I’ll never babysit him again!
peti = to ask (someone) for something. See demandi.
Caution: This is a false cognate in French, where it tends to bring to mind the “familiar” French verb peter = to break wind, and the corresponding noun pet = a fart. French Esperantists learn to ignore the problem, but ever and anon one causes embarrassment, amusement, or both quite by accident.
See also farti.
petrolo = petroleum. See gaso.
pezi = to weigh (a certain amount).
Not to be confused with:
pesi = to weigh (an object).
Ni pesis nian avinon.
= We weighed our grandmother.
Ŝi pezis 99 kilogramojn!
= She weighed 218 pounds!
La maljuna paŝtisto ne pezis eĉ duonon de tio, kion pezis la malgranda Niko.z
= The old shepherd didn’t weigh even half what little Nikko weighed.
Li pesadis en la kapo la argumentojn de la doktoro kontraŭ la argumentoj de la advokatoj.z
= In his mind he was weighing the arguments of the doctor against
= those of the lawyers.
Pezi is also used metaphorically for a burden that weighs one down:
Mia studo de la hebrea lingvo pezas sur mi.
= My study of Hebrew is weighing on me.
*-The spelling pitĉo apparently exists in order to avoid lewd jokes with piĉo. (La pianistino donis sian pi(t)ĉon al la orkestro, and the like.) Since for most speakers the added -t- before -ĉ- does not affect the pronunciation, it does not solve the problem, and some Esperantists use the simpler spelling with both meanings. Use the spelling with -t- unless you want to be one of them! A similar spelling change that does not affect pronunciation for most speakers is fino = “end” vs finno = “Finn.” What finno would want to live in Fin-lando rather than Finn-lando, after all! Another example is maĉo = “chewing” vs ma(t)ĉo = “sporting match.” Yet another is Zamenhof’s own word getto with its anomalous double -t-. Speakers of languages that distinguish long and short consonants, such as Japanese and Italian, tend to observe that difference and to see maĉo and matĉo as different. It seems unlikely that Zamenhof intended a consonant-length difference to matter in Esperanto, but it is possible that the future may universalize it. For the time being we must live with the fact that some speakers both pronounce and hear this difference, while most do not, and regard it as merely a polite orthographic convention.
piĉo = (1) female genitalia; (2) musical pitch.
Not to be confused with:
pitĉo = pitch (musical note).*
ĵeto = pitch, toss, throw.
asfalto = asphalt, pitch, tar.
peĉo = pitch, tar.; bad luck.
La pitĉo de la piano estis malĝusta.
= The piano pitch is inaccurate.
Oni ofte renovigis la asfalton de la strato kie loĝis la urbestro.
= They often renewed the asphalt on the street where the mayor lived.
Venis la unua ĵeto de la basbala ludo.
= Here came the first pitch of the baseball game.
Ŝia piĉo ŝvelis pro infekto.
= Her pudendum was swollen with infection.
Oni peĉis la pekulon, kovris lin per plumoj, kaj poste trinkis teon.
= They tared and feathered the sinner and then had tea.
pigo = magpie.
Not to be confused with:
porko = pig.
porkaĵo = pork.
pigra = lazy.
Ni lupoj manĝas porkojn; vi homoj manĝas porkaĵon.
= We wolves eat pigs; you people eat pork.
Pigra pigido atendas nutraĵon de la pigopatrino.
= A lazy baby magpie is waiting for food from the mother magpie.
pigra = lazy. See pigo.
prikli = to transplant. See piki.
pluki = to pick (flowers). See piki.
pioĉo = a pick. See piki.
piki = to prick.
Hence: pikilo = thorn, pick, sting.
But: piko = spade (at cards).
Not to be confused with:
prikli = to transplant.
pluki = to pluck, pick (flowers).
pioĉo = a pick. Hence: pioĉi = to pick, work with a pick.
dorno = thorn.
Recenzistoj estas la dornoj en la rozujo de la verkado.
= Critics are the thorns in the rosebush of authorship.
Li plukis por ŝi belan rozon, sed kun pikiloj.
= He picked a beautiful rose for her, but one with thorns.
Li plukis por ŝi belan rozon, sed kun dornoj.
= He picked a beautiful rose for her, but one with thorns.
Li elektis la pikan ason.
= He drew the ace of spades.
La rapide kreskantan rizon oni devas tuj prikli.
= The rapidly growing rice must be transplanted immediately.
Pioĉadis la kaptito en sala minejo.
= The captive picked away in a salt mine.
pensi = to think, consider, ponder.
Not to be confused with:
kredi = to believe
opinii = to have the opinion that.
Mi kredas je Dio, sed mi kredas ankaŭ ke Dio estas kato.
= I believe in God, but I also believe that God is a cat.
Mi konfesas, ke mi neniam pensis pri tiu problemo.
= I confess that I never thought about that problem.
Mi opinias, ke ne valoras okupiĝi pri Esperanto ĉar ĉiu en la mondo jam scipovas la anglan, krom eble usonaj gimnazianoj.
= I think it is no longer useful to worry about Esperanto because everyone in the world knows English, except perhaps American high school students.
pisi = to piss.
This is not a polite word. The more clinical term is urini = urinate. A whimsical and less crude euphemism is maltrinki.
pitĉo = pitch (musical note). See piĉo.
plaĉi = to be pleasing to. See ŝati.
plado = serving plate. See plato.
plata = flat, i.e., (1) low in comparison with the width and depth, as a flat package, (2) not rounded, or (3) not bumpy (comparable to ebena).
Not to be confused with:
ebena = flat (not bumpy) (See also plato.)
glata = smooth.
horizontala = horizontal.
flata = flattering.
Ili loĝas sur la tibeta altebenaĵo.
= They live on the Tibetan high plateau.
La supraĵoj de la piramido estas ebenaj.
= The surfaces of the pyramid are flat.
Li taksas Esperanton malpraktika kaj la mondon plata.
= He considers Esperanto impractical and the world flat.
Platmonduloj ofte imagas la anglan ĉie uzebla.
= Flat worlders often think English is usable everywhere.
Kiel oni flatu malbelulon? Nomu lin inteligenta!
= How do you flatter someone ugly? Call him intelligent!
Se vi imagas, ke flato logos min al vi, vi pravas.
= If you imagine that flattery will attract me, you are right.
*-The difference between a plado and a telero seems to be that a telero is slightly concave. Thus a shallow soupbowl can also be described as a telero. A plado, in contrast, is flatter and often larger, and overlaps with what we might call a “platter.”
plato = slab, plate (generic, as in tectonic plates). (Compare plata.)
Not to be confused with:
plado = serving plate.
telero = dining plate.*
pleto = tray.
plejdo = plaid.
ŝildo = signboard; license plate.
afiŝo = poster. (See also flata.)
Babaon ni manĝis sur pladoj.
= We ate rum baba on plates.
La templo konstruiĝis per marmoraj platoj.
= The temple had been built of marble plates.
Ŝtalecaj platoj armis la raketon kontraŭ starvarsaj lazerradioj.
= Steel plates shielded the rocket against Star Wars laser rays.
La kelnero alportis pleton da teleroj.
= The waiter brought a tray of plates.
Sub la maroj estas tektonaj platoj.
= There are tectonic plates under the seas.
Sur la tomboplato li trovis sian propran nomon.
= On the tombstone he found his own name.
Ĉu li havas la aŭtoŝildon “IMAGU” ĉar li deziras imagi pli bonan aŭton?
= Does he have the license plate “IMAGINE” because he wants to imagine a better car?
plej = most. Pli is used to form the comparative form of an adjective or adverb. It is often used with ol. (See ol.)
Plej is used to form the superlative form of an adjective or adverb:
stulta = stupid pli stulta = more stupid plej stulta = most stupid
bona = good pli bona = better plej bona = best
peza = heavy pli peza = heavier plej peza = heaviest
eta = little pli eta = littler plej eta = littlest
ofte = often malpli ofte = less often malplej ofte = least often
Ŝi estas la plej inteligenta.
= She is the most intelligent.
Li rompis mian plej ŝatatan pokalon!
= He broke my favorite trophy!
Caution: In most Romance languages, the comparative and superlative forms of an adjective or adverb are distinguished by the presence or absence of an article (equivalent to Esperanto la). There is no such rule in Esperanto, but use of la with pli can potentially confuse Esperantists of Romance background. See also pli, mosto.
plejdo = plaid. See plato.
plenaĝulo = adult. See adulto.
pleto = tray. See plato.
pli = more. See plej, plu, des pli.
plu = further, additionally, more (in relation to time or space).
Not to be confused with:
pli = more (in relation to number, size, or degree).
Plu means continuing, going on in a series or continuation. Pli means more than a specified amount, and is also used to form comparative adverbs and adjectives.
(See also plej, multa.)
Mi neniam kantos plu.
= I shall never sing again.
Diru plu!
= Say on!
Vi ne plu plaĉas al mi.
= I don’t like you any more.
Mi devos enketi plu.
= I’ll have to look into it further.
Ŝi ŝoforas pli rapide ol mi.
= She drives more rapidly than I do.
Mi ĉiam bezonas pli da mono.
= I always need more money.
Vi donacis nur kvin dolarojn. Donacu pli!
= You contributed only five dollars. Give more!
Ne petadu plu! Mi donacos pli!
= Don’t keep asking on and on. I’ll give more!
plumpa = awkward, inelegant, gauche.
Not to be confused with:
dik(et)a = plump, fat.
ŝvela = plump, bloated, swollen, filled (from ŝveli = “to bloat, be filled up”).
Pro ŝiaj plumpaj spritaĵoj oni preferis ne inviti ŝin plu.
= Because of her awkward jokes people preferred not to invite her any more.
Li posedis tutan keston de plumpaj ĉemizoj.
= He had an entire chest of unflattering shirts.
Pro lia dika postaĵo, li preferis pli grandan seĝon ol en turista klaso; oni nomas la fenomenon “unuaklasa postaĵo”.
= Because of his fat butt, he preferred a larger seat than those in tourist class, a phenomenon known as a “first-class backside.”
Ŝvelis la veloj kaj ni ekis!
= The sails swelled and we were off!
po = apiece.
Esperanto makes slightly heavier use of po than English does of “apiece.” Usually po almost exactly translates “apiece,” except that “apiece” comes after the number and thing counted, while po comes before them:
Ili manĝis po tri pomojn.
= They ate three apples each.
Ili kostas po sescent enojn.
= They cost ¥600 apiece.
Sometimes po comes close to corresponding with the @ (“at”) sign used in shop signs (but not as used in Internet mail addresses):
*-Ses lecionoj por dek eŭroj = ses lecionoj kontraŭ dek eŭroj = “six lessons for ten euros.” If each lesson costs ten euros, the po is needed, and the por or kontraŭ becomes optional: ses lecionoj (kontraŭ/por) po dek eŭroj = “six lessons at a rate of ten euros apiece.”
ses lecionoj po dek eŭroj
= six lessons @ €10 = six lessons at €10 apiece.*
lecionoj po dek eŭroj por horo
= lessons @ €10/hr
pomoj po dek frankoj la seson (= po dek frankoj por ses)
= apples @ 6 for 10 francs
= apples at ten francs per half-dozen
*-Notice that the po can be omitted in this example (and in some of the others) with no change in meaning. Some Esperantists get along perfectly well almost never using po. It is my impression that the use of po is generally decreasing in circumstances where it can be omitted or avoided.
Li lukras (po) tri dolarojn en samajno.
= He earns [at the rate of] three dollars each week.
When several actors are involved, the po usually refers to them rather than to any objects involved:
Ili lukras po tri dolarojn en semajno.
= They earn three dollars a week apiece.
Ili lukras tri dolarojn en semajno.
= They earn three dollars a week [as a team].
Ili estas starigataj en vicoj, po ses en unu vico.z
= They are being stood in lines, six to a line.
Sometimes other translations are more graceful:
Li ĉiam sendas al mi po 2-3 bildkartojn.
= He is always sending me two or three postcards at a time.
Metu po du sukerkubojn en la tasojn.
= Put two cubes of sugar in each of the cups.
La kurso daŭras dek tagojn po unu horo.
= The class lasts ten days for an hour each day.
Mi devos skribi po kelkajn vortojn al miaj amikoj.
= I must write a few words to each of my friends.
Po kvar glasoj staris antaŭ la festenantoj.
= Po kvar glasoj staris antaŭ ĉiu festenanto.
= Four glasses stood before each celebrant.
*-Note that if we said Ĉies profito estu kvarono de la tuto. = “Everyone’s profit shall be a quarter of the whole,” we would more probably mean that everyone would divide up one of the quarters, leaving the remaining three quarters for other uses.
Ĉies profito estu po kvarono de la tuto.*
= Each one’s profit shall be [at the rate of] a quarter of the whole.
CAUTION: Many speakers make errors in the use of po, and you will sometimes meet it wrongly used. (In general, if what follows po is not a number, it is probably being misused!) Here are some common errors:
Wrong: Mi donis du krajonojn po studento.
Right: Mi donis po du krajonojn al la studentoj.
= I gave the students two pencils apiece.
Wrong: Ili kostis al mi $1.25 po.
Right: Ili kostis al mi po $1.25.
= They cost me $1.25 apiece.
Wrong: Ŝi enverŝis tri gutojn da viskio po glaso.
Right: Ŝi enverŝis po tri gutojn da viskio en la glasojn.
= She poured three drops of whiskey into each of the glasses.
Wrong: La prezo estas tri dolaroj po persono.
Right: La prezo estas po tri dolaroj.
Right: La prezo estas po tri dolaroj por ĉiu persono.
= The price is $3 a person.
Some Esperantists argue (mostly in vain) that po is a preposition and should therefore not take an accusative after it. That was indeed Zamenhof’s customary usage.
Ni havas sur ĉiu mano po kvin fingroj.z
= We have five fingers on each hand.
Al ĉiu infano mi donis po tri pomoj.z
= I gave three apples to each child.
Societoj povas elekti po unu delegito por ĉiuj 25 membroj.z
= The societies may elect one delegate for each 25 members.
However (as the earlier examples illustrate) modern usage tends to regard po as a non-prepositional particle (like ĉi), which does not affect the use of -n one way or the other, and it is in fact often followed by an accusative. Since there is nothing inherently “prepositional” in the relationship that po highlights, there is a good deal of logic to this, and my recommendation is to use the accusative when syntax requires it, whether or not there is a po floating around.
La gastoj trinkis po unu glaseto(n) da vino.
= The guests drank one little glass of wine apiece.
If, after all this, po makes no sense to you and you want to avoid it altogether, you can simply use the derived adverb poe exactly in place of English “apiece” and forget all other possibilities. It won’t be the soul of elegance, but chances are that nobody will misunderstand.
podio = rostrum. See rostro.
poe = apiece. See po.
pokalo = goblet. See bokalo.
policano = policisto = police officer (a person). See poliso.
polico = the police, as an institution. See poliso. Compare gvardio.
poliso = insurance policy.
Not to be confused with:
polico = police (as an institution).
policano = policisto = police officer (a person).
Ŝi vendis polisojn al ĉiuj siaj parencoj.
= She sold policies to all her relatives.
Tio estas problemo por la polico, sed policistoj evitemas ĝin.
= That’s a problem for the police, but the police tend to avoid it.
Ne feliĉas la vivo de policano.
= A policeman’s life is not a happy one.
See also gvardio.
politiko = (1) policy; (2) politics.
Nia klubo havas tre klaran lingvan politikon.
= Our club has a very clear policy about language.
Nekompreneblas kroata politiko.
= Croatian politics is unintelligible.
*-For a growing number esperantists, perhaps influenced by English, polucio is also used to mean “pollution,” as in polucio de riveraj akvoj per kemiaĵoj = “pollution of river waters by chemicals.” It is well to be sensitive to the problem, however, and avoid potentially ambiguous sentences like the following: La prezidanto de la firmao “Aŭtoj Stelo” respondecas pri multe da polucio. = “The president of Star Autos is responsible for a lot of emissions.” So far as I know, nobody has yet proposed a non-solution to the problem by spelling one of them polutcio on the analogy of pi(t)ĉo! With luck, nobody will. Poluo is a fine word and deserves to become standard.
polucio = nocturnal emission.*
Not to be confused with:
poluo = environmental pollution (an unofficial and still rare word).
malpuraĵo = pollution, dirt.
malpur(ad/ec)o = pollution, uncleanliness.
profano = an uninitiated person.
Hence: profani = “to pollute a sacred place.”
Laŭ ilia leĝo, post profanado de la templo oni devas tuj morti.
= By their law, after profaning the temple one must die immediately.
Ili festis tradician rajton je la unua polucio de junulo.
= They used to celebrate a traditional rite at the first nocturnal emission of a young man.
Li respondecis je la poluo de riveroj per kemiaĵoj.
= He was responsible for the pollution of the rivers by chemicals.
Ne diskutu malpurigon de la aero kaj akvo ĝis ni venkos kapitalismon.
= Do not discuss air and water pollution till we have conquered capitalism.
poluo = environmental pollution. See polucio.
polvo = dust. See pulvoro.
*-Some Esperantists find it useful to think of pro as referring to past things (usually causes) and por as referring to future ones (usually goals), but this is often misleading, since time is often less important than other considerations: Ĉe la bankedo ni trinkis/trinkos pro nia komuna celo. = “At the banquet we drank/will drink to our common goal.” Por veni pli rapide mi biciklis/biciklos. = “To arrive faster, I came/will come by bike.”
por/pro = for.
The two words por and pro can rarely be substituted for each other. Essentially pro means “on account of, due to, because of,” while por means “for the sake of, in order to, in preparation for”* :
Ŝi faris tion pro li.
= She did that because of him.
Ŝi faris tion por li.
= She did that for him.
With a noun or pronoun, por means “for the sake of”:
Mi pentris ĝin tute por vi.
= I painted it entirely for you.
Mi ĉion oferis por la lekantetoj.
= I sacrificed everything for the daisies.
La plej granda parto de la publiko estas tute indiferenta por ĉia nova afero.z
= The greatest part of the public is entirely indifferent toward everything new.
Por used with a verb means “in order to”:
Ni iros por aĉeti rizon.
= We’ll go to buy rice.
Ni iru por saluti la aliplanedanojn.
= Let’s go say hello to the space aliens.
After the verb danki = “to thank,” either pro or por is used to refer to the thing one is thanking about. Most speakers prefer pro in this case, but both are colloquial:
Dankon por/pro via letero.
= Thanks for your letter.
Por is sometimes used in place of dum to indicate extent of time:
Ni iros al Seŭlo por/dum tri semajnoj.
= We’ll go to Seoul for three weeks.
Por is used to indicate prices and payments:
Ili pagis tro multe por tiu domo.
= They paid too much for that house.
porko = pig. See pigo.
poro = pore, tiny hole. See kavo.
post = after (in time). See antaŭ.
postuli = to require, demand. See demandi.
poto = pot, saucepan. See pato.
praktiko = practice (as against theory), practical experience, usage (as “religious practices”); profession.
Hence: praktiki = to put into practice; to be a professional at (as “to practice medicine.”)
Not to be confused with:
ekzerci = to drill, exercise (somebody).
ekzerciĝi ~ sin ekzerci = to practice (as the piano).
(Caution: You don’t exercise the piano; you exercise yourself “to” = al or “in” = en the piano.)
ekzerco = an exercise.
Kio bonas en teorio ofte fuŝas en praktiko.
= What’s good in theory often screws up in practice.
Ŝi praktikas juron, li medicinon.
= She practices law; he, medicine.
Ni praktikas universalan amon per kvesto por nia homama asocio.
= We practice universal love by collecting money for our human love association.
La ĥorestro ekzercis la ĥoron.
= The choirmaster exercised the choir.
La tigro ekzercis siajn piedojn.
= The tiger exercized its legs.
En Nuakĉoto oni parolas Esperanton nur por ekzerci la voĉon.
= In Nouakchott one speaks Esperanto only to exercise the voice.
Ĉiutage mi ekzercas min duonhoron.
= I exercise for half an hour every day.
Li ĉiutage ekzercis sin du horojn al la piano.
= He practiced the piano two hours every day.
Ĉiutage li ekzerciĝis du horojn al la piano.
= Every day he practiced the piano for two hours.
Daĉjeto ekzerciĝas nokte kaj tage en la parolado, neniam en la silentado.
= Night and day Little Davey practices talking, never shutting up!
Trijaraĝa, Daĉjeto jam havis bone ekzercitan buŝon.
= At three, Little Davey already had a well exercised mouth.
Lokaj kluboj ekzistas por ekzerciĝi al Esperanto, ne por krokodili!
= Local clubs exist to practice Esperanto, not to crocodile.
pramo = ferryboat.
Not to be confused with:
infanĉareto = pram, baby carriage.
ĉaro = cart, carriage, chariot.
Ni transiris la riveron per pramo.
= We went by ferry across the river.
La du infanetojn feoj forŝtelis el la ĉareto.
= Fairies stole the two babies from the carriage.
Tondre antaŭen iris la ĉaroj.
= The chariots thundered forth.
preciza = precise, accurate. See akurata.
precize = exactly, just. See ĝusta.
prediko = sermon. See paroli.
preferata = favorite, preferred. See favorata.
preĝejo = church, temple, synagogue (a building, literally “place where people pray”).
Not to be confused with:
eklezio = church (as an organization).
prelego = speech, lecture. See paroli.
preni = to take (to carry along a physical object to some other location).
In English we also “take” all sorts of things metaphorically: baths, showers, pictures, taxis, walks, and so on. Most of these “takings” require other verbs in Esperanto:

take a bus = trafi buson
= take a picture = foti
take a pill = gluti pilolon
= take a shower = sin duŝi
= take a walk = promeni
= take coffee = elekti kafon
= take supper = vespermanĝi
Because preni literally refers to carrying something, to take people somewhere is normally expressed by konduki = “to lead.” If you take them by car, you ŝofori or veturigi them or konduki aŭtomobile them. See ŝofori and veturi.
preteksti = to adduce (as a pretext). See pretendi.
pretendi = claim (to one’s own advantage).
Not to be confused with:
aserti = assert, claim (in good faith or in logic).
ŝajnigi = pretend, make it seem as though.
preteksti = to adduce (as a pretext).
Ambaŭ du pretendas esti la posedanto de la bieno.
= Both claim to be the owner of the estate.
Mi argumentu negative, vi aserte.
= I’ll argue the negative case; you take the positive side.
Mi asertas, ke la aŭto tre alte valoras, sinjoro.
= I assure you that the car is very valuable, sir.
La fripona eksterulo sukcese pretendis la rajton heredi ĉion.
= The roguish outsider successfully claimed the right to inherit everything.
Por eviti la imposton ŝi pretekstis nescion de la leĝo.
= She claimed ignorance of the law as a pretext to evade the tax.
Ili pretekstis la ĉeeston de komencantoj por krokodilaĉi senĉese.
= They used the presence of beginners as a pretext for crocodiling without end.
Li ŝajnigis, ke la aŭtaĉo alte valoras, do mi aĉetis ĝin.
= He made it seem as though the junk car was valuable, so I bought it.
Nun ni ŝajnigu, ke mi estas la lupo kaj vi estas Ruĝa Kapuĉulineto.
= Now let’s pretend that I am the wolf and you are Red Riding Hood.
prezidanto = president (of an organization). See prezidento.
prezidento = president (of a country).
Not to be confused with:
prezidanto = president (literally presiding person) of an organization.
Prezidanto is a participle form from the verb prezidi = “to preside,” hence one can also say prezidinto = “ex-president” and prezidonto = “president-elect.” The president of a country is a kind of prezidanto, but the term prezidento is reserved only for that meaning.
pro = for. See por/pro.
procedo = procedure, process (as an industrial process). See proceso.
proceso = lawsuit.
Not to be confused with:
procedo = procedure, process (as an industrial process).
procezo = natural process.
proceduro = customary or legal procedure.
Ni procesis kontraŭ ŝi ĉar ŝi konstante malplenigis sian hundaĉon sur nian gazonon.
= We sued her because she was constantly emptying her damned dog onto our lawn.
Pri la eduka procezo ĉiu pretendas spertecon. Jen la problemo!
= Everyone pretends to be an expert on the process of education. That’s the problem!
Per sekreta procedo oni kreis pilolon kontraŭ stulteco, sed ĝi estas dikigema.
= With a secret process they created a pill for stupidity, but it’s fattening.
Ni ne plu havas piroteknikaĵojn pro proceso fare de la Kampajno por Purigi la Oceanojn.
= We don't have fireworks any more because of a lawsuit by the Campaign to Clean Up the Oceans.
Kio estas la proceduro por geedziĝi en ĉi tiu lando, mia karega?
= What’s the procedure for getting married in this country, my beloved?
proceduro = customary or legal procedure. See proceso.
procezo = natural process. See proceso.
profano = religious pollution. See polucio.
profiti = to profit from, take advantage of.
Mi profitu vian viziton por demandi pri Edmond Privat.
= Let me take advantage of your visit to ask about Edmond Privat.
Ĝuste vi profitos la aranĝon.
= You’ll be the one to profit from the arrangement.
promeni = to go for a stroll or for an outing. Note that in Esperanto one can promeni in a boat, on a bike, in a car, etc. as well as by foot.
proponi = offer (something, to do something). See oferi. Caution: If you proponi something drinkable or edible to someone, you have to foot the bill.
Permesu al mi proponi al vi manĝon de omaro, sinjorino. Dankon. Al mi plaĉegas lerni, ke vi riĉas.
= Allow me to invite you to have a lobster dinner, madame. Thank you. I am delighted to learn you are rich.
protekti = protect, especially through one’s influence or authority. See gardi.
provi = to test, measure, try out; to try (to do something); . See pruvi, klopodi.
provizi = “to provision; supply.” One usually provizas someone “with” (per or je) something.
Li provizis la armeon per municioj.
= He supplied the army with munitions.
Ĉu vi senpage provizos mian kelon je vino se mi lernos Esperanton?.
= Will you provision my cellar with wine for free if I learn Esperanto?
Ŝi provizis lin per alibio.
= She provided him [with] an alibi.
Similarly, we do not usually say “She provided the cork for the bottle” in Esperanto, but rather:
Ŝi provizis la botelon per korko.
= She provided the bottle with a cork.
However, in one place Zamenhof did in fact use provizi plus the thing provided, so if you slip into using provizi like “to provide” rather than like “to provision,” you can still say you are following him:
Provizu al vi akvon por la tempo de sieĝo.z
= Provide yourself water for the time of siege.
pruno = plum.
Not to be confused with:
sekigita pruno = prune.
Kroatoj trinkas brunan prunan brandon.
= Croatians drink brown plum brandy.
Kial la maljunulo insiste manĝis ĉiutage sekigitajn prunojn?
= Why did the old man insist on eating prunes every day?
prunti = borrow; lend.
If the same word is used both for borrowing and for lending a book, say, how does one distinguish between being a borrower and being a lender? Esperanto seems to be taking the book’s perspective here! The answer is that one uses (al)prunti al = “lend” or (el)prunti el = “borrow.” De may be used instead of el. Similarly one can say pruntedoni (or prunte doni) = “to give on loan” and pruntepreni (or prunte preni) = “to take on loan.”
Li pruntis al mi sian dentobroson.
= He lent me his toothbrush.
Li “pruntis” tri forkojn de la restoracio.
= He “borrowed” three forks from the restaurant.
Nek elpruntu nek alpruntu.
= Neither a borrower nor a lender be.
pruvi = show by reasoning.
Not to be confused with:
provi = test, measure, try out; to try to do something.
montri = show, demonstrate by illustration; point at or out.
See also konstati.)
Ni provis la novan aŭton kaj bedaŭrinde detruis ĝin.
= We tried out the new car and unfortunately totalled it.
Li pruvis, ke aliplanedanoj ne havus problemojn pri participoj.
= He showed that extraterrestrials would not have problems with participles.
Ŝi montris, ke la korelativoj facile lerneblas per la metodo “Gugululu”.
= She showed that correlatives were easily learnt by the “Gugululu” method.
Ŝi montris/pruvis, ke la akuzito estis kun ŝi dum la krimo.
= She showed that the accused had been with her during the crime.
Ŝi pruvis, ke triangulo ne povas esti trionigita per geometriaj metodoj.
= She showed that a triangle could not be trisected by the methods of geometry.
Montru al mi la vorton en la vortaro! = Show me the word in the dictionary!
Daĉjo, ne montru homojn! = Davey, don’t point at people.!
pudro = face powder. See pulvoro.
pugo = backside, buttocks.
Not to be confused with:
mopso = pugdog.
Li aĉetis ĉarman, malgrandan mopson.
= He bought a charming little pug.
Mi batos al vi la pugaĉon! = I’ll beat your miserable backside!
pulvo = gunpowder. See pulvoro.
pulvoro = powder.
Not to be confused with:
pudro = face powder.
pulvo = gunpowder.
polvo = dust.
Por fari turkstilan kafon, necesas pulvorigi la kafberojn.
= To make Turkish coffee you have to reduce the coffee beans to a powder.
Se mi aĉetos pulvon anstataŭ pudron, ĉu eksplodos mia vizaĝo?
= If I buy gunpowder instead of face powder, will my face explode?
Ni identigis la murdistinon per la pudro sur la pulovero.
= We identified the murderer by the face powder on the sweater.
Kiu ŝutis polvon en la pudron?! = Who dumped dust in the face powder?!
pupitro = rostrum, bookstand. See rostro.


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A B C Ĉ D E F G Ĝ H Ĥ I J Ĵ K L M N O P R S Ŝ T U V Z
radio = (1) ray; (2) radio (as a communications medium, formerly sometimes also radiofonio); (3) radiation (as in radiotherapy, radioactivity); (4) spoke (of a wheel or the analogous part of a radially symmetrical object).
(The third meaning appears mostly as a prefix. In physics most kinds of radiation are referred to as radiado.)
Not to be confused with:
*-The same general distinction between the system and the instrument is observed in telegrafo/telegrafio and (less often) telefono/telefonio.
radioricevilo ~ radioaparato (an individual instrument, formerly sometimes radiofono). See also televido.*
Ŝi aŭskultadis la radion.
= She was listening to the radio.
Li prelegis per radio.
= He gave a speech over the radio.
Mi aĉetos novan radioaparaton.
= I’m going to buy a new radio.
Subite lumradio penetris la obskuron.
= Suddenly a ray of light penetrated the darkness.
Radio de espero lumigis ŝian vizaĝon.
= A ray of hope illuminated her face.
Ŝi esploris transruĝan radiadon.
= She studied infrared radiation.
Li mortis pro atoma radiado.
= He died of atomic radiation.
rajdi = to ride (astride something). See veturi.
rakedo = (1) tennis racket; (2) snowshoe. See raketo.
raketo = rocket.
Not to be confused with:
rakedo = (1) tennis racket; (2) snowshoe (= neĝoŝuo).
bruego = noise.
ĉantaĝo = racket, especially blackmail.
malhonestaĵo = racket, shakedown.
La raketoj mistrafis la esplorejon kaj mortigis ses pingvenojn.
= The rockets missed the research station and did in six penguins.
Tenison oni ludas per rakedoj, ne per bastonoj.
= You play tennis with rackets, not bats.
Bubaĉa bruego finfine sendis lin al Vartejo por la Ĝisfine Angorigitaj.
= The brattish racket finally sent him to the Home for the
= Terminally Bothered.
Sen sekretoj maleblas ĉantaĝo.
= Blackmail is impossible without secrets.
rasti = to rake up, comb up. See kombi.
ravi = to enrapture.
Not to be confused with:
deliri = to rave, be delirious.
frenezi = to be crazy, raving mad.
perforti = to rape, ravish. (But: perforto = violence.)
La baleto ravis ŝin, sed poste la baletisto perfortis ŝin.
= The ballet enraptured her, but afterward the dancer raped her.
Ne aŭskultu ŝin, oficisto; ŝi frenezas.
= Don’t listen to her, officer; she’s raving.
La febro delirigis lin.
= The fever made him delirious.
Lin delirigis ravaj belulinoj.
= Ravishing beauties made him delirious.
Diskuto buĝeta estas preteksto nek por perforto nek por la angla.
= Discussing the budget is no excuse either for violence or for English.
razeno = decorative lawn. See herbo.
redaktisto = editor (from redakti = “to edit”). Redaktoro has the same meaning. Redakcio is used for editor in the sense of the editorial office or editorial authority.
La redaktoro estas mia edzo.
= The editor is my husband.
La redakcio havas kontraŭpoezian politikon.
= The editors have a policy against poetry.
Post lia redakto, mia artikolo longis nur 20 procenton de la originalo.
= After his editing my article was only 20% as long as the original.
referi = make a research report. Hence; referaĵo = technical report or professional paper.
Not to be confused with:
aludi = speak (of), allude (to) (+ al).
sin turni = turn to.
temi pri = to be about, to concern. (See temi.)
rilati = have a connection with, relate to.
plusendi = refer (something to someone), send on to.
Vian leteron mi plusendis al sinjoro Katonski.
= I referred your letter to Mr. Katonski.
Mi preparas referaĵon pri la disiĝo de Sovetunio.
= I am preparing a paper on the disintegration of the Soviet Union.
Mia referaĵo temas pri Kubo.
= My report is about Cuba.
Ŝi malĝentile aludis al miaj antaŭaj edzinoj kaj mia blua barbo.
= She impolitely referred to my previous wives and my blue beard.
regi = control, manage; to reign over. See guverni.
registaro = government. See guverni.
reĝisoro = stage manager; film producer. See reĝo.
reĝo = king.
Not to be confused with:
reĝisoro = stage manager; film producer.
registaro = government. See guverni.
rekomenci = to resume, begin again. See resumo.
rekompenci = repay (a kindness or service). See kompensi.
rekoni = recognize
The word is used especially in the sense of acknowledging or admitting, as in recognizing an illegitimate child or acknowledging the potential utility of Esperanto. Rekoni is a lower frequency word in Esperanto than “recognize” is in English.
Not to be confused with:
agnoski = to recognize (by official declaration).
renkonti = to meet, encounter.
Tiuj sonoj restis en la lingvo por ebligi la rekoneblecon de la vortoj z
= These sounds remained in the language to facilitate the recognizability of the words.
Esperanto trovis rekonon ĉe la urbestraro.
= Esperanto found recognition among the city council.
Sen barbo li ne estis plu rekonebla.
= Without a beard he was no longer recognizable.
En mia lando oni ne agnoskas multoblan geedziĝon, bedaŭrinde.
= In my country they don’t recognize multiple marriage, unfortunately.
renkonti = to meet, run into (someone). See konvena.
rento = interest payment, dividend.
Not to be confused with:
rentumo ~ interezo = interest rate.
lupago = rent payment.
Por via konto ni pagos renton je rentumo de 4 procento jare.
= For your account we’ll pay interest at the rate of 4% yearly.
Lupagon ŝi ŝuldas monate.
= She owes rent monthly.
respondeci = to take responsibility. See respondi.
respondi = respond, answer; correspond, line up.
When respondi means “answer,” the content of the answer is the direct object of the verb (just like “say”), but one answers “to” (= al) a person.
When respondi means “correspond,” in the sense of lining up, the preposition al is used.
Not to be confused with:
respondeci (= responsi) = to take responsibility.
korespondi = to exchange letters or other messages.
Timigite, li respondis nenion.
= Frightened, he said nothing in response.
Timigite, li ne respondis al ŝi.
= Frightened, he didn’t answer her.
Vian respondon sendu antaŭ la fino de la monato.
= Send your reply before the end of the month.
Ili longe korespondis per e-poŝto, sed ĝis la geedziĝa ceremonio ŝi neniam vidis lin.
= They had long corresponded by E-mail, but until the wedding ceremony she had never seen him.
Luna kalendaro ne respondas perfekte al suna kalendaro.
= A lunar calendar does not perfectly correspond with a solar calendar.
Ŝi respondecos pri la tagordo de la seminario.
= She will be responsible for the agenda.
responsi = to take responsibility. See respondi.
resumo = summary, abstract, résumé.
Not to be confused with:
abstrakto = abstraction.
rekomenci = to resume, begin again.
daŭrigi = to continue. See daŭri.
reto = net. See neta.
revo = daydream; aspiration.
Not to be confused with:
sonĝo = dream (during sleep).
Ŝi revis pri riĉa edzo.
= She dreamt of a rich husband.
Ŝi revis edzigi lin, sed li ŝin abomenis.
= She dreamt of marrying him, but he loathed her.
Mi sonĝis, ke mi estas hundo.
= I dreamt I was a dog.
La hundo ne memoras kion ĝi sonĝis.
= The dog doesn’t remember what it dreamt.
revuo = magazine, journal (serious). See ĵurnalo. A “stage review” is a varia teatraĵo.
rezignacio = resignation (as a mental state). See rezigni.
rezigni = abandon, give up, surrender, give up claims to.
Not to be confused with:
rezignacio = resignation (as a mental state).
eksiĝi = resign (from a position).
demisii = resign (from a position).
As far as I can tell, eksiĝi (eks-iĝ-i = “become former”) and demisii (de-misi-i = “go from mission”) are exact synonyms.
Kun rezignacio li rezignis la estrecon kaj eksiĝis de la estraro.
= With resignation he gave up trying for leadership and resigned from the board of directors.
Ŝi estis ĉefministro, sed eksiĝis post la seksoskandalo.
= She was prime minister, but resigned after the sex scandal.
Ŝi estis ĉefministro, sed demisiis post la monoskandalo.
= She was prime minister, but resigned after the money scandal.
Li rezignis sian prelegon kontraŭ Esperanto ĉar li restis solsola en la halo.
= He gave up on his speech against Esperanto because he remained all
= alone in the hall.
Although rezigni is officially transitive, I have usually heard it used intransitively:
Mi rezignis pri ŝia lernado de la albana.
= I have given up on her learning Albanian.
rezulto = effect, consequence, result. See konsekvenco, afekti.
ribeli = to defect, rebel. See difekti.
ribo = currant (berry).
Not to be confused with:
ripo = rib.
Ŝi preparis konfitaĵon de riboj kaj enmetis la sukeron.
= She prepared currant jelly and put in the sugar.
Li difektis al si du-tri ripojn.
= He broke a couple of ribs.
ridi = to laugh.
Hence: rideti = to smile, smirk.
(Illogically, rideti does not mean to snicker, titter, or giggle, all of which are subridi or subridaĉi or klukridi. A subrideto is a sly smile.) See also rikani.
ridinda = funny, ridiculous. See amuza, humuro.
rigora = severa = strict, rigorous. See strikta.
rikani = to cackle malevolently. See also ridi.
rilati = (1) make reference to, relate to;(2) to be connected to, related to, entailed by (+ al). See afekti, referi.
rimarki = to notice.
Not to be confused with:
atentigi = remark, call someone’s attention to (pri) something, caution somebody.
diri = remark, say.
Ŝi rimarkis, ke mi rimarkis, ke restas sango sur ŝiaj manoj.
= She noticed that I had noticed that there was still blood on her hands.
“Mi ĵus preparadis la viandon,” ŝi diris.
= “I was just preparing the meat,” she remarked.
Mi atentigu vin, ke mi ege malsatas.
= Let me caution you that I’m very hungry.
rimedo = device, means, solution, medium, resource. See devizo, medio.
ripo = rib. See ribo.
robo = dress. See dresi.
Romanio = Romio = Rome (Empire). See Romo.
romano = (1) novel; (2) Roman. See novelo, Romo.
Romo = Rome (city). Hence: romano = a citizen of Rome.
Not to be confused with:
Romanio = Romio = Rome (Empire). Hence: romiano = romaniano = an ancient Roman.
Rumanio = Romania. Hence: rumano = Romanian.
Rumandio = French Switzerland. Hence: rumando = a Swiss from a francophone canton. See also novelo.
Romanoj manĝas picon.
= The people of Rome eat pizza.
Romanianoj tamen manĝis nur prapicon, ĉar mankis tomatoj.
= The ancient Romans, however, ate only proto-pizza, since there were no tomatoes.
La plej fama rumano, bedaŭrinde, estas la Grafo Drakula de Transilvanio.
= The most famous Romanian, unfortunately, is Count Dracula
= of Transylvania.
En Rumanio oni prikantas amon.
= In Romania they sing about love.
En Rumandio oni kantas pri fromaĝo.
= In the Suisse Romande they sing about cheese.
roso = dew.
Not to be confused with:
rozo = rose.
rostro = trunk, proboscis, snout.
Not to be confused with:
tribuno ~ podio = speaker’s platform; pulpit; reviewing box.
pupitro = bookstand, lectern.
tribunuso = tribune (a Roman official).
Both tribuno and podio refer to a speaker’s stand or pulpit on the one hand, and also to the seating for speakers and distinguished visitors on the other. When someone is said to sit on either a podio or a tribuno, there is therefore no sure way to know the sitter is a performer or an onlooker. (We have the Romans to thank for this confusion, which apparently existed for the two cognate words in Latin too.)

A pupitro is a bookstand, pure and simple. A large dictionary, for example, may occupy a pupitro. But because some speaker’s stands are designed to hold books, and some bookstands are pressed into service by speakers, the word pupitro sometimes is used in place of tribuno or podio to designate a speaker’s stand. (The word is also sometimes used for a school desk intended for an individual pupil.)
Kiom da muko produktas en unu tago rostro de elefanto?
= How much mucus does an elephant’s trunk produce in a day?
La episkopo sidis ĉe sia tribuno kaj elegantege dormetis.
= The bishop sat at his podium and most elegantly dozed.
La reĝino sidis sur la tribuno. (Has to be a balcony.)
= The queen sat in the reviewing box.
La reĝino staris ĉe la tribuno. (Probably a podium)
= The queen stood at the speaker’s stand.
La kondukisto falis de sur la podio. (Must be a conductor’s platform.)
= The conductor fell from the podium.
Li legis la biblion sur la podio. (The speaker was on the podio.)
= He read the Bible on the platform.
Li legis la biblion sur la pupitro. (The Bible, not the speaker, was on the pupitro.)
= He read the Bible on the lectern.
Grava usona ĵurnalo estas La Tribunuso de Ĉikago.
= The Chicago Tribune is an important American newspaper.
rozo = rose. See roso.
rumano = Romanian. See Romo.
*-For some, especially older, Esperantists it can go considerably further than that, and the word can take on a strongly familial emotional loading. For such people, disagreeing with a samideano is a very painful business, and using the word in an argument might very well end the disagreement right there.
samideano = comrade, brother/sister (as in “Hallelujah, brother!”).
Literally Samideano refers to a person with whom you share an opinion (sam+ide+an+o = “same idea member”), but in practice it nearly always means a fellow speaker of Esperanto. Because of its literal derivation, it is probably a silly word to use for somebody with whom you are having a strong disagreement, but the sense of fellow-travellerism is rarely understood as meaning anything except that you recognize each other as agreeing that Esperanto is, on the whole, not a bad idea.* (“Hallelujah,” if you need it , is haleluja, by the way.)


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A B C Ĉ D E F G Ĝ H Ĥ I J Ĵ K L M N O P R S S Ŝ T U V Z
sankta = holy, sacred.
Sankta is also used as a title for saints, although the noun “saint” is sanktulo.
Dankon. Vi estas vera sanktulo.
= Thanks. You’re a real saint.
Inter ĉiuj sanktuloj, Sankta Nikolao plej plaĉas al Daĉjeto.
= Among all the saints, Little Davey likes Saint Nicholas best.
scii = to know. See koni.
scivol(em)a = curious, wanting to know.
From sci- = “know” plus vol- = “desire.”
Hence also mi scivolas = “I wonder.”
Scivolema is slightly more common than scivola. “Curious” in the sense of “strange” is, unsurprisingly, stranga. See kurioza.
seanco = meeting, sitting (of parliament, committee, doctor & patient, painter & model, etc.).
Not to be confused with:
sesio = session.
spiritista seanco = séance.
The words seanco and sesio overlap quite a bit. In principle a sesio may be composed of several individual seancoj when it comes to something like a parliamentary “session.” When in doubt, the overused generic term kunveno = “meeting” can always be used.
Ĉiutage la tri instruistoj seance planas la lecionojn.
= Every day the three instructors plan the lessons in a meeting.
Pro longa seanco ĉe la kuracisto, mi iom malfruas.
= I am a little late because of the long session at the doctor’s office.
Dum la spiritista seanco aperis Miĥalski, kiu verkis poezion.
= During the séance Michalski appeared and wrote poetry.
sekvo = fall-out, consequence. See konsekvenco.
selekti = breed selectively; select.
Not to be confused with:
elekti = select, elect.
voĉdoni ~ baloti = to vote.
senco = sense, meaning.
Not to be confused with:
senso = sense of touch, hearing, etc.
Hence: sensi = to perceive with one’s senses.
sento = feeling.
Hence: senti = “to have a sense about something”; sentemo = “sensitivity”; sentumo = a sense, insight, suspicion)
Lia libro estas absoluta sensencaĵo.
= His book is utter nonsense.
Mi spertis antaŭsenton pri la katastrofo.
= I had a premonition of the disaster.
La homoj havas kvin sensojn, sed kelkfoje vi ŝajnas havi sesan.
= People have five senses, but sometimes you seem to have a sixth.
La sesa senso estas senso de humuro.
= The sixth sense is the sense of humor.
Li sentis sin netaŭga por la tasko.
= He felt himself inappropriate for the task.
Ili estas tre sentemaj kaj deziris eviti vian eventualan embarason.
= They are very considerate and wanted to avoid your possible embarrassment.
senso = sense of touch, hearing, etc. See senco.
sentenco = maxim, pithy saying. See also devizo, kondamno.
La Sentencoj estas en la Biblio.
= The book of Proverbs is in the Bible.
sento = feeling, suspicion. See senco.
serĉo = search, pursuit. See kvesti. Contrast ŝerco.
servico = service, set (as in “a service of china”). See servo.
servo = service (to someone).
Not to be confused with:
servico = service, set (as in “a service of china”).
diservo = religious service.
meso = a Catholic mass.
(See also maso. )
severa = rigora = strict, rigorous. See strikta.
simpatia = agreeable, compatible (of people). See kara.
sinjor(in)o = Mr(s); sir/madam.
Note that sinjor(in)o can also mean lord/lady or master/mistress in some contexts. In religious contexts, sinjoro is used to refer to God. In Esperanto sinjor(in)o is used with much higher frequency than sir/madam is used in English (so the best translation is sometimes to ignore it). See also fraŭl(in)o.
Not to be confused with:
lord(in)o = lord/lady (British nobility).
Kredu min, sinjorino.
= Believe me, madam!
Ne diru, sinjoro, ke vi ne plu memoras min!
= Don’t tell me [sir] that you don’t remember me any more!
Li estas granda sinjoro.
= He is a great lord.
Jen venas sinjoro Ĉun!
= Here comes Mr. Chun.
Jen venas sinjorino Gato!
= Here comes Madame Gateau.
Ĉu tiu estas lordo Brawling?
= Is that Lord Brawling?
Ne. Tiu estas lordino Ranting.
= No. That’s Lady Ranting.
Iu ŝtelis ĉiujn komiksojn el la kluba biblioteko! Ho sinjoro!
= Someone stole all the comics from the club library! Oh Lord!
Preĝu ĉiutage al la Sinjoro.
= Pray to the Lord every day.
sinteno = perspective, point of view, stand, attitude. (From teni = “to hold.”)
Kia estis via sinteno dum la revolucio?
= What was your stand in the revolution?
Lia sinteno pri Esperanto estas tro mokema.
= His position on Esperanto is too derisive.
Pro lia kontraŭpartia sinteno ni devis lin pafigi.
= We had to have him shot for his anti-party attitude.
skeptik(em)a = cynical, skeptical. See cinika.
skolo = school of philosophy, school of thought.
Not to be confused with:
lernejo = school (a place where learning takes place). See also studi.
skribi = to write. See verki.
socio = society.
Socio means society in the sense of “Argentine society” or “modern society.” A society in the sense of a club, professional organization, or Esperanto group is societo.
solida = massive, dense. See masiva.
sonĝo = dream during sleep. See revo.
sorto = luck, fate, destiny. See speco.
specio = biological species. See speco.
speco = kind, type, sort.
Not to be confused with:
klaso = sort, species, class; class in school (made up of students).
kurso = course (made up of lessons).
(In actual practice, klaso tends to be used also for a course.)
specio = biological species.
spico= spice.
sorto = luck, fate, destiny. See also fatalo.
Spegulos la spiro la specon de spico.
= The breath will reveal the species of spice!
En biologio, genro dividiĝas en speciojn.
= In biology, a genus is divided into species.
Lin tuŝetis la fingro flugema flirtema de la sorto.
= He was touched by the flying fickle finger of fate.
Provu vian sorton! Aĉetu bileton en la nova, senpremia loterio!
= Try your luck! Buy a ticket in the new, prizeless lottery!
Kia idioto aĉetus loterian bileton de tiu speco?!
= What kind of idiot would buy a lottery ticket like that?!
Mi ne scias; ĉu ekzistas klasoj de idiotoj?
= I don’t know; are there different kinds of idiots?
Mi sekvas kurson pri la Interreto.
= I’m taking a course about the Internet.
Kelkaj el miaj samklasanoj estas hundoj.
= Some of my classmates are dogs.
spico = spice. See speco.
spiti = openly defy.
Hence: spite de = “in defiance of,” a (much overused) stronger form of malgraŭ = “despite.” See defii, malgraŭ.
sportejo = gymnasium, stadium. See gimnazio.
stabila = stable.
Hence: stabileco = stability, stabiligi = to stabilize, to balance. See stablo, balanci.
stablo = workbench, easel, trestle, workstand.
Not to be confused with:
stalo = stable, stall in a stable. A stable specifically for one kind of animal can be specified with -ej-, e.g., ĉevalejo = “horse stable.”
stativo = stand (as for a movie screen).
stabila = stable. Hence: stabileco = stability.
stando = stand (temporary sales or display area)
Metu la rompitan ludilon sur la stablon de Avĉjo.
= Put the broken toy on Grandpa’s workbench.
La stablo de Avĉjo ne plu estas tre stabila.
= Grandpa’s workbench is not very stable any more.
Kiel kuglo el pistolo elsaltis la bovego el la stalo.
= The bull shot from the stall like a bullet from a pistol.
La fotila stativo tute mem difektiĝis, klarigis Daĉjeto.
= The camera stand broke all by itself, Little Davey explained.
Ĉe stando en la foiro oni povas fotiĝi.
= At a stand at the faire you can take a picture of yourself.
stalo = stable, stall in a stable. See stablo.
stando = stand (temporary sales or display area). See stablo.
stativo = stand (as for a movie screen). See stablo.
stato = condition, state. See kondiĉo.
stigmo = receptive surface of a flower pistil; pore, spiracle (respiratory structure of an animal)
Not to be confused with:
stigmato = birthmark, scar, mark (esp. of infamy).
stranga = strange, peculiar, funny. See amuza.
strebi = to strive. See klopodi.
streĉi = to wind (a watch); to pull longer, stretch.
The adjective streĉ(it)a means “tense” when it is applied to people, situations, suspense stories, diplomatic relations, and the like. Specifically, streĉa (= “stretching”) means “causing tension”; streĉita (= “tightly wound up”) means something is causing you tension! (Compare English “high strung.”) Hence: streĉo = great effort.
Streĉu la antenon inter la du arboj.
= Stretch the antenna between the two trees.
La situacio estis tre streĉa.
= The situation was very tense.
Aŭskulti lian prelegon estas vera streĉo.
= Listening to his lecture is a real effort.
Murdo en Esperantujo estas streĉa romano.
= Murder in Esperantia is a tense novel.
Ŝi ĉiam ŝajnas tre streĉita.
= She always seems very tense.
Tro streĉite, la brakhorloĝo kompreneble rompiĝis.
= Having been too tightly wound, the watch naturally broke.
Por la malsanulo, eĉ maĉi estis granda streĉo.
= For the invalid, even chewing was a great effort.
strikta = tight, close-fitting.
Not to be confused with:
rigora = severa = strict, rigorous.
La guvernanto severegas; li ne permesas ludojn sur la tegmento.
= The tutor is very strict; he doesn’t allow games on the roof.
La dikiĝantoj ofte portas striktajn vestojn; dikiĝintaj lozajn.
= People growing fatter often wear tight clothes; those already
= fat, loose ones.
studento = student.
The word refers usually to a university-level student. Elementary and high school students are lernantoj. Adult education students are often also referred to as lernantoj. Fellow participants in a particular course are often called klasanoj.
studi and lerni = “study” and “learn,” respectively.
In my dialect of English, one can study something for years and never really learn it, but if one has learnt it, one knows it. Thus I can say, “I studied French but didn’t learn it.”

For the majority of European Esperantists, lerni refers to acquiring basic knowledge, normally in a school (lernejo), while studi is often more advanced, and may take place in a school (especially a gimnazio or universitato) or a room at home (studejo). It is not unusual to hear European speakers say mi lernis la anglan dum tri semajnoj, meaning “I studied English for three weeks,” not “I learned English in three weeks”!

The same European sense leads most Esperantists to avoid speaking of elementary school pupils as studentoj (since by definition their studies are elementary), but to call them instead lernantoj.

Plena Ilustrita Vortaro, the largest Esperanto dictionary, fence-sits. On the one hand, lerni is defined as including successful completion of one’s efforts (as in English); on the other hand, studi is defined as involving detailed and profound exploration of a subject (as for Europeans). Be prepared for a certain mismatch of preferences between these words, with much higher frequency of lerni on the part of European speakers than among Asian and American Esperantists.*
Some other related terms are:
*-Chinese Esperanto dictionaries I have checked reflect the usage of Europeans, but it is my impression that Chinese speakers actually use the two words more the way Americans do. Zamenhof makes broad use of lerni and less use of studi, often using lerni in a sense very close to English. As a rule of thumb, when in doubt, use lerni rather than studi.
informiĝi = learn about, become informed about, check out.
ekscii = find out about, come to know.
ekkoni = become acquainted with, come to know.
konstati = discover, prove, find out. (See konstati. )
Ĉiam informiĝu pri la firmo antaŭ ol vi aĉetos akciojn.
= Always find out about the company before you buy shares.
En la lernejo mi ekkonis la rusan kaj konstatis ke ĝi estas mirinde malfacila.
= At school I became acquainted with Russian and discovered that it is remarkably difficult.
Ŝi lernis Esperanton en Finnlando.
= She [first] studied Esperanto in Finland.
Ŝi studis Esperanton en Sandiego.
= She studied [researched] Esperanto in San Diego.
sufiĉe = enough; fairly, rather.
Vi estas sufiĉe maljuna por memori.
= You’re old enough to remember.
Sufiĉe malvarmas hodiaŭ.
= It’s rather nippy today.
sukeraĵo = confection. See konfekcio.


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A B C Ĉ D E F G Ĝ H Ĥ I J Ĵ K L M N O P R S Ŝ T U V Z
ŝajnigi = pretend, make it seem as though. See pretendi.
ŝatata = appreciated, much liked. See favorata.
*-Sexual love is amoro, with the derivative verb amori, “to make love.” It is unclear to me to what extent some speakers use amori to refer to feelings of sexual attraction rather than the act itself of sexual congress. Only the latter seems to be meant by the word seksumi = “to have sex.” To the extent that amori is used for the sexual act, ami tends to move into the semantic terrain of English “love” and ŝati tends to correspond better and better to English “like.” Let it never be said that Esperanto usage is static! Copulation, animal or human, is kopulacio.
ŝati = to value, to appreciate, to like.
Originally in Esperanto ŝati meant to appreciate, value, or think highly of something. It corresponded to some senses of the English verb “to like,” but not to all of them. It was also a lower frequency word in Esperanto than “like” is in English. Other senses of “to like” were expressed in Esperanto by the verb ami, which also corresponds to most senses of “to love.” There is a tendency among English speakers to equate ami too exactly with “love” and ŝati too closely with “like.” That should be resisted, since it results in an overuse of ŝati (sometimes inappropriately) and an underuse of ami (and leads us to misunderstand those who use ami where we might say “like”). Mi amas vin can mean “I like you” as well as “I love you” in Esperanto.* English usage seems to be moving the Esperanto verbs toward closer correspondence with the English pattern, but the usage in the two languages still is not quite identical. You have been warned!
A related verb is plaĉi, which is the closest equivalent to most senses of “like” except that the action of the verb goes in the opposite direction. While in English John likes coffee, in Esperanto coffee plaĉas al John. The word-for-word translation “is pleasing to” is not very colloquial in English, but plaĉi is very colloquial in Esperanto. (Compare Spanish gustar.)
Ŝi tre plaĉas al Johano.
= John really likes her.
Viaj ideoj iom plaĉas al mi.
= I rather like your ideas.
Pollando plaĉas al la poloj.
= The Poles like Poland.
Vi ege plaĉas al mi, kara.
= You really turn me on, sweetheart.
To sound less parochially American, make more use of plaĉi and less of ŝati!
ŝerco = joke, witticism; practical joke. See also serĉo, blago.
Caution (1): Even though really committed soreheads rarely speak Esperanto, there almost does not exist a joke that won’t offend somebody, usually unexpectedly. To apologize if someone takes offense, quickly mutter, Pardonu! Mi nur ŝercis! = “Pardon me! I was only joking!”
Caution (2): Many Esperanto speakers make verbal jokes pretty much full time. Accordingly: (A) they are not to be taken too seriously, especially if what they say seems bizarre, and (B) don’t be surprised if they don’t take you too seriously either, especially if what you say seems bizarre.
ŝimo = mildew, mold.
Not to be confused with:
ŝlimo = slime, sludge.
muldi = to mold. Hence: muldilo = a mold. See also matraco.
ŝirmi = shield, protect, guard. See gardi.
ŝlimo = slime, sludge. See also ŝimo.
*-Similarly in early XXth-century English it took some years before it became clear that a typewriter was the machine and not the operator of the machine.
ŝofori = to drive.
This verb is derived from the noun ŝoforo = “chauffeur,” and it is still unclear whether ŝofori will evolve to mean be a chauffeur, drive (a car), or drive (a person somewhere).* (My own usage is to regard ŝofori as what one does to a car, and konduki as what one does to a person.) Another verb, good for either purpose, is veturigi. See veturi.
ŝranko = cupboard, cabinet; clothes closet.
Not to be confused with:
breto = shelf. Hence: bretaro = set of shelves.
kamero = closet; chamber in a machine (as combustion chamber).
kabineto = (1) study, office; (2) cabinet (in a government); (3) small exhibition hall.
Mi dum la tuta mateno skribis leterojn en la kabineto.
= I was writing letters in the study all morning.
La muzeo havas kabineton de naturaj kuriozaĵoj, kie mortis la kato.
= The museum has a small hall of natural curiosities, where the cat died .
La prezidento fotiĝis kun sia kabineto.
= The president was photographed with his cabinet.
Metu la librojn en la ŝrankon.
= Put the books in the cabinet.
En Usono oni uzas vestokamerojn, sed en Eŭropo oni uzas vestoŝrankojn.
= In America people use closets, but in Europe they use cabinets.
Fotilo devas havi senluman kameron.
= A camera must have a dark chamber.
Ŝi ŝutis pulvon en la kameron kaj celumis la musketon.
= She poured the gunpowder into the chamber and aimed the musket.
See also kontoro.
ŝtato = nation, state. See kondiĉo.
ŝuti = to pour (a non-liquid). See verŝi.
ŝvabri = to wetmop. See kombi.
ŝvela = plump, bloated, swollen, filled. See plumpa.


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A B C Ĉ D E F G Ĝ H Ĥ I J Ĵ K L M N O P R S Ŝ T U V Z
taksi = (1) to evaluate, to judge (especially when applied to people); (2) to calculate, estimate; (3) to surcharge, assess, (4) to set a maximum legal price for something.
Not to be confused with:
imposti = to tax.
taksio = a taxi. Hence: taksii = to taxi (someone).
Mi taksas la domon tro kosta por vi.
= I estimate the house to be too expensive for you.
La doma imposto sekvas ĝian taksitan valoron.
= The tax on the house follows its assessed value.
Mi alte taksas ŝian kantadon, sed ne ŝian kanton.
= I have a high opinion of her singing, but not of her song.
Ni taksas ĉiun laŭ la merito.
= We evaluate everyone by merit.
Ne taksu vian kontraŭulon tro malforta.
= Don’t judge your opponent too weak.
Belecon taksas ne okulo, sed koro.
= Beauty is judged not by the eye, but by the heart.
Ŝi alte taksis lian oficon.
= She held his position in high esteem.
Ni taksis je mil frankoj la deficiton de la kongreso.
= We estimated the deficit of the convention at 1000 francs.
Note that some sentences can have double meanings because of the differences among the different senses of this word.
Ĉi tie la benzino estas taksita tre alte.
= Gas here is very heavily surcharged.
= Gas is very highly thought of here.
La registaro taksos medikamentojn.
= The government will put a price ceiling on medicines.
= The government will put a surcharge on medicines.
It would be nice if Esperanto-speaking commercial interests could sort this out a little better. For the time being the important thing is that taksi always has to do with guessing the value or appropriateness or quality of something. Evaluation is the key issue.
taŭgi = to be serviceable, of use, fit , valuable (for something). See also konvena.
Kio taŭgas por somero ne taŭgas por vintro.z
= What’s good for summer is not good for winter.
Mi konvinkiĝis, ke mi por la komuna medicina praktikado tute ne taŭgas. z
= I became convinced that I was completely unusited for ordinary medical practice.
Unu vido taŭgas pli ol dek aŭdoj.z
= One viewing is worth more than ten hearings.
Mia amato estas sentaŭgulo, sed riĉa sentaŭgulo.
= My beloved is a good-for-nothing, but a rich good-for-nothing.
tedi = to annoy (someone); to be boring (to someone).
Mi bedaŭras tedi vin per tio ĉi.
= I’m sorry to trouble you with this.
Li estas la plej teda instruisto en nia lernejo. Li eĉ ricevis premion por tedeco!
= He’s the most boring teacher in our school. He even got a prize for boringness!
La spektaklo de talentoj tedis al li.
= The talent show bored him.
Contrast amuzi, enua.
telero = dining plate. See plato.
televido ~ televizio = television (as a communications medium, phenomenon, institution, industry.).
Not to be confused with:
*-The same general distinction between the system and the instrument is observed in telegrafo/telegrafio and (less often) telefono/telefonio. (Cf. English “telegraphy” and “telephony.”) However the prevalence of televidilo suggests that there is little probability of the same contrast becoming general for televido over and against televizio.
televidilo = television (an individual instrument). See also radio.*
Ŝi tro amas la televidon.
= She is too fond of television.
Ŝi rigardis la televidilon kiam ĝi eksplodis.
= She was looking at the television when it blew apart.
Li instruis Esperanton per televido.
= He taught Esperanto on television.
Mia televidilo paneis.
= My television broke down.
La televizio estas grava ankaŭ en la politiko.
= Television is important also in politics.
temi = to be a matter of. Often used without a stated subject:
Temas pri…
= It’s a matter of…, it’s about…
tendenco = bias, twist, inclination.
Hence: tendenca = biased, tendentious. (In recent years this has evolved toward the additional meaning of “tendency.”)
Not to be confused with:
emo = tendency.
La ĵurio de malriĉuloj estis tendenca kontraŭ la eksprinco.
= The jury of poor people was biased against the former prince.
Ĝi estis tendenca romano.
= It was a propaganda novel.
La rakonto havis komunistan tendencon.
= The story had a communist bias.
Ŝia mistika tendenco batalas kontraŭ ŝia racia.
= Her mystical inclinations are at odds with her rational ones.
Mi havas la emon tro paroli.
= I have a tendency to talk too much.
La loka klubo ruiniĝis pro lia tendenco.
= The local club came to grief because of his tendentiousness.
testo = (1) test, especially placement test, diagnostic test, school quiz; (2) experimental test of competing brands, procedures, etc.
Not to be confused with:
testiko = testicle.
ekzameno = detailed examination, thorough inspection or inquiry.
(Note that Esperanto less freely than English mixes up mighty ekzamenoj and trivial testoj.)
Ni testis tri markojn de kafpulvoro.
= We tested three brands of instant coffee.
Komence de la seanco la doktoro testis ŝin.
= At the beginning of the session the doctor tested her.
Meze de la kurso venis testo pri korelativoj.
= Midway through the course came a test on correlatives.
Fine de la kurso venis la timiga ekzamenego pri la tuta gramatiko.
= At the end of the course came the huge, horrifying exam over the entire grammar.
La patro ekzamenis ŝian amikon kaj rifuzis permesi la geedziĝon.
= Her father examined her boyfriend and refused to permit the marriage.
trafi = to hit a target, to attain a goal.
The verb is often used for “catching” a bus, train, etc. Hence: trafa = appropriate, telling.
Ŝi mistrafis la buson kaj venis per mulo.
= She missed the bus and came by mule.
Li proponis iom tro trafan ŝercon kaj ŝi responde batis lin ombrele.
= He proposed a rather too pointed joke and in reply she hit him with her umbrella.
Ŝia bato mistrafis lin sed trafis la mulon.
= Her blow missed him but hit the mule.
trakti = to deal with, to treat (a subject). See negoco.
tribuno = podio = rostrum. See rostro.
trinki = to drink (including alcohol in moderation). See drinki.
triviala = vulgar, indelicate, low class. See vulgara.
truo = hole. See kavo.
truseĝo = toilet seat. See komodo.
ttt = tut-tera teksaĵo = world-wide web (www). See neta.
tuj = immediately, just. See ĝusta.
tuta = entire. Hence: tute = “entirely.”
Ŝin amas la tuta mondo.
= The whole world loves her.
Ŝin amas tute la mondo.
= The world loves her entirely.
Ŝin amas la mondo tute .
= The world loves her entirely.
Mi komprenas la tutan gramatikon.
= I know the whole grammar.
Mi komprenas tute la gramatikon.
= I understand the grammar entirely.


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A B C Ĉ D E F G Ĝ H Ĥ I J Ĵ K L M N O P R S Ŝ T U V Z
urini = urinate. See pisi.


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A B C Ĉ D E F G Ĝ H Ĥ I J Ĵ K L M N O P R S Ŝ T U V Z
varti = to tend, raise, take care of (a child, invalid, animal, potted plant, pet store, etc.); to baby-sit. See also zorgi, eduki.
Salutu la vartonton, Daĉjeto.
= Say hello to the sitter, Davey.
Ŝi lasis la du infanojn en la vartejo.
= She left the two kids in the daycare center.
Li estos vartisto de maljunuloj, sed nur post alia ekzameno.
= He’ll be a nurse for old people, but only after another exam.
Ho, iru kaj vartu vian kakton!
= Oh, go putter with your cactus!
Li loĝas en vartejo por eksprofesoroj de Esperanto.
= He lives in an asylum for former Esperanto teachers.
vazo = vessel, container.
Not to be confused with:
florvazo = vase.
Metu la nemanĝitan fabaĵon en vazon.
= Put the unfinished beans in a container.
Ne ĉia vazo taŭgas por floroj.
= Not every kind of container is appropriate for flowers.
ve = alas.
Ve is more common in Esperanto than “alas” is in English. (I can’t remember when I last heard anybody say “alas,” but Esperantists seem to say ve at me all the time.) It can be used of great or small catastrophes, but for sudden minor annoyances fuŝ! (“rats!”) is probably better.
Ho fuŝ! Mi perdis la krajonon.
= Oh rats! I lost the pencil!
Ho ve! Mi perdis la edzon!
= Oh me! I’ve lost my husband!
Fik! and Fek! correspond literally with the unimaginative but common American “Fuck!” and “Shit!” respectively. Comparable words are not profanity in all languages, but, accompanied by the right tone of voice and flushed face, they will usually convey the same general impression as their English equivalents anyway. (If you want to offend Esperantists in six countries at a time, try prefixing Zamen- to these!)
Ho fuŝ! Iu forŝtelis la bebon! = Oh bother! Someone stole the baby!
Ho ve! Mi perdis la monon! = Oh my God! I’ve lost the money!
Z…k! Aĉegulo forŝtelis la Plenan Vortaron!
= S…t! Some schmuck stole the unabridged dictionary!
vendejo = market, shop. See debito.
vendotablo = sales table. See kontoro.
veni = come.
The difference between coming (veni) and going (iri) seems easy enough, but there are different conventions in different nations about where the speaker is assumed to be. (If I meet you on the street, do I ask you to “go” to my house or to “come” to it?). In the following example, the English is inconsistent with itself, but conventional. Esperanto has no fixed convention. Be prepared for anything.
Venu/iru al mia domo morgaŭ. Ĉu vi scias iri/veni?
= Come to my house tomorrow. Do you know how to go?
verki = to compose, write.
Not to be confused with:
skribi = to write (produce letters lined up in rows).
Ŝi skribis tiel malklare, ke neniu povis legi la leteron.
= She wrote so unclearly that nobody could read the letter.
Li verkis romanon kiun bonvolis legi nur lia patrino.
= He wrote a novel that only his mother would read.
Ĉar nun studentoj uzas komputilojn, iliaj eseoj estas kare presitaj anstataŭ manskribitaj, kaj stulta verkado pli facile videblas.
= Because students use computers now, their essays are clearly printed rather than handwritten, and stupid composition is more readily visible.
vermo = worm.
Not to be confused with:
bestetaĉoj = vermin.
Dum vermo serĉis verminon, birdo manĝis ambaŭ.
= As a he-worm sought a she-worm, a bird ate them both.
La lito estis plena de bestetaĉoj kiuj mordis kaj pikis ŝin.
= The bed was full of vermin, which bit and stung her.
vesto = article of clothing.
Many speakers unnecessarily use vestaĵo with the same meaning. For some speakers, vesto can also mean a suit of clothing, in which case vestaĵo distinguishes each of the parts of it. Note that a modern suit is a kompleto.
verŝajne = seemingly, apparently, probably (= ver+ŝajn+e).
Although the word literally means “seemingly,” some Esperantists use verŝajne as a non-committal comment about pretty much anything that anybody says to them (just like efektive = “really” and kompreneble = “of course”). The meaning in that case is roughly comparable to “so it seems” or “I guess so.”
verŝi = to pour (a liquid)
Not to be confused with:
ŝuti = to pour (a non-liquid).
Ŝi verŝis la lakton en la bovlon.
= She poured the milk into the bowl.
Ŝi ŝutis la farunon en la bovlon.
= She poured the flour into the bowl.
La enhavo de la ŝranko ŝutiĝis super lin.
= The contents of the cabinet dumped out on him.
Li estis superŝutita per la eksa enhavo de la ŝranko kaj bunte sakris.
= He was buried by the former contents of the cabinet and swore colorfully.
veturi = to travel, especially by vehicle. Hence: veturigi = to take (someone somewhere) by vehicle, to drive (a vehicle).
Not to be confused with:
rajdi = to ride (astride something).
Li falis de la biciklo sur kiu li rajdis.
= He fell of the bike he was riding.
Ŝi rajdas al Esperanto-kunvenoj per ĉevalo.
= She rides to Esperanto meetings on horseback.
Ĉiuj aliaj veturas per aŭtoj aŭ aŭtobusoj.
= All the others travel by car or bus.
Bv. veturigi nian gaston al la hotelo.
= Please take our guest to the hotel.
See also ŝofori.
vic- = prefix comparable to English “vice-.” See vico.
vico = line, queue; one’s turn, place in line.
Not to be confused with:
vic- = prefix comparable to the English prefix “vice-.”
malvirto = vice, sin.
Laŭ la pado kreskis vico da arboj.
= A row of trees grew along the path.
Staras vicoj de samformaj dometoj sur monteto.
= There are rows of identical little houses on a hill.
La tuta mondo viciĝu malantaŭ mi!
= Let the whole world line up behind me!
[Ni ne dediĉu] tutan vicon da jaroj al la ellernado de la latina lingvo.z
= Let’s not dedicate a whole course of years to learning Latin.
Baldaŭ venos via vico kanti.
= Your turn to sing will come soon.
Nun mia vico, diable!
= My turn now, dammit!
La vickasisto forŝtelis ĉiom de la mono!
= The vice-treasurer stole all the money!
vigla = crisp, smart. See krispa.
vila = hairy, fuzzy, furry.
Viloj are the tiny hairs constituting the fuzz on a peach or similar fruit and similar structures on animal skin. In the singular, vilo often refers to a tuft of such hairs, rather than to a single hair. As an adjective, vila almost exactly corresponds both with English “fuzzy” and with English “hairy” and can be used of plants, dogs, people, etc.
Not to be confused with:
fi-- = vile (prefix and interjection).
Mia frato estas vila viro.
= My brother is a hairy man.
Mia frato estas fiviro.
= My brother is a vile man.
Fi al vi, ho malbonegulo!
= Fie upon you, you monster!
vivi = to be alive.
Not to be confused with:
loĝi = to dwell (somewhere).
Ŝi loĝis en Novgineo dum multaj jaroj.
= She lived in New Guinea for many years.
Elvis vivas kaj loĝas en Indianapolo.
= Elvis is alive and living in Indianapolis.
Nia Napoleono ne plu vivas; katoj mallonge vivas.
= Our Napoleon isn’t alive any more; cats don’t live long.
Ĉu li ne plu vivas aŭ nur ne plu parolas Esperanton? Samas, ĉu ne?
= Is he no longer alive or does he simply no longer speak Esperanto? It’s the same thing, isn’t it?
viziti = pay a visit to.
Caution: viziti cannot be used to mean “talk to” or “visit with.” Try paroli = “speak,” konversacii = “converse,” klaĉi = “gossip,” or babili = “chat” plus kun. Some speakers use viziti to mean “attend” when talking about school, despite possible confusion:
Ŝi nun vizitas la elementan lernejon.
= She is now attending elementary school.
= She is now visiting the elementary school.
voĉdoni = to vote. See selekti.
Volapuko = Volapük.
Volapük is an extinct artificial language project published in 1879; it attracted a large following till it was eclipsed by Esperanto about 1900. All current users of the language seem to be Esperantists of waggish or antiquarian inclination. Hence: volapukaĵo = inscrutable utterance, gibberish.
La spiritisma mediumo parolis nur volapukaĵojn.
= The spirit medium spoke only gibberish.
voli = want, be willing, choose, have a mind to.
Mi volis respondi al via letero, sed vermoj formanĝis la krajonon.
= I wanted to reply to your letter, but worms ate the pencil.
To stress willingness rather than real desire, it is usual to use the compound bonvoli = “to be willing.” As a noun, bonvolo is someone’s benevolence, good will, or kindness.
volo de Dio
= will of God
Ni venis pro ŝia bonvolo.
= We came through her good will.
Mi ĉiam volis viziti Ekvadoron.
= I always wanted to visit Ecuador.
*-A minority usage creates the adverb bonvole and uses it with a verb in the U-mood: Bonvole pagu lin. = “Please pay him.”
Ŝi ne bonvolas vojaĝi kun mi al Ekvadoro.
= She is unwilling to go to Ecuador with me.
Bonvolu is usual to mean “please” in polite requests and could probably be literally translated “have the kindness to.” It is followed by the infinitive.
Bonvolu pagi lin.
= Please pay him.
In writing, the abbreviation bv. often substitutes for bonvolu. Bonvolu! is also a polite expression used to signal that the other person should take the thing offered, when passing out candies or snacks, for example. (= “Please have some!”) It may also be used in ceding the way to someone else, as through a door (= “After you!”) or to invite someone to proceed with his plans (= “Go right ahead!”). In some countries it is said by the host to signal that guests should begin eating.
vulgara = popular, ordinary, lay, common ; colloquial.
Not to be confused with:
triviala = vulgar, indelicate, low class.
bagatela = trivial.
maldeca = indecent.
Li estas famega scienca vulgarigisto.
= He is a famous science popularizer.
La keĉva estas la vulgara lingvo de Bolivio.
= Quechua is the colloquial language of Bolivia.
Li studis la klasikan araban lingvon, ne la vulgaran.
= He studied Classical Arabic, not spoken Arabic.
Al decaj personoj kiel ni, neniam plaĉas trivialaj ŝercoj!
= Vulgar jokes never please decent people like us!
La prezo estos por la riĉuloj nur bagatela afero.
= For the rich, the price will be only a trivial matter.
Ŝi verkas vulgarajn librojn, li maldecajn.
= She writes books for a lay audience; he writes dirty ones.
*-Stupid mnemonic for “fox”: “The wily vulp in a single gulp ate the hen entirely ulp!”
vulpo = fox.
Not to be confused with:
lupo = wolf.
Laŭ okcidentuloj, vulpoj estas ruzaj kaj ruĝaj.
= According to Westerners, foxes are clever and red.
Lupo primanĝis Ruĝan Kapuĉulineton. Li nomiĝis Lupi-la-Lupo.*
= A wolf devoured Little Red Riding Hood. His name was Wooly-the-Wolf.
vundi = to hurt, wound. See dolori.


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A B C Ĉ D E F G Ĝ H Ĥ I J Ĵ K L M N O P R S Ŝ T U V Z
zorgi pri = attend to, take responsibility for, care for, tend.
Even more than klopodi, zorgi tends to suggest anxiety. The compound prizorgi is as common as zorgi pri.
Patrino zorgas pri siaj infanoj.
= A mother looks after her children.
Vi prizorgu la manĝaĵon.
= You look after the food.
Vi neniam prizorgas pri mi!z
= You never bother about me!
Pli da havo, pli da zorgoj.z
= More possessions, more cares.
Li suferas pro financaj zorgoj.
= He suffers from financial worries.
Li havas financajn zorgojn.
= He has financial responsibilities.
Compare varti, klopodi.


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A B C Ĉ D E F G Ĝ H Ĥ I J Ĵ K L M N O P R S Ŝ T U V Z