Rules Of Esperanto

The 16 Rules of EsperantoLanguage

(Warning: Don't think that reading a list of rules is an effective way of LearningForeignLanguages. This list is merely a description of the patterns of the language; a feel for the language might be better served by reading the tutorials or some sample text.)

Note, however the relative simplicity, compared to the RulesOfVolapuk.

  1. There is no Indefinite Article, there is only a definite article (la), alike for all sexes, cases, and numbers.

  2. Substantives end in o. To form the plural j is added. There are only two cases: nominative and accusative; the latter is obtained from the nominative by adding n. Other cases are expressed by preposition (genitive de, dative al, ablative per, etc.)

  3. The Adjective ends in a. Case and number as for substantives. The Comparative is made by means of the word pli, the Superlative by plej; with the Comparative the conjunction ol is used.

  4. The cardinal Numerals (not declined) are: unu, du, tri, kvar, kvin, ses, sep, ok, nau, dek, cent, mil. Tens and hundreds are formed by simple junction of the numerals. To mark the ordinal numerals a is added; for the multiple, obl; for the fractional, on; for the collective, op; for the distributive, the preposition po. Substantival and adverbial numerals can also be used.

  5. Personal Pronouns: mi, vi, li, sxi, gxi (thing or animal), si, ni, vi, ili, oni; possessives are formed by adding a. Declension as for substantives.

  6. The Verb undergoes no change with regard to person or number. Forms of the verb: time being (Present) takes the termination -as; time been (Past) -is; time about-to-be (Future) -os; Conditional mood -us; Imperative mood -u; Infinitive -i. Participles (with adjectival or adverbial sense): active present -ant; active past -int; active future -ont; passive present -at; passive past -it; passive future -ot. The passive is rendered by a corresponding form of the verb esti and a passive participle of the required verb; the preposition with the passive is de.

  7. Adverbs end in e; comparison as for adjectives.

  8. All Prepositions govern the nominative.

  9. Every word is Pronounced as it is Spelt.

  10. The Accent is always on the second-last syllable.

  11. Compound Words are formed by simple junction of the words (the chief word stands at the end). Grammatical terminations are also regarded as independent words.

  12. When another negative word is present the word ne is left out.

  13. In order to show direction towards, words take the termination of the accusative.

  14. Each Preposition has a definite and constant meaning; but if the direct sense does not indicate which it should be, we use the preposition je, which has no meaning of its own. Instead of je we may use the accusative without a preposition.

  15. The so-called Foreign Words, that is, those which the majority of languages have taken from one source, undergo no change in Esperanto, beyond conforming to its orthography; but with various words from one root, it is better to use unchanged only the fundamental word and to form the rest from this latter in accordance with the rules of the Esperanto language.

  16. The Final Vowel of the substantive and of the article may sometimes be dropped and be replaced by an apostrophe.


These rules assume familiarity with the features of IndoEuropeanLanguages, such as the DefiniteArticle? described in Rule 1.


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