Overview of Esperanto


All adjectives end in "a", and like nouns, it is generally possible to form an adjective from another part of speech simply by changing the ending to "a". Adjectives agree with the noun they describe ("aj" is pronounced as the "y" in "my") and can stand in front or after the noun in the sentence:

Singular Adjective(s)
  Plural Adjective(s)
granda viro
a big man viroj grandaj
big men
virino bela
a beautiful woman belaj virinoj
beautiful women
blua svedleda ŝuo
a blue suede shoe bluaj ŝuoj svedledaj      
blue suede shoes
multkolora ĉielarko
a multicoloured rainbow du multkoloraj ĉielarkoj
two multicoloured rainbows

In the examples above there were a number of words which were formed from two words. For example, "sveda" means "Swedish" and "ledo" means "leather", so "svedledo" is "swedish leather" or "suede", (here changed into an adjective by making the ending "-a"). "Multa" means "much" (or many) and "koloro" means "colour", so "multkolora" means "many coloured" ... admittedly that goes without saying for a rainbow! And finally "ĉielo" means "sky" (also "heaven"), and "arko" means "arc" or "bow", so "sky-arc" or "skybow" is a "rainbow". Esperantists make free use of this facility in the language, and it is quite possible for a novice in the language to put together a word that no-one has used before.