Overview of Esperanto


Esperanto has six participle forms: active and passive with one for each time; namely present, future and past. Normally the ending of a verb is replaced by the participle ending:

carrying portata 
being carried
going to carry     portota
going to be carried
having carried portita
having been carried

The participles are strictly adjectives ... "viro portanta libron", "a man carrying a book"; "infano portata de sia patro", "a child carried by his/her father" ... but they can be used to mimic the compound tenses of English: "Mi estas portinta libron" means "I have carried a book"; "Mi estis portinta libron" means "I had carried a book"; "Mi estos portanta libron" means "I will be carrying a book". Esperantists generally avoid these "compound tenses" unless there is no other way to express the idea.

Participles can also be used to make the "passive voice". "Li estas vidita de la knabino" means "He has (just) been seen by the girl"; "Li estos vidita de la knabino" means "He will be seen by the girl".

Participles are very useful when they are used as adverbs: "Vidinte la knabinon, li ekamis ŝin" means "Having seen the girl, he fell in love with her"; "Estante en la urbo, mi decidis viziti vin" means "Being in town, I decided to visit you".

When participles are used as nouns they normally refer to a person: "La amato" means "The one who is loved"; "La amanto" means "The lover"; "Ŝia aminto" means "Her past lover (the one who used to love her)"; "Ŝia amito" means "Her past loved one (the one she used to love)".