1. Amiko Marko


The Esperanto alphabet consists of 28 letters: 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, ŭ, v, z.

Note the following differences from English:

  • a as in "father"
  • c = ts as in "Betsy"
  • ĉ = ch as in "church"
  • e as in "there"
  • g as in "give"
  • ĝ as in "judge"
  • h as in "hammer"
  • ĥ = Scottish ch as in "Loch"
  • i as in "machine"
  • j = y as in "yes". aj, ej, oj, uj are diphtongs consisting respectivel of a, e, o, u plus a short i-sound. Thus
    • aj = i in "die"
    • ej = a in "face"
    • oj = oy in "boy"
    • uj = ui in "ruin", prnounced quickly.
  • ĵ = zh as in "measure"
  • o as in "north"
  • r is always pronounced – ideally, rolled
  • s as in "sense"
  • ŝ = sh in "sharp"
  • u as in "fool"
  • ŭ = w as in "tower". , are diphtongs consisting respectively of "a" or "e" plus a short oo-sound. Thus
    • aŭ = ou in "mouth"
    • eŭ is as "eh-oo".


Words are pronounced exactly as spelled, applying the equivalents mentioned above, e.g.

  • amiko = ah-MEE-koh
  • ĉambro = CHAHM-broh
  • ĝi = jee.


Words of more than one syllable are stressed on the last syllable but one, e.g.

  • te-le-FO-no (teh-leh-FOH-noh)
  • ra-DI-o (rah-DEE-oh)
  • kaj (kigh)
  • a-MI-ko (ah-MEE-koh)
  • ES-tas (ESS-tahss).
  • NB: AN-kaŭ (because kaŭ is a single syllable).

Be careful over words like historio (hi-sto-RI-o, hee-stoh-REE-oh).


The definite article is la (– *the). It is invariable (no change for gender, case or number). There is no indefinite article:

  • la amiko – the friend
    • amiko – a friend
  • la laboro – the work
    • laboro – work

Personal Pronouns

  • mi – I
  • vi – you
  • li – he
  • ŝi – she
  • ĝi – it
  • ni – we
  • ili – they

The pronouns li, ŝi, ĝi are used in just the same way as English "he, she, it".

Possessive Pronouns

These are formed by adding the ending a to the simple pronouns:

  • mia – my
  • via – your
  • lia – his
  • ŝia – her
  • ĝia – its
  • nia – our
  • ilia – their


All nouns end in -O. There is no grammatical gender: where appropriate, feminine sex is indicated by a suffix.

  • tablo – table
  • lernanto – learner
  • lernantino – learner (female)


The plural ending is j. Both nouns and adjectives take this ending, e.g.:

  • tabloj – tables
  • lernantoj – learners
  • viaj lernantoj – your learners


  1. The infinitive ending is -i, e.g.
    • lerni – to learn
    • labori – to work
    • esti – to be.
  2. The present tense ending is -as. It is the same for all persons and numbers:
    • mi sidas – I sit
    • vi sidas – you sit
    • ni sidas – we sit
    • ili sidas – they sit.


This is an interrogative particle, used to turn a statement into a yes/no question:

  • Ĉu vi sidas? – Are you sitting?
  • Ĉu vi skribas? – Are you writing? Do you write?


This interrogative functions both as a pronoun ("who?") and as an adjective ("which?"), e.g.

  • Kiu vi estas? – Who are you?
  • Kiu instruisto sidas? – Which teacher is sitting?

The Suffix -ist

is used to form the name of a person regularly engaged in some activity, e.g.

  • instruisto – teacher
  • hotelisto – hotelier, hotel-keeper
  • esperantisto – Esperantist, adherent of Esperanto

The Suffix -in

is used to form the feminine of a noun:

  • patro – father
    • patrino – mother
  • lernanto – pupil
    • lernantino – pupil (female)
  • instruisto – teacher
    • instruistino – (woman) teacher

Affirmative Particle

jes has the same sound and meaning as the English "yes".

  • Ĉu vi estas en la ĉambro?
    • Jes, mi estas en la ĉambro.

Negative Particle

ne corresponds to "no" (opposite of "yes") and to "not":

  • Ne, mi ne estas en la ĉambro.