Esperanto at Stanford University

Lesson 2 Affixes

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Lesson 2 Affixes

Basically, this lesson is just to learn the following list of affixes (parts added before or after a "root"). The grammar in Esperanto is so simple that my "Lesson Zero" covers enough for someone to begin creating meaningful sentences almost immediately. But, Esperanto is a full language. It will indeed take some effort to learn because the student has to learn a word for everything... hair, pencil, leaf, house, peace, mother, etc. But Esperanto vocabulary is easy to learn because when you learn one root, you learn many words just by adding the affix.

There will be many more examples in the classroom and you will immediately double your vocabulary in this lesson (actually probably a lot more than double but the advertising people tell me that nobody will believe it, so i'll just claim double).


- put before the root

bo- in-law frato = brother bofrato = brother-in-law

dis- dispersal / separation doni = to give disdoni = to distribute / to give out

ek- start flugi = to fly ekflugi = to take off

eks- former prezidento = president eksprezidento = ex-president

fi- immoral libro = book filibro = "dirty" book

ge- both sexes (vir)patro / patrino = father / mother gepatroj = parents

mal- opposite alta = high malalta = low

mis- incorrect kompreni = to understand miskompreni = misunderstand

pra- distant in time (vir)avo / avino = grandfather / grandmother praavoj = "forefathers" / ancestors

re- again legi = to read relegi = to reread

vir- (see -in *) male / masculine kato = cat virkato = tomcat


Postfixes (Suffixes)

- put after a root, but before the endings

-aĉ- [-acx-] disparagement domo = house domaĉo [domacxo] = hovel

-ad- continuation paroli = to speak parolado = a speech

-aĵ- [-ajx-] (see -ec-) concrete idea manĝi [mangxi] = to eat manĝaĵo [mangxajxo] = food

-an- member kurso = course kursano = member of a course

-ar- group hundo = dog hundaro = pack of dogs

-ĉj- [-cxj-] (see -nj-) male / masculine nickname (vir)patro = father paĉjo [pacxjo] = daddy

-ebl- possiblity porti = to carry portebla = portable

-ec- (see -aĵ- [-ajx-]) quality libera = free libereco = freedom

-eg- (see -et-) increase (augment) domo = house domego = mansion

-ej- place lerni = to learn lernejo = school

-em- tendency paroli = to speak parolema = talkative

-end- requirement pagi = to pay pagenda = a "payable"

-er- piece/part of ĉeno [cxeno] = chain ĉenero [cxenero] = link

-estr- leader urbo = city urbestro = mayor

-et- (see -eg-) reduce (diminish) domo = house dometo = cottage/cabin

-iĉ- [-icx-] (see -in- *) male / masculine bovo = a head of cattle boviĉo [bovicxo] = bull (= virbovo)

-id- offspring hundo = dog hundido = puppy

-ig- (see -iĝ- [-igx-]) make / causation blanka = white blankigi = to bleach / to make white

-iĝ- [-igx-] (see -ig-) become pura = clean puriĝi [purigxi] = to become clean

-il- tool tranĉi [trancxi] = to cut tranĉilo [trancxilo] = cutting tool / knife

-in- (see -iĉ- [-icx-] and vir- *) female / feminine ĉevalo [cxevalo] = horse ĉevalino [cxevalino] = mare

-ind- worthiness fido = trust fidinda = trustworthy

-ing- socket / specific holder kandelo = candle kandelingo = candlestick

-ism- ideology / characteristic alkoholo = alcohol alkoholismo = alcoholism

-ist- professional / habitual biciklo = bicycle biciklisto = bicyclist

-nj- (see -ĉj- [-cxj-]) female / feminine nickname patrino = mother panjo = mom

-obl- multiple du = 2 duobla = double

-on- fraction tri = 3 triono = a third

-op- grouped kvar = 4 kvaropo = quartet

-uj- container mono = money monujo = wallet / purse

-ul- person / being nova = new novulo = novice / newbie

-um- special meaning (more in class) akvo = water akvumi = to water (plants)

* Note that -iĉ- [-icx-] is a totally new postfix using the "ĉ [cx]" in -ĉj- [-cxj-] to back-form -iĉ- [-icx-] in the same way that the letter "n" matches in -nj- and -in-. This form is very controversial with many Esperanto speakers and should only be used by those who feel they must. (I personally feel that the "-in-" and "vir-" pair might be all that is needed. I put it in here for full disclosure.)

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