Familio (Family)


The Suffix -IN


In most languages there are separate words for items of different sexes. For example, in English a female bovine creature is a "cow" and a male bovine creature is a "bull" or "steer". This of course leads to much memorization of separate words, which is tedious and frustrating. Fortunately, Esperanto does away with this with two glorious letters: "in". Adding -in to the end of a noun's root transforms that word into a female version of the root. For example, the Esperanto word for a bovine creature ("bull", "steer" or "cow") is bovo. Adding -in to the root results in the word bovino, which translates to "cow". With only a few exceptions (those roots implicitly male or female), if a noun does not have the suffix -in, then the sex of the noun is unspecified. If one wants to emphasize that something is masculine, one may use the root vir- as a prefix, but this is rarely done.

The Prefix GE-


In Esperanto, the prefix ge- is used 1) to indicate the presence of both sexes in a group described by a male or female root (Esperanto does have a very few such words) or 2) to emphasize the presence of both sexes in a group. For example, Pedro has two friends: Esmerelda and Johano. When referring to them, Pedro could call them either amikoj or geamikoj, because amiko is simply a "friend". But his brother and sister must be his gefratoj, because frato is the word for "brother").

Examples words using the prefix ge- :

  • gelernejo - co-ed school
  • gepatroj - father(s) and mother(s)
  • gefratoj - brother(s) and sister(s)
  • genevoj - nephews(s) and niece(s)



Translate the following sentences to/from Esperanto using what you know and the Vocabulary List below.

  1. Mi malamas la bebojn, ĉar ili venas el Usono.
  2. Our sister's name is Allison.
  3. Ŝia avino amas la kuzon de Mario.
  4. Is his aunt eating an apple or a banana?
  5. Saluton. Ĉu vi estas mia patrino?
  6. My uncles are thirsty.
  7. La gepatroj estas koleraj, ĉar ilia filino estas malbela.
  8. The unhappy woman is dying.

Vocabulary/ Vortlisto

Esperanto	    English
bebo		baby
infano		child/infant
knabo		boy
viro		man
avo		grandfather
patro		father
onklo		uncle
filo		son
frato		brother
kuzo		cousin
feliĉa		happy
kolera		angry
bela		pretty
soifi		to be thirsty, to thirst
akvo		water
morti		to die
manĝi		to eat
pomo		apple
banano		banana
aŭ		or


  1. I dislike the babies, because they come from the USA.
  2. La nomo de nia fratino estas Allison.
  3. Her grandmother loves Mario's cousin.
  4. Ĉu lia onklino manĝas pomon aŭ bananon?
  5. Hello. Are you my mother?
  6. Miaj onkloj soifas.
  7. The parents are angry, because their daughter is ugly.
  8. La malfeliĉa virino mortas.

What You Need To Know

  • The suffix -in comes after a noun's root and denotes a female.
  • The prefix ge- precedes a noun's root and denotes the presence of both sexes.