Esperanto: A Complete and Comprehensive Grammar/Verbs

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Esperanto has three tenses and three moods, which can be easily determined by looking at the ending of a verb. Verbs are not conjugated for person or number, only tense and mood.

  • Present tense, with the ending -as. Mi kantas = I sing. Ili parolas = they speak.
  • Future tense ends in -os. Mi kantos = I will sing. Ŝi kuiros = she will cook.
  • Past tense -is. Mi kantis = I sang.
  • Infinitive mood -i. Kanti = To sing.
  • Conditional mood -us. Se mi kantus = If I would sing.
  • Jussive mood -u. = Kantu! = Sing! Enlitiĝu! = Go to bed!

The jussive mood, although primarily used to give commands, is also used to indicate that the subject of the sentence has an obligation or should do something. For instance: Mi tajpu la leteron means "I should type the letter". Compare this to Mi devas tajpi la leteron, which suggests more urgency ("I must type the letter").