Esperanto Language Blog

Having trouble with correlatives? Posted by on May 26, 2009 in Esperanto Language

In my opinion, the most difficult part about learning Esperanto is tackling all the correlatives. They are quite logical in their construction (as is all of Esperanto!), and you could easily form them if you had a small, pocket-sized table on you. But, there are still a good number of them, and sometimes they can be difficult to recall because of their similarity.

One trick I’ve used to help me remember the ki- correlatives is to place them with another word, to help with the question you’re trying to ask. By recalling these compound words, you can more easily remember the necessary correlative, as well as have a quick and useful phrase memorized. The two I use most often (and the only two I can recall off the top of my head right now) are “kiudirekte” and “kiamaniere.”

Kiudirekte estas la hospitalo? – Which way is the hospital?
Kiamaniere gxin vi faris? – How (what kind of way) did you do it?

Not only are these words nice and specific – they also can help you recall the ki- correlatives. “Kiu” more or less means “which one,” which we can easily deduce from “kiudirekte,” which at a glance might make you think “which direction.” Similarly, “kiamaniere” brings to mind “what kind of” and “manner.”

Maybe this trick will help you remember your correlatives, too!

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  1. inga.johansson:

    bonvole studu la alfabeton !


    When I teach the correlatives I ask the pupils
    put one hand on a paper and draw with a pencil
    around the hand.
    Then they write on the thumb – “Ki-”
    indexfinger – “Ti-”
    middelfinger – “Ĉi-”
    ringfinger – “-i-”
    small finger – “Neni-”
    This makes it very easy to remember.
    I learned the correlatives of a fairy tale in the
    marvelous book of Dr Benson 1932.

  2. kristy:

    I agree about the correlatives! I was crusing along the Kurso de Esperanto (downloaded program) just fine–until lesson 5, the first introduction to the correlatives. I slogged my slow way through that only to click on Lesson 6 and find that I was only halfway through them! Gggrrrrr….

  3. Aleks:

    Yes Correlative are hard to learn (but less hard than there counterpart in native language).

    There are also very important, at the core of the language, and one of the most (I think the most) interesting thing in Esperanto. Once you master it, you have past an important milestone and things get easier.

    Inga, thanks for this idea, very interesting!