For conceptional or national neuter (my Philos. of Grammar, pp. 241 ff.), which is generally rendered in English by means of 'thing' or a circumscription with 'what is', there is no ending in national languages which is sufficiently international to be used for our purposes, and we may therefore go to L -um, which is known from such words as memorandum, ultimatum, magnum, decorum, maximum, minimum, compositum, all of them used in various living languages.

Thus we get verum 'truth', i.e. a true thing (different from the 'abstract' truth vereso, e.g. in 'I doubt the truth of his assertion'), li bonum de ti situatione es ke . . . which is good in that situation is that . . . Vakuum (vakui empty); fortum a fort, stronghold (forti strong); kontributum contribution; falsum.

This neuter may also be used for the names of languages: lo tradukte libres fro germanum en anglum, he translates books from German into English; latinum es tro desfasil por helpelingue.

The chief use of this neuter ending is seen in pronouns: lum it, tum that (that thing), disum this (thing), quum what, quantum how much (as primary), nulum nothing, omnum all, everything, kelkum something, irgum anything, altrum something else, omnum altri = omni altrum everything else.

Note that our languages very often use 'it' (es, il, etc.), where no pronoun is necessary: it rains pluva, it is necessary to start now es nesesari tu starta nun, etc.

It is possible to form inflected forms of -um-words: verumes true things; but as the endings -umes, -umen are clumsy, it is better to use -us, -un: verus, fortus, fabrikatus manufactured things; li fabrikatun boneso. Instead of lumen, lumes 'its they', we may say lun, lus, or better with the common-sex form len, les, which cannot produce any ambiguity: hir es kelki flores: prenda les si vu voli here are some flowers: take them if you like. Me esed in li banke por vida len chefe I was in the bank in order to see its manager.

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This section of AIL kindly prepared and submitted by Don Blaheta, 1997.
Maintained by James Chandler.
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