Accusative nouns for dummies

Discussion in 'Grammar & Pronunciation' started by flapcats, Dec 21, 2007.

  1. flapcats

    flapcats Member

    Hi there,

    I'm beginning a Czech course in January.
    It's not the first term, which I've missed & amongst other things I'm expected to know how to use an accusative noun.

    Problem is, I don't know what that is or where to find examples of how to use them, or what they're for. I've read some people showing examples of how the endings change, but I don't know what context to use them in.

    Does that make sense?
  2. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

  3. wer

    wer Well-Known Member

    Frequent question - it was discussed many times. Search the forum for “declension”, “cases” or something similar.

    See e.g. the Eleshars explanation in one of the previous threads.

    For a simple notion you can think of English pronouns, they are also declined and your surely know the way they are used.

    nom  | gen         | dat  | acc  | instrumental
    I    | my, mine    | me   | me
    you  | your, yours | you  | you
    he   | his         | him  | him
    it   | its         | it   | it
    what | whose       | what | what | why
    who  | whose       | whom | whom
  4. MichaelM

    MichaelM Well-Known Member

    I am doing the same thing here in North Carolina, USA (taking second level Czech having missed first level). While I luckily know what the accusative case is (direct object), one has to go back to basic English grammer and relearn the uses of and definitions for the various cases to then be able to translate into Czech. Very interesting process!.
  5. scrimshaw

    scrimshaw Well-Known Member

    You guys are taking courses? You are lucky.
    Share your experiences. People here would be glad to hear them.
    And Were, that is a good chart, but under instrumental, instead of 'Why', I would definitely put 'How', or 'by what means'.

    Šel tam vlakem......How did he go there?......He went by train.

    Odehnal unosce holi....'How', 'by what means', 'with what' did he chase him away?......With a stick
  6. MichaelM

    MichaelM Well-Known Member

    I would be happy to share. The experience will start in two weeks. I'm self-taught (samouk) for a year and a half. I missed the Czech I class (my mistake) but hope to catch up with Czech II this semester at the Univ. of NC - Chapel Hill. I felt that I needed structure. Jsem padesat pet let. I've no brain left for memorizing. Case endings are not sticking well so I need the stimulus of being graded to make me learn them. I'll let you know ...
  7. flapcats

    flapcats Member

    I've just had lesson 1 of Beginners 'B' and OH MY GOD. I know so little :-/

    Need to set up some kind of structure for learning Accusative tense and personal pronouns, since I can only speak in the first person present tense at the moment and everyone else in the class (Who've already done the first term) seem to know it all.

    Aye aye aye!
  8. wer

    wer Well-Known Member

    As for the modern meaning you are right. But the table is based on historic declension in English, and “why” is virtually the instrumental form of the pronoun “what”.

    šel vlakem = he walked by train :wink:

  9. MichaelM

    MichaelM Well-Known Member

    Ah, to be a student again after 31 years. Pan Scrimshawe (-e for vocative!), I love it! There is not a sentence pani ucitelka speaks over three words long that I fully understand but - this is great and exactly what I need - to hear spoken Czech. We have seven in the class, a mixture of previous level one students, several who studied one thing or another for a semester in Prague and me. Nikdo nevedi zadne koncovky a nikdo nemluvi cela veta. Spravne? We all speak very haltingly. We have the assignment of watching the film 'Kolja' and then writing a vocabulary and explaining one of the scenes. Should be fun! The current subject beyond first level review is to learn the imperative forms of verbs. I'll keep posting about this periodically unless someone screams at me to stop or the moderators erase mejavascript:emoticon(':)')
  10. scrimshaw

    scrimshaw Well-Known Member

    Michael....that does sound like a neat assignment.
    That would be great if you keep up your posts about your class exploits.
    We would love to hear them.
    Where are you taking the class? University setting?

    and Were...oops, ...jel jsem tam vlakem.....
    Odletěl jsem přístav lodi.....ok, that one was a bad joke

    And, I do not think 'why' is instrumental of what.

    if I tried to break 'what' down into case form, it would look something like this

    G....what what
    L....on what, with what what means, how
    There are no real distinct forms in english
  11. wer

    wer Well-Known Member

    A little dada, isn’t?
    Have a look at this.
  12. scrimshaw

    scrimshaw Well-Known Member

    Totally off topic of accusative nouns, but....
    Wer, that wikipedia article is interesting, maybe that is true that in old english 'why' was instrumental case of 'what', but it's hard to figure. 'Why' someone did something has little to do with 'how' someone did something.

    Ok, back to accusative case
  13. MichaelM

    MichaelM Well-Known Member

    Pan Scrimshawe. I am taking a 2nd level Czech language course at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I am lucky enough to have a slavic language center here close-by. Duke University and UNC-Chapel Hill together have SEELRC (the Slavic and Eastern European Language Resource Center). I have not investigated that intensively but they do have a website.
  14. MichaelM

    MichaelM Well-Known Member

    Continued class notes (probably should be shifted to another forum locale):

    The last few classes have concentrated on the conditional:

    1. Would - bych, bys, by etc.
    2. If (contrary to fact clauses) - kdybych, kdybychom, etc.
    3. In order to (that s.t. should be) - abych, abyste etc.

    add in the byl, byla, bili, bily, byval, .. . .

    and I'm about bil'ed, byval'ed, and byste'd out.

    (but I still love it!)
  15. scrimshaw

    scrimshaw Well-Known Member

    Hey, good job MichaelM.
    Thanks for the update.
    That's pretty advanced I think, working with the conditional already.
    That's a fast moving class.
    Is your teacher getting you to try and ask questions in czech?
    I remember in school my spanish teacher tried her best at immersion.
    She only spoke spanish to us. Her attempt at getting us to learn the cadence and sounds of the language rather than just the written word. A good method I think.
  16. MichaelM

    MichaelM Well-Known Member

    Immersion is what I need but cannot have. Not being able to go to Czech (until May!) and hear the natural language being spoken meant that my self teaching method involved little listening/speaking (CD sets) and much reading (grammars). This is why I wanted a class and tutor. Certainly, everything needs improvement but my listening ability is the worst. The instructor speaks in Czech about half the time. I'm afraid that the class would progress very slowly if all was in Czech; all us students speak very haltingly. It is so easy to switch to English to ask a question though your brain knows that is not best. Our inflection is all off because we inflect upwards (like a question) in the middle of the sentence hoping to see from our teacher's face whether we are on the right track or not. As for how quickly we are advancing, remember, this is Czech Two so, using the Heim book, most of the verb conjugation patterns and declensions of nouns, pronouns, adjectives etc. have already been covered (just not by me!).
  17. scrimshaw

    scrimshaw Well-Known Member

    Oh yea, that explains why you are already learning conditional.
    You jumped right in to second year. Well, it surely must be a challenge.
    But it will be a real achievement.
    Listening to the teachers speech patterns must be really helpful.
    Then a trip to CR. Something to look forward to.
  18. MichaelM

    MichaelM Well-Known Member

    First quiz and 25 years since my last formal written exam and I have the jitters! My last exam was comprised of six 2 hour exams over two days. If one part is failed, all are failed and you can try again in one year. So, here I am with a 20 minute quiz, a practice exam as homework so I know almost exactly what is coming and I'm nervous. I can't focus; I notice the student next to me scribbling furiously and other students finishing early - and I'm still trying to remember what sta'le means. Due to the good graces of my instructor I am let off easily but I'm so mad at myself; I definitely know the difference between 'supposed to' and 'should' phrases but do I remember that in the quiz? NO! It's as if I totally forget the past tense of mit! [dummy]. I guess this 'stary muz' just doesn't process as quickly as these other 'spring chicken' students in my class. But, I will let this teach me (and, after all, this is why I'm there); next time I'll know "sta'le".
  19. scrimshaw

    scrimshaw Well-Known Member

    Není nemožné učit staré psy jako my nové způsoby. Jen trochu těžší.
    Thanks for the update. Those sound like tough exams.
  20. GlennInFlorida

    GlennInFlorida Well-Known Member


    stále - I always remember that :wink:

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