končí vs přestává

Discussion in 'Grammar & Pronunciation' started by Ctyri koruny, Nov 20, 2009.

  1. Ctyri koruny

    Ctyri koruny Well-Known Member

    Is there a difference in meaning between them or is it just a grammar thing?

    What are the grammar rules?
    končít / skončí aren't used in the infinitive?
  2. kibicz

    kibicz Well-Known Member

    Přestává pršet - It stops raining
    Vlak končí ve stanici Kačerov - Train ends/terminates at Kačerov station.

    For me the difference is similar to the English one.

    Končit and skončit (ukončit, zakončit etc.) are used in infinitive:
    Končit až k ránu
    Skončit s kouřením
    Ukončit pracovní poměr
    Zakončit sezónu
  3. Ctyri koruny

    Ctyri koruny Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your help!
    I read it but i didn't reply till now because we didn't do it in class til now.

    I don't see any similarities between things and English heh.

    My teacher said (but she found it puzzling) that Končit is related to konec and usually means something is finished for good/is over.
    Where as Přestávát means it is finished for now.

    There are no corresponding words in English as far as I know.
    What do you think?

    The main difference to worry about is that Končit goes with the infinitive as you said.
  4. dzurisova

    dzurisova Well-Known Member

    I would say an English word for "stops for now" would be reprieve
    an English word for "finished for good" would be discontinued or terminated.
  5. Ctyri koruny

    Ctyri koruny Well-Known Member

    I still don't think it goes with anything in English.
    Look at these examples:

    Smoking it would usually go with give up yes?
    As in stop for good?
    1. Už jsem pětkrát ............................................ kouřit, ale vždycky jsem zase začal. Give up. Okay so he starts again plus it's with infinitive.

    2. Už mě to nebaví! Kdy konečně ...................................... ta nekonečná diskuse?
    3. Nevíš, kolikátého ...................................... kurz češtiny? Patnáctého nebo šestnáctého? Here it has to be končit again but there is nothing in the sentences to suggest that the course is "terminating" and not just going on christmas break.
    4. Prosím tě, ....................................... dělat ten hluk! Ruší mě to!
    5. Když jsem byla nemocná, ..................................... jsem pít kávu. Bylo mi z ní špatně.
    6. Tak v téhle firmě jsem .....................................! Začnu si hledat novou práci.
    7. Na Silvestra jsem slíbil manželce, že .................................. pít alkohol. I promised my wife I would give up alcohol. Give up would have a permanent meaning here in English, here again we have to use přestanu in Czech

    8. Kdy ......................................... v práci? Jestli nespěcháte, můžeme jít na kávu.
    You would say this is a temporary stop? But it goes with končit.
    9. Až .......................................... ten film, dáme si něco k jídlu a půjdeme spát.
    10. Kouřila jsem od patnácti let, ale minulý rok jsem konečně ......................................

    So the others are okay, but I left them in just as a matter of interest.
    These are all from Czech Step by Step 2, teachers notes (Which are available free on www.czechstepbystep.cz
    Answers don't seem to be available but I did it in class today.
  6. Carbone

    Carbone New Member

    You can actually rephrase some of them and use the other word without changing its meaning.

    1. Už jsem pětkrát přestal kouřit, ale vždycky jsem zase začal.
    1. Už jsem pětkrát skončil s kouřením, ale vždycky jsem zase začal.

    7. Na Silvestra jsem slíbil manželce, že přestanu pít alkohol.
    7. Na Silvestra jsem slíbil manželce, že skončím s pitím alkoholu.

    and since you can change the meaning of both sentences with the same word (začít), i'd say you'll have a hard time finding any difference in meaning.

    1. Už jsem pětkrát začal kouřit, ale vždycky jsem zase skončil.
    1. Už jsem pětkrát začal s kouřením, ale vždycky jsem zase skončil.

    7. Na Silvestra jsem slíbil manželce, že začnu pít alkohol.
    7. Na Silvestra jsem slíbil manželce, že začnu s pitím alkoholu.

    if začít->skončit and začít->přestat then skončit=přestat.

    When to use them?

    There seems to be infinitive after 'přestat'.

    1. přestal kouřit
    4. přestaň dělat
    5. přestala jsem pít
    7. přestanu pít
    10. přestala (kouřit) - it's shortened
    => here you could probably use 'skončila (s kouřením)' as well.

    That's the only rule I can derive from these sentences, but that's just layman's logic, I'm not a linguistic expert.
  7. Ctyri koruny

    Ctyri koruny Well-Known Member

    My feeling exactly but far more logical and supported :) The difference is only grammatical
    I think it's like most uses of "tell" and "say" for example. Though a lot of Engish speakers who have never really thought about it will tell you they're different (will say to you they're different) off the top of their heads it's just a feeling we have of when we use them; they mean the same thing.
    Of course there are some idiomatic / lexical differences like "tell the difference" and "say the difference" the first could just as well be "cheese" the difference" because it has nothing to do with the verb "to tell". There it's more like feel/sense/see/know the difference.
  8. wer

    wer Well-Known Member

    Sorry, your feeling is wrong – the difference is semantical.
    1. The verb končit is derived from konec (= the end).
      • končit (only imperfective; intransitive) — to have an end/edge, to be finite, to be limited
      • končit/skončit (imperfective/perfective; intransitive) — to come to an end
      • skončit (only perfective) + accusative — to bring something to an end
      • ukončit/ukončovat (perfective/imperfective) + accusative — to bring something to an end, to form the end of something
      Plus a lot of other figurative and prepositional (phrasal) meanings.
    2. The verb přestat is prefixed variant of the verb stát/stanout (= to stay, to stand) in its obsolete meaning to exist/persist/happen. The prefix pře- (= over-) means to come/bring to an end.
      • přestat/přestávat (perfective/imperfective; intransitive) — to cease to exist/persist/happen, pass away
      • přestat/přestávat (perfective/imperfective; intransitive) + imperfective infinitive — to bring one’s own activity to the end, to lost a property (~ to cease to have a property, to cease to be/do something)
    So, what’s the difference? Přestat unlike končit
    • is used only in temporal sense (or perhaps figuratively in spatial sense).
    • is used only for processes/activities.
    • is preferred for processes/activities.
    • implies the end of the action’s existence (possibly temporary).
    • is used for losing one’s properties (abilities).
    • tends to have temporary meaning.
    • is never transitive.
    Some examples:
    • válka skončila, válka přestala — both possible for war is an activity
    • kniha/film končí — only končit possible for book/movie is not an action/process and for it persists to exist despite its end
    • přestat vidět (= to cease to see ~ to lost one’s sight) — only přestat for it’s a lost of property
    • nepřestat = to endure, to persist, to never stop
    Notice also that “přestat + infinitive” works as substitute for perfective aspect (for verbs without perfective counterpart as the only way to express perfectiveness!).

    Both the prepositional constructions skončit s něčím and přestat s něčím could be used for intentional end of activity (to give up doing something).

    And one confusing thing to the very end of my post – when known from the context, the infinitive following přestat is often omitted as ellipsis. (So, “film přestal” could exist after all.)
  9. Ctyri koruny

    Ctyri koruny Well-Known Member


    I'm just going to have to hope nothing in my vicinity stops at any point..and if it does, i will refrain from commenting.
  10. student

    student New Member

    Though they seem so fine-grained, this thread catches the kind of issues I enjoy thinking about. As I attempt to learn Czech, I find myself puzzling over the fine semantic nuances of words that are probably obvious to native speakers, and I love it when I feel like I get an insight how nearly synonymous words somewhat differ.

    In English, for example say/tell are regularly used synonymously, but they have a nuanced difference in semantics. As I understand it: Say points or focuses more on the act of speaking and the speaker (i.e., the subject) For example, Kat will say something or Kat said that... both point toward primarily toward what Kat is doing. Tell points more towards the content of the speech (i.e., the direct object). For example, Kat will tell a story will probably sound better to most English speakers than Kat will say a story. Similarly, Kat will say some random words sounds better than Kat will tell some random words . The semantics also constrain the grammar: You can say Kat will tell you something but you can't say Kat will say you something, it'd have to rephrase it as: Kat will say something to you.

    It's fun to learn these nuances in Czech. Learning a new language is like learning a different set of colors to paint with.

    Going with wer's comments (and carbone and Kibicz examples) as my guide, I'd like to wildy flail at a summarize what I see to be the the semantic nuance between končit/skončit vs prestávat/přestat. (As mentioned, the difference is a relatively fine one, in many cases such as wer pointed out, they can be used synonymously).

    The focus of přestat appears to be more on the termination itself. Kibicz's example Přestává pršet - It stops raining. focuses on the state change that occurs when the rain stops, but not on the process of raining itself. Končit puts focus on the process or object that is ending. Kibicz's example Vlak končí ve stanici Kačerov - Train ends/terminates at Kačerov station focuses on the finite endpoint of the line, but the line maintains it's purpose. Does this appear to capture the some aspect of the semantic difference?
  11. Ctyri koruny

    Ctyri koruny Well-Known Member

    Yes Kat can tell a story but she can also tell me something or say something to me.
    Tell + story is just a colocation, for me it has nothing to do with meaning.
    Tell someone something and say something to someone are the same in every way other than this grammar difference with direct and indirect object... say requiring "to" and tell not.

    Again to me it's just colocation, grammar of habbit and not of meaning or nuance.

    Just the same as we say "light" a cigarette not "start" a cigarette. or "ignite" a cigarette, it's just a collocation.
    another example you can say extremely happy but not highly happy. Just habit dictating what sounds write and wrong, not meaning.
  12. hribecek

    hribecek Well-Known Member

    I think the difference in meaning is reasonably clear.
    It's the difference between stop doing something/přestat (as in an action) and to finish something/končit.
    If you can feel the difference (in English) between 'to stop doing something' and 'to finish something' then you'll get the difference in Czech (at least generally).
    Přestal jsem pracovat abych si mohl odpočinout = I stopped working in order to take a break.
    Skončil jsem práci pro dnešek= I finished work for the day.

    The difference between přestat and zastavit was always the problem for me - to stop doing something and to stop movement.
  13. scrimshaw

    scrimshaw Well-Known Member

    That's funny Čtyři....if something stops doing something in front of you, just don't comment about it :D At least you won't be wrong, right?

    This doesn't pertain to you, ok?. but it reminded me of this..
    Better to remain silent and thought a fool, rather than speak up and remove all doubt.

    And the verbs 'to tell' and 'to say'

    There is definitely a difference, I just don't know how to explain it. Grammatically inept.

    You say something to somebody....but
    you tell somebody something
  14. MK

    MK Well-Known Member

    he stopped doing movement hence he stopped

    přestal se pohybovat tedy zastavil se

  15. scrimshaw

    scrimshaw Well-Known Member

    Kluk skákal na poli v krásný jarní den, ale se náhle zastavil..
    Přestal skočit, protože viděl v travě hada.
    'Co to je, táto?'
    'To je had, synečku. Jsou to naše přátelé. Dej mu pokoj. Žerou myši a tak.'
  16. Karel_lerak

    Karel_lerak Well-Known Member

    stop jumping - přestat skákat, doskákat
    skočit - jump once
    skákat - continue to jump
    doskákat - cease jumping
    doskočit - reach by jumping
  17. scrimshaw

    scrimshaw Well-Known Member

    Kluk doskákal, protože uviděl v trávě děsivého hada.
    Nikdy předtím neuviděl hada, a tak nevěděl co to je.
    Po tom, co se had odeplížil, kluk skákal dál.
    Doskočil velký kámen a zvedl rukou vítězně.
    On je králem všech, co vidí.
    'Podívej se, táto, řekl jsem ti, že to můžu udělat.'
  18. Karel_lerak

    Karel_lerak Well-Known Member

  19. Ctyri koruny

    Ctyri koruny Well-Known Member

    Direct object vs. indirect, you are not gramatically inept you allready know all about it with "vědět" vs. "znát" :)
    Of course we have a feeling of how there is some difference in meaning, but that's terribly abstract and useless, the only difference anyone learning needs to know the grammar/collocation.
    It's the same as how you have an emotional idea as to why it's "take your time" and not "leave your time" or "have your time" "make your time" but trying to explain that to someone is impossible, which is why you have to say "It just is, and you have to learn it."

  20. scrimshaw

    scrimshaw Well-Known Member

    To jsou dobré vysvětlení.

    Myslím si, že to chápu.

    Přestal pracovat, protože měl schuzku se šéfem. Budu muset doskončit svou práci doma. Došel k šefovým kancelaři včas, ale šef tam nebyl. Je rozhněvaný, protože celá věc byla ztrata času.
    Nejhorší je, že zmeškal vlak a teď nebude doma včas k večeři.
    Otevřel noviny a začal čist zajímavý članek, ale dřív, než jej mohl dočíst, přijel k stanici vlak. Nastoupil na nej a sedl si vedle oknu.
    Slunce už zapadala.

Share This Page