Word Order

Discussion in 'General Language' started by Ani, May 14, 2007.

  1. Ani

    Ani Well-Known Member

    I've been getting back to basics with my Czech as I have forgotten so much of what I had learned :( So in one of my exercises, I had the following words to put in the correct order:

    jidlo v odpoledne tyden nakupuju a piti patek kazdy

    I re-arranged as follows:

    Kazdy tyden v patek odpoledne nakupuju jidlo a piti.

    The answers at the back of the book give the following answer:

    V patek odpoledne nakupuju kazdy tyden jidlo a piti.

    My question is, does my re-arrangement sound strange to Czech ears? (I don't know why but I can't seem to print out the carky and hacky, apologies).

  2. doman

    doman Well-Known Member

    It's seem "I buy food and drink in Friday afternoon every week."

    "I buy food and drink for every week in Friday afternoon."

    I am not sure about grammar. :D

    I thought your arranger's OK.

    Are you Czech in Malta, Ani ?

    "Vlk zmrzl, zhltl ètvrthrst zrn."
    Doman je doma !
  3. eso

    eso Well-Known Member

    Actually, your version seems better to me :)
  4. Ani

    Ani Well-Known Member

    Thanks Eso, I always find the flexible word order in Czech difficult, I usually just translate something to English first and go on from there.

    Doman, I am Maltese living in Malta :D I just like the Czech language though unfortunately I no longer have regular lessons so it is quite difficult to keep motivated
  5. wer

    wer Well-Known Member

    Both variants are correct (with slightly different meaning) and natural, but your sounds better.

    Unlike in the latter version, the “každý týden v pátek odpoledne” in your sentence could be considered to be one unit (and it could be also replaced with simpler “každý pátek odpoledne”).

    As for the difference in the meaning, the difference goes this way:

    Každý týden v pátek odpoledne nakupuju jídlo a pití.
    I’m used to doing my shopping on every Friday afternoon.

    V pátek odpoledne nakupuju každý týden jídlo a pití.
    It’s on Friday afternoon I’m used to doing my weekly shopping.
  6. Karel_lerak

    Karel_lerak Well-Known Member

    The most important task is to group the words into four groups with fixed order of words:

    A "každý týden"
    B "jídlo a pití"
    C "v pátek odpoledne"

    These groups can be rearranged according to meaning:

    CAB V pátek odpoledne nakupuji každý týden jídlo a pití.
    (rather neutral, I am informing, what I am doing every Friday, the information about regularity is not too important)

    ACB Každý týden v pátek odpoledne nakupuji jídlo a pití.
    (rather neutral, I am informing, what I am doing regularly every Friday)

    BAC Jídlo a pití nakupuji každý týden v pátek odpoledne..
    (stress on the time i am doing it)

    BCA Jídlo a pití nakupuji v pátek odpoledne každý týden.
    (stress on the regularity)

    ABC Každý týden nakupuji jídlo a pití v pátek odpoledne.

    CBA V pátek odpoledne nakupuji jídlo a pití každý týden

    The word "nakupuji" can be placed rather freely, but not at the beginning or the end.

    So even this is possible (less frequent order):

    CAB V pátek odpoledne každý týden nakupuji jídlo a pití
    ACB Každý týden nakupuji v pátek odpoledne jídlo a pití.
    BAC Jídlo a pití každý týden nakupuji v pátek odpoledne..
    BCA Jídlo a pití v pátek odpoledne nakupuji každý týden.
    ABC Každý týden jídlo a pití nakupuji v pátek odpoledne.
    CBA V pátek odpoledne jídlo a pití nakupuji každý týden

    The important information is in bold characters (put on the end of the sentence), but the meaning is also dependent on the way you would say it 8) 8)
  7. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

    I wonder if the author of exercise book was a foreigner, rather than Czech. Any Czech, much less one who writes such exercise books, would know that the word order is flexible, depending on what part of the sentence is emphasized.

    P.S. I would have written the sentence the same way as you--of course, I'm not Czech either.
  8. doman

    doman Well-Known Member

    Pomoct ! Kam zmizel muj mozecek ?
    Moje hlava nema neco to bolet uz !
    Jezis Maria ! Tolik pripadu !

    Maybe this week I must be abstained from food ! :shock: :D
  9. Alexx

    Alexx Well-Known Member

    For my ears answer in your book sound strange :) (I am czech). Definetely your arrangement is better, but as Karel said there is not only one correct answer.
  10. Eleshar

    Eleshar Well-Known Member

    It is even possible to place word "nakupuji" at the beginning and at the end:

    at the beginnig - it sounds rather unnatural but it is acceptable
    at the end - emphasis on the verb (I do buy) as if someone denied you buy and you answer that you do.
  11. Ani

    Ani Well-Known Member

    Thank you all so much for your feedback. As a point of interest, the book is the New Czech Step by Step by Lida Hola.
  12. Alexx

    Alexx Well-Known Member

    never heard about it, but it can be usefull
  13. GlennInFlorida

    GlennInFlorida Well-Known Member

    It is one of the more popular books used by English speakers learning Czech - it is quite good (I believe).
  14. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

    Hmm ... it seems like Paní (Slecna?) Holá might want to clarify the word order thing in her book. Then again, as far as I understand, it is a book for beginners, and perhaps it's not worth confusing/frustrating/discouraging the new learner.
  15. Ani

    Ani Well-Known Member

    It's quite user-friendly and comprehensive, covering all cases, tenses, conditional and also touching on aspect :wink: However, the only word order instruction I've managed to find in it is just information about the so-called 'second position' in a Czech sentence and its importance. I do have quite a library of Czech text books though so I will be going through them once I finish this one and hope to get more understanding on this topic. However, I doubt whether any of them would be as helpful as all the wonderful teachers on this site!
  16. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

    Definitely, there's no substitute for a personal tutor (or tutors).

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