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the differences between na, pro, za, v/ve?
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grrritsczech
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Joined: 02 Aug 2009
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Location: Prague

PostPosted: 12-Aug-09 12:56  Reply with quote

We did this exercise in class concerning where you use these words, and i got them all wrong. we have learned what they all mean (besides 'za') but not really what are the differences between them, or when and where you do or do not use one. i thought that 'na' is like 'on', or 'at' or 'for' and that 'pro' is just 'for' and 'za' is also only 'for' and that v/ve is 'in'(side). i don't really have a good feel for these words, so could someone help explain what each is usually used for?
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scrimshaw
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PostPosted: 12-Aug-09 13:05  Reply with quote

Good luck with that grrrits. As you will here from others, there is no simple answer to that question.
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Alexx
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PostPosted: 12-Aug-09 15:17  Reply with quote

OK, I can only give examples, but this is complicated in english as well Smile, I wish it is as simple as

at = v
on = na
...


na - on (something is located on something else.

Kniha je na stole (book is on the desk)
Květina je na zahradě (flower is on/in the garden)
Obraz visí na stěně (picture is on the wall)

pro - for, in order to get something

Šel jsem do obchodu pro mléko
Šel jsem pro Davida (in order to get him somewhere)
Připravuju podklady pro šéfa (I prepare documents for my boss)

za - behind, instead of

Židle je za stěnou (the chair is behind the wall)
Šel jsem tam za Pavla (I went there instead of Pavel)

v/ve - this is really complicated Smile

Ve čtvrtek, v metru, v novinách...

Usually used if something is inside of something else.


Post the exercise if you can.
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Petronela
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PostPosted: 12-Aug-09 18:05  Reply with quote

“za” can also be used as “to”
Pojedu za nim.
Or is that slang for "Pojedu k nemu" ?
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meluzina
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PostPosted: 12-Aug-09 18:42  Reply with quote

maybe part of the problem is that the same prepositions aren't used between the two languages...

some examples - taking some of alexx's


the v or ve = ve čtvrtek is equal to ON thursday in english - so if you try to take the czech "on" you end up with na čtvrtek (which means something different - e.g., horoskop na čtvrtek = horoscope for thursday


another example: in english (at least american english) you ask "what's on television" meaning what program is on - but in czech you use "co davají v televizi" or in television - as na televizi means that something is physically sitting on top of the television


in english its fine to say "seat on the plane" but in czech it is "místo v letadle" or "in the plane"


so you can't really go by the translated meanings - as they are used differently -

i know i'm not explaining this too well Sad
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Alexx
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PostPosted: 13-Aug-09 4:54  Reply with quote

Petronela wrote:
“za” can also be used as “to”
Pojedu za nim.
Or is that slang for "Pojedu k nemu" ?


Not slang, but yes, both mean the same (za ním is 7th case, k němu is 3rd case)
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wer
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PostPosted: 13-Aug-09 13:55  Reply with quote

grrritsczech wrote:
We did this exercise in class concerning where you use these words, and i got them all wrong. we have learned what they all mean (besides 'za') but not really what are the differences between them, or when and where you do or do not use one. i thought that 'na' is like 'on', or 'at' or 'for' and that 'pro' is just 'for' and 'za' is also only 'for' and that v/ve is 'in'(side). i don't really have a good feel for these words, so could someone help explain what each is usually used for?

The prepositions are always tricky. Is English your only language? It could be easier to learn the Czech prepositons based on the knowledge of another language, German for instance.

There is no general one-to-one mapping between Czech and English prepositions, but there is a kind of mapping for some restricted areas of meanings (spatial meanings, temporal meanings, abstract meanings…). The problem is that the mappings for different areas needn’t correspond.

Also, notice that one single Czech preposition could be used with different cases and thus with different meanings. And again, the meanings for different cases needn’t correspond to the same English preposition.

You should focus on the areas of meanings starting with the spatial meanings, because the spatial meanings are base for a lot of the derived meanings and because there is a strong correlation between the meanings for different cases. For all the spatial meanings, Czech strictly differentiates location and direction (in English you sometime mark the direction with the “-to” added to the basic prepositon, e.g. in → into, on → onto). The difference is mostly expressed using the different cases, but the preposition is mostly identical. Practically all prepositional cases are used with some spatial prepositons, but you could notice that locative and instrumental are typical for the location, while accusative and dative are typical for the direction. The genitive is typical for compound prepositons (e.g. zpoza = from behind) and prepositons of non-prepositional origin (e.g. podél = along).

Have a look at http://www.wordreference.com/encz which explains most of the meanings with examples.
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dzurisova
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PostPosted: 13-Aug-09 16:40  Reply with quote

In English we say "I'm thinking about you" or "I'm praying for you". Yet, for some reason I feel in Czech to say "Myslim na tebe" or "Modlim se na tebe".

Not sure if that is right but its what I comes to mind and I don't even know why. Anyway, I can't find the translation anywhere. So is it right? Do you say "thinking on you" or "praying on you" or am I totally off base - which is possible. Wink
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dzurisova
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PostPosted: 13-Aug-09 16:51  Reply with quote

ah ha! I answered my own question by going to google.cz and typing in "myslim na tebe". Turns out - that one is right. But when I typed "modlim se na tebe" - turns out its "modlim se za tebe"
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wer
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PostPosted: 13-Aug-09 17:11  Reply with quote

dzurisova wrote:
ah ha! I answered my own question by going to google.cz and typing in "myslim na tebe". Turns out - that one is right.

“Myslet na někoho” is correct but only for the meanings like “to remember somebody” or “to mind somebody”.

You have to use different preposition and perhaps a little different verb for “to meditate upon somebody” - e.g. “přemýšlet o někom”.

Consider also “myslet si o někom” which means “to think of somebody” in the meaning “to have an opinion on somebody”.

Quote:
But when I typed "modlim se na tebe" - turns out its "modlim se za tebe"

Yep, it’s “modlit se k někomu/něčemu za někoho” (= to pray to somebody/something for somebody). You can also use “modlit se (k někomu/něčemu), aby…”. The latter is better option for praying for things.

But your problems are more related to verbal rections than to the prepostions in particular.
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