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czech aspect
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hribecek
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Joined: 28 Sep 2007
Posts: 79
Location: Czech Republic

PostPosted: 14-Oct-07 18:59  Reply with quote

I put this in the general discussion section but then realised it's probably better here:

Does anybody have a clear explanation of the Czech verbal aspects? I know the basic descritption about perfective being a one time thing and not used in the present and imperfective being more continuous but I still find that I often don't understand why a native speaker uses a certain aspect.
Is the Czech imperfective in the past used the same as the past continuous in English and perferctive like the past simple?
I'd be really grateful for any help with this, I think it's the most difficult thing to master for a foreigner.
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Karel_lerak
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Location: Praha Czechia

PostPosted: 14-Oct-07 19:23  Reply with quote

hribecek wrote:
I put this in the general discussion section but then realised it's probably better here:

Does anybody have a clear explanation of the Czech verbal aspects? I know the basic descritption about perfective being a one time thing and not used in the present and imperfective being more continuous but I still find that I often don't understand why a native speaker uses a certain aspect.
Is the Czech imperfective in the past used the same as the past continuous in English and perferctive like the past simple?
I'd be really grateful for any help with this, I think it's the most difficult thing to master for a foreigner.


just a few examples:

šel jsem přes ulici (a něco se v té době stalo) = I was crossing the street (and something happened at the same time) (imperfective)
přešel jsem ulici = I crossed the street (perfective, finished action)
četl jsem knihu = I was reading a book (imperfective)
přečetl jsem knihu (za dva dny) = I managed to read the book in two days (perfective, finished action in the past)

čtu knihu = I am reading a book(present, imperfective)
přečtu knihu za dva dny = I will finsh reading the book in two days (same form, but using perfective verb means future)
budu číst knihu = I am going to read the book (imperfective, future)
budu přečíst = nonsens
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hribecek
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Joined: 28 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: 16-Oct-07 12:20  Reply with quote

Thanks
The main problem I have with this distinction is that perfective forms are sometimes used with (for me in English) a present meaning.
For example - To se stane/stane se to = It will happen, but also when Czechs want to say 'it happens' they use this form too.
Rekne and rika also provide similar problems for me because I sometimes hear rekne when in my mind it should be rika.
Anybody know what I'm talking about?!
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scrimshaw
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PostPosted: 16-Oct-07 14:09  Reply with quote

I, too, do not completely grasp why sometimes one tense is used instead of another, but following the basic rule(when I manage to do that) seems pretty safe.

stavat se......something is happening
stane se......something will happen

Can you give examples of some of those questionable uses of the tenses in sentences?
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Jsem zvědav, jak by to vypadalo, kdybych byl přivolávačem deště. Jak by to vypadalo, kdybych uměl přivolat déšt'?
Mám pocit ale, že se to bohužel nikdy nedozvím.
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scrimshaw
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PostPosted: 16-Oct-07 14:10  Reply with quote

I meant 'stávat se'
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Jsem zvědav, jak by to vypadalo, kdybych byl přivolávačem deště. Jak by to vypadalo, kdybych uměl přivolat déšt'?
Mám pocit ale, že se to bohužel nikdy nedozvím.
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hribecek
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PostPosted: 16-Oct-07 16:34  Reply with quote

The main one is the one I said - to se stane = it happens, also it will happen. I hear this a lot and they are not refering to the future only but sometimes about how things happen in general. Maybe it's just slang and to se stava is the only real version for the present.
Also - Vzdycky na to zapomenu
Porad to rekne

I've heard these sentences with a presnt simple meaning- I always forget it, He always says it.
I know you can use the forms zapomina and rika instead which are also right but is there a difference in meaning when I use the perfective form with a general every day meaning?
I always have a feeling that it's slang and not correct Czech. I hope so anyway cuz it's really confusing otherwise.
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scrimshaw
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PostPosted: 16-Oct-07 17:25  Reply with quote

Hmmm..Hribicek..I would maybe say this(keep in mind I'm just leaning the language too)

We can do that in english too.
He always says....he will always say...pretty much can mean the same thing

I always forget...I'll always forget(something)(or to do something)..

Až odejdu pořád zapomenu zamknout dveře.
When I go out, I always(will always) forget to lock the door.
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Jsem zvědav, jak by to vypadalo, kdybych byl přivolávačem deště. Jak by to vypadalo, kdybych uměl přivolat déšt'?
Mám pocit ale, že se to bohužel nikdy nedozvím.
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hribecek
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Joined: 28 Sep 2007
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Location: Czech Republic

PostPosted: 17-Oct-07 9:49  Reply with quote

Yeah that's a good point. I'd thought about that possibility, but I've never heard anybody say that they do that in Czech. I'd be grateful if a Czech could confirm that this is the explanation and that it isn't a change in meaning.
Having now read Wicker's website about aspect I feel a lot better about it anyway, a lot of new insights for me. I recommend it if you are having a similar problem to me with the finer points of the aspect.

While I'm here, I have some more questions!
What is the difference between these words-
Vzpouzet se/Odmitnout
Klusat/Cvalat
prastit/uhodit/bit
Can't remember the other one I wanted to know.
Thanks
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Troll
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PostPosted: 17-Oct-07 12:17  Reply with quote

vždycky říká = he always says
vždycky řekne = he will always say

vždycky zapomínám = I always forget
vždycky zapomenu = I'll always forget

Scrimshaw is right, basically it means the same thing, perhaps due to the adverb vždycky (always). The difference is very subtle.

You must keep in mind that the adverbs sometimes have an influence on the tenses.

Example:

Zítra nejdu do školy. = Tomorrow I don't go to school.

nejdu is in the present tense, but it expresses the future due to the adverb zítra (tomorrow)

using the future tense the meaning is exactly the same:

Zítra nepůjdu do školy. = Tomorrow I won't go to school.
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Troll
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PostPosted: 17-Oct-07 12:37  Reply with quote

Quote:
Porad to rekne.

...pořád zapomenu zamknout dveře.

It is not correct.

The adverbs pořád, stále, neustále (constantly, continually) require the imperfective aspect.

Pořád/stále to říká.
Pořád/stále zapomínám zamykat dveře.


With the perfective verbs use the adverb vždy, vždycky, pokaždé!

Vždycky to řekne. = He will always say it.
Pokaždé zapomenu zamknout dveře.
= I will always forget to lock the door.

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