B2 exam

Discussion in 'General Language' started by hribecek, Apr 6, 2010.

  1. hribecek

    hribecek Well-Known Member

    I'm taking the B2 Czech exam in May and I was wondering if anybody has taken it or taught a course on it and could give me some advice?
    I've looked through a practise test and I think writing will be the toughest for me, are there any common mistakes that foreigners and Czechs make in regards to grammar in spisovná čeština?
    1. For example, which is grammatically correct?
    vzal by si si ji....
    vzal bys si ji....
    vzal by jsi si ji...
    vzal by sis ji....
    In spoken Czech I would say naturally either the 2nd or the 4th one but I don't know the officially correct way.

    2. Also for example is myslejí or myslí spisovná? I´d guess myslejí is spisovná? Is this the same for all these 3rd person plural forms? E.g. Vědí, mluvějí? I only use the í form when speaking.

    My writing is very informal so I´m a bit worried about transorming it within 5 weeks.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Jana

    Jana Well-Known Member

    Ad 1. Vzal by sis ji is the only correct expression (spisovný výraz).
    Ad 2. Oni myslí is correct. (It always helps if you learn the imperative of the appropriate verb. If it is short, e.g. mysli or mluv, then the 3rd person form will be short too. If it is long, e.g. dělej, the 3rd person plural will be long as well - dělají.) Mluvějí, myslejí is a colloquial form, quite common in the south of Bohemia.
    N.B. This is just a very simplified explanation - the system of Czech verbs conjugation is much more complex with lots of exceptions, many of them remaining unknown even to native speakers :( ).
  3. hribecek

    hribecek Well-Known Member

    Thanks very much for that Jana and especially for the 3rd person plural tip, that´s a good way to remember it.

    I was also wondering about the past tense -
    Which one is spisovná?

    Spadnul jsem or spadl jsem

    Is it usually the same for all of these types of ...NOUT verbs?

    And is it -
    kdybychom or kdyby jsme
    kdybyste or kdyby jste

    I would think the first one in both cases as spisovná.

    One more thing - pronouns in spisovná čeština

    Is it -
    pro mě
    pro mne
    pro mně

    o mne
    o mně
    o mě

    when is JEJ used?

    Thanks in advance again, this is very helpful.
  4. Jana

    Jana Well-Known Member

    Spadl jsem is correct; short version applies to most cases, however the past for usnout is usnul, not usl!
    Kdybychom (bychom) and kdybyste (byste) are correct.

    The pronouns - well, it is a hard nut to crack; again, it helps to learn the appropriate cases for prepositions (e.g. o is always connected with locative = o mně) as well as the second person declensions, as it avoids the problem of the pronunciation trap; mě and mně sound the same, while tě and tobě show the right case. Thus, if you know that the preposition pro is connected with accusative, you will choose mě or mne, never mně (this is used with dative or locative only).
    Jej is used with inanimative masculine nouns only (cf. Mám nový mobil; koupil jsem jej velmi levně. Mám nového psa, koupil jsem ho velmi levně).
  5. hribecek

    hribecek Well-Known Member

    Thanks again
    That's all very useful to know.
    I learned which cases go with which preposition a long time ago but I never knew which spelling of mě, mne, mně goes with what because, as you said, they sound the same in spoken Czech.

    I guess from the lack of a reply that nobody here has taken the B2 exam?
  6. bibax

    bibax Well-Known Member

    Some comments:

    1. after prepositions always use full forms of the personal pronouns, it is always correct (although mne sounds somewhat bookish in colloquial speech):

    Dat/Loc: mně, tobě, sobě
    Gen/Acc: mne, tebe, sebe
    Instr: mnou/tebou/sebou (there are no short forms for instrumetal)

    The short forms mě/tě after prepositions are colloquial (pro mě, pro tě), se after prepositions is extremely rare. The short forms mi/ti/si cannot stay after prepositions.

    2. preposition o:

    Mluvili o mně. ... mluvit o kom/čem (loc.)
    Postaral se o mne. ... postarat se o koho/co (acc.)

    Different cases! (similarly "ve mne" vs. "ve mně")

    3. I disagree that jej is for inaminate masc. only. It can be used for animate masc. as well. After prepositions: něj or (rarely) -ň (e.g. pro něj or proň).

    N.B. jej/něj is accusative!!!!
    Common mistake: podle něj, od něj, do něj, doň, ...
    Correct: podle něho, od něho, do něho, ... (genitive!)
  7. hribecek

    hribecek Well-Known Member

    Thanks for all the tips, I really appreciate them.

    I've thought of another weak area for me - adverbs.

    Generally I'm fine with common adverbs but I have a problem when there are 2 options and I really don't know the difference.

    For example -
    Brzy or brzo
    Hloboce or hluboko
    Is there some rule for this difference? I always thought brzo was like soon and brzy like early but a Czech used brzy the other day when he meant soon so now I'm confused. I know there are others like this but can't think of them off the top of my head so any other examples would be great.

    Thanks again in advance
  8. Splog

    Splog Member

    When there is a pair of adverbs, one ending in "e" and the other ending in "o" then the one ending in "e" is usually the "-ly" variant. Some examples will make this clearer:

    Hluboce means deeply, whereas hluboko means deep.
    Blízce means closely, whereas blízko means close.

    In terms of "brzo" or "brzy" then BOTH mean BOTH "soon" and "early". Brzo is just the older form in history, but both are used.
  9. wer

    wer Well-Known Member

    Very true, the -e/ě variant is typically an adverb of manner (answer to a how question) and it is a "pure-blooded" adverb. It is strictly used as adverbial.

    The -o variant, on the other hand, is of adjectival nature. It is closely related to the neuter nominal (= short-form) adjectives (and therefore never used with soft adjectives of model jarní!) or to the more or less identical neuter noun model město. This means that the -o variant could be declined and used in place of a noun! In modern Czech the declined forms are hardly used, but there is one important exception — the -o variant in a declined form is commonly combined with prepositions. This combination is sometimes treated as two separate words, but the most frequent ones are treated as one single word.

    A particular prepositional combination could bear the same (or similar) meaning as the -e/ě variant (e.g. hluboce could be sometimes interchangeable with zhluboka).

    Sometimes, the -o variant is used only as a regular noun (dobro, zlo) and for the adverbial meaning only the -e/ě variant is used (dobře, zle).

    Also, a diminutive could be sometimes formed from the -o variant (brzo -> brzičko, pomalu -> pomaličku).

    For adjectives denoting nationalities (or some other communities) ending in -ký, the corresponding -ko variant is understood to be a noun for the corresponding country (region, place) and is capitalized. It is understood this way even if the particular noun is not in use (e.g. Anglicko). In this case the -e/ě variant is not used at all and is replaced with the -ky variant (česky, anglicky, německy). This adverbial form is used practically only for languages, for the other meanings we turn back to the uncapitalized -o variant in combination with the preposition po (e.g. Manželství po italsku = Marriage Italian-Style).
    This -ky variant penetrated even to some other adverbs and exists as an alternative to the original variant (e.g. brzo vs. brzy <- brzky), sometimes the original variant was ousted almost completely (hezce vs. hezky).
  10. hribecek

    hribecek Well-Known Member

    Thanks a lot for these tips and explanations. It's so much clearer to me now.
    I still can't get my head round when I would use 'dalece' and 'dlouze' though instead of daleko and dlouho, I always use the latter. Maybe I'm being dumb but I can't quite see how you can do something in a far manner or long manner. Could 'dlouze' possibly be translated as something like 'long windedly'?
    Eg. Psal to dlouho vs psal to dlouze
    He was writing it a long time vs he was writing it in long winded way.
    Or something like that?
    Thanks again for the valuable info.

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