Moje > Svoje?? ETC >>

Discussion in 'Grammar & Pronunciation' started by jonesnewton, Feb 21, 2010.

  1. jonesnewton

    jonesnewton Active Member

    Any simple explanation how this works,,, changing Moje etc TO Svoje etc?

    Is it simple for myself?? Or is it belonging to me?
    :? :?
  2. kotja

    kotja Member

    You use svůj if it belongs to subject of the sentence.

    Example: He drives his car. Řídí svoje auto.
  3. Alexx

    Alexx Well-Known Member


    Řídím své/svoje auto. = Řídím mé/moje auto.

    Both means "I am driving my car."


    Řídíš moje auto. =/= Řídíš svoje auto.

    (You are driving my car vs. You are driving your (own) car)
  4. wer

    wer Well-Known Member

    More precisely, the reflexives refer to the semantic agent. It could be used even in subjectless phrases, e.g. in infinitive phrases or in other phrases of verbal origin:

      to speak to oneself = mluvit (sám) k sobě
      mothers breastfeeding their babies = matky kojící své děti

    The distinction of reflexive and non-relexive forms exist in English as well, but only for personal pronouns:

      he saw him (~ Peter saw John) = viděl ho
      he saw himself (~ Peter saw Peter) = viděl (sám) sebe

    In Czech, unlike in English, the same distinction is obligatory even for possessives:

      he saw his car (~ Peter saw John’s car) = viděl jeho auto
      he saw his (own) car (~ Peter saw Peter’s car) = viděl své auto

    The Czech reflexives are universal for all agents:

      to see oneself = vidět se(be)
      I see myself = (já) vidím sebe
      you see yourself = (ty) vidíš sebe
      he sees himself = (on) vidí sebe
      she sees herself = ona vidí sebe

    In Standard Czech, reflexive form has priority whenever it is possible to use it, so in the Alexx’s example:

      Řídím své/svoje auto. = Řídím mé/moje auto.

    only the first one is standard despite the latter one is common in colloquial Czech.

    The reflexives could also express a mutual relation corresponding to English “each other(’s)” ore “one’s respective”.
  5. TomKQT

    TomKQT Well-Known Member

    I always wonder where do you take all the theory from, wer. :shock:
  6. Alexx

    Alexx Well-Known Member

    My post originaly was longer explaining on examples like

    Řídíš tvoje auto
    Řídí jeho auto

    that those forms are often used by czechs, despite it is not right, however then I saw he wants simple answer so I deleted it :)

    EDIT: My 1000th post, I should open bottle of wine :)
  7. Wicker808

    Wicker808 Well-Known Member

    wer, I'm not sure if I agree with this. As I understand it, a semantic agent need not be a subject of a sentence. For example,

    Byt byl uklizen uklížečem.
    The apartment was cleaned by the cleaner.

    Above, the semantic agent (i.e. the party performing the action) is uklížeč. Do you agree with that? Or are we using different meanings of the term "semantic agent"? (I am not a linguist.)

    However, I can't say:

    *Svůj byt byl uklizen uklížečem.
    *His own apartment was cleaned by the cleaner.

    So, in this case, I think it's better to say that the antecedent of svůj is always the subject of the clause, even if the subject is implicit or a trace.

    Because svůj always refers to the subject, it can never appear in the subject. Therefore, I would postulate this additional rule: svůj can never modify a noun in the nominative case.

    Finally, I would like to emphasize that the antecedent of svůj is the subject of the clause that it appears in, rather than the subject of the sentence. That is, the clause whose subject svůj refers to need not be the primary clause. For example:

    Moje matka řekla, že bych měl uklidit svůj pokoj.
    My mother said that I should clean my room.
    *My mother said that I should clean her room.

    The subject of the second clause is já, so svůj pokoj means můj pokoj.
  8. scrimshaw

    scrimshaw Well-Known Member

    Příběh o ošklivém kachńatce.
    Kdy se mladá labuť se podívala do vody a viděla se poprvé, nelíbilo se ji moc, co tam viděla, ale po pár měsíce, co ve vodě viděla, bylo zrcadlení velmí krásného tvoru. Stejně jako Narcisus se do sebe zamilovala a má ráda se dívat na svoje zrcadlění i dnes.
  9. Wicker808

    Wicker808 Well-Known Member

    As an afterthought, I wonder if you Czechs consider these following sentences ambiguous. I suspect that for you they are not ambiguous. Nevertheless, they can be hard to interpret for a learner, because the antecedent of the reflexive pronoun depends on more complex rules.

    Please let me know what you think is the correct translation:

    Udeřil matku kojící své dítě.
    He hit the mother nursing her child.
    OR He hit the mother nursing his child.

    Dali ty židle dál od sebe.
    They put the chairs further from each other.
    OR They put the chairs further from themselves.

    Přemýšlím o tvé reakci vůči své aktuální situaci.
    I'm thinking about your reaction to your current situation.
    OR I'm thinking about your reaction to my current situation.
  10. Alexx

    Alexx Well-Known Member

    Hm, nice question. Cannot explain it linquistically, but my opinion:

    1.) first option is right and first only.

    2.) ambiguous

    3.) hard to tell :), first option seems better
  11. Ctyri koruny

    Ctyri koruny Well-Known Member

    I'm glad someone posted a thread about this, I know when to use them, but what confuses me is which form to use... (so I guess and make a "swooo swoo sound like an owl)

    You mean it's the same word for: myself, yourself, hiself, herself, etc. etc.
    and this word only changes according to case?
  12. jonesnewton

    jonesnewton Active Member

    Hi Thanks ALL for your replies.

    I am new to Czech so be patient with me.
    I understand the first part, though not exactly sure why you would have the two differnt things to mean the same thing?? Aren't they both MINE??

    Part 1 of the second I understand

    Part 2 of the second??

    Řídíš svoje auto >>
    Wouldn't this mean > You drive x 1 TY (not me, JA)-mine -car?
    = you drive my car?

    I know you should not literally translate, but I am trying to get a hang of this??
  13. kibicz

    kibicz Well-Known Member

  14. jonesnewton

    jonesnewton Active Member

    I looked at what he wrote and I only see

    Romulus probodl Rema svým mečem.
    Romulus probodl Rema jeho mečem.

    :?: Is it HIS and HIS :?:


    SVYM the sword belongs to Romulas and JEHO the sword belongs to Rema??

    Or is it the other way around :lol: :?:
  15. TomKQT

    TomKQT Well-Known Member

    The first one - Romulus used his own sword.
    The second one - Romulus took Remus's sword and killed him with it.
  16. TomKQT

    TomKQT Well-Known Member

    For me the second one is maybe better.

    Which confirms what you said - it's really hard to tell :lol:
  17. wer

    wer Well-Known Member

    Yes, as a rule of thumb, one can say that “svůj” refers to the subject — it’s mostly true.

    That’s exactly my reason to use another term than subject.

    It’s meaningful even in subjectless phrases (not everything must be sentence; subjectless phrase could be one element within a complex sentence etc.):

      uklidit si svůj pokoj (to clean one’s own/respective room)
      svůj vrah (one’s own murderer)
      sebeobrana (self-defence)

    Well, I’m not sure of the English terminology and the terminology is ambiguous here. The semantic agent of the whole sentence is indeed the cleaner, but in fact there are two actions within the sentence — first the action “to be” with agent “apartment”, and second the action “to clean” with agent “cleaner”. So my new attempt for less ambiguous definiton:

    A reflexive establishes a symmetrical link between semantical agent and patient with respect to the action (or relation) within the minimal part which on its own can exist as one meaningful element.

    But it needn’t be the subject:

      Na tisíce lososů plulo na své odvěké cestě.
      Thousands of salmon were swimming on their time-honored way.

    Here, the salmons are the semantical agent, but subject is different.

    Another example:

      Svůj pán
      One’s own master

    This is not sentence at all (it could be a title, for instance), so there is no subject. Here the reflexive establishes a relation (of identity) between the agent and patient of the relation “to be somebody’s master”.

    And one more example:

      Udržovat svou zbraň je povinností každého vojáka.
      The maintenance of one’s own weapon is duty of every soldier.

    Here an infinive construction fuctions as subject of the whole sentence (in Czech only!) and the reflexive has its own function within the infinitive construction — it refers to the agent of the infinitive.

    I disagree with both your premise and conclusion. Reflexive could be within the subject:

      Svůj pán se nemusí ohlížet na ostatní.
      One’s own master needn’t care about the others.

    And reflexive could expand a noun in nominative even out of the subject:

      Mí přátelé jsou i sví přátelé.
      My friends are also friends each other.

    Here, the minimal part is “kojící své dítě”, hence “své” refers to the agent of “kojit”.

    Here, the minimal part is “dál od sebe” and its function within the whole sentence is ambiguous.

    Here, the minimal part (in lemmatic form) is “reakce vůči své (aktuální) situaci” and “své” refers to the agent of the reaction.

    Yes, and also for the indefinite form “oneself”.

    Yes, it is declined like the other corresponding pronouns (“se” like “tě”, “sebe” like “tebe”, “svůj” like “tvůj” etc.).

    No problem. (And don’t worry about the more advanced examples. That’s just nitpicking among us Czechs.)

    Exactly, that’s why the non-reflexive form is substandard. (But in this case the substandard usage is not ambiguous and therefor common and tolerated in colloquial Czech.)

    No, “svoje” refers to the agent of the action, that is to the driver.

    You can use the phrase “řídit svoje auto” (to drive one’s own car) universally for all possible subjects and it always means that the car belongs to the driver.

    Yes, “svým” refers to the agent of the action which happens to be Romulus. “Jeho”, on the other hand, can’t refer to the agent, so in the second example the sword belongs to Remus or to some completely different person.
  18. Wicker808

    Wicker808 Well-Known Member

    Well, you lost me a bit here. But I understand the the "minimal" qualifier attempts to limit the range of antecedents.

    Nevertheless, it's a rule that doesn't always help. That is, there are still cases that are ambiguous, arising from situations where there is disagreement over what is a "minimal...meaningful element."

    Yes, you're right. Good point.

    I wonder if this isn't an idiom, rather than indication of a broader grammatical rule. Certainly, we couldn't substitute the word pán in the above sentence with another word, such as pes. So I would argue that this case is exceptional, that "svůj pán" means "a person who is his own master, a person who is independent of others" and shouldn't be interpreted as a conventional use of the word svůj as a reflexive pronoun. As evidence of this, I'd say that svůj here has no antecedent.

    I think on this we agree: you are just saying "agent of the infinitive" and I am saying "trace subject."

    You're right. I forgot about cases where svůj can appear in the nominative complement to a copula. Nevertheless, I would still maintain that svůj cannot appear in the subject of a sentence.

    I would beware of applying the stated rules too rigidly. The interpretation of this kind of sentence is probably subject to debate.

    For example, one day the director says to the actor:
    Přemýšlím o tvé roli ve svém novém filmu.

    Would you still maintain that svůj refers to the actor, rather than the director?

    And among non-Czechs. :)
  19. Ctyri koruny

    Ctyri koruny Well-Known Member

    Cheers! That's been bugging me for a while.

    In English we say

    He is driving his car.
    and we only say "He is driving his-own car" if the ownership of the car is in doubt for some reason, like there are 2 "he's" or he has a habit of stealing cars, in Czech it's the opposite, you always use the word which means your-own and only use the word for someone else's in the exceptions.
    Both pretty logical ways of doing it I think. 2 sides of the same coin.

    I think the books make us more confused about this by teaching us "moje" etc. first, but they do that so as not to confuse us. ;)

    I think don't worry about it, use moje tvoje etc. etc. for everything until you've seen svoje in enough places to get a grasp of what it's about. That seems to be what the text books want us to do and I'm sure they have some reason for that.
    Everyone will understand you and some Czechs do it themselves (My teacher claims it is the German/English influence and is very much against it)

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