Negative constructions

Discussion in 'Grammar & Pronunciation' started by Lorenzo, Jun 16, 2002.

  1. Lorenzo

    Lorenzo Well-Known Member

    Hi again!

    Still dreaming of Prague and wading through Czech grammar ;-) and...I have come up with a couple of little questions... ;-)
    Are negative constructions with past tenses obtained by putting "ne" before the verb?
    "Jsem moc delal" / "Jsem moc nedalal"

    and does the verb ending change according to the gender in past constructions like adjectives do?

    "Jsem psal / Jsem psala"

    I think that’s the way it works but I’m just trying to make sure ;-))

    Thank your for your help!

  2. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Hi Lorenzo

    Hmm .. I guess you understand quite right how it works! ;-)

    Just a small correction in your word order:

    We say:

    "Moc jsem delal" / "Moc jsem nedelal"
    "Ja jsem moc delal" / "Ja jsem moc nedelal"


    "Psal jsem" / "Psala jsem"
    "Ja jsem psal" / "Ja jsem psala"

    Have a great time!!

  3. Lorenzo

    Lorenzo Well-Known Member

    Hi Tereza and thank you for your help! :)

    so you can also say "ja jsem"?
    I didn't know that... I used to think that subject pronouns were always left out and that "jsem" alone meant "I am"...
    So I have learnt something new today thanks to you :))
    This is a great site, isn't it? ;-)

    Dekuji mockrat! :)

  4. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    Hi Tereza!

    I was also under the impression that subject pronouns could be left out. Can you clarify this please because when I write a sentence to my Czech friends, they always correct me and add the subject pronoun:)

    Thanks from another learner:))

  5. Dana

    Dana Well-Known Member

    This is a little hard to explain to an English speaker since this issue does not exist in English (see the Overview article where the synthetic nature of Czech is explained).

    In Czech, you are not technically required to use a personal pronoun in a sentence. The reason is that the verb used in that sentence contains all the information you need to know about the person(s) it refers to. E.g. the verb "zpívat" (to sing) changes into "zpívám" (I), "zpívá" (he/she/it), "zpívají" (they), etc. You don't have to say "já zpívám".

    On the other hand, personal pronouns are often used. One reason is for emphasis - e.g. "Napsal jsem to JÁ, ne TY" ("I wrote that, not YOU"). Sometimes the use of the pronoun is determined by context. And many times, the sentence simply sounds better with the pronoun in it. It will probably come easier to you after you’ve been studying Czech for a while or if you spend time immersed in the language.

    As a little note, I think Italian has a similar concept. Is it not true that one can say "Sono di Milano", but also "Io sono di Milano"?
  6. Lorenzo

    Lorenzo Well-Known Member

    Hi Dana!

    Thank you for your explanation! Everything is much clearer now!
    I just used to think that "ja+byt" gave "jsem" as a result...
    Anyway I had the impression it worked more or less like in Italian...
    and by the do you know that "io sono di Milano"? ;-)

  7. Dana

    Dana Well-Known Member

    Hi Lorenzo,

    I had no idea that you were from Milano! It was just an example. That's funny. Keep up your studies!

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