Verb "Umet"

Discussion in 'Grammar & Pronunciation' started by Lorenzo, Nov 3, 2002.

  1. Lorenzo

    Lorenzo Well-Known Member


    I’m discovering new things every day with Czech :)


    I know the auxiliary verb “can” can be translated either as “umet” or “moci” in Czech according to what you want to express:

    Umim cesky = I can (am able to) speak Czech
    Muzu vzit knihu = I can (am allowed to) take the book

    You can say “Umim plavat” but in the expression “Umim cesky” the verb “speak” is left out and at first I thought the verb “umit” was an alternative for “mluvit”. Now I have the impression that in this case “Umim cesky” could also be translated as “I can handle Czech”.

    Is the verb “mluvit” always omitted when translating “I can speak”?

    I’ll try to give an example:

    Az budu naucit cesky, umim cesky s tebou

    Or would it be “umim mluvit cesky s tebou”?

    I wonder as I wait… :)

  2. Lorenzo

    Lorenzo Well-Known Member

    I was re-reading what I wrote and I have just realized I made such a bad mistake!

    NAUCIT SE is a future tense construction!
    and I cannot say BUDU NAUCIT SE!
    Am I right?


    Az naucit se cesky, (umim) mluvim cesky s tebou

    I hope I got it right this time! ;-)
  3. zuples

    zuples New Member

    Hi Lorenzo,

    I am not a linguist, I am just using the language everyday [​IMG]))...but I hope I can help you.
    You want to probably say:
    "Az se naucim cesky, tak s tebou budu mluvit cesky."
    (After I learn czech, I will talk to you in czech.)
    So your second choice was correct. In this case you can't leave it out.

    But yes, you can omit it when saying:
    Mluvim anglicky.
    Mluvim nemecky.
    Mluvim spanelsky.

    I hope I help a bit.
  4. Lorenzo

    Lorenzo Well-Known Member

    Hi zuples!

    Thank you for your reply!
    Yes, your explanation has been of help! [​IMG]
    So, the verb "umet" cannot fully replace the verb "mluvit", right?
    I don't think it's possible to say "Umim cesky s tebou"? That wouldn't make much sense I believe...
    So, I think "umis cesky" must be translated as "you know Czech"?

  5. Dana

    Dana Well-Known Member

    Hi Lorenzo,

    You can say both "Umím cesky" (more common) and "Umím mluvit cesky". But as you correctly pointed out, you can't always omit the verb "mluvit". E.g. it doesn't make sense to say "Umím cesky s tebou". Here you'd have to say "Umím mluvit cesky s tebou". The phrase "umís cesky?" can be translated as "do you know Czech?" but also "do you speak Czech?" - assuming that if you know Czech, you can also speak it.

    Hope this helps!

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