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  5. "Žofii zajímá Matěj."

"Žofii zajímá Matěj."

Translation:Žofie is interested in Matěj.

September 8, 2017



Wouldn't this be translated as "Matěj is intersted in Žofie."? Žofie is declined while Matěj is not.


No, this is correct. She is interested in him. Not sure I am able to explain why. Maybe because 'zajímat" is a reflexive verb. You can also say "Žofie SE zajímá o Matěje" to express the same meaning.


Matej interests Zofie perhaps? In this case, Zofie becomes the object which would make this construction more understandable.


Yes, I think this is the correct explanation. Matěj sees Žofie, Matěj loves Žofie, Matěj interests Žofie are all gramatically the same. We are simply much more accustomed to saying (and thinking!) I am interested in that rather than That interests me.


Actually, both structures exist (with the same meaning) in Italian:

Žofie se zajímá o Matěje = Sofia si interessa a Matteo

Matěj zajímá Žofii (or Žofii zajímá Matěj) = Matteo interessa Sofia


It's the same in German: "Sofie interessiert sich für Matthias" and "Sofie interessiert Matthias".


Thanks! I had the same question as the op, but was also wondering where the 'se' an 'o' went


If it's relevant, it's similar to German, Italian, Spanish and so on. Even Hebrew.

"I like it": German: es gefällt mir = it does pleasure TO ME. Italian: mi piace = TO ME it is pleasant. Spanish: me gusta. עברית: זה מוצא חן בעיניי. "זה" מוצא החן, אבל הכוונה היא שאני אוהב את זה. לא הוא אותי.

Hope it's understood!


why is Zofie in accusative and not Matej , when she seems to be the subject and he the object of the sentence?


No. Matej is the subject and Zofie is the object. (who?) Matej (does what?) zajíma (to whom?) Zofii. There were a more straight translation already mentioned in the thread: "Matěj interests Žofie".


Okay. I've read all comments and made notes and i think i have a relatively simple way to put it

"Žofie se zajímá o Matěje" is best to translate "Žofie is interested in Matěj"

And to make it the other way round as in this exercise "Žofii zajímá Matěj" (or Matěj zajímá Žofii) "Matěj is interesting for Žofie"


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And: what you wrote seems correct to me (I'm not a native speaker of Czech, though).


I somewhat understand the grammar that goes along with this, but I was wondering how one would actually hear whether a phrase means "Matej interests Zofie" or "Zofie interests Mataj" in spoken Czech.

So "Matej interests Zofie" translated can be:

"Zofii zajima Matej"

but I'm assuming can also be

"Matej zajima Zofii"

And if that's the case, how would one go about not mishearing my latter example as "Matej interests Zofie"? If that's not the case, what is grammatically wrong or unorthodox about the example I made up?


The word order is unimportant. You have to listen to the endings carefully. At least that is what we do.


Okay - so my main question with this construction is that if this is available, why would you ever use the more complicated version with se and o (the one we're meant to be learning at this point)? I understand that there's a difference in structure (Matej interests Zofie/Zofie has an interest in Matej) but is there a difference in meaning that we need to know about? Or, apart from learning se/o to satisfy the duolingo requirements, can I just work with this simpler version in conversation? Thanks for any thoughts.


Well, one is slightly more about the interesting person and the other more about the object of interest. One is more active (zajímá se o), the other more about the object (Matěj zajímá Žofii.) but sometimes is stressing that he really interests her (Matěj Žofii zajímá.)

The longer one is actually not that complicated and is quite common. Please understand that a language is not a mathematical theory and is not always unique or or uses the shortest expression possible.

And sometimes simply one of them sounds more natural. To mě zajímá! Zajímám se o hudbu. These are the defaults. You can use the other forms, "Hudba mě zajímá." to stress you are really interested in music. You use "Zajímám se o hudbu." when you are just informing about your hobbies and interests.


Perfect - great to have such detail, and to know the subtler differences. That's exactly what I love about languages - not their mathematics, but their nuance and detail and possibilities. Thank you.


I am completely confused. Who is the object, who is the subject of the sentence ; may I omit the preposition and the reflexive pronoun?


It is really useful to read the existing discussion first, we can't repeat everything for everyone. Please tell us which bits of those explanations you do not understand.

I will just stress, for easier orientation, that "zajímat" and "zajímat se" are two different verbs which work in quite a different way (roughly to interest vs. to be interested).


Why "Žofii has interest in Matěj" is wrong?


Because Žofii is accusative. Nominative is Žofie.


isn't that something like "zofie is interesting for matej"?


No. It is the opposite: "Matěj is interesting for Zofie". You can switch the words order. The subject and the object here are defined by the case of the words, not their order. "Žofii zajímá Matěj" is the same as "Matěj zajímá Žofii". And your variant "zofie is interesting for matej" is translated as: "Žofie zajímá Matěje".


Can anyone explain why Žofií zajímá Matěj is Zofie is interested in Matěj but when writing Matěj is interested in Žofie you must write Matěj se zajímá o Žofie?


You can use both constructions in both directions. You only have to select the correct cases:
accusative zajímá nominative (here the accusative contains the one who is interested and the nominative the object of interest)
nominative se zajímá o accusative (in this case the nominative contains the one who is interested and the accusative the object of interest).

If this helps, you can think of "zajímá" as "is interesting for" and "se zajímá" as "is interested in".


"Žofii" and "o Žofii"

You do not have to. In the other sentence you can use "Matěje zajímá Žofie." as well.


Hello, I'm confused about why it is that Zofie that is in the accusative form when she is interested in Matej. Should not Matej be in the accusative form instead?


No, the construction is completely different from English. "Matej" is the subject of the sentence and the verb "zajímat" means something like "to be of interest (for)" and takes an accusative. So it is something like "Marej is of interest for Zofie" lterally, but "Zofie is interested in Matej" is better English.

I see you're learning German as well. German uses exactly the same construction as Czech: "Matej (nominative) interessiert Zofie (accusative)" = "Zofie is interested in Matej".


Thanks very much to 'fehrerder' and 'VladaFu' -I now understand!


Why are there no prepositions in this sentence?


Because "zajímat někoho" does not use any. Similarly to "to interest someone".


More specifically, what is the rule then for not using "se" with zajima? Since up until this point the Tips & Notes and the lessons have generally used "se" with zajimat.



to interest someone - zajímat někoho

to be interested in someone - zajímat se o někoho

"Žofii zajímá Matěj." means the same as "Žofie se zajímá o Matěje."

I leave the exercise of checking what is the subject and what is the object of the sentences to you. Use the cases to find out.


Interesting. Reflexive verbs in French (the other language I know fairly well) are ALWAYS reflexive. But you're saying that "zajimat" and "zajimat se o" are actually different verbs with different meanings. Fascinating.


Reflexive verbs in French (the other language I know fairly well) are ALWAYS reflexive

I don't think that this is true. A lot of verbs can be used reflexively as well as non-reflexively. Take for example "laver", an ordinary verb, which means "to wash". But you say "Je me lave" for "I wash (myself)". Same in German.

And this even holds for the verb in question here, "interesser". "X interesse quelqu'un" is exactly like "X zajímá někoho" and "je m'interesse à quelque chose" like "zajímám se o něčem".


"Žofii zajímá Matěj" = Sophie intéresse Mathieu (in french). Impossible to know if Sophie knows Mathieu or not, but Mathieu seems to be a little bit in love (or else) with her. I can't imagine an other thing, an other sense to this sentence.


No, you have it backwards, please see the rest of the discussion. fehrerdef already made some parallels with French.

"Žofii zajímá Matěj" means that Žofie is interested in Matěj.


French is my native language and I don't understand why "Žofii zajímá Matěj" means exactly the contrary of what I think and read. For me, the czech sentence means what I said : the interest is from M. to Ž. (because Ž. here is the object and not the subject, so "Sophie intéresse Mathieu" in French). If the sense of "Žofii zajímá Matěj" is what you say, the French for this is the passive case "Žofie est intéressée par Matěj". If you are right (and you are right apparently), it's difficult for me to understand, like the English "I miss you" for a French-Speaking ("I miss you" is translated into French by "Tu me manques" and not "Je te manque"). Compare : "I love you" = "Je t'aime", but "I miss you" = "Tu me manques". This gives to French-Speaking some headaches ! It's very special to learn a foreign language through another foreign language.

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