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!
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"
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?
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.
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".
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".
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).
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".
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.
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".
Just saying that (apparently) Zajimat se and Zajimat are considered two separate and distinct verbs (according to the discussion I was following). As to French grammar, nearing 70, it's been a long time since high school/college. But your example of "Je me lave" is more of an example of "me" being the direct object of the verb, not a reflexive verb since it's not conjugated with "etre". S'interesser IS a reflexive verb and IS conjugated with "etre". I can't think of an example where "interesser" would be used stand alone though as a verb. Anyway, interesting discussion. Nice meeting you. But again, my point is is there a specific "class" of verbs that are "reflexive" in Czech (divat se, starat se, zajimas se). GOOD LUCK WITH THIS DAMN IMPOSSIBLE LANGUAGE!
Once more: "zajímat se" and "zajímat" are as different as ""s'intéresser" and "intéresser". Whether you consider them as two different verbs or varieties of one verb is left to your taste.
And they behave exactly the same in Czech and French (and German):
"X se zajímá o Y"
"X s'intéresse à Y"
"X interessiert sich für Y"
("X is interested in Y") vs.
"Y zajímá X"
"Y intéresse X"
"Y interessiert X"
("Y is interesting for X").
There is nothing "impossible" about that. It's only English which is different here.