"Žofie is interested in Matěj."
Translation:Žofie se zajímá o Matěje.
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In the exercise itself, the correct multiple choice answer says "Žofii zajímá Matěj," Since she's the subject of the sentence, shouldn't she be in the nominative case "Žofie*"? Doesn't the other way mean that "Matej is interested in Zofie"?
Or is it that "Matej interests Zofie"?
Yes, this. It IS that "Matěj interests Žofie". The verb "zajímá"--without the "se o ..."--is a simple transitive verb, with subject in nominative and object in accusative. But since in this form the actual object of her interest is the subject of the sentence--and not exactly what the English sentence says--it is really hard to grasp. Welcome to Czech!
Okay, hang on. In the last sentence, we had "Frantisek is interested in the strange person," and I was wrong because Frantisek had to be in the accusative form because, I don't know, this is passive voice in English so in Czech a closer translation is "the strange person interests Frantisek," which makes "Frantisek" the object in Czech even though he appears to the be the subject in English.
But in this sentence I used the accusative of Zofie and the nominative of Matej, like "Matej interests Zofie," and it said I had two typos because Zofie should have been nominative and Matej should have been accusative.
So either there's some rule here I'm completely misunderstanding, or both ways are correct.
I read your question and -- because I thought I had figured this out -- I started to write you a potentially helpful reply.
Unfortunately, in the course of writing the potentially helpful reply, I re-confused myself and deleted the thing in a fit of pique.
If one of the experts could provide clear and concise direction on this, it would probably be helpful to a lot of learners.
I just had a Mark ALL Correct Meanings exercise on this very topic!
The sentence was "Žofie is interested in Matěj.." There were TWO correct answers.
First, "Žofie se zajímá o Matěje." I interpret this one as "Žofie INTERESTS HERSELF in Matěj."
Second, "Žofii zajímá Matěj." I interpret this one as "Matěj INTERESTS Žofie "
So we have flipping subjects and objects, but the sentences convey the same message.
Yes, "Žofii (acc) zajímá Matěj (nom)" or "Matěj (nom) zajímá Žofii (acc)" means the same as "Žofie (nom) se zajímá o Matěje (acc)".
The reflexive pronoun sort of turns the verb upside down, compare this with "učit" (teach) and "učit se" (learn) or "půjčit" (lend) and "půjčit si" (borrow). "Žofie učí Matěje." = "Matěj se učí od Žofie." and likewise "Žofie půjčila Matějovi." = "Matěj si půjčil od Žofie."