"He is asking your wife."

Translation:Ptá se vaší ženy.

September 26, 2017

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I have real struggles with differentiating situations when I need to use Genitive or Accusative. I understand how both of these cases form, but I still can't grasp when to apply which case.

The one thing I'm certain when to use Genitive is when I see a measure of quantity like "mnoho". That's the one thing I got from reading tips.

I've translated this particular sentence as "Ptá se tvou ženu" and it turned out to be wrong. I realise that I've used Accusative, not Genetive and that's a mistake. At the same time if I translate "I like my wife" that would be (hopefully correct) "Mám rád mou manželku". I can't say I see any difference between this and ¨Ptá se tvou ženu". The structure seems almost the same.

I speak Russian and maybe that's a part of the problem. Ending like -ou and -u in that exercise seem totally natural but in Czech they are not. That is not to say that apply Russian grammar to translate Czech sentences, I probably just don't understand the meaning of both Accusative and Genitive.

Can someone help me out with this. Maybe some links to educational resources in English? The ones I've looked through weren't that helpful.


ptát se is just one of the verbs that use the genitive case for the object. You have to learn them and remember them. There is no other way. In particular, do not look for any logic in it, there is none.

Я спрашиваю вашу жену. = Ptám se vaší ženy.

One is accusative, one is genitive. That's how it is. The Russian accusative is as strange for as as the genitive is for you.

The valence lexicon https://ufal.mff.cuni.cz/vallex/3.5/#/lexeme/ can tell you what kinds of cases do various verbs use in different use cases.


Thanks a lot. That was helpful. I guess now I have to keep an eye on verbs that use genitive for objects.


How about "On pta se vasi zeny?"


The second position rule for "se" is violated.


'Ptá se tvou manželku" - where is the error?


it is supposed to be "Ptá se tvé manželky" or "....vaší manželky".

It is genitive.


Thanks a lot!!!


one se pta svoji zeny?


Nope. One is not a word (probably just a typo), and the use of svojí would refer to his own wife. On the bright side, though, the word order is correct! :-) "On se ptá tvojí ženy" is accepted.


What's the difference between "ptat se" and "zeptat se"


Ptát se is imperfective, while zeptat se is perfective. You can read a bit about the difference here (section 4, Aspect): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Czech_conjugation#Aspect. The perfective cannot be used in this exercise, because it is clear from the English sentence the action is underway at the present time.

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