I read in another thread about "double negation" in Czech. Does this mean that "nikam" can only be used in the negative sense (i.e., "I'm not going anywhere," "it doesn't lead anywhere," etc.)? For example, would "nikam" be the incorrect word to use when trying to say something like "I can go anywhere I want"?
our users may want to (re)read the tips for the Present 1 unit:
Motion verbs: jde, jede, nese, vede
This is our first encounter with a few members of a tricky verb group, the verbs of motion. The core meanings are as follows:
3rd pers. sg. infinitive English jde jít go (by foot), walk, come jede jet go (by vehicle/animal), ride, drive, come nese nést carry, bring from, take to vede vést lead, bring from, take to
The "infinitives" are only shown to help you find the verbs in dictionaries. These Czech verbs contain information on the means of the movement but not on its direction. The opposite applies to many of the English verbs used in translations.
While for many verbs in this skill the Czech present tense can easily correspond to both simple and continuous present tense in English, the motion verbs are less forgiving. In their core movement meaning, they are restricted to single, one-directional actions as opposed to repeated, habitual, multi-directional movement activities. This makes the English simple present ill-suited for translating them. Until we get introduced to the habitual motion counterparts of these Czech verbs, let's stick to the present continuous translations when movement is being described. For example, in
- Kam jdou? (Where are they going?)
- Odkud jedeš? (Where are you coming from?)
- Odkud nesete ty věci? (Where are you bringing those things from?)
- Kam nesete ty věci? (Where are you taking those things to?)
- Vedu děti do školy. (I am taking the kids to school.)
the use of the simple present in English would imply scenarios inconsistent with the nature of the Czech verbs.
Note how Czech distinguished whether the "things" were being brought from somewhere or taken to somewhere despite not changing the verb itself.