"Ptá se vaší ženy."

Translation:He is asking your wife.

September 30, 2017

This discussion is locked.


"vaší ženy" shouldn't be plurale? and why I have to use "wife" instead of woman?


Ženy is either nominative plural or genitive singular (like here). You should use "wife" because "vaší ženy" means a woman you married not any woman you know.


I'm not sure how this makes sense in english, which makes it fairly confusing

  1. He does not know how to get to the restaurant, so he is asking your wife.

  2. He has not had sex lately, so he is asking your wife.



And why not "he asks" or "she asks"? I wrote "he asks" in all previous sentences starting from "Pta se" and it was accepted and here it is not. I don't know why....


That is accepted. You must always report the complete sentence. We can't be discussing just two words. If you believe your answer should be accepted, use the reporting button.


I am confused, I thought in this sentence it would be the accusative case " Ptá se vaši ženu", can someone explain to me why is this particular sentence we use genitive case? thanks


Although the accusative is the typical object case, some verbs require a specific case and you need to learn that together with the verb. "Ptát se" requires the genitive.


Takhle se to nenaučí :-)


Right, I'd better delete the second part... it's my rambling. I just can't help thinking about it... It works most of the time... "Pít vodu" vs. "Napít se vody", or "Vidět koho" vs. "Vidět se s kým".

But then there are exceptions like "učit se co..." :(


Worm can! Now Inquiring Minds Want to Know! (Or maybe you should also delete the second part of the second part...)


Lolz. So, "se" is accusative, right? As it takes up the accusative slot, any object we want to include should be in another case, so that we don't have two different things in the same case.

Verbs that require the genitive are almost always reflexive: "vyvarovat se, stranit se, bát se, děsit se, leknout se, zbavit se, držet se, dotýkat se, domáhat se, ptát se". Other reflexive verbs can't take an object at all (intransitive) or use a dative object or a prepositional phrase such as "vidět se s kým".

If you take "držet se", you can use it non-reflexively as "držet co (accusative)" - to hold something. Add the reflexive pronoun and the case changes: "držet se (accusative) čeho (genitive)" - to hold on to something. Or: "pít co (accusative)" - to drink - but "napít se (acc.) čeho (gen.)" - to take a sip of something (here we actually have a correspondence in the English "of"). Prepositional phrases allow using the same case again though: "dívat se (acc.) na (acc.)".

Similarly, "půjčit co (accusative) komu (dative)" (to lend something to someone), but "půjčit si (dative) co (accusative) od koho (genitive)" (to borrow something from someone). - Here "si" takes up the dative (indirect object) slot. Reflexive verbs using "si" (dative) use accusative objects, just like most non-reflexive verbs.

It's not 100% reliable though. So far I can't think of anything else that breaks the rule than "učit se (acc.) co (acc.)" - but the reason it breaks the rule is that the object here has changed to the accusative only recently. It used to be "učit se (acc.) čemu (dat.)", which now sounds old-fashioned.


@BHB: I know, right? It's usually not mentioned and Czechs don't realize this or think of it this way that "se" and "si" are accusative and dative forms of a pronoun - especially since this pronoun has no nominative. And how to grasp something that doesn't exist in the most basic form? https://prirucka.ujc.cas.cz/?id=se

And the other thing (case "slots") is derived from the fundamental role of cases - they're supposed to mark the function of various parts of the sentence. And it makes sense for two parts to fulfill the same role, at least in theory. In practice, it's not always so - we have the "something is something" assignment, i.e. purely "X = Y" where no function markers are needed, and we just have nominative=nominative (except for the possibility of nominative=instrumental in "Žofie je učitelkou") - and prepositions easily allow for the same cases to be re-used - as if forming a new prepositional case - and indeed, the locative case (which only works with prepositions in modern Czech), can easily be repeated: "Čtu si o válce na sedadle v autě", where "about war", "on a/the seat", and "in a/the car" are three separete locative expressions stacked upon each other. Another "rebel" in this regard will be the genitive, because it can get attached to individual nouns instead of just forming separate syntactical units. So the ideal structure where we use each case once is only a model, for example:

Michale (voc.), já (nom.) ti (dat.) v poledne (loc.) pošlu trochu (acc.) peněz (gen.) bankovním převodem (instr.) - Michal, I will send you a little bit of money via a bank transfer at noon.

It may be useful, though, when we just look at objects of verbs and how the reflexive pronouns exclude other objects in the same case:

  • Myju auto (acc). - I'm washing a/the car.
  • Myju auto (acc). tátovi (dat.) - I'm washing the car for dad (dad's car for him).
  • Myju si (dat.) ruce (acc.) - I'm washing my hands (literally, the hands to myself)
  • Myju se (acc). (no further object possible) - I'm washing myself.

It's really just another way of looking at these (mysterious) reflexive verbs when you consider that "se" and "si" correspond to "mě/tě" and "mi/ti" (to use 1st and 2nd person singular examples) respectively, and they also have long (stressed) forms - "sebe" and "sobě", which correspond to "mne/tebe" and "mně/tobě" respectively.


@AgnusOinas, Your excellent post has no Reply button as I write this, so I'm "replying" to myself.

I think you may have provided the keys to the kingdom with this!

"So, "se" is accusative, right? As it takes up the accusative slot, any object we want to include should be in another case, so that we don't have two different things in the same case."


In fairness, I am also aware of only that one verb taking two accusative objects. If anyone supplies another, it will likely become another implement of clitic torture at some point.

ETA: Yes, I took the "se" as a special case of one (the first) of the accusatives, in the vein you were pursuing here. Which reminds me, is the order in

  • Učil ji ho.

covered by the gentlemanly agreement that the object given first must be the recipient of the teaching? Obviously in the sentence

  • Učil ho ji.

we are sort of stuck with the possibility that "ji" was just a non-clitic in focus, so it is not helpful.


The non-reflexive "učit" behaves the same way - nowadays "učit koho (acc.) co (acc.)", formerly "učit koho (acc.) čemu (dat.)". The reflexive just replaces "koho" with "se" (i.e. sebe/self).


also let's not forget that a clause can have embedded verbs, so, before any climbing takes place

  • Viděli ji pokoušet se ho zabít.


Right, so every verb has its own "court" of nouns.


and if their courts get merged, we get a happy accusative pronoun reunion.


thanks!! .. very useful information :)

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