"Cítily jsme kávu."
Translation:We smelled coffee.
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Mine was a listening exercise. I wrote: Cítili jsme kávu. This was not accepted. Is it not true that with a mixed-gender group, or a group of men, the -i ending on the past tense verb is possible? Should I have been able to distinguish the ending due to how the speaker pronounced the word?
No, in standard Czech the sound is the same, and you are correct and Duolingo wrong. We have to disable the listening challenge every time a new TTS is added. Well, we had to. Now we can't (because there are no more volunteers), and nobody does (because nobody got hired yet).
Work for the future crew.
So, citit is not a reflexive verb per se (like si pamatovat for example which needs the "si" in all situations). I notice however the reflexive is used in the phrase "Jak se citila vcera". Why? Isn't it redundant since the "she" subject is established by the verb? Obviously it needs to be there. But by NOT using it would it turn the phrase into meaning something like "How did she smell-taste yesterday (with that terrible cold)"?
- cítit se = to feel how, e.g. to feel sad/happy/good/tired....
- cítit = to feel what, e.g. to feel the wind on the skin, to feel the touch of someone's hand, etc.
- cítit = to smell what, e.g. to smell flowers (not actively, i.e. not "to sniff", but to perceive the odor)
As you can see, the reflexive pronoun "se" (= oneself) turns the feeling inwards (feel one's own emotions) while without it it's about perceiving outwards. It's a similar difference as betwee "učit" and "učit se", for example.
In "Jak se cítila včera" it has nothing to do with "she" or redundancy. And yes, "Jak cítila včera?" would technically mean "How did she smell (as in perceive odor, or how did she feel with the skin) yesterday?" although it's not a very natural way to ask that.
Also, "si" is different than "se", it's often optional, unlike "se". "Pamatovat" actually works without "si", with a slight shift in the meaning/usage which is hard to explain - and it's best to learn it with "si" as that's more common and usable in all situations.
Regarding "to smell", be mindful that it corresponds to several non-interchangeable Czech verbs:
- cítit -- to passively perceive the odor of something, e.g. "Cítím plyn" -- I (can) smell gas.
- čichat +ACC, or čichat k +DAT -- to sniff (to actively perceive odor), e.g. "Rád čichám ke kytkám" -- I like smelling/sniffing flowers. Or perfective: "Tu máš kytku, čichni (si)" -- Here's a flower for you, smell it.
- smrdět (informal) or páchnout (formal) -- to give off unpleasant odor, e.g. "Ta ryba smrdí" -- That fish smells/stinks.
- vonět -- to give off pleasant odor (to smell good), e.g. "Ta kytka voní" -- That flower smells nice.
- být cítit -- to give off neutral odor, e.g. "Ne, tenhle parfém není moc cítit" -- No, this perfume doesn't smell (positively or negatively) much -- it's almost odorless; or "Je tu cítit plyn" -- One can smell gas here.