BCS - [S(a) + Instr] vs [Instr alone]

Discussion in 'Other Slavic Languages' started by Tassos, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. Tassos

    Tassos Senior Member

    My grammar book says: "The preposition should be used only when (the English equivalent) with means 'in association with, together with'. If (English) with means 'by means of', then the instrumental alone must be used". It adds that there is "a certain amount of overlap in usage".
    My question is: How much overlap? Is it a big mistake to use s(a) + instrumental even when the meaning is "by means of"?
    The reason I'm asking is that since the non-slavic languages do not have the instrumental, most of the times they use with for all the above-mentioned meanings. So I'm guessing that the non-native speaker will tend to use s(a) + instr. most of the times (s)he wants to express the meaning of with.
    Some examples:

    Is it OK to say
    Prišao je krevetu s(a) brzim korakom.
    Posula je kolače sa šećerom.
    Ceremonija je poćela s(a) dizanjem zastave.
  2. Vanja Senior Member

    All examples you gave go without sa in normal conversation, cause sa is already implied in the instrumental case. The cases already containe the preposition in its meaning, so prepositions could be omitted. Like when you omit personal pronouns with verbs (pevam, kuvaš, sviraju...)

    Prišao je krevetu s(a) brzim korakom.
    :cross: No!
    Prišao je krevetu brzim korakom. :tick:

    Posula je kolače sa šećerom. Đene-đene. Without sa is normal.
    Ponudila je kolače sa jagodama. (sa obligated, when talking about ingredients)

    No preposition
    Kako? Brzim korakom, tihim osmehom...
    Čime? Zastavom, šećerom, nožem, olovkom...
    Ispisati olovkom
    Nacrtati (sa) običnom olovkom

    Ovim putem.... no:sa ovim putem

    Company, "baggage" or when carrying something and when using a tool/an instrument (by which tool)
    Sa čim? Sa koferom u ruci je krenula ka vratima. You can't say Koferom u ruci krenula je ka vratima.

    Sa kim? Ide sa mnom.
    But: Ovladaju mnome, ovladati jezikom (nad kim/čim)

    You see that the question contains s(a), so the answer has s(a) too. Better practise posing questions :p

    Two variants with, say, the same meaning:
    Dočekala ga je sa tihim osmehom na licu. (with/having silent smile on her face)
    Dočekala ga je tihim osmehom (..na licu - but this is maybe unnecessary, since it stresses the smile, and we know the smile is on a face). (with a silent smile)
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012
  3. VelikiMag Senior Member

    Serbian - Montenegro
    An overlap usually exists when there is an item which is used as a tool or an instrument in performing some work. For example udarati sa čekićem. However the fact that native speakers make such mistakes shouldn't encourage you to neglect them, as they demonstrate illiteracy.
  4. Vanja Senior Member

    Well, it depends on the tool. I wouldn't say Čistiti metlom is illiteracy or intellectual snobbism. :p
    As an instruction - čistiti sa (nečim), ok.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012

Share This Page