Slovene: passive/impersonal

Discussion in 'Other Slavic Languages' started by Gavril, Nov 21, 2013.

  1. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    Živijo,

    What are the normal ways of forming a passive and/or impersonal expression in Slovene?

    I've seen at least the following constructions (I may have made mistakes below, since I'm not yet familiar with how they're used):


    1. se + 3rd singular form of the verb: žoga/žogo se brcne "a ball is kicked" (maybe more literally, "one kicks a ball"?)

    2. the verbal adjective in -en: žoga je brcnjena "a ball is kicked"

    3. the 3rd person plural of the verb: brcnejo žogo "a ball is kicked/they kick a ball"


    Is there a difference of meaning or frequency between these three?

    Najlepša hvala za pomoč
    G
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2013
  2. khyattii New Member

    croatian
    Once I had a patient who was slovenian teacher. She told me that the third option is the best (it sounds more natural to native speakers). Now, is this really true - can't tell for sure.
     
  3. Irbis Senior Member

    Kamnik, Slovenia
    Slovenian, Slovenia
    Yes, the third option is preferable if possible (if they are some persons involved).
    For the first option, the "žoga se brcne" is correct, "žogo se brcne" is colloquial (but very common).

    When to use the 1st or 2nd is hard to explain. I'll try to write some examples.
    Žoga se brcne in igra se začne.
    Ta žoga je bila brcnjena pred tisto.
    Med eno igro brcnejo žogo več kot stokrat.

    I would say that second option is more for the past (if something realy happened), and the first option more for some undefined time.
     
  4. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    So, does it sound correct to say, e.g.,

    Telo žrtve je bilo najdeno v jarku. (a specific event)
    but
    Čaj se pije / Pijejo čaj povsod po svetu (a general practice)
    or
    V temu domu se ne naslanja / ne naslanjajo komolca na mizo med večerjo. (an obligation)

    ?
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2013
  5. Irbis Senior Member

    Kamnik, Slovenia
    Slovenian, Slovenia
    > Telo žrtve je bilo najdeno v jarku. (a specific event)
    Yes, this sounds right. Also possible "Telo žrtve so našli v jarku."

    > Čaj se pije / Pijejo čaj povsod po svetu (a general practice)
    Yes. But preferablly "Čaj pijejo povsod po svetu.", because here we know, that this is done by many people.

    > V temu domu se ne naslanja / ne naslanjajo komolca na mizo med večerjo. (an obligation)
    Actually I would use plural for komolec. So:
    V tem domu se komolci ne naslanjajo na mizo med večerjo.
    "V temu domu se ne naslanja komolca na mizo med večerjo." is colloquial - komolec should be subject and subject doesn't change to genitive in negative clauses like accusative object does.
    So correct form would be: "V tem domu se komolec ne na naslanja na mizo med večerjo."
     
  6. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    What I meant to write here was the dual komolca (= your two elbows), but I think it should have been in the genitive here (komolcev), even without the other corrections you made.

    Is it still preferable to say "V tem domu se komolec/komolci ne naslanja(jo)" rather than "... se komolca ne naslanjata ..."?
     
  7. Irbis Senior Member

    Kamnik, Slovenia
    Slovenian, Slovenia
    For body parts, which are occuring in pairs, plural is usually used instead of dual (except if you want to put extra emphasis on both).
    So, you normaly say:
    Uporabi roke za to.
    Poglej z očmi.
    Postavi se na noge.
    Instead:
    Uporabi roki za to.
    Poglej z očesoma.
    Postavi se na nogi.

    It is interesting, that in Czech it is just the oposite - dual forms remained just in those cases, where Slovenian doesn't use dual.


    If you would want to use dual komolca, the right sentence is:
    V tem domu se komolca ne naslanjata na mizo med večerjo.
    Colloquial:
    V tem domu se komolca ne naslanja na mizo med večerjo.
    V tem domu se komolcev ne naslanja na mizo med večerjo.

    But as obligation I would certainly use:
    V tem domu se komolci ne naslanjajo na mizo med večerjo.
    or
    Ne naslanjajte komolcev na mizo med večerjo.
     
  8. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    Hvala še enkrat
     
  9. Irbis Senior Member

    Kamnik, Slovenia
    Slovenian, Slovenia
    Ni za kaj.
     
  10. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    In the last thread, another type of passive/impersonal construction seemed to be used:

    4. The 3rd singular of a verb without se:
    where "piše, da ..." = "it is written that ..."

    What is the difference (in meaning or frequency) between the above construction and the other impersonal constructions mentioned thus far?

    Hvala
     
  11. Irbis Senior Member

    Kamnik, Slovenia
    Slovenian, Slovenia
    I think that this construction is only used with certain verbs: piše, kaže, srbi, dežuje, sneži, lije, prši.
    And also some fixed phrases with verb "biti": škoda je, gre za, je mar, je jasno, je nemogoče, je mogoče.
     
  12. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    When you mention the impersonal use of kaže, are you referring to e.g.,

    dobro mu kaže "it's looking good for him"

    It's interesting that English has similar impersonal constructions ("It's looking good for him ...") for most of the verbs you mention, but for piše we would use the normal passive It is written (that ...) or forms such as One reads (that ...), etc.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2013

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