2 words.. nesedávej and podemele

Discussion in 'Čeština (Czech)' started by svoboda, Apr 24, 2012.

  1. svoboda Member

    english - english
    i have 2 questions today:

    1. what verb does nesedávej come from? my czech partner, says it's from sedět, but the imperative of sedět is seď, so I'm wondering if there might be another verb not in my dictionary "sedávat"?

    2. what part of speech is podemele? and where would be the dictionary form?

    both words are from the childrens song holka modrooka..
    thanks for your help and insight.
  2. Enquiring Mind

    Enquiring Mind Senior Member

    UK/Česká republika
    English - the Queen's
    Go and sit on the naughty step, svoboda. It's supposed to be one question per thread, but anyway here goes....

    Sedávat is, indeed, an infinitive form of sedět. It's called the iterative infinitive (Latin: iter = again) and is used for an action that you do repeatedly, often, or "tend to" do.
    In the negative, "nesedávej u potoka" means "don't sit by the stream", never do it, don't ever do it on any occasion. In contrast to "nesed' u potoka" - "don't sit by the stream" (on this particular occasion, don't sit there now)
    "V pátek bývám v hospodě" - on Fridays I tend to be in the pub, that's what I regularly do, that's where you'll find me on Fridays. (Bývat - iterative infinitive of být).
    V pondělí nebývám doma - I'm not usually in (at home) on Mondays. I tend to be out on Mondays

    Podemele - 3rd person singular of podemlít , literally to erode, grind away, wear away. undermine etc., but it can also mean, in a figurative sense, to disrupt, disturb, damage ...
    Mlít conjugates like this: melu, meleš, mele, meleme, melete, melou
    Podemílat-podemlít (imperfective-perfective)

    So in the song: V potoce se voda točí, podemele tvoje oči,
    The water in the stream flows quickly (or it eddies, it whirls round and round), it will make your eyes go funny, maybe even it will entrance you, it will make you dizzy looking at it (and you might then fall in).

    That's my take on it anyway, hopefully the natives will be able to offer their insights too.
  3. kacerka Member

    Enquiring mind's explanation is perfect:) Klobouk dolů!
  4. bibax Senior Member

    Czech (Prague)
    Only a nitpicking: iter (plur. itinera) means 'way, road, journey' in Latin.
  5. Enquiring Mind

    Enquiring Mind Senior Member

    UK/Česká republika
    English - the Queen's
    You are right, bibax - sorry about my mistake :eek:.

    I should have said Latin: iterum - again. I must go back to school ...
  6. svoboda Member

    english - english
    great, a 1000 thanks enquiring mind, and apologies for posting the 2 questions in one.

    I had no idea there was such a form of the verb as this iterative infinitive.. Indeed, i've been using a book called 401 czech verbs, and fully believed it to be complete in giving all possible verb tenses, but clearly this is not the case.

    so am i correct in assuming that every imperfective verb has the iterative form? what about perfective verbs? and are there rules for how they should be constructed? is there some place, any place, that you know of, online that i can go to see every aspect of a czech verb? I have come across bývat previously, and it's even listed seperately in my dictionary, I had no idea it was actually from být, so thanks again for pointing that out to me, it is really helping me understand better.
  7. Enquiring Mind

    Enquiring Mind Senior Member

    UK/Česká republika
    English - the Queen's
    There's quite a good general outline of iterative verbs here (section 7, "Other Aspects"), which goes some way towards answering your questions, but is possibly a little confusing in places for beginners.
    For practical purposes, the answer is probably no, because not every single verb is used in an iterative sense. In real-life situations you would only use this iterative form to describe an action that you do repeatedly or habitually, in the past, present or future. In fact you probably don't even need to know - especially at beginner level - how to use these forms actively, because the imperfective aspect covers the same meaning - an action that you do, or did, or will do frequently or habitually.
    By definition, perfective verbs don't have an iterative form. Perfective verbs don't have a present tense - only past and future - because they typically describe a single action that you are going to do or complete on one occasion (future perfective), or a single action that has been completed (past perfective). As iterative verbs describe an action you do frequently or repeatedly, the sense of an iterative verb can only be imperfective - see the examples below.
    Yes, and they're simple. Mít - mívat, pít - pívat, brát - brávat, dělat - dělávat.
    [Note: because an infinitive ends in ~ívat or ~ávat, this doesn't necessarily mean it's the iterative form. For example: zpívat (imperfective), vstávat (imperfective)]
    Not that I know of, though the link above is quite useful in that respect.

    Some examples to illustrate the use of the iterative:
    ... Já teda neřídím, ale máma většinou stopaře nebere, i když je dřív brávala... (source)
    ... I don't actually drive, but mum doesn't usually pick up hitch-hikers, although she used to (pick them up) in the past ...

    Tuto buchtu mi dělávala maminka když jsem byla malá, dnes jsem jí upekla svému chlapečkovi a můžu říct, opravdu mu chutnala. (source)
    This is a bun my mum used to make when I was little, I baked it today for my little boy, and I can tell you he really liked it.

    Vnučku si občas bráváme na sobotní odpoledne ... (source)
    We sometimes have our granddaughter on a Saturday afternoon ... (a repeated action in the present)

    No prostě jste mě inspiroval, častěji budu brávat foťák do ruky ... (source)
    You've really inspired me, and I'm going to reach for my camera more often ... (a repeated action in the future)

    However, the iterative is not actually necessary or obligatory here: the imperfective could also have been used in each case with the same meaning. The iterative simply reinforces the sense of the repeated or habitual action. So you need to be able to recognise and understand it when you see it or hear it, but you don't actually need to use it actively - you can get by without using it.
    (Needless to say, this is a very simplified overview, it's not meant to be an exhaustive explanation of every aspect of this topic ...)
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012
  8. Enquiring Mind

    Enquiring Mind Senior Member

    UK/Česká republika
    English - the Queen's
    An afterthought:
    By the way, eagle-eyed readers will have spotted a mistake in the Czech in this example I took from the net. It should be "... dnes jsem ji upekla svému chlapečkovi ..." (short i, not í) - accusative case of ona, which refers (hopefully) to "ta buchta". Doufejme totiž, že upekla buchtu, ne maminku :eek:. Ta by asi chlapečkovi tolik nechutnala :D.
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2012
  9. thorx89 New Member

    I applaud your understanding of Czech, EnquringMind. Thank you for the explanation of iterative verbs. I've been unknowingly using them for over 20 years now and I've only just learned that there is such a thing.
    The explanation you provided for "podemele" is great. I've always known the song, and have always found this verb a little bit weird in this context. I understand "podemlít něco" as "have a stream of something penetrate under it and cause it to lose stability". This always makes me imagine water going under the girl's eyeballs to force them out :D.
    It's not a very common expression anyway. I guess I've never even heard the word oči used in combination with podemlít anywhere else but in this song.

    I do disagree with you on the meaning of the negative form of what you call iterative verbs, though. I don't think that they imply "not ever" at all. It has to be said explicitly. Nesedávej simply means "don't sit there repeatedly." It might even permit an occasional sitting session (by the river) as long as it doesn't become a habit. :)
  10. Enquiring Mind

    Enquiring Mind Senior Member

    UK/Česká republika
    English - the Queen's
    Yes, you're right thorx89, thanks for the correction. I didn't think it through properly at the time.

    Nesedávej u potoka ...
    (Mind you) don't sit/go sitting/go and sit by the stream too much/often ...
    Don't make a habit of/get into the habit of/keep sitting by the stream ...
    (Mind you) don't keep (going down and) sitting by the stream ...

Share This Page