BCS: Samo da +

Discussion in 'Other Slavic Languages' started by Miliu, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. Miliu Member

    Good morning, foreros,

    I'd like to know what verbal tense must be used with this conjunction: sometimes it has a normal present indicative (samo da te vidim, samo da odem..) and sometimes a momentaneous present/dvovidni prezent (samo da rata ne bude).

  2. Duya Senior Member

    Not in WR world
    Samo is more or less just an intensifier here, and da starts a dependent clause, expressing a desire. Thus, samo da can be replaced with e.g. želim da or volio bih da, with the same meaning: irealis, i.e. wishing that something is different than it is/was.

    Generally, there seems to be a choice of two tenses: past (indicating desire that something had happened but actually didn't) and present of perfective verb
    (desire that something happens now or soon).

    Samo da (želim da) sam otišla! (I wish I left (but I didn't))
    Samo da odem! (I wish that I go (but I'm still here))

    However, with verb biti, the choice of je/bude is really between present and future tense. The latter is not strictly irealis, obviously, because we don't know what will happen in the future.

    Samo da nije bilo rata! (I wish the war hasn't happened (but it did).)
    Samo da nije rat! (I wish that we aren't in war (but we are).)
    Samo da ne bude rata! (I wish that the war will not happen).
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2012
  3. Vanja Senior Member

    My English is far from perfect, but just to correct Duya :D

    I hope there will be no war.

    I just want to get out of here! or Oh, just to leave this place!

    Samo da .... = If only... If just....
    samo = just (Samo da te vidim na trenutak- Just to see you for a moment)
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
  4. Miliu Member


    So, if I am in a bar and say "samo da odem telefonirati" means, "I just want to make a call? (I don't want to have a drink, just a call)
  5. Duya Senior Member

    Not in WR world
    Yes. You can express the same with present indicative, or future: "samo idem telefonirati" or "samo ću otići telefonirati". The version "samo da odem telefonirati" is slightly more polite, because it expresses asking permission: "I'd like to make a phone call [if you let me]".
  6. Miliu Member

    As Stevie Wonder would say, samo da zovem za kažati "hvala" (I just call to say... I mean)
  7. Duya Senior Member

    Not in WR world
    You're welcome :)

    Pardon my indiscretion, but I'd like to correct you above.

    Infinitive can fit only after modal verbs, and zvati is not one. That is so even in Croatian, which "dislikes" da+present constructions:

    Samo sam želio kazati hvala. :tick: OK, modal.
    Samo sam morao kazati hvala. :tick: OK, modal.
    Samo sam došao kazati hvala. :cross: not modal; use da kažem, making it a full-blown compound sentence.
    Samo sam nazvao kazati hvala. :cross: not modal; use da kažem

    Now, the category of modal verbs in BCS is a tricky one. Here's a short list, but it's quite incomplete. The full-fledged modals are moći (‘may’), morati (‘must’), trebati (‘need’), and valjati (‘ought to’), which always requre a verbal complement. However, there's a wider class of verbs (semi-modals), which have an optional verbal complement (they can also have a noun complement). I found a much more detailed and complete study here:

    Karabalić, Vladimir: Sintaksa glagola nepotpunog značenja u hrvatskom i njemačkom jeziku na primjeru modalnih glagola SL 72, 171–185 (2011)

    Which also gives the examples:

    (1) Boji se priznati što se dogodilo.
    (2) Ne plaši se reći kako je bilo.
    (3) Više su puta odlučivali prekinuti suradnju.
    (4) Napokon je uspjela položiti ispit.
    (5) Počeo je graditi kuću.
    (6) Nastavljamo raditi kao i dosad.
    (7) Više je puta prestajao pušiti.

    Sorry if I give too much information, it's all rather tricky...
  8. Anicetus Senior Member

    Er, actually, that one is perfectly okay, at least in Croatian -- both standard and colloquial. Of course doći isn't a modal verb, but it works as a derivative of ići and it can take an infinitive to express purpose when that action also represents the destination of motion -- just like you may say idem spavati or poći ću u grad kupiti cipele. Admittedly, using a full final clause (da kažem) is also possible, but the infinitive sounds more natural to me.
    I think verbs of motion work that way in most other Slavic languages. Slovene and Kajkavian even have a special verbal noun for this purpose -- supine -- distinguished in form from the infinitive by the absence of the final i and sometimes also by accent.

    By the way, the construction za + infinitive isn't standard, but it's used quite a lot in colloquial language in Croatia (see how many hits Google gives for "za jesti", for instance). However, it wouldn't be used in the example above.
  9. Vanja Senior Member

    In Serbian slang is "za pojesti", made from "za poneti", as a joke. (Imate li nešto za pojesti?)

    — Došao sam vidjeti vas... Ništa drugo nije važno. —Uđite. — Uvela sam ga u malu sobu u koju se ulazilo iz predvorja akoristili smo se njome za primanje gostiju. - Izvolite sjesti. Stavio je šešir na stol....
    (Rajski Otok - Holt Victoria)

    "Došao sam k vama ne da vam zahvalim
    , to sam mogao učiniti i pismom, nego sam došao k vama da vas vidim kad više niste tamnički nadstražar i kad ja više nisam uznik. Došao sam vidjeti kako obojica izgledamo kao ljudi...."
    (Klačina - Jozo Laušić)

    Samo sam došao da te vidim - Kemal Malovčić (song)

Share This Page