Budu si dělat co chci.

Discussion in 'Čeština (Czech)' started by Vitalore, May 31, 2014.

  1. Vitalore Senior Member

    Greetings. I have recently started to study Czech and I'm curious about the difference between these two phrases. What does the "si" mean here?

  2. Enquiring Mind

    Enquiring Mind Senior Member

    UK/Česká republika
    English - the Queen's
    Hi Vitalore, this is a complex subject because 'si' can convey different meanings for the verb, according to the context. There is a good paper on the many different uses or 'submeanings' of what is often described as 'the ethical dative si' here,* and you need the section "3. The Use of si to Express Dative: An Experiencer" about halfway down the page. In the particular sentence you asked about (Budu si dělat, co chci), it emphasises the experience I will have and enjoy in doing whatever I do, I will be able to indulge myself.

    It's sometimes possible to bring out the nuance in translation, and here you might say the first - Budu dělat, co chci - is "I'll do what I want" and for the second, you might convey it as "I'll be able to do whatever I like". It's an attempt to convey that whatever I do, it will be an experience very personal to me, I will indulge myself, I will enjoy doing it.

    The paper is worth reading right through, if you have the time, though it is probably much more than a beginner needs to know.

    *“The Dative Case in Czech: What It Means and How si Fits in”, by Laura A. Janda, University of North Carolina.
    Last edited: May 31, 2014
  3. risa2000 Member

    To distinguish the two phrases by the feelings they convey:
    Budu dělat co chci - I will do what I want (to do). In a sense I will not be forced to do something else. (what EM wrote above)
    Budu si dělat co chci - I will do what I would like to do without paying attention to the situation/needs of the others/necessity. (in addtion to what EM wrote above)

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