Latvian: mums vajadzētu mašīnu

entangledbank

Senior Member
English - South-East England
In Colloquial Latvian (p. 61) the same sentence is given in indicative and conditional forms:

mums vajag mašīna "we need a car"
mums vajadzētu mašīnu "we ought to have a car"

Both sentences are impersonal with a dative experiencer, and I expect the car to be nominative: the literal meaning is "a car is necessary to us". So why the accusative ending for the conditional version? Is this correct?
 
  • ger4

    Senior Member
    German
    Could it be a typo (a missing -s)?. Vajadzēt is combined with either the accusative or the genitive case:

    mums 'to us' (dative)
    vajag 'is necessary'
    vajadzētu 'would be necessary'
    mašīnu 'car' (accusative)
    mašīnas 'car' (genitive)

    So this is a construction without a noun in the nominative. It differs from the debitive which is normally formed with a nominative (even though there seems to be a trend towards using the accusative instead of the nominative, discussed here )
     

    ger4

    Senior Member
    German
    You can find more explanations on the use of vajadzēt here , here and on Wiktionary.

    A quick Google search gave me these examples: Man vajag jūsu palīdzību, naudu, ārstu, šķēres, mašīnu, pamatojumu, attaisnojumu, interjēristu, darbu, viņu,... Tev vajag planšeti, vienu lietu, kādu, brilles,... Viņam vajag uzmanību, diētu, siltumu, mērķi, laiku, pilnvaru, tevi, drošību,... Viņai vajag darbu, vienu dienu, vitamīnus, analīzes, vīrieti, mājas, cilvēku, vīru, mani,... Mums vajag tevi, skapi, skolotājus, atbalstu, darbiniekus, naudu,... Jums vajag steidzamu kredītu, motivācijas, šādu karti,... Viņiem vajag intrigu, ķiveres, mīlestības, motivāciju, mieru, klusumu, vientulību,... Viņām vajag laiku, kādu, spēcīgus un vīrišķīgus puišus,... Man vajadzētu klientu, mazu kucēnu, krāsu, palīdzību, diētu, grāmatu, informācijas,... Tev vajadzētu vīrieti, vēl vienu sezonu,... Viņam vajadzētu flautu, individuālāku pieeju, kādas zāles,... Viņai vajadzētu tādu,...

    ... i.e. the cases used are the accusative and, more rarely, the genitive.

    According to the explanation you refer to (I think it is this one, mums vajag mašīna :confused:) the case used after vajag is the nominative, which contradicts all the explanations I have found so far, and it contradicts all the examples above. Perhaps a native or fluent speaker can shed some light on this mystery...
     
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