Macedonian: Make + adjective

Discussion in 'Other Slavic Languages' started by cr00mz, May 15, 2014.

  1. cr00mz Senior Member


    Is it possible in Macedonian to use the verb make (pravi) + an adjective, similar to English. For example

    He made me mad - Toj me napravi lut. I have heard, "me naluti" which I believe has the same sort of meaning, only expressed in a different way.

    Thanks in advance
  2. 123xyz

    123xyz Senior Member

    Skopje, Macedonia
    A construction with "прави" and an adjective is indeed possible in the sense that you speak of, only that it's much more restricted in usage than in English. Whereas in English you can use "make" with almost any adjective (though "make something good", for example, doesn't quite work), in Macedonian there are many verbs which already have the causation incorporated into their meaning, as in the case of "налути", as you have pointed out. A rule of thumb is that if such a verb exists, the construction with "прави" is invalid, and hence, your sentence "ме направи лут" is wrong (whereas "ме налути" is the correct option).

    The same thing goes for constructions with "become" (or "get", as is often the case) - there are many verbs which have the change of state incorporated in their meaning so they can't be expressed with the verb "стане" or something to that effect. Hence, "he got mad" wouldn't be "станав лут" but "се налутив", using the reflexive verb "се налути".

    Bearing this in mind, "make sad" would be "натажи" or "разжалости", "make big" would be "зголеми", "make true" would be "оствари" and so on.

    However, I can think of cases where a verb where the causation is incorporated in the meaning exists whereas the periphrastic construction with "прави" is still valid. For example, "make happy" can be rendered as both "усреќи" and "направи среќен". Moreover, the "прави" construction seems to work particularly well with comparative adjectives. Be that as it may, if you use the available verb, it will always be valid (well, as far as I can think of right now) whereas you'd have to verify individually for the construction with "прави" (it may be that there are some more reliable rules, but I am not aware of them).

    If you insist on the construction with "прави", you can make it work somewhat better in certain cases if you use it with the verb "сум" and the adjective as a subject complement. For example, if you say "направи да бидат мирни" would be acceptable whereas "ги направи мирни" wouldn't really. Of course, "ги смири" would be the best option (with a separate verb). By the way, this construction with "сум" makes the causation appear somewhat more deliberate and possibly more indirect. It sounds somewhat like "he arranged (everything in such a way) for them to be calm", though this English translation appears contrived (at least without some appropriate context) whereas the Macedonian one doesn't.
  3. cr00mz Senior Member

    Thanks for your nice and long explanation.

    My English is not the best but i think that "make big", would be "enlarge" in English (unless there is a difference between large and big, that I am not aware of). I am not sure but the "make big" sounds kind of odd.

    Would "dont make people angry" be translated as "ne naluti lugje"?
  4. 123xyz

    123xyz Senior Member

    Skopje, Macedonia
    You're welcome. About the phrase "make big", it sounds weird to me as well, and I would also use "enlarge" or "increase" (or other similar words, depending on the context). I suppose I should have used another example. Regardless, you get the point.

    As for your other question, "не налути луѓе" isn't correct, at least not in the sense you wish to use it. It actually means "s/he didn't make people angry". The thing is that you can't have perfective forms in the negative imperative - they have to be imperfective regardless of the actual meanings. For example, "дојди" means "come" (in an imperative sense), but "не дојди" is ungrammatical and the correct version would be "не доаѓај" (literally, don't be coming). Hence, your sentence would be translated as "не лути луѓе" or "не налутувај луѓе" (the two are more or less equivalent, but the latter is somewhat less natural - it also implies repeatedly angering people on multiple occasions rather than within a single process).
    If you want to use a perfective form, you need to use the alternative negative imperative structure with "немој". Thus, you could say "немој да налутиш луѓе" or "немој да ги налутиш луѓето". Likewise, you could still use the imperfective and say "немој да лутиш луѓе" or "немој да ги лутиш луѓето". The former two imply that the people have gotten fully angry and lost their patience, whereas the latter imply that they are gradually being irritated more and more, without any suggestion that they actual get fed up in the end.
    By the way, you could use "разлути" instead of "налути" as well - it implies somewhat stronger anger, though.
  5. cr00mz Senior Member

    Sorry for the late reply, and once again thank you. I never knew that about the imperative, I have been using it like that all the time. I suppose I was thinking in English, and translated it to Macedonian. I think that the people with whom I speak, understand what I mean to say, but a little weird they have never corrected me.

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