Macedonian: si


Senior Member

Can someone tell me what is the meaning of the word si (not -you- are), but zemi si, si jade, si dojde I think the word comes up several times during a sentence and seems to be included in every sentence. I understand kupi si, which we have in swedish and in English too, buy myself/yourself etc. But I do not understand the other meanings.

Thanks in advance
  • iobyo

    Senior Member
    In your first example земи си пиво would be "get yourself some beer" whereas земи пиво would be "get some beer". In the other examples, си is mostly emphatic; it's like saying, "he's having himself some lunch". Such constructions are quite common in some English dialects. In Macedonian, it is more or less the same only without the regional coloring. In any case, I'll send you a few excerpts from a grammar book in a private message.


    Senior Member
    Hey, thanks for your reply iobyo those excerpt would be nice, also does this си go with every verb or are there some rules to how it is used?


    Senior Member
    Hey, thanks for your reply iobyo those excerpt would be nice, also does this си go with every verb or are there some rules to how it is used?

    It can. This pronoun (the reflexive pronoun) is себесе, себеси.

    Accusative personal pronouns

    Тој/таа се виде ('He/she saw himself/herself');
    Тој/таа ме виде
    ('He/she saw me');
    Тој/таа те виде
    ('He/she saw you');
    Тој/таа го виде
    ('He/she saw him/it')
    Тој/таа ја виде
    ('He/she saw her'), and so on.

    Dative personal pronouns

    Тој/таа си дава пари ('He/she gives himself/herself money');
    Тој/таа ми дава пари
    ('He/she gives me money');
    Тој/таа ти дава пари
    ('He/she gives you money');
    Тој/таа му дава пари
    ('He/she gives him/it money');
    Тој/таа ѝ дава пари
    ('He/she gives her money'), and so on.

    In emphatic sentences, the full form (себе/мене/тебе/etc.) can be placed on either side of the sentence's phrase:

    тој себе се виде = тој се виде себе;
    тој себе си дава пари = тој си дава пари себе.

    There's another full form of the reflexive personal pronoun, себеси, which is just a synonymous variant (себе = себеси, себеси = себе).

    As for си + verb, there are two types. The first type is those like земи си пиво. The second type is verbs that always have си, such as си отиде (pf.) and си оди (impf.) which means 'to leave', and си легне (pf.) and си легнува (impf.) which means 'to go to bed'. Semi-literate people often spell the latter type of verb as one word (Google has a few hits for сјоди/сјој, сјотиде/сјојде, сјотиден/сјојден, etc.).

    Here are the excerpts I promised which more-or-less just describe what I've said in greater detail. They are from the most recent edition of Граматика на македонскиот јазик by Blaže Koneski which is the most extensive descriptive grammar of Macedonian. I translated the excerpts hastily, so let me know if something doesn't make sense.

    §214. Aside from the subjective forms described earlier, the personal pronouns have distinct short and long forms for the direct object and indirect object: 1P: менеме, менеми, наснѐ, намни; 2P: тебете, тебети, васве, вамви; 3P masc. and neut.: негого, немуму, fem.: неаја, нејзеѝ and, for all three genders, нивги, нимим. The reflexive personal pronoun, although lacking a subjective form, also has short and long forms: себесе, себеси. The long form can appear synonymously as себеси. The reflexive pronoun is bound to the subject regardless of grammatical person: јас си зборувам со себе, ти си зборуваш со себе, etc.

    §214. 8. In our language it is unusually common to use the short pronouns for the indirect object—not to express any particular objective meaning—to express a subjective intimate relationship towards what is being declared in the sentence: ми ти беше арно; не седи ми на камен; си станав, си излегов, си се прошетав, and so on. Cf. Да ми ти кажам, Кумче Волчему рече Лисајас те барав да ми те канам да бидеш нунко.Како си ми? Дали си ми здраво и живо? (M. Cepenkov). These statements would be logically complete even without these pronominal forms, but then the nuance of intimacy which they arouse would be lost.

    §218. 4. The short forms for the indirect object are also used as the most common way of expressing possession with kinship terms: татко ми, брат ви, сестра им, зет му, братучед му, and so on. […] In these types of cases, the form си refers to the subject regardless of grammatical person: Митрејца не го виде сина си (V. Maleski); one could also say: јас не го видов сина си.

    §218. 5. Outside this circle of words, the pronominal forms are not ordinarily used in this way in the literary language, though such constructions can sometimes be found with other words (which mainly occur in poetry: Со страдна душа чека | Ударите ни јаки || Ораме со рало | Но земјата ни златна | Колку е богата! —“Kopačite”, K. Racin). One cannot say, for example, капата ми or палтото му, but only мојата капа and неговото палто. However, even in these cases, belonging can be indicated with a short pronominal form, usually with си, only that it does not succeed the noun: тој си за ја зеде капата (i.e. својата капа), земи си го палтото (i.e. своето палто). The nuance of belonging in the meaning of the pronoun does not allow us to understand it here only as a means of expressing intimacy towards what is being declared in the sentence as the pronoun here is bound to the object and not the verb.
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    Senior Member
    Hello again iobyo, thanks for those excerpts very informative.

    I have a question about "si odi." What is the difference between "si odam doma" and "odam doma"? Is "si odi" a fixed phrase meaning "to leave"