Serbian (BCS): pod stolicu vs. pod stolicom

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TheRock87

Member
German - Switzerland
Mačka se sakrila pod stolicuacc.The cat is hiding under the chair.
Mačka spava pod stolicominsA cat is sleeping under the chair.

Can there be a difference in meaning between (pod + accusative) and (pod + instrumental)?
 
  • Duya

    Senior Member
    Whatever
    As in all similar situations, accusative denotes movement, i.e. transition of position, while locative describes stationary location.Your first English translation is quite incorrect. It should read: The cat hid (ran) under the chair.
     

    TheRock87

    Member
    German - Switzerland
    As in all similar situations, accusative denotes movement, i.e. transition of position, while locative describes stationary location.Your first English translation is quite incorrect. It should read: The cat hid (ran) under the chair.


    Thanks. I found it on a website. I grasp the grammer better with Serbian-German translations but they are harder to find.

    http://www.studyserbian.com/proba/Grammar/Prepositions.asp#
     

    VelikiMag

    Senior Member
    Serbian - Montenegro
    It was long ago when I studied German, but I remember there are prepositions which go with both dative and accusative. Dative indicates current location and accusative indicates direction towards something. The only difference is that in Serbian locative is used instead of dative (forms are the same for both locative and dative, but prepositions for them are not). And in German you change articles, while in Serbian you change nouns, cause there are no articles.
     

    sokol

    Senior Member
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    As for the comparison with German you need to be very careful, TheRock87: similarity only is superficial, if you look closer you'll quickly realise that case is used somehow different in German.
    The use of accusative (movement) and instrumental (location) is universal to all Slavic languages which preserved case; but in German there is no clear association of movement with accusative and location with dative, even though in some cases there is one such.

    So while you can say "die Katze kriecht hinter den Tisch" (accusative, movement) and "die Katze ist hinter dem Tisch" (dative, location) this is only the case with prepositions, and then only with some (and in some cases the movement is rather figurative: "das ist für ihn = this is for him" = accusative = "this should be given him", as opposed to "das gehört ihm" = dative = denoting possession, "this is his"): so in German this is only a rule of thumb, and not nearly as clearly defined as is the case in Slavic languages.
    I just wanted to point this out, because if you try to compare the German relation with the Serbian one you are bound to make mistakes based on it.
     

    TheRock87

    Member
    German - Switzerland
    Thanks. I don't compare it like that. It's just helpful at the beginner stage to make some sense out of it. For example:

    reci meni - tell me
    želiš mene - you want me

    reci meni - sag mir
    želiš mene - du willst mich
     
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