Slovak: To sú tie tvoje diétne raňajky

Tisztul_A_Visztula

Senior Member
Hungarian
The more thoroughly I am checking my language book the more places I spot where something I don’t like. Of course, it does not mean I am right, I just do not want to jump these instances over.

Otázka: To sú tie tvoje diétne raňajky?
Odpoveď: Áno, zjem niekoľko diétnych suchárov a …..

For me these two sentences do not match. Why? I feel that due to the word order of the question the answer should be either “Yes, they are mine.” or “No, they are not mine.”

If I accept that the answer is as it is then the question should be
“To sú diétne tie tvoje raňajky?” or maybe “To sú tie tvoje raňajky diétne?”

Am I right that the two original Slovak sentences above are not consistent or am I simply too rigid compared to the freedom of word order in Slovak?
 
  • Panceltic

    Senior Member
    Slovenščina
    Not a native speaker, but I see nothing wrong at all. It’s just a general chat/conversation, more like a remark ‘So this is your diet breakfast?’, not exactly a strict question ‘is this your breakfast, yes or no?’
     

    morior_invictus

    Senior Member
    Slovak
    I also see nothing wrong with it. Having said that, I would probably punctuate it a bit differently:

    Otázka: To sú tie tvoje diétne raňajky?
    Odpoveď: Áno. Zjem niekoľko diétnych suchárov a . . .

    The "tie" part indicates that there was a prior discussion on this topic and the speaker is now confirming if the breakfast they see (on the table, in the picture,. . .) is the breakfast the two of them talked about before. Since the other person felt the need to further clarify their answer ("zjem. . ."), I would assume that only the fact that they have a diet breakfast was mentioned before.

    As a side note, the question could also be asked in a mocking or teasing way if the breakfast in question could hardly be described as diet (diétne would likely be stressed in such a case) but then the answer would also change.
    I feel that due to the word order of the question the answer should be either “Yes, they are mine.” or “No, they are not mine.”
    The answers above would work if the question was formulated differently ("tvoje" would be stressed to indicate the part of the question that the speaker is seeking to confirm):
    To sú tvoje raňajky? (I removed "diétne" as I, personally, would probably feel no need to be specific about the type of breakfast)
    “To sú diétne tie tvoje raňajky?” :cross: or maybe “To sú tie tvoje raňajky diétne?” this word order might work too (to communicate the same thing) but, in the absence of any further information, the one in your example sounds way more natural to me
     

    Tisztul_A_Visztula

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    I also see nothing wrong with it. Having said that, I would probably punctuate it a bit differently:

    Otázka: To sú tie tvoje diétne raňajky?
    Odpoveď: Áno. Zjem niekoľko diétnych suchárov a . . .

    The "tie" part indicates that there was a prior discussion on this topic and the speaker is now confirming if the breakfast they see (on the table, in the picture,. . .) is the breakfast the two of them talked about before. Since the other person felt the need to further clarify their answer ("zjem. . ."), I would assume that only the fact that they have a diet breakfast was mentioned before.

    As a side note, the question could also be asked in a mocking or teasing way if the breakfast in question could hardly be described as diet (diétne would likely be stressed in such a case) but then the answer would also change.

    The answers above would work if the question was formulated differently ("tvoje" would be stressed to indicate the part of the question that the speaker is seeking to confirm):
    To sú tvoje raňajky? (I removed "diétne" as I, personally, would probably feel no need to be specific about the type of breakfast)
    Boz˘e mo^j, I forgot again that ten/tá/to/tí/tie does not mean "the", but this. I guess it was the simple reason of the confusion in my brain.

    My brain simple mis-interpreted "tie" as the, because of "to" being in the beginning of the sentence. I still wonder how to memorize that "to" is a sort of "it", and not "this".

    And one has to say in Slovak "to je/sú ten/tá/to/tí/tie" which is like "it is this" in English.

    I hope I could explain what I am struggling with
     

    numerator

    Senior Member
    Hungarian, Slovak
    Boz˘e mo^j, I forgot again that ten/tá/to/tí/tie does not mean "the", but this. I guess it was the simple reason of the confusion in my brain.

    My brain simple mis-interpreted "tie" as the, because of "to" being in the beginning of the sentence. I still wonder how to memorize that "to" is a sort of "it", and not "this".

    And one has to say in Slovak "to je/sú ten/tá/to/tí/tie" which is like "it is this" in English.

    I hope I could explain what I am struggling with
    Yep, as discussed in an earlier, slightly multi-topic thread, Aký/koľko + verb (N. or G.) + noun OR Aký/koľko + noun (N. or G.) + verb? ,
    phrases like "ten môj nový kabát" presuppose that the thing has been talked about earlier, or is notorious for some reason. Otherwise it would be just "môj nový kabát".
     

    Tisztul_A_Visztula

    Senior Member
    Hungarian

    francisgranada

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    phrases like "ten môj nový kabát" presuppose that the thing has been talked about earlier, or is notorious for some reason. Otherwise it would be just "môj nový kabát".
    Of course, in Slovak (Czech, Polish, Russian, etc ...) the grammatical category of the definite article does not exist. However, in some cases the demonstrative pronoun ten, tá, to concretizes the noun, i.e. it tends to assume the function of a definite article.

    For example "ten nový kabát", in some cases can be translated rather as "the new coat" and not "this new coat" or "that new coat".
     

    Tisztul_A_Visztula

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Francisgranada,

    I guess you know why I am struggle with this:
    My brain simple mis-interpreted "tie" as the, because of "to" being in the beginning of the sentence. I still wonder how to memorize that "to" is a sort of "it", and not "this".
    And one has to say in Slovak "to je/sú ten/tá/to/tí/tie" which is like "it is this" in English.

    I hope I could explain what I am struggling with
    It is quite complicated to me even if it seems to be pretty simple at first glance.
     

    francisgranada

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    My brain simple mis-interpreted "tie" as the, because of "to" being in the beginning of the sentence. I still wonder how to memorize that "to" is a sort of "it", and not "this".
    I think I understand you, however in my opinion the Slovak "to" in this case corresponds rather to the English "this" or "that" (neuter in Slovak).

    From the grammatical point of view, one would expect "Tie (= these) sú tie tvoje diétne raňajky?" as raňajky is a noun in plural. Perhaps, the neuter singular "to" here could be interpreted in theory as "to, čo tu je", "to, o čom je reč", etc ... independently on number and gender.
     

    Tisztul_A_Visztula

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Yes, I felt it, and to be honest I had been searching a lot for the explanation of “to sú”.

    Back to “to” as the first word in this structure……

    It is easy to interpret it in Hungarian like “Ez(ek) az(ok) …”,

    but in English I feel the situation is more complicated than simply saying the Slovak” to” is closer to the English “this” / “that” than “it”. Why ?

    “It is this…” is OK, but “this is this…” is not OK.
    “It is that…” is OK, but “that is that…” is not OK. Sidenote: “this is that…” may be OK, even if I like “it is that..” better.

    And the same in plural,
    “they are these….” is OK, but not “these are these…”.
    “they are those….” is OK, but not “those are those….”. And I am not so sure whether “these are those….” is OK, and therefore I’d say “they are those…”.

    So the Slovak “To” can be “it, this, they and these” in the form of “To sú ten/tá/to/tí/tie”

    It is how I see it.
     

    Tisztul_A_Visztula

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    I think I understand you, however in my opinion the Slovak "to" in this case corresponds rather to the English "this" or "that" (neuter in Slovak).

    From the grammatical point of view, one would expect "Tie (= these) sú tie tvoje diétne raňajky?" as raňajky is a noun in plural. Perhaps, the neuter singular "to" here could be interpreted in theory as "to, čo tu je", "to, o čom je reč", etc ... independently on number and gender.
    May I ask you more about the usage of “to sú” and “sú to?” instead of using “tie/tí sú” and “sú tie/tí?”

    I do remember that more than a year ago I found some sort of explanation about it. It was not in a Slovak course book or Slovak grammar book, but some century old German book analyzing some Slavic grammatical phenomena. Afair it was among Google books. These days I spent a huge time to find it again, but I failed.

    Can you point to a place where it is explained in details, please? In any language? I mean how it is called, whether Tie/tí sú is a wrong form, or it means just a bit different thing etc.

    I feel that it is not the same as there is/are, but a bit similar. Not the same, because there is/are is about the existence while “to je/sú” is this is/these are, but it is similar, because before “is” and “are” there is the same neuter word “to”.
     

    numerator

    Senior Member
    Hungarian, Slovak
    I confirm that, to introduce some new people or objects, the correct construction is "To sú <plural noun>".

    "Tí/tie sú" can be used as a a demonstrative (=tamtí/tamtie) to contrast with "títo/tieto":
    - Požičal by si mi tieto nožnice? - Hm, tie sú tupé, vezmi radšej tieto druhé.

    Or to mean "oni/ony":
    - Pozri, mám nové šaty. - Tie sú ale krásne!

    If you speak German, I think "Das sind" and "Die sind" work the same way.

    I don't have a book that explains this, sorry :(
     
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