Slovak: umývať alebo prať

Concise

Senior Member
Hungarian
Checking these two verbs in the best Slovak online dictionaries my best bet is that they are interchangeable apart from the meaning when someone washes his/her or an other person’s body (or part of it), because the latter can be expressed only with umývať (umyť). But things like riady, bielizeň, autá, šaty, obleky can be washed with any of these two verbs :).

Is it correct?
 
  • numerator

    Senior Member
    Hungarian, Slovak
    Not exactly. "Prať" is restricted to articles of clothing and similar textile items that could be called "laundry" in English.
    Perhaps even sneakers if you throw them in the washing machine like some people do.
    It involves soaking something in water and moving or rubbing it vigorously. The water usually passes through the material.

    "Umývať" normally means cleaning the surfaces only.

    bielizeň, oblečenie, záclony: prať
    riad, auto: umývať
    zuby: umývať or čistiť
    podlaha (linóleum, dlaždice a pod.): umývať
    koberce: čistiť (e.g. steamcleaning carpets, leaving them on the floor), prať (washing a rug in the tub or in the washing machine)
    kabáty, bundy, deky: prať (if you put them in the wash), čistiť (if you have them dry cleaned)
    vzduchové filtre a pod.: čistiť (possibly also prať if you submerge them in water)
     

    francisgranada

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Agreeing with numerator, I'd like to add the following:

    Umyť, umývať can be used in general, as these verbs normally express the idea of "cleaning something by using water".

    Prať, vyprať is a verb that expresses rather a certain process used for textile-like materials when cleaning them.

    So "umyť košeľu/oblek/záclonu ..." is not typical, but possible in concrete contexts. But "vyprať auto/riad/okno/ ..." is impossible, not even in theory.
     

    Panceltic

    Senior Member
    Slovenščina
    Just as a curiosity, in Slovenian we use prati for cars even though the general rule for umivati/prati is the same as specified above. A car wash is avtopralnica :)
     

    Concise

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Not exactly. "Prať" is restricted to articles of clothing and similar textile items that could be called "laundry" in English.
    Perhaps even sneakers if you throw them in the washing machine like some people do.
    It involves soaking something in water and moving or rubbing it vigorously. The water usually passes through the material.

    "Umývať" normally means cleaning the surfaces only.

    bielizeň, oblečenie, záclony: prať
    riad, auto: umývať
    zuby: umývať or čistiť
    podlaha (linóleum, dlaždice a pod.): umývať
    koberce: čistiť (e.g. steamcleaning carpets, leaving them on the floor), prať (washing a rug in the tub or in the washing machine)
    kabáty, bundy, deky: prať (if you put them in the wash), čistiť (if you have them dry cleaned)
    vzduchové filtre a pod.: čistiť (possibly also prať if you submerge them in water)
    So prať is kimos/átmos in Hungarian, while umývať is megmos/lemos.
    So "umyť košeľu/oblek/záclonu ..." is not typical, but possible in concrete contexts.
    You mean when one uses a sponge and is trying to remove a patch from a shirt then it is a process of umývať and not prať, don’t you?

    Thanks for the clarification to all.
     

    Concise

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    I know that my following question is not only related to these two verbs, but somehow I wanted to express to my helping hands that my new nick name “obscures” the same person.

    So I just started to wonder when I re-read the lesson in my course-book dealing with umyť (sa) and generally with reflexive verbs whether the usage of sa/si either as a tool to form a reflexive verbs or as a tool to express the personal benefit can change the imperfective/perfective aspect of a verb?

    I mean are there any examples in Slovak that VERB is imperfective, but VERB sa/si is perfective or vice versa?

    Maybe my question is totally stupid, but it somehow came to my mind and I feel that maybe the answer is not the obvious “NO”.
     

    numerator

    Senior Member
    Hungarian, Slovak
    Welcome back with your new, indeed @Concise nickname!

    are there any examples in Slovak that VERB is imperfective, but VERB sa/si is perfective or vice versa?

    No, I'm pretty sure this is not possible. Adding or removing sa/si does not change the aspect of the verb.
     
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