Slovak: Večer sa pozerám televízny program

Tisztul_A_Visztula

Senior Member
Hungarian
Hello again.

The original sentence is “Večer sa pozerám televízny program”.

Which questions are correct? A) or B) or both?

A) “Čo pozeráš večer?”
B) “Na čo pozeráš večer?”

Thanks
 
  • numerator

    Senior Member
    Hungarian, Slovak
    Welcome back, @Tisztul_A_Visztula !
    Actually, the original sentence is not correct. It should be Večer pozerám televízny program, without sa. The corresponding question would be "Čo pozeráš večer?", the expected answer being the name of a TV show or a TV channel.

    I find the whole family of pozerať/pozerať sa/pozerať si hard to explain, and even the dictionary definitons Slovenské slovníky didn't help me much.

    I think I use pozerať + direct object essentially in pozerať televízor, pozerať (niečo v televízii - film, futbal).
    For a film v kine, I would prefer pozrieť si + direct object, althought I couldn't tell why.

    In other situations of watching/looking, either pozerať or pozerať sa can be used, but usually with na niekoho/na niečo.
    In fact, a direct object is not possible with pozerať sa. (As a rule, "sa" verbs do not take direct objects; the only exeception I can think of is "učiť sa".)

    Anyway, back to your question:
    A) "Čo pozeráš večer?" is an idiomatic way to ask "What do you watch in the evenings?" or even "What are you watching tonight?" and the presupposition is that the person watches TV or Netflix or something similar.

    B) "Na čo (sa) pozeráš večer?" is grammatically well-formed but feels odd, a bit like "What do you look at in the evenings?". It presupposes you look at something, but the possible set of answers is too wide (The walls? The sunset? The moon? The neighbors fighting?).
     

    Tisztul_A_Visztula

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    I am really sorry, but again I quoted a sentence with a mistake, because it is “Večer sa pozerám na televízny program”.

    And it implied my question about “Na čo”.

    As I understood from your answer using “na” is something like I will check the TV programra and if I like something I will watch it. Like in Hungarian “Ránézek a TV program este/esténként”.

    And having read your answer it is clear that “Na čo” does not work in Slovak, neither does in Hungarian.
     

    Tisztul_A_Visztula

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    For a film v kine, I would prefer pozrieť si + direct object, althought I couldn't tell why.

    Let me separate the question of sa/si, because this time it was not my intention to raise it.

    But I am too proud to avoid the demonstration of what I have learnt from you, guys.

    I think you use pozrieť si in case of a film in cinema, because in case of tv the effort is much less, I’d say to watch TV is something you can do even in zombie mode.TV is at home, as a default you return to your home in the evening, the chance of not concentrating on the content is higher than in a cinema etc.

    As regards cinema, it is just the opposite, real decision has to have been made (? , the form “has had to be made is” even uglier) , it costs additional money, you have to go out, walk or drive etc. And it is definitely for your benefit, therefore dativus commodi/ethicus.

    What do you think? You speak Slovak, not me? You have the stamps of accepted or rejected. :)

    EDIT: maybe the fact that pozerať is imperfect, while pozrieť (si) is perfect highlights the difference even more, since you presumably have a stronger desire to watch it from the beginning until the end as a whole.

    But I am so rookie in perfect/imperfect, that it ís just a sidenote of a sidenote….
     
    Last edited:

    numerator

    Senior Member
    Hungarian, Slovak
    Oh, when it comes to explaining language phenomena, native speakers are the worst :D
    But you may be onto something.

    Coming to think of it, I also make a distinction between the perfective "pozrieť si film" and the imperfective "pozerať film".
    The more I think about it, the more confusing it becomes o_O
     

    Tisztul_A_Visztula

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    I met “prezrieť si”, too, and without the demand of starting the same discussion about prezerať /sa /si and prezrieť /si, let me have a simplified question whether these forms of prez…ť behave the same way as the forms of poz…ť?

    Or is there more differences between those just because of the different prefixes?
     

    numerator

    Senior Member
    Hungarian, Slovak
    Well, with "pozerať/pozrieť" we had the frequent verb pattern "pozerať/pozrieť sa na"+acc., in addition to the simple transitive pattern "pozerať (si)/pozrieť (si)"+acc. This complicated the picture.

    "Prezerať (si)/prezreť (si)" does not have this additional complication, only the transitive pattern exists. So the options are fairly "regular":

    prezerať/prezrieť + acc.:
    to examine, scrutinize (usually in an official context): Lekár prezrel pacienta. (=vyšetril) Daňová kontrola nám prezrela všetky účty. (=skontrolovala)

    prezerať si/prezrieť si + acc.:
    to look over, check out, browse something (with pleasure/interest): Turista si prezrel mesto. Prezrel som si novinky v kníhkupectve.
    Just as with other verbs, the "si" can also stand for "svoj", in this case no benefit/pleasure is implied:
    Prezrel si auto, či nie je poškriabané. (=skontroloval svoje auto)

    prezerať sa/prezrieť sa:
    to check out oneself, examine oneself (the reflexive version of both prezrieť and prezrieť si)
    Prezeral sa v zrkadle.
    Po výlete do lesa sa dobre prezri, či nemáš kliešťa.
    (=skontroluj si povrch tela)
     

    Tisztul_A_Visztula

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Ďakujem pekne!

    Sometimes I feel that when I will be able to faultlessly use the common verbs with sa, with si and in the “naked” form , that will be the very moment when I am allowed to think I speak Slovak f***ing well. :)
     

    numerator

    Senior Member
    Hungarian, Slovak
    @Tisztul_A_Visztula I think you already have a rather good understanding of the general picture!

    As for idiosyncrasies of certain verbs (which form is neutral? which form emphasises a certain feature? which forms are exactly synonymous and which have slight differences in meaning? which form is theoretically possible but simply not used?), I think you will just have to learn them as you go, by observing actual usage. But you are on the right track.

    (Imagine having to explain the differences between Hungarian járkál, járdogál and járogat. Or how kötözködik is related to kötöz. The suffixes are fairly commonplace but they can add different shades of meaning to different verbs and it's hard to explain them without tempting a learner to make incorrect generalizations.)
     

    Tisztul_A_Visztula

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    @Tisztul_A_Visztula

    (Imagine having to explain the differences between Hungarian járkál, járdogál and járogat. Or how kötözködik is related to kötöz. The suffixes are fairly commonplace but they can add different shades of meaning to different verbs and it's hard to explain them without tempting a learner to make incorrect generalizations.)

    Don't get me started. :)

    But your are absolutely-completely right. Maybe a life would be needed to analyze the differences between these 3 forms of "jár"
     
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