Saturday, June 19, 2021

Czech Verb Prefixes

I'm still keeping up with my Czech while I wait for the results of my B1 exam.  Fingers crossed that I pass it.  I need B1 in order to apply for citizenship but I'll keep studying until I reach the B2 level which is the level required for someone to study at university.  I'm not planning on attending uni but I want to get my Czech to this level.  However, I have zero intentions of taking the B2 exam.  I'll be happy enough to pass my B1 exam.

Learning Czech verbs is both easy and a pain in the arse.  They are easy in that there are only three verb tenses - past, present, and future.  The past tense gets a little more difficult than in English because in Czech the past tense acts like an adjective so it has to agree in number and gender.

It gets way more complicated with aspect which is basically a concept of completeness.  Since verbs are either imperfective or perfective it means that Czechs use two different verbs where English just uses one verb but with lots of different tenses.

In English we use different prepositions to change the meaning of a verb.  For example, there's a difference between to to, to go into, to go out of, to go around, to go through, etc.  Czechs also use prepositions but there are also different prefixes which can change the meaning of the verb.

The different prefixes are do-, o-, od-, na-, po-, pod-, pře-, před-, roz-, u-, v-, vy-, z-, za-.  If you learn the meanings of the various prefixes it can help you guess the meaning of the verb.  This is doesn't help 100% of the time but the prefixes can point you in the right direction.

Jít = to go (on foot)

Přijít = to come; to arrive

Odejít = to leave; to depart

Přejít = to go over; to pass over

Rozjít = to break up

Najít = to find

Pojít = to die

Předjít = to prevent

Vyjít = to go out; to exit

Zajít = to go around

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