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some problems with czytać/przeczytać

fidelus_m
fidelus_m
2009-10-22
16:16
some problems with czytać/przeczytać
Hi guys,
I have some doubts on verbs... Let’s start with verb TO READ (czytać/przeczytać)

czytam
czytasz
czyta
czytamy
czytacie
czytają

It seems easy… but only in the present form... What about the past form? As far as I know I can use either CZYTAĆ or PRZECZYTAĆ! Somebody could explain to me how does it work?

For example: if I say JA CZYTAŁEM.... or JA PRZECZYTAŁEM.... What`s the difference between those forms? And why I can't PREZCZYTAĆ in present??? (ja przeczytam)

Thanks for the help :)

PS: My book says that czytać is imperfective, and prezczytać is perfective... I don`t know the difference :)
polonistka
polonistka
2009-10-24
16:17
The difference is...
"czytałem" means I was reading the book but it is not said if I have finished it, while "przeczytałem" means I have finished reading the book. That is why you can't use it in present. The form “przeczytam” means I will have finished reading the book.
czytałem = I was reading
przeczytałem = I have read
przeczytam = I will have read
dorota_k
dorota_k
2009-10-25
18:20
I was reading is ‘ja czytałem’ (without finishing the book or whatever you were reading) and ‘ja przeczytałem’ would refer to something that you read through and finished.
nalinky
nalinky
2009-10-26
18:22
if "pisałam" means "I was writing" and "napisałam" means "I've written" then how can I translate "I wrote"?
polonistka
polonistka
2009-10-27
16:23
Napisałam książkę - I wrote a book (and finished writing it)
Pisałam książkę - I was writing a book (suggesting I was writing it but didn't finish)
dorota_k
dorota_k
2009-10-27
23:24
Napisałam means I wrote. There isn't a big distinction between present perfect and past simple as there is in English.
nalinky
nalinky
2009-10-28
10:35
aha! got it! Thanx. You are great! :)
adrian
adrian
2009-11-14
12:31
The imperfect/perfect distinction always seems to be explained in terms of reading books or writing letters - i.e linear activities with linear objects. Is this always the best way to explain it? I've been told in various Polish classes that "the imperfective means you don't know if something is finished", but there seem to me to be lots of uses of the imperfective when is is quite clear that the action is finished. To take some random examples from my "301 Polish verbs book":

Dzwonił do mnie znajomi z całej Polski (My acquaintances from all over Poland called me)
Does this mean the phone conversations haven't stopped?

Ktos pukał do drzwi (Someone was knocking at the door)
Does this mean someone is still knocking?

Płakal ze wzruszenia jak dziecko (He cried with emotion like a baby)
Does this mean we don't know if he's stopped crying?

Adrian.


[quote:polonistka]The difference is...
"czytałem" means I was reading the book but it is not said if I have finished it, while "przeczytałem" means I have finished reading the book. That is why you can't use it in present. The form “przeczytam” means I will have finished reading the book.
czytałem = I was reading
przeczytałem = I have read
przeczytam = I will have read
[/quote]

[quote:dorota_k]I was reading is ‘ja czytałem’ (without finishing the book or whatever you were reading) and ‘ja przeczytałem’ would refer to something that you read through and finished.[/quote]
adrian
adrian
2009-11-14
12:33
What about present perfect sentences such as "I've lived in London for four years." That would be present simple in Polish, wouldn't it? "Mieszkam w Londynie od czterech lat"? So in that case there *is* an important distinction between present perfect and past simple.

[quote:dorota_k]Napisałam means I wrote. There isn't a big distinction between present perfect and past simple as there is in English.[/quote]
Ina
Ina
2009-11-18
09:32
It doesn't mean that the action hasn't finished but the stress in the
sentence is on the action itself.

Let's look closer to an example:
W sobotę gotowałam i sprzątałam.

We don't know if I magaged to finish cooking and cleaning but we know
that it took me a long time, maybe even a whole day.

And regarding the sentence:
Dzwonił do mnie znajomi z całej Polski (My acquaintances from all over
Poland called me)

1. It should be Dzwonili do mnie z całej Polski. (plural form)
2. It means that the action was repeated by several people

In coloquial Polish it is very common to say:

Dzwonił do mnie znajomy. (My acquaintance called me)

however according to rules of Polish Grammar it should be: Zadzwonił
do mnie znajomy.

adrian
adrian
2009-12-13
10:16
Hello Ina and thanks for your response. I have some further questions:

1) "W sobotę gotowałam i sprzątałam." How long is a long time? If I cleaned for 30 minutes can I use this phrase? 3 hours? 6 hours? If for example it was 6 hours... do I have the choice of saying "sprzątałem dom" or "sprzątnałem dom", depending on the focus of my sentence? In the latter, the action is not necessarily single and completed (as we are normally told is the case with the perfective), but could take several hours. I guess what I'm getting at is can I have two identical actions but express them in both perfective and imperfective? To give another example, my "Teach Yourself Beginners Polish" book has both the imperfective "ogładałem film cały wieczor" ("I was watching a film all evening") and "oberzałem film" ("I watched the film"). Both sentences could be about the same film... the perfective sentence could be about a film of 1 hours, 2... 3 hours. So we are using the perfective about an action that does take "a long time".

2 "Dzwonili do mnie z całej Polski." Apologies for my mistranscription of the phrase. My point was that we are using imperfective for an action that we know is completed.

3. "In colloquial Polish it is very common to say... however according to rules of Polish Grammar"
Does colloquial Polish not have a grammar??

So to conclude, contrary to the standard explanations of imperfective/perfective...
a) Perfective is not only for short, single actions
b) Imperfective is not only for actions that we don't know are completed
c) The duration of the action itself does not necessarily lead to perfective or imperfective usage... it can also depend upon the focus of the statement you wish to make

And I'll add another one too

d) Imperfective/perfective in Polish is not necessarily the same as continuous/simple in English/French etc. (Polish teachers have tried to explain it to me in this way before).

Adrian.

[quote:Ina]It doesn't mean that the action hasn't finished but the stress in the
sentence is on the action itself.

Let's look closer to an example:
W sobotę gotowałam i sprzątałam.

We don't know if I managed to finish cooking and cleaning but we know
that it took me a long time, maybe even a whole day.

And regarding the sentence:
Dzwonił do mnie znajomi z całej Polski (My acquaintances from all over
Poland called me)

1. It should be Dzwonili do mnie z całej Polski. (plural form)
2. It means that the action was repeated by several people

In colloquial Polish it is very common to say:

Dzwonił do mnie znajomy. (My acquaintance called me)

however according to rules of Polish Grammar it should be: Zadzwonił
do mnie znajomy.

[/quote]

Satoshi
Nagasaki (Japonia)

Jestem zaskoczony możliwościami, jakie daje ten kurs. Uczyłem się przy pomocy programów komputerowych angielskiego, niemieckiego i hiszpańskiego i nie spodziewałbym się, iż powstanie program do nauki języka polskiego w wielu kwestiach przewyższający tamte programy. Choć uczę się dopiero od miesiąca jestem pewny, że wkrótce będę mówił po polsku!

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