Word of the Day

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Minulý přechodník

It's a pity that Czech minulý přechodník is hardly ever used nowadays. It's such an economical way of saying things. Instead of Poté, co ona slyšela zaklepání na dveře, šla otevřít (When she heard a knock on the door, she opened it.), you could succintly say Slyševši zaklepání na dvěre, šla otevřít (Having heard a knock on the door, she opened it). Modern speakers seem to have no feel for it anymore and when they use it, if ever, they may fall into the trap of not assigning the right gender to the minulý přechodník, as in this sentence, extracted from the magazine 21. století: A to nebude jednoché. Nejdřív je musí robot, přistanuvší na rudé planetě, získat.(That will not be easy. First, having landed on the red planet, the robot has to collect them - soil samples.) There are two problems here: first, it is not přistavnuší, it is přistávši or přistavši, and second, přistavši is feminine and doesn't agree with the subject of the sentence, robot, which is masculine. The word they were looking for is přistav or přistáv. More here(in Czech).

1 comment:

Hynek Bíla said...

No. "Přistavší" (with long í) is correct here, since it is an adjective derived from the past transgressive, not the transgressive itself. The feminine forms of the transgressives are always used for such derivations. The same way as it works for present transgressives: you are allowed to say "přistávající robot", even if "přistávajíc" is a feminine present transgressive form, the masculine being "přistávaje".

Apart from that, I agree that it's a pity that the transgressives are so seldom (and even then mostly incorrectly) used now.