Today let’s learn a verb! Last Friday we began our spring English Conversation Course. We TEACH English.
The verb “to teach” in Slovak is:
Like most languages, the verbs can be changed to reflect who is doing the action. We learn the same table of conjugation that most of you have learned for other languages – 1st, 2nd and 3rd person in singular and plural.
|učím||[oo-cheem] I teach||učíme||[oo-chee-meh] we teach|
|učíš||[oo-cheesh] you teach||učíte||oo-chee-tyeh] y’all teach 🙂|
|učí||[oo-chee] he/she teaches||učia||[oo-chee-ah] they teach|
The great thing about this verb is that if you add the reflexive word “sa” [sah], then the meaning changes from “teach” to “learn.”
Of course, this is a lot of information to take in, so let’s focus instead on a couple of practical examples. Each Friday night, WE TEACH English and THEY LEARN English:
We teach English
Učíme angličtinu. [OO-chee-meh AHN-gleech-tee-nu]
They learn English
Učia sa angličtinu. [OO-chee-ah sah AHN-gleech-tee-nu]
This little reflexive “sa” can make a BIG difference when you’re speaking Slovak. If you leave it out, or add it at the wrong time, it can completely change the meaning of a sentence!
|On umýva ___.||He washes (something, e.g. dishes).|
|On sa umýva.||He washes HIMSELF (as in, takes a bath)|
|Ona vydava ___.||She gives out (something, e.g. newspapers)|
|Ona sa vydava.||She gets married (literally “gives herself away)|
|Ja vratím ___.||I return (something, e.g. library books)|
|Ja sa vratím.||I come back (like, “I return home.”)|