Question about this sentence in latvian

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musicman1982
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Question about this sentence in latvian

Postby musicman1982 » 2017-04-18, 8:21

Hi,

I wanted to ask, as I am now starting to understand how Latvian is spoken. There is a sentence I have come across that I don't understand, in terms of it's structure. I will use an example, "Can you pass me the potatoes?" In Latvian it might be said as (I will say it in English) "Can you pass potatoes, please? I have seen that same sentence written as "You can pass potatoes, please?" If anyone can clear this up, it will be greatly appreciated.

-Matt.

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Re: Question about this sentence in latvian

Postby Sol Invictus » 2017-04-18, 13:31

It's hard to understand what you mean without seeing actual sentence in Latvian. However I presume you have come across a sentence where Vai is dropped - it occurs often as usually there are other contextual clues that it's a question, there is no other difference in structure
I speak:  (lv) (en) I understand some:  (de) (ru) Toying with:  (es)

musicman1982
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Re: Question about this sentence in latvian

Postby musicman1982 » 2017-04-18, 15:54

Thank you Sol,

This is what I meant, "Jūs varat sniegt man kartupeļiem, lūdzu?" This is the translation in English, "Can you give me potatoes, please?" I know 'varat' is can and 'Jūs' is you. Does this make it any better? What I mean to say is, when it comes to a question can it still be asked as ,"Varat jūs sniegt man kartupeļiem, lūdzu?" or in this way, "Jūs varat sniegt man kartupeļiem, lūdzu?" or would it better to say 'Vai' instead of 'Varat'?

-Matt.

P.S I got this from google translate

Sol Invictus
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Re: Question about this sentence in latvian

Postby Sol Invictus » 2017-04-18, 23:32

Your google translate is all wrong, correct and very polite phrase would be "Vai jūs varētu, lūdzu, pasniegt man kartupeļus?" (moved lūdzu so that it doesn't sound like an afterthought). We don't switch words to indicate a question like in English, this is what Vai is for, it doesn't mean "can" so you can't swich them, you would just be excluding the word meaning "can", consider it something like a question mark here (just in front of the sentence like ¿ in Spanish :D )

EDIT: BTW this applies to questions that otherwise could come seem to be statements, not questions that start with Where? What? How? and such as those allready indicate it's a question
I speak:  (lv) (en) I understand some:  (de) (ru) Toying with:  (es)

musicman1982
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Re: Question about this sentence in latvian

Postby musicman1982 » 2017-04-19, 7:01

Okay, interesting.

That makes a lot of sense because my Latvian grandma would say it to my dad and uncle all the time (Who are both brothers), she used to say "Vaaaai!" (lol), I was going to ask about something to do with Vai, but you answered it for me. I did look at your message last night, but I was so tired. Now, it makes sense.

-Matthew

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Re: Question about this sentence in latvian

Postby Sol Invictus » 2017-04-19, 7:10

It can mean other things in other contexts, sounds like she was just sighing
I speak:  (lv) (en) I understand some:  (de) (ru) Toying with:  (es)

musicman1982
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Re: Question about this sentence in latvian

Postby musicman1982 » 2017-04-19, 12:36

Okay, this comes to my next question.

If I am in a restaurant, how would I order something? As I am starting out I am kind of breaking down my latvian; could I say this for example,"Vai es varētu ir, lūdzu, viens dzēriens?"

-Matt

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Re: Question about this sentence in latvian

Postby Sol Invictus » 2017-04-19, 14:33

Vai es varētu palūgt vienu dzērienu? Although you normally would say what drink you want, if you mean a random drink then it's better to ask for "kaut ko dzeramu" (something to drink)
I speak:  (lv) (en) I understand some:  (de) (ru) Toying with:  (es)


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