My son's questions

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Katleen
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My son's questions

Postby Katleen » 2013-03-03, 19:34

Hi,

My 13-year-old son has some other questions. There seems to be no link between them, so I'll just make a list. If he has other miscellaneous questions later, I will add them to this thread. I'll let him type his own questions and just check his English:

1. When do you use the infinitive and when the gerund (verb forms on -šana)? I don't know if I have to say "man patīk slēpot" or "man patīk slēpošana" if I want to say that I like to ski.

2. Do you have to use a dative with postposition (like dēļ) in plural?

3. How do you have to use dative-constuctions with auxiliary verbs? How does one say "I must have", for example?

4.What's the Latvian word for "so" (as in 'X and Y were the only people there, so there were only 2 people'). I've found the words tāpēc and tādēļ on the internet, but they mean "therefore".

5.The normal prefix for "back" is "at". But "atiet" means to leave. How can you say to go back?

6.Can you make a reflexive out of every verb you want? Could you say mainīties (to change oneself), for example?
Native: [flag=]nl[/flag] Fluent: [flag=]fr[/flag] [flag=]en[/flag]Intermediate: [flag=]it[/flag] [flag=]id[/flag]
Beginner: [flag=]de[/flag] [flag=]ja[/flag]


Corrections are welcome.

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mak
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Re: My son's questions

Postby mak » 2013-03-03, 21:34

1. When do you use the infinitive and when the gerund (verb forms on -šana)? I don't know if I have to say "man patīk slēpot" or "man patīk slēpošana" if I want to say that I like to ski.

I think it's the same as in English.

Man patīk slēpot. I like to ski.
Man patīk slēpošana. I like skiing.

But:

Man patīk distanču slēpošana. I like cross-country skiing.
Because we don't say "to cross-country ski". It's always "cross-country skiing".

Technically they are not gerunds, they are nouns.
2. Do you have to use a dative with postposition (like dēļ) in plural?

Postpositions (dēļ, labad, pēc) are exceptions and are used in the genitive case in both singular and plural.

We usually call postpositions prepositions.

3. How do you have to use dative-constuctions with auxiliary verbs? How does one say "I must have", for example?

I don't know. I think we don't and we find other ways to express it.
I must have this = Man to vajag = I need this

4.What's the Latvian word for "so" (as in 'X and Y were the only people there, so there were only 2 people'). I've found the words tāpēc and tādēļ on the internet, but they mean "therefore".

You can use these words informally, they're not formal.
You can also say "līdz ar to" but that's even longer :D

5.The normal prefix for "back" is "at". But "atiet" means to leave. How can you say to go back?

atiet - to depart (about transportation)
aiziet - to leave
(aiz)iet atpakaļ - to go back :)

We also like to use adverbs with verbs (even if they already have a prefix) to express direction
atiet nost (no kaut kā) - to step back (from sth)
aiziet prom - to leave, to go away
ieiet iekšā - to go in, to go inside
iziet ārā - to go outside

6.Can you make a reflexive out of every verb you want? Could you say mainīties (to change oneself), for example?

No, if you invent your own reflexive verbs, they will sound funny and we won't know what you meant.

mainīties is a valid reflexive verb and can mean to change oneself, but there are other meanings as well (mainīties vietām = to switch (=change) seats).

Sol Invictus
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Re: My son's questions

Postby Sol Invictus » 2013-03-03, 22:26

Katleen wrote:1. When do you use the infinitive and when the gerund (verb forms on -šana)? I don't know if I have to say "man patīk slēpot" or "man patīk slēpošana" if I want to say that I like to ski.

Although words ending in -šana translated as gerund in English, we don't have a gerund. This is just a noun derived from verb. You can say both. The only nuance would be that slēpošana is also the sport in general, so you could say that meaning you like the sport, not that you like doing it yourself, with the verb it always means that you are doing it.
2. Do you have to use a dative with postposition (like dēļ) in plural?

You use genitive before dēļ and pēc. Care to elaborate why you are asking about dative?
3. How do you have to use dative-constuctions with auxiliary verbs? How does one say "I must have", for example?

We don't use auxiliary verbs in the way they are used in Germanic languages. The auxiliary verbs are būt, tikt, tapt, kļūt and they are used to create passive or perfect tense. For meanings expressed with auxiliary words in Germanic languages we'd use different moods. Things like I must [do something] would use imperative mood which means that you add prefix jā- to the verb
4.What's the Latvian word for "so" (as in 'X and Y were the only people there, so there were only 2 people'). I've found the words tāpēc and tādēļ on the internet, but they mean "therefore".

I would use tātad here, which means that you are making a conclusion from previously given facts
5.The normal prefix for "back" is "at". But "atiet" means to leave. How can you say to go back?

You could use some word meaning going and atpakaļ, which means back, like atnākt atpakaļ - to come back (just atnākt is to come, it uses the prefix to indicate that the action is complete, verbs without prefixes are incomplete, so nākt atpakaļ in most cases would mean one is still coming (and that still is not gerund))
mak wrote:
6.Can you make a reflexive out of every verb you want? Could you say mainīties (to change oneself), for example?

No, if you invent your own reflexive verbs, they will sound funny and we won't know what you meant.

Joykiller :P I think you may try, but in many cases they could have no meaning unless you included prefixes or they might have completely different meaning

P.S. You might want to check these grammar tables out: http://valoda.ailab.lv/latval/vispareji ... lgrame.htm and there is resource thread somewhere in the forum with links toother material you might find usefull

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Katleen
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Re: My son's questions

Postby Katleen » 2013-03-09, 8:53

Hi Mak and Sol Invictus,

Many thanks for all the useful information!

2. Do you have to use a dative with postposition (like dēļ) in plural?


You use genitive before dēļ and pēc. Care to elaborate why you are asking about dative?


He said because all the prepositions take a dative in plural. Apparently it's different with the postpositions.
Native: [flag=]nl[/flag] Fluent: [flag=]fr[/flag] [flag=]en[/flag]Intermediate: [flag=]it[/flag] [flag=]id[/flag]
Beginner: [flag=]de[/flag] [flag=]ja[/flag]


Corrections are welcome.


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