51 Motion and Transaction Verbs

• • • Review: Verbs Derived from 'idem'

I will describe the most important motion verbs and something I called "transaction verbs" (maybe the name is stupid) where one Croatian verb describes both sides of an "transaction": e.g. both "borrow" and "lend".

Stroll and Run

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Verb padam ~ padnem, pao, pala, pasti means "fall". It also follows the "symmetric" pattern: verbs derived from its impf. form are impf., likewise for the perf. So only prefixes will be listed. Some verbs have double meaning, literal and highly metaphorical.

do-N se DD likes N (!)
is-N (iz G)N falls out (of G)
na-a. N A
b. N na A
a. N attacks A;
b. N falls onto A in great quantity
ot-N (od G)N falls (off G), comes off G
pri-N DN belongs to D
pro-NN breaks down
N (kroz A)N falls through (A)
ras-N se (na A)N falls apart, decays (to A)
u-N u AN falls in(to) A

Some examples of use:

Moj auto se raspada. "My car is falling apart."
Meni pripada sto kuna. "One hundred kuna belongs to me." (meni = dat.)

The verb dopadam ~ dopadnem, dopao, dopala, dopasti with se uses a strange combination of cases we have already explored:

Ivanu se dopada Ana. "Ivan likes Ana." (Ivanu = dat., Ana = nom.)
Ivanu se dopadaju Ana i Ivana. "Ivan likes Ana and Ivana."

Don't forget that form of the verb follows the subject, that is Ana and Ana i Ivana, therefore the verb is in the plural in the second sentence!

Transaction Verbs

In the Standard English, there are two verbs: "borrow", meaning "temporarily get something", and "lend", "temporarily give something". However, in non-standard, colloquial use in some parts of Britain, "borrow" can be used for both meanings, like in "can you borrow me some money". In Croatian, one verb posuđujem, posuđivao ~ posudim is almost always used for both meanings!

The grammar of this verb works like this:

N (A)N borrows (lends) (A)
N (A) DN lends (A) to D
N (A) od GN borrows (A) from G

In the first case, it's ambiguous whether the subject N borrows or lends (normally, one assumes it's "borrows" unless we know some additional information). If we say who else is involved, cases and prepositions provide additional information. What makes this easy is that Croatian cases and prepositions tightly correspond to English prepositions in the usual manner ("to" = dat., "from" = od + gen.) and everything turns out to be much simpler than it could in theory be. For example:

Posudio säm novac Ivanu. "I lent (some) money to Ivan." (Ivanu = dat.)
Ivan je posudio novac. "Ivan borrowed (some) money."

While this verb pair is almost always used in spoken language, there's more formal pozamljujem, pozajmljivao ~ pozajmim with the exactly same meaning:

Banka je pozajmila novce Ivanu. "The bank lent (some) money to Ivan." (Ivanu = dat.)

Another verb pair that expresses two meanings and use the same grammar mechanism is:

iznajmljujem, iznajmljivao ~ iznajmim "lease, rent"

It's interesting that English "lease" and "rent" have two meanings as well ("lease apartment to", "lease apartment from") and use the same mechanism (without case endings, of course). For example:

Iznajmila säm stan. "I rented an apartment." (female speaking)
Iznajmila säm stan od Davora. "I rented an apartment from Davor." (female speaking)
Davor je iznajmio stan Ani. "Davor leased an apartment to Ana."

Some people tried to introduce another verb pair to Croatian to distinguish these two meanings (unajmljujem, unajmljivao ~ unajmim "rent") but one verb persists.

Another similar verb pair is učim ~ na-, but it has a more complex grammar with more possibilities.

Updated 2014-04-18, not in CHM, PDF

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