In this lesson you will learn what is the classification of the prepositions, you will learn the vocabulary of the most used prepositions and when to use them. We do not indicate the grammatical number, the gender or the declension of prepositions.
Classification of the prepositions
In Slovak language we differentiate between the two main groups:
- primary (found only as prepositions, we use them in prepositional cases): v, na, za, popod...
- secondary (created from other word types, for example adverbs, but took the funcion as prepositions): blízko, pomocou, prostredníctvom...
Primary prepositions are further divided into two groups:
- simple (v, na, za, pod, nad, pri...)
- compound (ponad, popod, popri, poza...) = ther are created from the simple ones
Vocabulary list of prepositions
We included also the case in which is the noun when used with the preposition.
As you can see, all of the prepositions are connected with the case. G (genitive), D (dative), A (accusative), L (locative) or I (instrumental).
|English prepositions||Slovak prepostions||Case||Example|
|from||z, zo||G||zo záhrady (from the garden)|
|in, inside||v, vo||L||v kostole (in the church)|
|on, on top of||na||L||na stole (on the table)|
|with||s, so||I||so psom (with the dog)|
|in front of||pred||I||pred domom (in front of the house)|
|behind||za||I||za dverami (behind the door)|
|under||pod||I||pod oknom (under the window)|
|above||nad||I||nad tebou (above you)|
|opposite to||oproti||D||oproti obchodu (opposite to the shop)|
|into (something)||do||G||do krabice (into the box)|
|to (something, someone)||k, ku||D||k rodičom (to the parents)|
|next to||pri||L||pri škole (next to the school)|
There are many more prepositions. Here is the general list of the prepositions divided according to the cases they are used with.
|Genitive||bez, do, od, u, z, zo, spod, sponad, spomedzi...|
|Dative||k, ku, proti, naproti, voči, kvôli...|
|Accusative||cez, pre, na, nad...|
|Locative||pri, popri, o, v, na, po...|
|Instrumental||s, so, za, medzi, pod, pred, nad...|
Some of the prepositions can be connected with more than one case. For example:
- na + Accusative = Idem na kopec. (I go on a hill.)
- na + Locative = Na kopci je zima. (On the hill is cold.)
Vocalization of prepositions s, z, v, k
You might notice that some prepositions are connected with -o or -u. This is called the vocalization.
Due to the pronunciation, the prepositions s, z, v and k connect with -o or -u,
It is mainly because of the fact, that the next word starts with a similar or the same letter. Here are the examples:
- vo vani (not v vani) = in a bathtub
- zo záhrady (not z záhrady) = from the garden
- so sestrou (not s sestrou) = with a sister
- ku kostolu (not k kostolu) = to the church
When does it happen? There are four cases:
- when the next word begins with the same preposition: ku kostolu, vo väzení, zo záhrady, so susedom...
- when the next word begins with the "párová" (paired) consonant: (k-g) ku gunárovi, (v-f) vo fľaši, (z-s) zo suda, (s-z) so zrkadlom...
- s and z are also vocalized with their soft consonants: (s-š) so šteniatkom, (z-ž) zo železa, (s-ž) so žiakom, (z-š) zo školy...
- when the next word follows the first 3 rules, but not necessarily begins with the consonant, just contains the consonant on the second or the third place in the word: so vzorom, so všetkým, ku skale, vo dverách...
Preposition v, vo are special, as they can appear also in their non-vocalized form, even if it follows the rules: v tvojom, v tvare, v tvári...
Pay attention to the Slovak "where". We differentiate between 3 types of where:
- kde (where is something/someone situated)
- kam (the direction, where something/someone is going)
- odkiaľ (from where, from what place)
The question we ask is "Where is XY situated?" :
- Bola som v kostole. (L) = I was in a church.
- Otec je na záhrade. (L)= The father is in the garden.
- Pri škole je nový obchod. (L) = Near the school is a new shop.
The question we ask is "Where does XY go?":
- Idem do kostola. (G) = I go to the church.
- Mama prišla na záhradu (A) = Mom came to the garden.
- Poď ku škole (D) = Come near to the school.
The question we ask is "From where does XY go?"
- Idem z kostola (G) = I go from the church.
- Zo záhrady vidím susedov. (G) = From the garden I can the neighbors.
- Vyzdvihni ho zo školy (G) = Pick him up from the school.
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