Slovak Language Lessons for Beginners - Lesson 21

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[Lesson 21] [Lesson 22[Lesson 23]

Lesson 21
You can download the entire Slovak course as a book in PDF format [here]. I am thankful to Alan Morelli of Bergamo, Italy for putting the book together.


materiál (or, sometimes, látka) = material; (Note: látka can also mean 'cloth' or 'textile')
drevo = wood
drevený = wooden
papier = paper (noun)
papierový = paper (adj.)
kartón = cardboard (noun)
kartónový = cardboard (adj.)
plast = plastic (noun)
plastový = plastic (adj.)
guma = rubber (noun)
gumený = rubber (adj.)
betón = concrete (noun)
betónový = concrete (adj.)
sklo = glass (noun)
sklený (or sklenený) = glass (adj.)
keramika = ceramic (noun)
keramický = ceramic (adj.)
porcelán = porcelain (noun)
porcelánový = porcelain (adj.)
kov = metal (noun)
kovový = metal, metallic (adj.)
železo = iron (noun)
železný = iron (adj.)
oceľ = steel (noun)
oceľový = steel (adj.)
koža = leather (noun); also means 'skin'
kožený = leather (adj.)
vlna = wool (noun); also means 'wave'
vlnený = wool, woolen (adj.)
bavlna = cotton (adj.)
bavlnený = cotton (adj.)


In English, you don't usually have to change the noun's form to turn it into an adjective: You can speak of orange juice, strawberry ice cream or a concrete building

In Slovak, by contrast, you typically have to add a suffix to the noun to change it into an adjective. The most common suffix used for this purpose is -ový, but - as you have seen in the materials vocabulary above - sometimes you need to use other suffixes such as -ný, -ený, -ský or -ický. There are, unfortunately, no hard and fast rules about what suffix is appropriate: you really just need to learn the corresponding adjectives. If you have to guess, however, it is best to go with -ový.

Remember that all suffixes, of course, have to match the gender and grammatical case of the words they are attached to.

Some examples:

pomaranč (orange)       +   džús (juice)           =  pomarančový džús (orange juice)
jahoda (strawberry)     +   zmrzlina (ice cream)   =  jahodová zmrzlina (strawbery ice cream)
betón (concrete)        +   budova (building)      =  betónová budova (concrete building)
sklo (glass)            +   tanier (plate)         =  sklenený tanier (glass plate)

lekár (medical doctor)  +   správa (report)        =  lekárska správa (medical report)
drevo (wood)            +   podlaha (floor)        =  drevená podlaha (wooden floor)
zub (tooth)             +   hygiena (hygiene)      =  zubná hygiena (dental hygiene)


You can use práve (=just) to say that something has just happened, that someone has just done something, or that something is going on just now. In colloquial speech, you can also use the word akurát (which in other contexts - such as buying clothes - can mean 'just right'). Please note that this temporal meaning differs from the 'just' that can substitute for 'only' - in those cases, we use the words len or iba (=only, just).

Práve som mu vysvetlil situáciu a bohužiaľ, vôbec nebol šťastný. = I just explained the situation to him and, unfortunately, he was not happy at all.
Bol som práve doma, ale sestru som tam nevidel. = I was just at home, but I did not see (my) sister there.
Akurát som išiel na úrad, keď na mňa zaútočil nejaký zločinec. = I was just going to the office, when some criminal attacked me.

práve teraz = right now
Tlačová konferencia sa začína práve teraz a bude trvať len tridsať minút. = The press conference is beginning right now, and it will last only thirty minutes.


In [Lesson 10], you learned how to use mať rád to express your likes and dislikes. It turns out that there is another verb in Slovak - the verb páčiť sa - that can also be used for similar purposes.

Mať rád is more general: You can use it to express your predilection (or lack thereof) for a variety of things: food, activities, people - you name it.
Páčiť sa, on the other hand, most commonly refers to the visual appeal (beauty, attractiveness) of something or someone.

There is also a grammatical difference in how these verbs are used. You can use mať rád much like the English verb to like: Mám rád paradajkovú polievku. = I like tomato soup.

Páčiť sa, however, is used much more like the English verb to appeal (to): Tento obraz sa mi páči. = This painting appeals to me. (='I like this painting.')
- The verb páčiť sa assumes a grammatical form that corresponds to what is being liked.
- The thing or person that is being liked is the grammatical subject of the sentence.
- Typically, you would include a phrase or a personal pronoun in the dative case to indicate who is doing the liking (i.e., to whom something appeals).

Let us look at some examples to illustrate:

Mne sa páči toto zelené auto, ale môjmu bratovi sa páči tamto žlté. 
= I like this green car, but my brother likes that yellow one over there. (Literally something like: 'This green car appeals to me, but that green one over there appeals to my brother.'
Tvoj modrý vlnený sveter sa vôbec nepáči mojej priateľke.
= My girlfriend does not like your blue woolen sweater at all. (literally: 'Your blue woolen sweater does not appeal to my girlfriend at all.')

You can also use páčiť sa to talk about liking/enjoying visits or trips. In these case, the sentence subject will often be an unspoken 'it.' Look at the examples below:

Našej rodine sa veľmi páčilo v Nemecku.
= Our family liked Germany very much. (literally: 'To our family, it appealed in Germany very much.')
Ako sa ti páčilo na výlete?
= How did you enjoy the trip? (literally: How did it appeal to you on the trip?)
Toto by sa ti malo celkom páčiť.
= You should like this quite a bit. (literally: This should appeal to you quite a bit.)

You can download the entire lesson in M
P3 format [here]. Just right click, and choose "Save as..."