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How and When to Use Verbs Pamatovat, Vzpomínat and Zapomínat in Czech

There are 6 verbs in Czech that look and sound very similar and are often confused. These verbs are:

Zapamatovat (si) - to memorize (perfective)

Pamatovat (si) - to remember (imperfective)

Vzpomenout (si) - to recall, to remember (perfective)

Vzpomínat (si) - to recall (imperfective)

Zapomenout (si) - to forget (perfective)

Zapomínat (si) - to keep forgetting (imperfective)

Let's look at the uses and grammar of each.

Zapamatovat si + accusative (perfective)

To commit something to memory, to learn something new. E.g. Zapamatuju si první verš Nerudovy básně. I'll memorize the first verse of Neruda's poem.

a) Zapamatovat si, že / kdy / proč / jak / ...

b) Zapamatovat si + accusative

Pamatovat si (na) + accusative (imperfective)

To keep an information in memory. E.g. Pamatuju si, jak se to opraví. I remember how to fix this.

a) Pamatovat si, že / kdy / proč / jak / ...

b) Pamatovat si (na) + accusative

Vzpomenout si na + accusative (perfective)

To bring back an information from our memory. E.g. Vzpomněl jsem si na tebe. I remembered about you.

a) Vzpomenout si, že / kdy / proč / jak / ...

b) Vzpomenout si na + accusative

Vzpomínat si na + accusative (imperfective)

The process of thinking on something from the past. E.g Vzpomínám si na své dětství. I recall my childhood.

a) Vzpomínat si, že / kdy / proč / jak / ...

b) Vzpomínat si na + accusative

Zapomenout (si)/(na) + accusative (perfective)

To forget. E.g. Zapomněl si klíče doma. He forgot his keys at home.

a) Zapomenout, že / kdy / proč / jak / ...

b) Zapomenout (si)/(na) + accusative

Zapomínat (si)/(na) + accusative (imperfective)

To keep forgetting. Zapomínám, že ti mám poslat ten recept. I keep forgetting to send you the recipe.

a) Zapomínat, že / kdy / proč / jak / ...

b) Zapomínat (si)/(na) + accusative

To get more practical examples and some tips on how and when to use these verbs, watch my YouTube post.

Happy learning!

Eliška :)

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