Tricky Words in this week's OVI
Past forms of verbs. When learning English, sooner or later everyone has to face the horrible scarecrow called Sequence of Tenses (súslednosť časov). You can check the specific sequences in a grammar book; I'm interested in the reasons for them, and what they mean. "Horník expressed the opinion…" - that means past time, but "that USSK was one of the clients…" - that means present time (in Slovak: "že USSK je ...").
The reason for "was" is because the writer wants to show that s/he is reporting someone else's words, not presenting his/her own ideas. "He said he was coming" (Povedal, že príde) means "I'm not saying he is coming". (The President) emphasized - that means past time, but "investment in Košice was an example of activity" - that means present time, but "was" shows they're not the writer's words; "which had turned out very well" - one past form because the President was talking about the real past ("ešte predtým"), and the other because the writer is reporting the President's opinion.
Always try and think of another expression for translating "prosím" in English. Start with "Excuse me" when you want to ask sb. sth., then "Sorry?" when you don't catch what sb. says, then "hello?" for answering the phone and "Just a moment" instead of "Wait!", then "Here you are" for handing sth. to sb., then "Coming!" when you hear sb. calling your name, then "Can I help you?" when you find a stranger in your office, then "That's alright" or "You're welcome" in response to "Thank you", then "This way" instead of "Follow me" and "After you" instead of "You go first", then "Allow me" for offering help, then "Have a seat" instead of "Sit down!", then "Help yourself" when offering food, "Go ahead" or "Be my guest" when sb. asks for permission to do sth., and finally "It's all yours" when you come out of the WC and sb. is waiting to go in.
Už po osemnásty raz budeme môcť prostredníctvom firemnej iniciatívy Stromček prianí urobiť počas najkrajších sviatkov roka radosť aj celkom neznámym deťom.