Is it better to be perfect or effective? When learning a language, it is often acceptable to make minor mistakes so long as you are understood. In this case, it is best to be effective rather than attempting to be perfect. Czechs often don’t understand this, perhaps terrorized by an outmoded educational system heavy on theory, memorization, and testing. They’ll freeze up and remain silent rather than risk making an error. I’m the opposite. I talk away, unconcerned that all around me regard me as a fool for my myriad mistakes — I figure the endings are so tough, I may as well just ignore them as everyone will figure out my meaning eventually. Too bad then that in at least one case the ending makes all the difference. Dokonalý is perfect. Dokonavý is effective. I had mistakenly assumed that they were the same word with some stupid ending problem (like most Czech words) that I needn’t worry about. Now I know that dokonavý has nothing to do with dokonalý, and my effectiveness is far from perfect.