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  5. "They are not good."

"They are not good."

Translation:Oni nejsou dobří.

September 8, 2017



Just as I was getting used to "to nejsou.... " here is "oni nejsou... "

Could you please explain the context, when to use to=they/those and when to use oni=they? Could you provide some examples?


There must be some subject in the sentence in order to use "to jsou". "To jsou dobří lidé." But without a subject you cannot use that. "Oni jsou dobří."


I think i get it. In English, ¨they¨ is a perfectly good subject for the sentence, so it seems that ¨to¨ should work But in Czech, it¨s more subtle. ¨To¨needs to preceed an actual noun object, an actual word. Alone, ¨they¨ is far too general in Czech, it could refer to anything. You need to use ¨oni¨


You can also have both. "Oni to jsou obří lidé." is use for emhasizing.


Shouldn't the question have more context to know what "they" is referring to? If I'm the kitchen speaking to someone, I could point to bad fruit on a platter and say, "They aren't good." If that would that change the answer in Czech, then I feel the question should be expanded to include more context.


That is not possible on Duolingo. Any reasonable context is possible and the official answer has to choose one of them.


I'm English you would say they are not good. The direct translation for that would be Oni nejsou dobří. Why is it saying the correct answer is Oni dobří nejsou? Does those apply to other sentences too?


Please understand that the Czech sentence is the original and the English one is the translation. Also understand that the Czech language has more freedom in the word order and makes use of it to distinguish the topic and the comment https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Topic_and_comment


Oh, thanks. One more question- I understand that the Czech language has more flexibility. But if so, then why was my answer marked incorrect? The answer I put in was- Oni nejsou dobří. They said the right answer was Oni dobří nejsou.


Hint: You will find that Czech is has much more flexibility with word order than English does. You will also find that the ability to re-order words in Czech sentences is not infinite or unrestricted. There are rules, and it can take longer than we'd all like to understand, remember, and follow them.


What rules apply to this sentence? Incorrect- Oni nejsou dobří. Correct- Oni dobří nejsou.


As svrsheque already told you, both are correct here. You almost surely made a typo or some similar type of mistake, because the grading bug doesn't appear to be active any more.

Regarding the rules, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Topic_and_comment


please restate the question clearly (without if, or use punctuation) and include the rejected answer. better yet, use the reporting button.


What is the difference between dobre and dobri? Formality?


No, they differ in endings according to the grammatical gender. Please consult tips notes for more info. :)

= masculine animate plural nominative ending, plus there is a consonant shift as well dobrý > dobří

= masculine inanimate & feminine plural nominative ending


Can you link me to the tips/notes? I didn't know it existed and I'm not sure where to find it find it under the 50+ help links. Thank you

Also, does Duolingo default to masculine animate? And I'll remember that "ony" is feminine now :)


Scroll down for tips https://www.duolingo.com/skill/cs/Masculine

Not sure what you mean by "default". Sentences are entered manually and randomly are in masculine, feminine or neutral version. If it is a translation into Czech and it is not clear from the English sentence which gender it is, the system should accept all 3 genders.


shouldnt it be (nejsou dobry) since it is plural

  1. You mean "dobrý", not "dobry".
  2. But "dobrý" is singular (masculine), not plural.
  3. Plural nominative is "dobré" or "dobrá" or "dobří", depending on what you are talking about.
  4. Remember, the endings for nouns and the endings for adjectives are not the same in each case!


there is no context here to suggest that 'they' are animate. Dobre and dobri should both be accepted for this English sentence.


I think you mean that dobré and dobrá and dobři (feminine plural , neuter plural, masculine plural) should all be accepted. Yes, I agree.


ty hrady jsou velcí not velké, is it right?


No. Correct is "Ty hrady jsou velké". The word "velcí" is masculine plural animate. But here we want "velké", which is masculine plural inanimate.

(There are really four cases in Czech: masc animate, masc inanimate, fem, neuter.)


Here it's about living beings. When it was about things it would've been 'Ony dobrý nejsou'.


Nope. Masculine inanimate and feminine nominative plural form is dobré


seems like there is more than one correct way to say this to me. What for example is wrong with "Nejsou dobré" or "ti Nejsou dobré"?


"Ti nejsou dobré" is not a correct Czech sentence. "ti" is masculine animate and nominative plural "dobré" is feminine.


so there correct ones are: 1. Oni nejsou dobří. 2. Ony nejsou dobré. 3. Ona nejsou dobrá. Jsem spravný?


You are right. But we do not say "Jsem spravný?". We say "Je to správně?" with an adverb.


ok, so in Czech people do not say: Am I right?


Not literally. The closest is what I wrote or "Mám pravdu?"


what is wrong, if translated "nejsou to dobrá"


If you use "je to", "jsou to", "nejsou to" and similar, you need a noun predicate (https://courses.dcs.wisc.edu/wp/grammar/category/predicate-nouns/). Nejsou to dobrá jména. Nejsou to dobří lidé. Nejsou to dobrá slova.

If you are speaking about some actual they and just describing them using adjectives, it is Nejsou dobří. Nejsou dobré. Nejsou dobrá.


In order to avoid the grammar trap created by not defining "they" in such a sentence, would native Czechs tend to put the definition noun in to avoid confusion, as previous commenters such as Claudio_Manofaro have suggested?


No, no definition noun is in order. Depending on the context you can use the pronoun (oni, ony, ona) or you can even skip it (Jsou dobří. Jsou dobré. Jsou dobrá.).

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