"Pokud nespí, mluví."

Translation:If he is not sleeping, he is talking.

September 10, 2017

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Shouldn't "If they're not sleeping, they're talking" also be accepted?


Absolutely! And She or It as well.



Because the present tense verb forms "nespí" and "mluví" are the same for both third person singular and third person plural (see links below). There are other verbs that behave similarly.

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/sp%C3%A1t#Conjugation https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/mluvit#Conjugation


Shouldn't "If she doesn't sleep she speaks" also be accepted?


It's not grammatically incorrect, but it sounds strange to my AmE ear. By contrast, in a sentence like, "If he doesn't drink, he gambles," the simple present sounds more natural. But even there, the present continuous sounds a bit better.


If he does not sleep he speaks. Nejde, proč?


I do agree with BoneheadBass and I am British English. Any present tense is not "ungrammatical" (whatever that means with English) in this situation, but as the actions are assumed to be continous and happening now, the continuous tense would normally be used. English is more particular about this with the present tense than the past, which, I expect, confuses people learning English somewhat. Supposing I am cleaning the dishes, I would say "I am doing the washing up", or "I am washing up", or "I am washing the dishes" not "I do the washing up" or "I wash up" etc. The continuous tenses indicate it is definitely happening now, the others that it happens but at some unspecified time(s). I presume that in this kind of event in Czech, if you want to emphasise the "nowness" of it, you have to put in "ted'" or some such qualifier?


Yes, some more common indicators of "nowness" include "zrovna" and "právě" and they're used when it's important to distinguish the "nowness" and the context isn't helping.

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