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  5. "I cannot see the dog."

"I cannot see the dog."

Translation:Já toho psa nevidím.

September 11, 2017



I got this one right but I'm still a little confused on when the demonstrative adjectives need to be used in cases of "the."

I wrote "Nevidím psa" and was correct, even though the English says "I don't see THE dog." In other places where I've omitted the "ten/toho/to/whatever," I've been told I was wrong because the English sentence included "the" and the demonstrative should be used whenever a specific noun is named: "the dog" vs. "a dog." But then in other places my translations are marked as correct.

Is there a hard-and-fast rule of when you can omit the demonstrative adjective and when you have to use it? I know you need it if you say "that/this/these/those noun(s)." All my confusion is centered on "the."


Help me see why "Nevidím toho psa" doesn't fit? It can't just be because the "Já" was missing.


Because that translation was missing. You were correct.


I was a little bit confused by this one. Nevidim should be 'I do not see', right? Does this imply that I cannot see it? I know it's very close in English, just wondering about czech.


It can mean both. You may not be able to see, because it is dark or you cannot see something because you are blind or have a poor vision. We cannot tell why the speaker does not see the dog in this sentence.


It can mean several different things. However what the Czech sentence given in the exercise actually states is " I do not see the dog" NOT "I can't [am unable] to see the dog." "I can't" is "Nemohu" in Czech, I believe. This Czech sentence in the exercise translates to "I do not see the dog," NOT "I can't see the dog" "won't see the dog" "don't want to see the dog" etc.


Czech does not use the modal verb where English does it for the sensing verbs. Notably, Czech almost never uses "nemůže vidět". Even if one is blind, it is just "on nevidí". Even if there is something obstructing the view, it is just "nevidí".

The normal translation to "can see" in English is Czech "vidí".

One only uses "můžete vidět" when you are showing stuff to guests or tourists at an exhibition or a tour. "Here you can see the picture of Dorian Gray." "Over there you can see the Charles bridge."


You are not completely right. I think "Nemohu toho psa vidět" should be accepted as a correct answer and it is closer to the true meaning. We do not know the context, but "Nemohu vidět" is perfectly normal thing to say in Czech - for example I can not see the dog, because the dog is behind the bush. You are not right that "One only uses "můžete vidět" when you are showing stuff to guests or tourists at an exhibition or a tour." This way you are only confusing people who are trying to learn Czech and I do not think it is really fair.


I wish we could accept it without misleading our learners into thinking that Czech uses the modal "can" with verbs of perception the same as English, which it does not. In my opinion, the danger of confusion from accepting the marginally plausible literal translation may actually exceed that of rejecting it.

For those who may not be sure what this is about, I will quote from Section 3.48 in Quirk & Greenbaum's A Concise Grammar of Contemporary English:

With some perception verbs (3.35), can V corresponds to the progressive aspect be V-ing with dynamic verbs:

I can hear footsteps; who's coming?

Here "Mohu slyšet kroky." would be very far from perfectly normal.

I would expect that we may block this translation direction rather than accept the marginal translation.


Why psa and not pes?


Please read the tips and notes to this lesson "animals"


I am also a little confused about "to" and "toho."


See the Tips and notes about the accusative case. Or any other grammatical resource of your choice.

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