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  5. "Je čtvrt na jednu nebo na dv…

"Je čtvrt na jednu nebo na dvě?"

Translation:Is it a quarter past twelve or past one?

September 11, 2017



The dictionary hint says that ”čtvrt na” means “quarter to”, but the translation says it's “quarter past”. Which is correct then?


I will have to fix the hint but this one is confusing for English native speakers. It is "quarter past" BUT we do not say that it is 'quarter past 12' but that it is 'quarter towards one'. And it means 12:15


OK, thanks for the quick response! It's actually similar to Hungarian, where we say “negyed egy”, literally 'quarter one' and it means 12:15, though we don't use a word like “towards” in this expression.


Your literal translation is most helpful. 1) Does it apply to the minutes between the quarter hours too? 2) I feel I must protest in favour of international standards for time telling. Time zones create enough confusion, without time-telling differences.


It applies to one quarter, one half, three quarters. For other times you can add or subtract "půl páté za pět minut", "půl šesté a pět minut".

Each language has its own way. German is similar to Czech. Polish is different.


American English-speakers would accept omitting the indefinite article: "Is it quarter past twelve or past one?"


It is the same in British English


And it is also accepted.


This is really confusing and could do with a clearer explanation


What exactly do you find confusing? Have you read the other posts in this discussion? What can I explain?


The pop up tip just says "past" which for english speakers is confusing. The discussion here does explain it but I think that a clearer explanation on the tip would nip this in the bud and right at the start, I got a fair way in before I hit a test question that I just couldn't get past.

I would suggest that 12:15 be explained as a quarter of an hour towards 13:00.

I now think I've been misunderstanding the time at quarter intervals to / past in spoken Czech for ever :-)


We can't really do much with the hover-hints here. The hint is now set to show "quarter past twelve" for the whole "čtvrt na jednu" segment. "Na" by itself has different meanings, and "quarter past" doesn't help since it's followed by a different hour.

I recently explained this in another sentence discussion. The Czech hour system with quarters and halves always points to the next full hour, so there is no "something PAST something", unless it's just several minutes - then we can say, e.g. "pět minut po páté" (5:05 / 17:05) or simply "pět hodin a pět minut".

As an analogy, think of different units: you have a quarter of a centimeter, a half of a centimeter, three quarters of a centimeter, then a whole (one) centimeter. Same with kilograms or any other unit. Czech does the same thing with hours - you have a quarter of the (next full) hour, then a half (again, of the full hour, not past the previous hour), then three quarters, then a full hour.

  • čtvrt na pět - 16:15 / 4:15 - literally a quarter towards/"onto" five
  • půl páté - 16:30 / 4:30 - lit. half of five
  • tři čtvrtě na pět - 16:45 / 4:45 - lit. three quarters towards/"onto" five


Yes, that is clear now and perhaps I did know it many years ago but my Czech is very rusty. The Spanish duolingo has these little popup optional tips (I'm not sure what they are actually called) that explain some elements of grammar that is difficult, I would vote for having one of these for time in Czech, if that functionality is available.

Děkuji mnohokrát za vaší vysvětlení :)


I am afraid that functionality is not available to us.

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