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  5. "Co to čteš?"

"Co to čteš?"

Translation:What are you reading?

September 11, 2017



There's no difference between "co čteš?" and "co to čteš" in meaning or in situation.


so what's the purpose of "to"?


It is an interjection making some stress.


There is a little difference. Normal question would sound "Co čteš?" The sentence "Co to čteš?" shows more stress and some negative prejudice to the answer. Maybe it could be translated like "What the hell are you reading?" - it is not exact, but can give an impression about the difference.


or you could use "to" when refering to an exact thing - when you see someone reading something - you'd ask "Co to čteš?" - here "something" being "to", the question does not necessarily have to be meant negativly. "Co čteš?" is more vague - you might use this question asking someone what book they are currently reading (not dirrectly at the moment) or possibly what books do they like to reead in general


Can you use "to" more generally, e. g. can you ask "co to chtějí" instead of "co chtějí"


Is this some kind of "What is that that you read?". Otherwise why the "to"?


Maybe little bit, but not completely. The to is more or less an emphasizing particle with some remnants of the original meaning. The full "What is that that you read?" would be more complicated.


I wrote "what are you reading there?" and it was marked wrong. "What are you reading there?" can sound positive or negative in English depending on how they said. It seems like this is a viable translation for "co to čteš?". As a native English speaker when I hear "what is that you read?" or more usually "what is that you're reading?" (present continuous form), it comes across as negative and some sort of suspicion involved on the part or the questioner.


There is no "there" in the Czech sentence, and no need for it in the English sentence. It is, of course, fine that you find it useful to include it when you ask a question like this, but it is not accepted in this translation exercise.


Could you translate “What are you reading there?” as “Co čteš to?” or as “Co čteš tam?”?


Co tam čteš?

Placing "tam" final is only possible in some very specific context. E.g., you are checking multiple sources, books, papers, etc. and you are asking What are you reading THERE? (as opposed to the other sources we are checking).

"Co to čteš?" is just stronger "Co čteš?". However, the emphasizing particle "to" must be in the second position.


Thank you! Sorry, I mistook “to” for “tu”. “Co čteš tu?” is what I was trying to ask. Is this a possible alternative to “Co tady čteš?” Or would it be “Co tu čteš?”?


That sounds more like a reprimand to a person that should be somewhere else and not sitting here and reading.

And "tu" must again be in the second position.

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