"How many women loved you?"

Translation:Kolik žen tě milovalo?

September 11, 2017

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Why is it ¨milovalO¨ and not ¨milovalY¨ since it is more than one woman?


Mám stejnou otazku.


You use neuter with kolik. Kolik substitutes the subject in the sentence here. "žen" cannot be the subject of the sentence as it it in the genitive case.


OK, so I get that kolik becomes the subject, but why is it singular, since it would almost always be referring to multiple "doers". Why milovalo and not milovala?


I guess that you use the word “Kolik” in singular only, and since it subordinates the actual subject of the question, it is only natural that you put the verb in neuter, even though the actual subject may be plural and female, for example.


Yes, it's the same with any expressions of amount other than 1,2,3,4:

Mnoho žen mě milovalo. Několik mužů mě milovalo. Pět žen mě nenávidělo. Hodně mužů mě nenávidělo.

(As opposed to, e.g. Dvě ženy mě milovaly, tři muži mě nenáviděli.)


Yes. The only other quantities, other than 1 to 4, that it doesn't apply to are ALL and NONE: Všichni muži mě milovali. Žádné ženy mě nemilovaly.


Thanks a lot for pointing it out. At least for numbers I could remember it partially, but good to know that it applies for all quantities.


I like to think of "kolik" as meaning "what number of" instead of "how many." For one, it really helps keep perspective on why it takes the genitive, and second, for understanding how the verb agrees with the subject. With "how many women," women seems like the subject and what the verb should agree with. Contrast that with "What number of women..." The subject is "number"


I think i remember there being a sentence that also started with kolik and ended with the subject that was asked for. So i'm wondering: why can't i say "kolik tě milovalo žen?"?...... Or is the Problem the position of tě here and "kolik milovalo tě žen?" would work?

Thx in advance for your help!


No, your sentence is correct. The difference as usual lies in what is being emphasized: Kolik žen tě MILOVALO? vs Kolik tě milovalo ŽEN?

It has been missing, which is embarrassing. I've added it to the list of acceptable translations.

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