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  5. "Co je to, děvče nebo chlapec…

"Co je to, děvče nebo chlapec?"

Translation:What is it, a girl or a boy?

September 12, 2017



Why is "co" used instead of "kdo"? Are not boy and girl animate objects, like in English?


In English, if you were asking about someone's new baby, you would ask "What is it, girl or boy?", not "Who is it, girl or boy:, which is completely nonsensical.


So are chlapec, hoch and kluk basically interchangeable?


Sorta. Chlapec is more adolescent than a kluk. And hoch sounds sorta archaic.


There is nothing adolescent about chlapec. They are completely interchangeable. The use depends mostly on speaker's location. Chlapec is slightly more 'proper', used more in Moravia. You would rarely hear it in Prague outside of media. Hoch is archaic but again might be used at some locations.


Would "What is it, a girl or boy?" (instead of "What is it, a girl or a boy?") work to as a translation?


Yes, you could just try yourself.


What is the different about jaké and co?


jaký(á,é) - what kind of?asking for some characteristics or properties

co - what? asking for some object

který - which? a selection


Why is 'what are they' not acceptable?


The singular they is extremely confusing when used in language courses unless used in sentences where it makes a clear sense. Learners WILL get confused by that. That does not have anything to do with the fact whether the authors of this course personally do or do not use singular they .

I am not aware of any language corpus that would support a significant usage of singular they in this sentence, but you are welcome to show otherwise.


"Co je to? JE TO! Co je to? JE TO! Co je to?..."

I'm hopin like-minded music folk see what I'm transcribing.


"What is it...", "Which is it..." How about simply "Is it a boy or a girl?"


That is a different sentence. "Je to kluk, nebo holka?"


Duolingo gives "which", "what" or "that" as translations of "co". "What is that," would be a very rude way of saying it, so "which is that" would be better English unless the Czech is intentionally rude, which I don't think is the intention... so I reported it as a problem


Nothing to do with rudeness. That's just how Czech works - other Slavic languages, too. No need to report it, because it is not a "mistake".


John when looking at a baby and asking about its gender, English speakers say "What is it?" all the time. A few may say "Which is it?" instead. No one would say "Who is it? " in that situation


I am not sure what do you mean. WHAT IS THAT. means CO JE TO in Czech. THAT can mean many different things.

It is the one THAT I like = To je ten, CO se mi líbí. In this sentence it is translated as CO.

Nothing rude about either.


@ JohnFKoen Not all languages are like English. In both German and Czech "the child" is neuter/it, has a neuter article. You do not use masculine or feminine articles, or pronouns, when speaking about a child unless you are speaking about a specific gender. Such as "the girl", "the boy"...


It is awkward to say "what is it, a girl or a boy?" It is correct in English to ask, "Which is it,..." and my answer should be accepted.


In English people ask/use "what" for this questions. When referring to a baby. As in: "what is it, a boy or a girl?" At least I have not heard, or read anything but "what" being used for this.


What is your source for calling it awkward?


I'm an English teacher and a book editor. I have a large number of books on grammar and style, which in the course of editing books I have read thoroughly. So my source is myself, and my accumulated experience, but if you have a good argument for why "Which is it..." should not be accepted, I'd be happy to hear it. I didn't say that "What is it" is incorrect, but it is awkward.


Well, I was asking for the source for the awkwardness, because elsewhere in this thread you can find native English speakers (ion1122 is on of them) confirming that "What is it..." is the default, most frequent form.

But I added "Which is it..." as an accepted variant.

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