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  5. "This fox has been eating my …

"This fox has been eating my chickens."

Translation:Tahle liška žere má kuřata.

September 13, 2017



Why is the Czech in the present tense, when the English is in a past tense?


Well, English is in Present Perfect Tense, not past. The fox has been in your coup in past up to now and very likely is going to come back. Had the fox ate them all or you managed to catch the fox, you would use real past tense in English. This fox ate my chickens.

In Czech more appropriate for this situation is present. It uses imperfect verb and it is equally impossible to tell how often it has poultry for dinner and it is likely it would come back. Czech past tense would be

Tahle liška žrala má kuřata.


Tahle liška žere má kuřata > This fox is eating my chickens. Literally this should mean that the fox is still there at your arrival, while eating ! That's why our experts have chosen this unusual passive perfect verbal form. But as we expect that this fox will not stop killing the poor animals, I would translate "is eating" anyway. As a matter of fact, the action is still going on, the problem is still there. The Dutch translation (very similar) "De vos (fox) eet mijn kippen (chickens)" never would make us think that the fox, at the moment of speaking, is still there and eating! Concerning the present continuous tense, actions which start in the past and go on now while one is speaking, cannot apply very well to sudden actions in the strict sense of the word. I am not an expert in English grammar, I confess, but "My house is been destroyed" is a passive tense not present perfect continuous, even if (now after 30years) it is still not been rebuild and I moved out due to this event. So maybe I am wrong but I fear we are a little too complicated in translating here. Could we? Thanks for considering me.


In this sentence not Czech but English is the challenge, not to say the problem.


The English is also in a present tense – present perfect continuous, which is used for actions that started in the past and are still ongoing.


Given we've only learned the present tense in Czech, I think this is a really misleading sentence to be given to translate. The implication of the English sentence is of a completed action. This fox has been eating my chickens. I have now caught this fox and killed it. I don't think, as argued in this discussion that there is an implied continued eating-of-chickens-by-fox in the future in this English sentence. The tense may be called "Present Perfect" in English, but the Perfect is as relevant as the "Present" part of that - it has been perfected or completed, so to ask us to translate it into Czech present tense doesn't really help our learning. I'm looking forward to finding out how past tenses work in Czech - as far as I can gather, the "žrala" suggested by Kacenka9 is the Czech imperfective tense, and that seems a better option for translating this thought. I am English (though not for long - I'm getting out while I can!).


This fox has eaten my chickens. would be a completed action. In "has been eating" yes, those already eaten ones are completed, but the fox may well go on and eat more of them.

Bydlím tu už dva roky. I have been living here for two years. does not suggest in any way that my living here is completed or finished.


I used tahle liska moje kurata zere and the correct translation given was tahle liska mi ji kurata. I thought zere was for animals and ji for people


It is not completely strict.

Your word order is grammatically correct. I will add it, but please be cautious, it is not very natural. It is only applicable for "This fox HAS BEEN eating my chickens." ass an answer to someone who was saying it has been not (eating them).


Tato laska ma byl zere ma kurata. Why is this wrong (apart from the accents?)


liška, not láska

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