1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Czech
  4. >
  5. "Proč nenosíte bílé oblečení?"

"Proč nenosíte bílé oblečení?"

Translation:Why do you not wear white clothes?

September 16, 2017



The translation should either be ”Why do you NOT wear white clothes?” or “Why DON'T you wear white clothes”, but not *“ Why do NOT you wear white clothes?”.


"Why aren't you wearing white clothes" was marked incorrect. Is there another way to say this?


Please refer to the notes; they say that “nosíte” only means “you (usually) wear,” and that “you are wearing (now)” will be the topic of a future lesson.


can this be translated as "why are you not wearing white clothes"? If not, what should the czech translation of "why are you not wearing white clothes" be?


Read the Tips and Notes. You cannot translate this particular Czech verb using the English contiuous form.


I second the above comments - I think 'why aren't you wearing white clothes' should be an accepted answer.


Read the Tips and Notes. You cannot translate this particular Czech verb using the English contiuous form.


The English translation here is really inconsistent. As Laszlo.Sc pointed out, the offered translation "Why do not you wear white clothes" is wrong. Furthermore, attempting to answer "Why do you not wear white clothes" is rejected and the user is suggested to answer "clothing" rather than "clothes". However, if a contraction is used, ("Why don't you wear white clothes") the answer "clothes" is accepted.


and "máte na sobě" as opposed to "nenosíte" would mean why are you not wearing white clothes(right now) correct?


So "clothing" can be substituted for "clothes". Right??


Yes, both are accepted here.

To my native AmE ear, "clothing" sounds a little more... maybe sophisticated? formal? ... than "clothes," but they are used similarly: "Why are your clothes so dirty" -- "Why is your clothing so dirty?" In the US, at least, "clothes" is probably more common in everyday speech.


Why "bilé" and not "bilá". I suppose oblečení can be considered plural (clothes/pieces of clothes)?


According to my dictionary oblečení is neuter singular, like náměstí or nádraží. Maybe it's better to think of it as “clothing,” even if you would translate it by “clothes.”

This explains the adjective form bílý / bĺlá / bílé.


Oblečení is actually both singular and plural. You can see the full declension at the link below; it's a handy resource. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/oble%C4%8Den%C3%AD


Thank you for the declension scheme (which is the same as for nádraží). But while I can see what the plural of nádraží (train stations) means I have problems seeing what the plural of oblečení means, given that the singular already has a plural meaning.

Does the singular mean the clothing/clothes of one person and the plural that of several persons?

So if, e.g., František had bílé oblečení and so had Kateřina, would we talk collectively about their bílá [plural] oblečení?


Well, the plural for oblečení is really uncommon and seems to me a bit like sheeps or fishes in English. It refers to various kinds of clothing. It is unlikely to be used just for several items, but I am sure you will find an example of anything. Those items would have to be very different:

"(dva muži) ... postupně zapózovali v několika oblečeních včetně starověkých nebo pyžama a županů." "(two men) successively posed in several types of clothing including an ancient one or pyjamas and bathrobes."


Děkuji mnohokrát!


So grammatically, in normal use (like in our sentence here!) it would be (almost always) used as a singular noun. That is important to know. Thanks a lot to our precious helpers, Duolingo Czech is the best !


For the record, note that the English word "clothes" was originally the plural form of "cloth". (Nowadays the plural of "cloth" is "cloths".)


My guess would be that in the singular, we might be referring to just one article of clothing. To me, using the word "clothes" or "clothing" to refer to one item is an odd concept in English, but maybe Czech behaves differently. (Or my guess is totally wrong.)

In any case, I think your question is probably better addressed by one of the Czech natives on the team!

Learn Czech in just 5 minutes a day. For free.