"Why is Kateřina a good wife?"

Translation:Proč je Kateřina dobrá manželka?

September 16, 2017

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Is "Proč Kateřina je dobrá manželka?" acceptable, or does "je" need to be before "Kateřina" here?


Because it is question "JE" have to be before Kateřina.


proč je Kateřina dobrá "žena"


You cannot use žena here. It is not clear from the sentence that you mean wife. Žena typically means wife when there is a possessive pronoun before it. JEHO žena, MOJE žena, FRANTIŠKOVA žena. There are very few sentences where you could say žena and mean a wife and it would come out with that meaning in the absence of possession. For example "Čeká na ženu". He is wating for a woman". In English it is some unknown woman, in Czech in this particular sentence if it was some unknown woman one would actually use the word SOME. Čeká na NĚJAKOU ženu. But that is an exception. Follow the possession rule and you should be fine.


Why not "ta dobrá"?


Because there is no reason for that, you wouldn't say the good wife either.


Ok. In English, the article "a" is used often, and is discarded in this sentence. The arrangement/inclusion of small words between languages is one thing that gives me the most trouble. For example, languages like Spanish not only include their version of the English article "a", but sometimes include their version of "the" more frequently (i.e., "El, "Ella," "Los", "Las" than we would in English.

Is it safe to assume that in Czech, we can generally drop any translation of the English article, "a"?


As a general rule, I'd say you'd be pretty safe using "a" in English when no demonstrative is used in Czech.

There is no equivalent to the English article "a" in Czech. If there is no demonstrative in the Czech sentence, "a" would be accepted on the English side. Depending on the context, "the" might also be accepted, especially when it is clear, or reasonably so, from the Czech sentence that some specific thing is (or may be) being considered. (That's a bit tricky here, of course, because context is not always apparent...)


Does in Czech questions work the same as in English? I thought that you only need to put a question mark just as in Spanish. Does a native Czech can tell me please if "proč Kateřina je dobrá manželka" is commonly used?


The question word order in Czech is closer to English than to Spanish, but not as strict.

Yes and no questions (such as "Je František mladý?" - "Is František young?") usually place the verb at the beginning. But simply adding the question mark to a normal (declarative) word order is also okay ("František je mladý?"), although it works better for confirming rather than asking new information.

In questions that begin with a question word (why? when? who? what?), we usually place the verb right after the question word, just like in English, i.e. "Proč je Kateřina dobrá manželka?" - there is also a rule that certain words must be in the second position and one of them is the verb "být" (to be) when used as a copula (something IS something) or an auxiliary. With other verbs, other word orders are possible, e.g.:

  • Kde pracuje František? (Where does František work?) - neutral/default question
  • Kde ten František pracuje? (I wonder where (that) František works...?) - requires a specific voice melody
  • František pracuje kde? - As for František - where does he work?
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