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  5. "Jeho kniha není o ničem."

"Jeho kniha není o ničem."

Translation:His book isn't about anything.

September 17, 2017

14 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pandulicka

Takhle věta mi příjde dost hrozná i v češtině. Jsem uvažovala, jestli je ta kniha o ničem, nebo jestli je dobrá :-) Pochopila jsem, že ta kniha je vcelku dobrá... A jak by byl anglický překlad věty: "Jeho kniha je o ničem." His book is about nothing? Ale to by mi tam zas vycházelo, že by mohla být i negace ve slovesu a bylo by i: His book is not about anything. Teď v tom mám šílený zmatek...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kacenka9

It is to show you that there is such a thing as double negative in Czech. In this case his book is about something, the double negation work like math.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zubkov318

But the proposed English translation is "not about anything". It seems to me that it is not equal to "about something". I think "not about anything" is equal to "about nothing". For example the similar construction: "I have nothing to eat" = "I do not have anything to eat".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zubkov318

I thaught about double negation (it is familiar to me from Russian). It does not work like math here (as in English). Becuase it would be positive then. And it is used because we cannot say positive sentences with words like "nikoho", "nikdy", "ničem" etc. And they need to be accompanied by additional negation. So instead of "tam je nikdo" it should be "tam není nikoho". Instead of "to bylo nikdy" should be "to nebylo nikdy". And instead of "je o ničem" should be "není o ničem".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlenaBuluskova

Czech native speaker correction: So instead of "tam je nikdo" it should be "tam není nikdo". But we would say: "tam nikdo není".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zubkov318

Thank you for correction. It looks to me that Russian is more free in word ordering so I mistakes here sometimes. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BoneheadBass

I've heard from a native Czech speaker -- who may have been only partly joking -- that if there's one "negative" in a sentence, you just go on "negativing" as much as you can, to make the point!

As I understand it, the negatives don't cancel each other out as in English. Instead, they support one another. Very tricky to get used to, coming from English...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HughLomas

This is an awkward one as an English speaker. A direct translation from mousing over the hints provides "His book isn't about nothing", which would directly mean "His book is about something".

The only difference between the solution "His book isn't about anything" and the mouseover translation "His book isn't about nothing" are the words anything/nothing, which are complete opposites. This is confusing.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VladaFu

To nemusí být moderní přenesené "být o níčem"="not to be cool".

Klidně to může být původní doslovný význam. Ta kniha nemá žádné téma.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Makevil

that sounds so off to me, an English and Russian speaker... Can't I really just say "Jeho kniha není o čem"? Wouldn't it mean the same?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/endless_sleeper

You can't say such sentence in Czech.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zubkov318

The issue when comparing to Russian is because we do no use verb "být" in such sentences. That is why double negation here looks somewhat confusing at the first sight. But this works here as well as with other verbs. If you substitute another verb here, it should probably be easier to understand: "Его книга не содержит ничего".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/xxx393713

Jeho kniha je o ničem a nebo Jeho kniha není o něčem. To je jediná možnost jak tuto větu v češtině vyjádřit.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VladaFu

"je o ničem" je silně kolokviální

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