Could "Is that a young goat?" be acceptable? I suppose that may be better expressed as, "Je to koza mladá?" but it seems both are probably acceptable translations.
Not really, it would be "Je to mladá koza?". In this case, use of demonstrative "to" depends on what you want to emphasize
- We see an animal for the first time. What is it?
Je TO mladá koza? (literally "Is that a young goat?")
- We have a goat. Is it young?
Je ta koza MLADÁ? (literally "Is that goat young?")
Just to add up if someone still don't undestand the difference in English:
- Is that a young goat?
No, that is a young sheep.
Is that goat young?
- No, that goat is old.
I had the same concern and am still unsure whether our "is that a young goat" translation could be accepted, but I see what you mean and agree that it's not as good of a translation...
yes, it definitely would work translating into English. The two statements say the exact same thing in English. The lack of articles create a difference perhaps in czech statements, but, if I see a goat and want to know its age, I can absolutely say "is that goat young?" OR "is that a young goat?" they express the same exact meaning
I must admit as a native English (not American) speaker of 70 odd years I cannot see the distinction drawn by JanLyko. I would use the questions "is that a young goat" and "is that goat young" interchangeably regardless of whether I had seen it before. I would suggest that the latter is more emphatic than the former. So I am still not sure why the former is not correct. I also cannot see why the use of "to" would make a difference
The two sentences are virtually the same in meaning, but their grammar is rather different. In 'is that a young goat', the word 'that' is a demonstrative pronoun that stands on its own, so to speak. In 'is that goat is young' the word 'that' is a demonstrative adjective that immediately precedes the noun it modifies.
Futhermore, in 'is that goat young', the adjective 'young' is a predicate adjective that does not directly modify a noun, whereas in 'is that a young goat', the word 'young' is an attributive adjective that comes directly before (not after!) the noun it modifies.
Do not fall into the trap of thinking that because two sentences mean the same thing that they are the 'same'. Compare, for example: 1. I am John. 2. My name is John. 3. I am called John.
Each of these two different English sentences has its own different gtranslation into Czech. So there is no reason to count the two sentences as identical. Quite the contrary.
If it is already known that what you are looking at IS in fact a goat, then the two sentences will result in the same general meaning.
However, that does not mean that the two forms are the same and can be used interchangeably. The first form clarifies that the subject is in fact "a young goat", while the second form asks if the subject (which must be a goat) is young or not.
To illustrate, imagine a small child holds up a picture of a farm scene and points to a scribble.
You say "Is that a young goat?", they smile and say, "No, of course not, that is a pile of hay!"
Alternately you say, "Is that goat young?", they frown and say, "What goat?"
I'm somewhat confused by the confusion over this translation. There is a definite difference between the sentences "Je ta koza mladá?" and "Je to mladá koza?"
The difference exists in both Czech and English, and it comes down to word order. And in this case, we get a bonus in the form of literal translations that both match up well and make perfect sense:
Je ta koza mladá? = Is that/the goat young?
Je to mladá koza? = Is that/it a young goat?