"Yesterday the doors of sixteen apartments were open."
Translation:Včera byly dveře šestnácti bytů otevřené.
The order is just strange. There is no clitic that would require the second position here but still "byly" probably wants to stay there because "dveře šestnácti bytů" is really long. Other speakers may find it fine though, sometimes it is enough to read the sentence aloud several times in a row and it will start to feel more acceptable...
Just: "Dveře šestnácti bytů byly otevřené." is perfectly fine.
In trying to say the doors of 16 apartments--dvere z sestnacti bytu. One correct answer omits a translated word for "of." Is it understood as for/pro would be with cekam? Also, Tom's original question in this thread has me confused, too. Would it not make sense to place were and open closer together?
For me the issue is that the verb (byly otevřene) is split by the dveře šestnacti bytu, which is pretty long, and could in some cases be even longer (the doors of 16 new apartments on the fourth floor... etc.). So splitting the verb and forcing the reader to wait to the end of the sentence to find out what happened to the doors is a bit much. For more on this issue read Mark Twain's wonderful story: The awful German language...
You would need another number there to use "bylo": "Včera bylo šestnáct dveří šestnácti bytů otevřených" (which is quite excessive) - and notice that both "dveře" and "otevřené" have to be in genitive.
"Dveře (bytů) byly otevřené" vs. "Několik/mnoho/šestnáct dveří (bytů) bylo otevřených"
What English expresses using "of", Czech usually does using the genitive.
door = dveře, byt = apartment
the door of an apartment = dveře bytu (genitive)
the doors of apartments = dveře bytů (genitive plural)
Numbers decline just like nouns do:
the doors of 2/3/4/5/6 apartments = dveře dvou/tří/čtyř/pěti/šesti bytů
For numbers 5 to 19, we just add -i in every case other than nominative and accusative (and 9 changes slightly: devět -> devíti). Smaller numbers are a bit wacky and their declensions need to be learned separately.
The bare subject-verb sentence here is "Dveře byly" (Doors were) – the subject is "dveře" (feminine plural), so that goes with "byly" (feminine plural). Then "šestnácti bytů" (of 16 apartments) is all in genitive and attached to the main noun "dveře".
If, on the other hand, you wanted to say "Sixteen doors were open", the main noun and subject in the Czech sentence would be the numeral (since it's bigger than 5): "Šestnáct dveří bylo otevřených" - notice now that "šestnáct" is in the nominative, "bylo" is in agreement with it (neuter singular), and "dveří" as well as "otevřených" have to be in the genitive.