"I do not think about it."

Translation:Nemyslím na to.

September 28, 2017

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

My answer-- ‘Já nemyslím na to -- was considered incorrect. Why is that?


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

the simple answer is that it looks and sounds very foreign. unfortunately, going beyond simple gets tricky fast, as it ventures straight into one of the two most frustrating areas of czech grammar for foreign learners.

the issue is that outside of sentence-initial positions, the pronomial "to" (i.e., one used instead of a noun rather than with one) and its combinations with prepositions behave like weak enclitics. they want to sit in the second position in the clause, after the first unit of meaning. (they are weak because when more enclitics cluster up in that slot, they tend to go as the last ones.) maybe a few examples without clustering:

  • Na to nemyslím. and Na to já nemyslím. and even Na to nemyslím já. are all ok because "na to" is not an obligatory enclitic. it can start a clause.
  • Nemyslím na to. is ok, second position.
  • Já na to nemyslím. ditto

but

  • Já nemyslím na to. has "na to" in the third slot and that makes it sound really foreign. it is similar to Já nevidím ho.

czechs do not make this mistake, even if most of us can't explain what the mistake consists of. we are not taught about obligatory or weak enclitics in grade school, and most of us never learn what those might be. somehow we feel our way through it, get it through osmosis. (and here is where the course has two alternatives. start accepting the foreign word order just to avoid debating it over and over, or let the student fail repeatedly and eventually figure it out by feel.)

if you google "já nemyslím na to" in books, you will find hits, but they will all continue the sentence, often with a subordinate clause describing the "it" that i don't think about. this is done to avoid separating the subordinate clause from the "to" that it depends on.

  • Já nemyslím na to, že padnu. (I am not thinking about being killed.)
  • Já nemyslím na to, co by řekl můj kardiolog. (I don't think about what my cardiologist would say.)

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

Thank you for your VERY informative reply. Once I manage to digest it all, I should get the word order right in the future! (Doufám.)


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

Having landed here again only because someone else posted something to this SD, I re-read your excellent comment and have a new question.

You wrote, "...it ventures straight into one of the two most frustrating areas of czech grammar for foreign learners." So now my inquiring mind wants to know: What is the second one? Have I just not encountered it yet, or have I already nailed it without realizing it? :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/haf911

Wow! Having something marked as wrong because it's sounds foreign in a beginners class is just... wow!


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

yes, it was incorrect for me too


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

I asked my Czech wife how you say this and she said 'nemyslim o tom', yet you say it's wrong??


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

"o tom" is not accusative case. But this lesson dedicated to accusative. Therefore "na to" uses here

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