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  5. "I do not see him but her."

"I do not see him but her."

Translation:Já nevidím jeho, ale ji.

October 1, 2017



shouldn`t it be: "já nevidím ho, ale ji."? or the translation would be: "I do not see his, but her.", what could be right under the fitting cirumstances.


I think that in this very case the only possible form would be exactly jeho instead of ho (and ji instead of ni respectively) because you're emphasizing who you're not seeing. The closest structure in English I can think of is "It's not him who I see, but her".

The same applies to my native Bulgarian when I translate the Czech sentence: Не виждам него, а нея. (Не него виждам, а нея. is even a stronger alternative). In this case you'd use both него (cz. jeho) and нея (ji) instead of their shorter counterparts го (ho) and я (ni) because you have the opposing structure [not (someone), but (someone else)].

Even a clearer way to illustrate it is using Italian (given that you're level 11 in it): Non vedo lui, ma lei. (lui inst. of lo, and lei inst. of la).

French, however, doesn't seem to have the same structure Italian does, and thus gets closer to the English way of saying it: Ce n'est pas lui que je vois, mais elle. (Je ne vois pas lui, mais elle. doesn't sound natural French to me).

However, this is only a guess by comparing both languages (given that they are Slavic), so it is best that a native speaker check it (or czech, if you may, lol).


But já ho nevidím or nevidím ho should still work, right? I used the latter and Duo does not accept it. Why is it wrong or should I report that it should be accepted?


Same thing for me. I tried "nevidím ho, ale ji", but it's incorrect...


"Nevidím ho." on its own as a standalone sentence is fine.

"Nevidím ho, ale ji." is not, because here we are stressing the pronoun so it must be "jeho". We are stressing because we are contrasting it with "ji".

Yes, "ho" comes to the second position, but that is not a magical rule that would native speakers invent to annoy foreign learners. The point is it is about stress. "Ho" is used in an unstressed position. The "second position" rule is only an aid to help you to find or identify the unstressed position in the sentence.


I wish I had come across this earlier. This is an easier explanation to digest than the second position rule in itself.


Thank you Vladimir! Your explanations are very helpful!


This is what I was missing, thank you Vladimir.


From my understanding, you can only use the short form "ho", when it is in the second position. Since it is not here, you have to use the longer form "jeho."


That depends how you write the sentence. Ho can be in the second position if you put "Nevidim ho, ale ji."


It can, but it does not work when stressed. You could maybe use it for "Nevidím ho, ale ji vidím." but it is not great either. It works well for "Nevidím ho, ale slyším ho.".


I tried "Jeho nevidím, ale ji." but I was corrected "Jeho nevidím, ale ji ano." Why do I need to add ano in this case?


It is all about the stress and here about the word before "ale". I know it is difficult. A native speaker just feels there is something missing in the sentence.

The word before ale is "jeho": we are contrasting "him" with "her". "Nevidím jeho, ale ji."

The word before ale is "nevidím": we are contrasting "not seeing" with "seeing". So grammatically possible: "Jeho nevidím, ale ji vidím." "Jeho nevidím, ale ji ano." "Jeho nevidím, ale vidím ji."(the least natural, requires strong stress on ji)


Why "Já jeho nevidím, ale ji" is incorrect ?


Yes, were are stressing jeho so it should not be in the unstressed second position, but at the end of the clause.


After reviewing all, I would say "Já ho nevidím." is okay on its own, since it is not a him/her comparison or stress situation. Yes?


"Nevidím ho, ale ji" is not accepted, but I cannot understand why.


See my answer to FrankRiswick. It is all about the stress and him is stressed here so we can't use the unstressed/clitic version "ho".


So the lesson to be drawn here is that clitics can NOT be used in a stressed/comparison situation? te (with the check) and ho?


Constant clitics (like "ho", "tě") cannot appear where stress is required. And stress is required, among many other things, when the thing being described by the word is the FOCUS of the clause. Here you are contrasting (seeing) HIM against (seeing) HER. The words for HIM and HER in this sentence must be able to bear stress and cannot be constant (obligatory) clitics.


Why is "Já jeho nevidím, ale ji" incorrect?


Him is stressed and contrasted with her, so we do not use the unstressed second position.

Also, in the unstressed second position would use ho and not jeho. But we can§t use that, because we need it stressed.


Many thanks, it starts to become clear!


Why is Nevidím ho ale ji wrong


See my answers to Frank and Rafaello. Please read existing Qs/As before asking.


"Nevidím ho,ale ji" co je tady špatně?


I wrote " ja jeho nevidim, ale ji" and it is wrong. Why ? I just wrote 2nd and 3rd places reversed


Well you can't "just" reverse places without consequences :D

The last position is the focus. Since we are contrasting two things here, we must place them in the focus position.

  • Já nevidím jeho, ale ji. - I can't see him, but I can see her.
  • Já ho nevidím, ale slyším. - I can't see him, but I can hear him.
  • Nevidím ho , ale ona. - I can't see him, but she can.

Also note that once "jeho" is not stressed anymore by moving it to the second position, we have to replace it by the unstressed form "ho".

It's possible to bypass this function of the word order, but then we must repeat the verb:

  • Já ho nevidím, ale ji vidím.
  • Or, better: Já ho nevidím, ale ji ano.

There are differences between those two and "Já nevidím jeho, ale ji", which would take a long time to explain.

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