"Which books are they interested in?"

Translation:O které knihy se zajímají?

October 1, 2017

This discussion is locked.


"Které knihy je zajímají?" cannot be right sentence.


But how? Plural "knihy" with single "je"?


In "Které knihy je zajímají?" the word "je" is not a verb but a pronoun. In this sentence "je" is accusative of "oni/ony/ona"(=they- them).


I'm really confused about why some of these examples are "je zajimaji" and some are "se zajimaji"


I'm also just learning but this is how it seems to work. For this sentence you have two possibilities, either "They are interested in the books" or "The books interest them". For the first one you have "They" as subjects so you have to use "se zajímají o", to say that they themselves are the ones interested in something: "O knihy se zajímají". For the second option "The books" are the subjects, since they are doing the action of being interesting, so you only use "zajímají". And who are they being interesting to? Them, so "je". "Knihy je zajímají".


And, 'Which books interest them?' is IMHO more elegant English, even if it borders on personifying the books. Které knihy je zajímají?


"Které knihy je zajímají?" is also accepted.


There was a rule (for English) when I was young "Never end a sentence with a preposition"!


I am no longer young and the rule no longer applies. Old habits, however die hard!


If there would be just one book , then "O kterou knihu se zajímají"?


just to note that google translate gives 'o které knihy mají zájem' = 'which books are they interested in' and 'o kterou knihu se zajímají' = 'which book are they interested in'. Is it random or is there any grammatical/usage explanation for the different forms depending on whether book is singular or plural in this case?


Do not ever trust Google Translate for anything serious. For many languages it just returns random crap. And their AI does not know anything about grammar, it is just pattern matching.


As others have said, Google cannot be relied upon, especially not for anything that's the least bit complicated. But, no, the constructions that Google presented have nothing to do with the characteristics of the object.

There are just several ways in Czech to convey the idea of being interested in someone or something, just like there are in English. We can say, for example, "I am interested in those books" OR "Those books interest me" OR "I have an interest in those books" in English -- they all mean essentially the same thing, ultimately, though that message is conveyed through different grammatical approaches. Czech has several similar options... and I won’t attempt to address them here! :-)


yeah GT is terrible! even for non-serious things most of the time.


be interested in something - zajímat se o něco

Various verbs require various prepositions.


To EstaJohnst1. "O" means "About". About which books are they interested? 11.26.2020.


neni "knihy" případ akustiky tady? jsem myslela to je "knihu?"


It is plural, so accusative is knihy, knihu is singular.

BTW, "accusative case" in Czech is either just "akuzativ", or "čtvrtý pád".


Why is "Které knihy zajímají je" not accepted?


This changes the focus to the persons. We know what WE are interested in but what about THEM?

I guess we can add it, it is just important to realize the different meaning.


'O ktere knihy zajimaji se' or is this a strange word order?


The second position rule for se.


"Se" is in the second position here? I'm confused


Yes, still the second position. "o které knihy" is a single unit, you can't divide that in any way.


I had the correct answer


If you didn't use the Report button, no one knows what your answer was.


I'm slightly confused by this sentence being marked correct (according to the correction prompt: "O které knihy se zajímají?" I'm really only beginning to grasp the basics of Czech grammar, and my vocabulary is terrible, but what's going on here? How can a nominative follow a preposition? I thought "o" took the locative (lokál).


It's not the nominative, it's the accusative -- (which looks the same as the nominative for all plural nouns accept masculine animate).

The preposition "o" can take the locative or the accusative. With the locative, it primarily means "about". With the accusative, it has various other functions, some verbs require it:

  • zajímat se o +ACC -- to be interested in
  • starat se o +ACC -- to look after, to take care of
  • být o +ACC starší/delší/menší/etc. než... -- to be (some amount) older/longer/smaller/etc. than...

Whereas the locative meaning is more or less uniform:

  • mluvit o +LOC -- to speak about something
  • číst (+ACC) o +LOC -- to read (something) about something
  • slyšet +ACC o +LOC -- to hear something about something
  • myslet si +ACC o +LOC -- to think something about something
  • vědět (+ACC) o +LOC -- to know (something) about something
  • zpívat o +LOC -- to sing about something
  • etc. etc., and of course nouns, such as "kniha o +LOC" -- a book about something


Thank you for explaining. It makes sense now.

And come to think of it, there are plenty of other sentences I've been practicing where "o" takes the accusative using zajímat se and starat se.

I'll chalk this down to a momentary brain lapse on my part.


Yeah, I was thinking that you must have come across "o +ACC", that's how it's introduced earlier in the course. Only later you learn the locative, so you probably let that new knowledge momentarily override the old knowledge :) I'm glad it's clear now.

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