"Nesmíš tam, protože neumíš plavat."

Translation:You cannot go there because you do not know how to swim.

October 3, 2017

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I think 'You aren't allowed there because you don't know how to swim' would be equally grammatical and closer to the original Czech.


same question, where is the "to go" implied by the czech sentence?


The verb "go" is implied by the word "tam" in the Czech sentence. "Go" does not appear explicitly. But the English translation requires it.

Cf. German "Ich muss nach Hause" = I must GO home.


Sammka, the problem with your suggestion is that "tam" implies motion -- in other words, "to there". So some sort of verb of "going" is implied.


So what would be the word used if you were speaking to someone who was already in the deep end? "tamhle?" I thought "tam" would work in that situation as well.


Is that actually true though? "Tam" has always just meant "there" without an implication of motion. For example, "Já jsem tady, a ty jsi tam." "Kam" on the other hand, "to where" does imply motion. Could that be what you mean?


"Tam" looks the same in its direction (motion) and location (position) variants:

  • Kde? Tam.
  • Kam? Tam.

In this sentence, it's the direction one though.

  • You cannot go there. - Nesmíš tam.
  • You cannot come here. - Nesmíš sem.
  • Where can't I go? - Kam nesmím?


In an earlier lesson there was a similar sentence -- "Psi sem smějí," I believe it was -- and the English translation was "Dogs are allowed here," WITHOUT a "going" verb.

So I translated this one as "You're not allowed there because you don't know how to swim." That was considered incorrect, with the translation in this case REQUIRING the "going" verb. (The correct translation that I was offered was "You're not allowed TO GO there because you don't know how to swim," with "to go" underlined.)

Can someone please explain why "to go" is required in one sentence but not in the other, when the sentences appear pretty much the same? Thanks! (I have reported this, just in case...)


Did anyone ever get an answer to this? Would be great to know.


No, I've just given myself another in-my-head translation of "allowed to be there" to explain the use of tam and moved on. Will I remember this if I need to write a similar sentence? We'll see! :-)


Could I have said... You aren't allowed to go there because you can't swim?


"You are not allowed to go there because you cannot swim" is accepted. The contractions here should be accepted automatically, since they are standard contractions.


Ok, so I'm splitting a hair here but I need to define "umet" a bit more for myself. I put "You cannot go there because you don't swim." Counted wrong. But if you don't know how to swim, you don't swim. In context of using it with ANOTHER VERB (as in this case) does it HAVE to be translated/defined as KNOW HOW TO or DON'T KNOW HOW TO? Other examples: "Umis jezdit na kole?" or "Na koni jezdit neumim". Can you translate "Can you ride a bicycle" or "I can't ride a horse" (both which imply not having the skill to do so).


I believe "don't" is marked incorrect because it would imply you have a choice in the matter. It's true that "if you don't know how to swim, you don't swim," but the reason you don't swim is a lack of ability, so you would use "umět." If you don't swim because you don't like to, don't feel like it, or whatever, i believe that you would simply use "neplavat."

It's an interesting question though. If someone asked me on English, "do you swim," and i answered, "no, i don't swim," they wouldn't know whether it's because i can't or just don't. I wonder if in Czech there is a way to answer this ambiguously as well. My guess would be "ne, neplavu," and they would simply know I don't swim, but not why.


FWIW, my guess would be the same as yours. :-)


Saying "neplavu" is possible, and only slightly ambiguous, it most likely means "I don't practice swimming", not "I don't know how to swim". Since we have the verb "umět", we normally choose to say "neumím" (as opposed to "nechci" or "dnes neplavu, ale plavat umím" or other possibilities).

Already the question "Plaveš?" would be interpreted as "Do you go swimming (regularly)?" and not as "Can you swim?". Of course, it could also mean "Are you swimming right now?" but the context for taht question is hard to imagine. More common questions are: "Umíš plavat?" and "Chodíš plavat?".


I have added "...you do not swim." It's a possible way in English although it's ambiguous.

Since there is not "umět" in English, we have accept a lot of possible ways of saying it (albeit not accurately).

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