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  5. "No, I am Matěj."

"No, I am Matěj."

Translation:Ne, Matěj jsem já.

October 6, 2017



Are there any rules that govern word order in Czech, like in German the verb must occupy 2nd position in the sentence? Or is it entirely free such that "ne, jsem já Matěj" be an equally valid translation?


It is something between and frustratingly complex. Some words, which usually are not verbs, occupy the 2nd position. Other components (not necessarily single words but rather independent pieces) can be arranged in whichever order works for what the known information is, what is being newly communicated, and the things in between.

"Ne, jsem já Matěj." is not a valid order. Even if we removed the "Ne" piece, it would still be wrong. It has to do with the weird order "jsem já" being followed by the verb complement. In general, all orders VERB-SUBJECT PRONOUN-COMPLEMENT are highly suspect in Czech statements, although they work in questions, like "Jí on maso?"

You may want to read https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/31466920 and https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/29817569.

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I wonder why "Ne, já jsem Matěj" is not accepted as answer.


It should be. It is among accepted translations


Which would sound more natural to a native speaker and, if there's a reason, why?


The difference between those two sentences lies in emphasis (general rule: the most important information is at the end of the sentence.)

Ne, já jsem MATĚJ. vs

Ne, Matěj jsem JÁ.


"Ne, já jsem Matěj" - it's answer on question "Are you Petr?" No, I am Matěj. Vs. "Ne, Matěj jsem já." - it's answer on question "You are Matěj?" and another boy reply "No, it's me - I am Matěj"


Why is jsem used sometimes and ja jsem other times?


Using "ja" isn't strictly necessary because the verb is conjugated; it is usually a for emphasis or contrast. "Jsem Matej" is a neutral statement identifying himself; "Ja jsem Matej" is an emphatic statement (I am Matej, not someone else - see above on word order) or a contrast when there is more than one subject - "On je Frantisek, a ja jsem Matej."


How would you write "I am not Matěj." "Nejsam Matěj" or "Já nejsam Matěj"? Also, does "He is not Matěj." = "On není Matěj." ?

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