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  5. "What are you looking at?"

"What are you looking at?"

Translation:Na co se díváš?

October 26, 2017



Isn't "se" suppose to always be in second position of a sentence ?


It strongly competes for that position, but you have to first identify what "first position" actually is. You seem to have wanted "Na se co díváš?", and that tells me you think the first position is automatically the first word in the sentence. Pasting here from the discussion linked by VladaFu:

But what is the “first position”? In Czech, it is not necessarily just one word. For example, we could [...] have

  • Jeho krásná žena ho už nemiluje.
  • Jeho krásná žena, pro kterou by modré z nebe snesl, ho už nemiluje.

The key there is that we need to be “done” with the first coherent piece of the sentence, even if it takes a subordinate clause to get there. So

  • ???Jeho krásná ho žena už nemiluje.

is wrong because (“jeho krásná“ what?) we clearly were not done with that first piece. Identifying the end of the first complete constituent of the sentence should not feel entirely strange to an English speaker. “His beautiful does not love him wife anymore.” or “His does not love him anymore beautiful wife.” should feel ill-formed as well. The subject was not finished when we rushed in with the predicate.


The correct answer on mine used hledíš from the verb hledět:

"Ty heldíš na co?"

Is this related to hledat?


hledíš - a more bookish variant of "díváš se" or "koukáš (se)".


Co se diváš na ? was my answer. Why is this not accepted ?


Prepostions at the end don't really work in Czech, that is a specialty of English. There must generally be an object that folows the preposition.


I didn't realise it is an English specialty, this explains so much about languages!! Thank you.


Thank you I - and I am old- was taught to never end a sentence with a preposition. Things have changed but don't do it in a formal project - like a research paper.


It is fine even in a research paper.


As an experienced author and occasional copy editor, I have to disagree. Some readers are still bothered by sentences that end with prepositions; therefore, I urge writers to avoid such constructions. All rules, including this one, can be broken if one has a good reason. However, writers should be aware that they are breaking normal rules and make sure that they have a good reason for doing so.


This is the type of arrant pedantry up with which I will not put.


I feel your pain. I was marked incorrect numerous times in previous lessons for using proper, yet awkward not-ending-in-preposition phrases, even when transating to English. However, now we know that'a just not a rule in Czech. These people do an amazing job with this app, and in these forums, so it's totally worth occasionally ending an English sentence incorrectly with a preposition.


OK, good to know.

  • 657

It would be nice to have this info in the Tips.


I got this sentence in a multiple choice excercice but with a wording that is slightly different from the one on top of this page: Na co se to dívate? I have to confess that I don't understand the role of "to" here. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!


To is here a particle that makes the sentence stronger. It has no direct translation. Compare with: Now, what you are looking at? You also would not translate now in a literal way as "teď, nyní", it also mostly just stresses something. But it is certainly not the same as the "to".


Ah, ok, now I understand. I suppose it is something similar to the modal particles in German. Thanks for your help.


Is there another combination from the one obove to say What are you looking at in Czech. That is different from na co se divas?


There are many forms for almost all sentences in this course, typically hundreds. Heck, many of them were or are mentioned in this very discussion although I have now deleted some of the obsolete threads.


Could you please give me one for na co se divas. Thanks in Advance


Díváš se na co?

For alternative accepted words please read the discussion.


i did. But ok. I will ask someone else,


Could someone help explain why we don't need a 'to' here? If we did/could add one, how/where would we put it? Thanks!


As I understand it, to is the demonstrative like that/those. This sentence is asking about an object rather than identifying one with the demonstrative.


I wrote "na co ty se diváš" and got marked wrong, with the correct solution "Na co se díváte?". I reported my reply as "should be accepted". Or is anything else wrong with my answer - maybe the ty? Thanks


In your sentence ''se'' is not in the second place, that is the issue. ''na co'' is the first group so ''se'' has to follow. Then you can say ''na co se divaš'' or 'na co se ty divaš'' but not what you wrote. ''se'' in second position is fixxed. You could change the order and say ''Ty se divaš na co'' also, as long as ''se'' is second.


I just want to emphasize that the most important words in Mairn4's post may be "'na co' is the FIRST GROUP so 'se' has to follow." The "first position" may be held by a single word -- or it may be held by a group of words closely linked to one another in terms of their meaning and their role in the sentence.


Thank you both. I may be beginning to see the light.


Actually, "na co ty se díváš?" sounds completely natural, too - even a little more natural than "na co se ty díváš?". If I wanted to add the pronoun "ty", I would place it just there: "Na co ty se díváš?", unless I wanted to stress it even more strongly: "Na co se díváš ty?".

I usually can explain these things, but here I'm at a loss as to why "ty" can occupy the second position ahead of "se".

Also note that adding "ty" (at any position) makes a contrast with someone else looking at something - e.g. as a follow up to "Já se dívám na strop." (I'm looking at the ceiling.) or "František se dívá na kočku." (F. is looking at a cat.) - and what is it that YOU are looking at?


How do you tell when to use dívás or dívaté


"díváš se" goes with "ty" - i.e. informal you (friend, relative, informal acquaintance, child...)

"díváte se" goes with "vy" - i.e. formal you (stranger, formal acquaintance and other formal situations) and plural you (you guys, y'all)


I said "Na co díváš?" and expected it to be wrong, because I left out "se", but it was accepted as correct. Why is it okay without "se" and does it change the meaning at all?


It is wrong, as you expected. There was an error in the system, I've fixed it now.

The verb "dívat se" only exists in its reflexive (se) form. A synonym "hledět" (less common), which is somewhere between "look at" and "stare" only exists non-reflexively. And a colloquial synonym "koukat (se)", borrowed from German "gucken", exists in both forms, with a subtle change to the meaning. So, some of the options here are:

  • Na co se díváš? (neutral)
  • Na co hledíš? (higher register, OR implying a more intense look, i.e. staring)
  • Na co koukáš? (colloquial)
  • Na co se koukáš? (colloquial)
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