"Sometimes they eat from the old plates."

Translation:Někdy jedí z těch starých talířů.

November 1, 2017

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I did not insert "těch" and I got it right. Does it mean that the presence or absence of the article does not make a real difference?


Czech hasn't got any articles. These are demonstrative pronouns and do not correspond exactly to English definite articles. They certainly do make a difference and in most sentences you can't leave them out when they are needed. Here you can theoretically leave "těch" out, when it is clear from the context, which old plates you have in mind.


Would you have a tip on when to use "těch" or not? I always get it wrong and need to learn the sentence by heart. Thanks :)


A rule of thumb - when it is not clear otherwise which exact "the" thing we have in mind. If we have only one cat around then "the cat" will often just be "kočka" and "ta kočka" will point to "that cat". If we see a previously unknown cat somewhere then "ta kočka" could be "the cat".

Sometimes English requires "the" in expressions like "the last" or "the first" or "the next". Czech does not have this gramatical requirement and it will be just "první", "poslední", "další" without any demonstrative.


Why do I have to write "ze" in: Někdy jedí ze starých talířů. ? Thanks.


Because it's impossible to pronounce otherwise.

"z" becomes [s] before voiceless consonants, so you'd have /s starých/. Adding the vowel makes it easy to pronounce as /zesta.../.


So does "z" and "ze" usage follow the same rules as "v" and "ve" usage? And what puts this in the genitive? "Of" (in English) is not the trigger here. So is it "z/ze" even if it's in another context than "of"? Well, I'm going to answer my own question. Obviously it is. Something good to know!


If the rule is "if it's hard to pronounce without the extra -e, add the -e", then yes, same rule. But obviously, if the next word begins with "v", you get: "ve výtahu" vs. "z výtahu", while if it begins with "z", you get: "v zahradě" vs. "ze zahrady".

The preposition "z" is always followed by the genitive. Some prepositions use more than one case for different meanings, but "z" is a "nice" one, it only always uses the genitive.


In Prague I often see food or coffee to take away advertised as (for example) "káva s sebou," and I don't understand and haven't been able to find out why it isn't "se sebou", which seems to me more logical according to what is taught here.


We can call it an exception. "se sebou" is never used, always only "s sebou" -- this leads a lot of native Czechs to incorrectly spell it as "sebou" (i.e. just the instrumental without the preposition), because they are pronounced the same. Czechs have to be specifically taught to distinguish them in writing, e.g.:

  • František si je sebou příliš jistý. -- František is too sure of himself.
  • František si bere kávu vždy s sebou. -- František always takes coffee to go.

The prepositionless "sebou" is not very common, it's mostly used after verbs that express movement of the body, e.g. "mrskat sebou, házet sebou, hýbat sebou, škubat sebou" -- variations of "to move about, to toss about, to twitch...", while "s sebou" is limited to taking/bringing something/someone with oneself, e.g. "Vzal s sebou na výlet mladšího bratra." (He took his little brother along / with him on the trip.) or the phrase "to go" when buying food/drinks.

In Prague (or elsewhere in Czechia), you may occasionally see something like "káva sebou" chalked incorrectly on signs by "semiliterate" Czechs :-)

The point is, "s sebou" is not hard to pronounce, hence no need to add the extra "-e". It's simply pronounced the same as "sebou".


"ze" is missing in the word selection given. Please add it


The main sentence is "Někdy jedí z těch starých talířů." -- it contains no "ze", that's why you don't see it among the word selection tiles.


The option to choose "ze" is not there.


Of course, it isn't supposed to be there. The main translation contains "z" and not "ze".

You have words for "z těch starých talířů" so that is what you have to use. If you want to answer something else, you have to switch to keyboard input to answer anything you want.

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