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  5. "Po kom to dítě je?"

"Po kom to dítě je?"

Translation:Who does that child take after?

November 1, 2017



I had as translation "After whom is that child". I'm not sure whether this is correct english - it was not accepted at least - but I found it hard to find the official translation through the dictionary hints. How does "to take after" translate to czech? And shouldn't the dictionary hints then say "take after"?


Take after is one of those expressions that do not have any close translation. The closest Czech version by meaning is 'BÝT PO NĚKOM'. My son takes after me - Můj syn je po mně.

He is after his father. Ended up in jail. = On je po svém otci. Skončil ve vězení....


This sentence ends with "je". Most of the time it is not a good idea to end a sentence with the verb. Is it okay here because it is a question?


There are only three "units" in this sentence - "po kom", "to dítě" and "je" and we have these options:

  • Po kom je to dítě? - somewhat stressing "to dítě"
  • To dítě je po kom? - marginal, huge stress on "po kom"
  • Po kom to dítě je? - turns out to be the most neutral word order here

We are stressing the verb here, but here it's less noticeable than if we stress any of the two other parts of the sentence. This is probably because we really want to place "po kom" first in the question, which leaves us with the choice of placing "to dítě" last or "je" last - these two are nearly equivalent, but "to dítě" lasts points more at "that child", while "je" last sounds more like an emphasized question (I really want to know who this child takes after) which goes well with what we're asking here :)

But of course, when we answer the question, we really only have one option in terms of word order: "To dítě je po matce." - "To dítě" is the topic, "po matce" is the focus - the new information given.

Otherwise, it's okay to end some (non-question) sentences with the verb if that's what you want to stress and/or contrast with another action (another verb). It happens more often with negated verbs where you want to stress the "ne-" (not) part.

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