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  5. "Nechápal jsem, co ode mne šé…

"Nechápal jsem, co ode mne šéf chce."

Translation:I did not understand what my boss wanted from me.

November 2, 2017



It should be "sef chtel"


It should not. Czech and English have different approach to tense sequencing. https://www.helpforenglish.cz/article/2011021902-casova-souslednost-tabulka


I disagree, and I ask how you would translate: I did not know what the boss wants from me? This is a grammatically correct sentence.


The same. "Nevěděl jsem co ode mě šéf chce".


I understand this sentence to mean 'I did not understand what my boss wants from me'. That is a continuing state of affars rather than 'what my boss wanted from me'. A completed state now finished. I am not interested in the English technacalities only how to express myself in Czech. As you may be aware I am a 78 year old native UK english speaker. Good luck in the new year and I do really appreciate your help.


The Czech sentence can be both. What he wants from you in the long term or what he wanted from you at the moment of the conversation with him.


I added the the present tense as an accepted translations, contrary to the previous discussions here. The arguments remain valid, but not for this perpetual wanting.


I also wonder why "WANTS from me" isn't a correct alternative translation.


Because in Czech in complex sentences you can use Past + Present if dependent clause says about the same time as main clause. But in English you must use Past + Past. You can see the table in kacenka9 post upper - it shows how dependend clause in Present transforms to the Past.


I don't quite agree about the English... If the subject of the dependent clause is different from the main, then it depends on what is being emphasized. If the dependent clause refers to an unchanging condition, then past--present is fine: "when I moved here I didn't realize that it always rains"... Though rained would be ok too. If the subject of both clauses is the same, I agree that you need tense agreement.


How would you say in czech in reported speech "i did not understand what my boss WANTS from me". The meaning of the recommended answer and this last phrase is different in English.


What is the exact meaning of this one for you? Some general truth about what he wants always?


Isnť this "wanted from me" as a finished action? What if we want to express that the boss wants me to do work continuously as in the Czech translation above? I am lost in this even I have read many articles about reported speech.


As I mentioned above, both are accepted here.


"i wasn't understanding what my boss wanted from me" was considered incorrect. Is it?


It would be fine on the English side; I will add it if it also works from the Czech side. I can easily imagine a sample sentence like, "I wasn't understanding what my boss wanted from me, but then she gave me some additional detail and it suddenly made sense. "


Yes, on the Czech side it is fine.


Why ode instead of od?


The "-e" version of prepositions is intended to facilitate pronunciation, generally (but not exclusively) when the preposition is followed by a word that starts with a consonant cluster, as in this case. For more, see, for example, One Letter Preposition Extending at the end of the article here: https://mluvtecesky.net/en/grammar/pronunciation.


Please, is the past perfect tense not appropriate in the second part of this sentence?

"I didn't understand what the boss had wanted from me."

Or is it not close enough to the original? I thought it was better in English. (Or "...is better" , now I do not know 😊) The boss has to want something first and then I can understand it.


You are going too far on the English side. While much of the debate here has dealt with whether or not the English backshift is mandatory (it isn't), there is no mechanism to convert the Czech present tense in the subordinate clause to the English past perfect.

The meaning of the past perfect in the reported "speech" is that what the past perfect described took place before the reporting verb action in the main clause. In other words, the speaker did not understand (in the past, so "nerozuměl") what the boss "had wanted" (even deeper in the past, prior to the "not understanding", so not concurrently with the "not understanding", so definitely "chtěl", not "chce").


Thank You So Much, Nueby! So can I also say "I thought it is better in English." ? I know, it's a different case. But is it correct? Can it be as a general valid matter, even if I just think so? Or a better example "I thought people are smart."


The natural way of saying that in English is "I thought it was better in English" and "I thought people were smart".

And "I didn't understand what the boss had wanted from me." means "Nechápal jsem, co ode mě (tehdy/kdysi) šéf chtěl" - tj. co ode mě chtěl někdy ještě před tou dobou, než je ta doba, kdy jsem to nechápal. Perhaps 50 years ago we could still say "Nechápal jsem, co ode mě šéf byl chtěl" to express this, but this is obsolete now.


Thank You So Much for all the answers, AgnusOinas . Have a nice weekend!


z určité části záleží na tom, jestli je věc nadále aktuální. I thought it was better in English by určitě bylo lepší, kdych si to už nemyslel, kdežto "is better" by se celkem hodilo, myslím-li si to i v době promluvy. je to hodně subjektivní, a lidi volbou času můžou signalizovat svoje postoje. bohužel mnoho závisí i na intonaci věty.

pro našince je lepší automaticky dělat backshift a vyhnout se mu jen v případech všeobecně platných pravd.


OK, díky moc. Přesně o to mi šlo, jestli to můžu říct, když si to pořád myslím.


Akorát jak často taková situace nastává u vět typu "I thought it was better"? Leda něco jako "Two years ago, I thought it is better and I still think that now"


Je dost možné, že v angličtině se to tedy tak nepoužívá. V češtině řekneme třeba "Jak to, že jsi dostal trojku? Myslel jsem, že to umíš." . A očekávám, že mi vysvětlí, jak se to stalo, přestože to umí. Tak mi jde o to, jestli bych mohl říct v angličtině "I thought you know it well."

Podobně i s tím "I thought it is better in English." Očekávám, že mi někdo vysvětlí, přestože je to v angličtině správné, tak tady se to neuplatní. (A dočkal jsem se 😊 děkuji).

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