"Po třech sklenicích vína nevěděl, jak se jmenuje."

Translation:After three glasses of wine, he did not know what his name was.

November 2, 2017

This discussion is locked.


Why not "After three glasses of wine, he did not know what his name was"? Sounds more natural to me.


'After three glasses of wine, he did not know his own name' would seem to me a much more idiomatic translation.


Yes, that would be very often used in (at least US) English. If you get this again, try reporting it as "My answer should be accepted."


Agreed. Mixing past & present tense like they do here is not really proper English


I agree. IS is acceptable since his name still is what it is, but was is also correct and more common. Edited.


I have a question about the word order in Czech. I'm a bit confused about what happens with 'se' if you have two verbs in the clause. Here it goes with the second verb, but in other cases it precedes the first one (e.g. se prestala snazit). I imagine it depends on the exact grammatical construction, but not sure how and when and why.


As I understand it, "se" goes after the first unit of meaning in the sentence OR in the clause, if there are multiple clauses. Here "jak se jmenuje" is a second clause, and we find "se" in the second place within it. But there are definitely sentences where "se" ends up a long way from the verb that it belongs to, and that's kind of hard to get used to! :-)


So the each clause is treated as a new sentence for the "se". Aha! I might not like it, but at least now I understand. Thanks you :)


He did not know his name after three glasses of wine. Shouldn't this sentence also be accepted?


It is not accepted because there is no reason reverse the clauses. We recommend against doing that, unless the resulting translation would be very strange.


I really do not know when the clauses can be reversed or not. I don't hink czech sentences are as flexible as some seem to think. For me is the meaning the same. whether we start with the subject or the object. and English sentences more often start with the subject rather then the object.


A little confused why "jak se jmenuje" is not in the past tense since it is in the translation. Is it IMPLIED past tense because of "nevedel"? Would it just sound weird or be incorrect if you said "jak se jmenoval" instead of "jak se jmenuje"?


Czech does not use the backshift in the sequence of tenses in indirect speach and related subordinate sentences as English does.

When it happened it was his name in the present tense (What is my name? I forgot that. Jak se jmenuji? Zapomněl jsem.) so it is in the present tense in Czech.


Also: "Nevěděl, jak se jmenoval" (past tense) would correspond to English: "He did know know what his name had been" due to the English timeshifting.

In Czech, the main clause ("nevěděl") sets the time frame in which the subordinate clause takes place.

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