1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Czech
  4. >
  5. "Na čistou postel jsem mohla …

"Na čistou postel jsem mohla zapomenout!"

Translation:I could forget about a clean bed!

November 3, 2017



What is the English translation of this sentence intended to mean?


"As I walked into the lobby of the hotel, I saw it was dirty and had insects scurrying on the walls. I could forget about a clean bed!"

It's a weird sentence without context though.


It is always more difficult to figure out how to translate a sentence when the English is difficult to understand even when translated properly.


Based on the czech sentence, for me it's: Looking at the shabby entrance of the **hotel, you already knew what to expect from the interior: neither a clean hotel room nor a clean bathroom nor even a clean bed.


Makes sense. So in English, it might be, "You can forget about a clean bed!"


The English translation would be better if 'having' were inserted: 'You can forget about having a clean bed'. 'Getting' also works instead of 'having'. Put one of those in and the sentence makes instant sense in English.


"On a clean bed I could forget"? Or would postel be declined differently then?


That sentence does not make sense in English -- unless you intend to say that, while you are lying on a clean bed, you are able to forget something unpleasant that you'd rather not remember. One of the Czech natives on the team can perhaps tell you if your suggested sentence could reasonably be understood from the Czech original.


No, that is not possible. We would need locative "na čisté posteli".


Why not "Na čistou postel jsem mohl zapomenout"?


That is accepted, all genders are possible.


Can "I could" be translated as "Mohl bych"? Is there a difference between "mohl jsem" and "mohl bych"? And whats the best way to translate "I could have forgotten"? Thanks!!


mohl jsem is the past tense indicative mood

mohl bych is the (present) conditional mood

The English tense is not conditional, it is just past tense so use the past tense.


What happened to the NA in the Czech original sentence? Does it mean ABOUT here?


Sort of, yes. However, you should not translate prepositions like this. You always have to translate the whole combination of a verb + the associated preposition together at the same time.

Learn Czech in just 5 minutes a day. For free.