"Když jsem otevřel oči, můj pokoj byl prázdný."
Translation:When I opened my eyes, my room was empty.
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Those are sentences where all other European languages use the present tense, but English backshifts the tense due to something called "reported speech", it's a peculiarity of English. A typical example is as follows:
- František řekl: "Jsem unavený". -- František said: "I am tired."
- František řekl, že je unavený. -- František said he was tired.
This is different from sentences that are in the past, no matter whether the past is defined by a set expression or by a temporal clause, it's still the same past situation requiring a past tense:
- My room was empty two hours ago. -- Můj pokoj byl prázdný před dvěma hodinami.
- My room was empty when I came home. -- Můj pokoj byl prázdný, když jsem přišel domů.
Cool. BTW, thanks for you long note last week. Yes, I misread "pops up" as "pops" and yes, you're absolutely correct that "pops up" means "occurs" or "happens (as in makes an appearance)." A person can also "pop in" for a visit. It usually has the context of "unexpectedly".