1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Czech
  4. >
  5. "Co sežralo naše ovce?"

"Co sežralo naše ovce?"

Translation:What ate our sheep?

November 17, 2017



Why not 'What did our sheep eat' or 'What were our sheep eating?' What ate our sheep is not correct.


You have lucky sheep. They eat and you are curious what it is they eat. But our sheep in the sentence above are not that lucky. They were the ones being eaten. We are more desperate than curious and want to know what in the world ate them???

The Czech sentence would be "Co sežraly naše ovce" if we were asking what our sheep ate. SEŽRALO is a neuter singular past tense.


Já vždy koukám, jak umíte krásně (pohádkově) vysvětlit daný problém...


I am not sure if this is a grammatically correct sentence : "What ate our sheep?" (not a native Eng). And to be honest, it is not clear from the first sight who ate whom. Shouldn't it be something like "What were our sheep eaten by?" ?


Not a native but I had studied the rule about it in a grammar book:

The construction What + ausiliar verb +subject +verb ia used when the information that we miss is the object (or accusative) of the phrase. Ex : what do you eat for breakfast? What have you eaten? What did you eat yesterday? So here there is "what" followed by auxiliary verb to be or to have

But in this case what is the subject of the phrase and not the object. So in this case we do not use the auxiliary. Just think about "who are you?", "What is it?" "Who is eating?" "Who ate my chocolate?"

So you can find: What ate my sheep? Who ate my sheep? = The wolf / my neighbour ate my sheep

What did my sheep eat? = My sheep ate grass


It should be OK. The passive sentence is also OK, but for a passive Czech sentence (Čím byly sežrány...).


Native AmE here. What ate our sheep sounds natural. Eat/ate/eaten can't be tricky though.


What did our sheep eat?


Please read the existing answers first and ask an actual question if they do not help. Be specific. Read the answer to RobertLuck2 first.

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