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  5. "Knihy píše od svých čtrnácti…

"Knihy píše od svých čtrnácti roků."

Translation:She has been writing books since she was fourteen.

November 19, 2017



The perfect substitute for "roků" is "let" which is more frequent and thus more often used for 5+ years translations. For 2,3,4 years> 2,3,4 "roky" is used more than 2,3,4 "leta".


The hover hints suggest "their" instead of "she" when describing who has been writing the books, misleading learners.


Those hints are general, like a dictionary, and do not consider the current exercise.


I used "He is writing books since he was 14 years old" and got it wrong. How can I say the above sentence in Czech?. I understood píše as present and deduct the English tense by context. Thanks


The above sentence does not look like correct English to me. I think the present perfect tense is required.


As VladuFu said, "He is writing books since he was 14 years old" is not correct; "has been writing" is what's needed here.


“He’s been writing books since the age of fourteen.” was not accepted. At least in Am English “...since the age of 14” and “...since he was 14” are both grammatically correct, are both used frequently, and have the exact same meaning.


Note that Czech also has a form which is closer to "since the age of fourteen": "od věku/stáří čtrnácti let" or "od čtrnácti let věku/stáří".


I have added alternatives using "...the age of fourteen."


First I translated this sentence in my head as "She has been writing books since her fourteenth year", before I realized that črnácti is cardinal, not ordinal. This is strange to me, and led me to wonder if the sentence could be written with ordinal number form instead. Would the following sentence be understood and carry the same meaning as the origin sentence for this discussion tread? "Knihy píše od své čtrnáctého roku"


That would be very strange even if grammatically possible.


"Od svého čtrnáctého roku" is almost always in first-person, sometimes female as "said person's" does not change with gender, and automatically translated as "since I was fourteen" but technically in English during one's fourteenth year one is thirteen years old, freshly a teenager. At the end of one's fourteenth year since birth one is counted fourteen (full) years-old, much like telling time in Czech . . .

"od čtrnáctého roku" 284 hits

"od čtrnácti roků" 109

"od svého čtrnáctého roku" 101

"od svých čtrnácti roků" 7

So what exactly is going on there?


Do not use Google as a language corpus. The numbers reported at the first page of the results is often completely unreliable. Also, evaluating the examples requires some practice or language proficiency.

There is one similar example in the Czech national corpus ", s nimiž se stýkala od svého čtrnáctého roku ". So it can be seen here and there, but 560 "od svých čtrnácti let" and 1,745 "od čtrnácti let".


Ok, after looking at the tips, I don't see an explanation as to the difference between a "cardinal" and an "ordinal" number. Can someone give me a "thumbnail sketch" as to the difference? Diky!



  • cardinal: one, two, jedna, dva
  • ordinal: first, second, první, druhý


Since you've nailed it now, here's a hint for others: Just think of "ordinal" as related to "order"... and you end up with the "order" of things as first, second, third, etc. :-)

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