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  5. "A cat is eating the mouse."

"A cat is eating the mouse."

Translation:Tu myš žere kočka.

November 21, 2017



"Ta kocka zere tu mys" Czech guy sat next to me says that this is spot on. He points out that the emphasis on the sentences is different which is leading to some confusion. If this is correct is there any chance to have the translated sentences matching the emphasis of the Czech ones?

The Czech answer statement is saying "The mouse is being eaten by the cat" and the English one is saying "A cat is eating the mouse."

Unless this is deliberate to make us think about the construction of the sentences and how it goes together in which case I'm not that clever in the first place guys this is making it a lot harder for me! ;)


It is deliberate and there is no way to match exactly because in English you can stress any word in the sentence just by pronouncing it with more stress/more loudly. "A CAT is eating the mouse."

Czech works differently and widely employs the word order to focus on different words in a sentence . You can read much more about focusing on various elements of a sentence at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Topic_and_comment Because the words are shuffled in Czech sentences this way, one uses grammatical cases to distinguish the subject and the object in a sentence.

The grammatical cases are one of the key points of Czech grammar and are necessary to decode many sentences you will encounter in natural daily speech.


Why correct answer is "Tu myš žere kočka."? It means that the mouse is eating a cat, isn't it?


No, it just means we stress it is a cat and not something else who is eating the mouse. Please read the comments that I and AgnusOinas wrote elsewhere on this page.


No, you can tell that the mouse is the object of the sentence because it is in the accusative case (Tu mýs).


There are a lot of unfounded complaints in the discussion. This sentence perfectly shows how the Czech word order works.

We put the new information at the end. English uses an indefinite article to mark new information (a cat). And we put the topic - what we've already talked about - at the beginning (the mouse). The case system allows us to switch the order of the subject and object as needed - we still know what's eating what, because "kočka" is a subject (doing the eating), while "kočku" is an object (being of the receiving end of eating).

  • Co žere ta kočka? - What is the cat eating?
  • Ta kočka žere myš. - The cat (topic - what we're talking about) is eating a mouse (focus - new info).
  • Co žere tu myš? - What is eating the mouse?
  • Tu myš žere kočka. - A cat (focus - new info) is eating the mouse (topic - what we're talking about).

(objects shown in bold - in the accusative case)


Rich, yer right - I think this is meant to make us think. Czech is very different in this aspect - I've been experimenting with trying different sentence orders in my practice answers and usually the 'weird' ones are also accepted as correct. But hey, if helps us it to learn, good is!


I already reported this issue but now I read it might not be one. It is frustrating and confusing.


Do you want to learn Czech, or do you want to learn what you think Czech should be?


I want to learn Czech people speak nowadays...


And what makes you think that "Tu myš žere kočka." is something that Czechs don't normally say nowadays? For Czechs, this is a completely natural sentence.


The word order is confusing me as well.


If and when you learn more languages, you'll see that a lot of them, especially those that mark the object (e.g. kočka vs. kočku) are completely happy with this word order. The reverse word order (Kočka žere myš) is more likely to mean "The cat is eating a mouse."

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