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"In the twentieth century, I was happy."

Translation:Ve dvacátém století jsem byl šťastný.

November 23, 2017



Is it wrong to switch the phrasal components to make it:

Byl jsem šťastný ve dvacatém století. ?


this here is a rare case we have evidence of what the linguists call theme vs rheme in english. in plain terms, the english sentence is not about when the dude was happy but about how he was doing in the 20th century. the pre-position of the adverbial is significant. to make the czech sentence match the theme/rheme with your word order, one would have to use a weird sentence intonation.


why not "byl jsem stastny"


That would be the Second Position Rule for jsem. Ve dvacátém století is the first unit of meaning in this translation of the sentence shown above


I didn't understand the answer so I ask again. it is really wrong to start with jsem byl or do I have to definitely in all such cases start with Ve ..

jsem byl šťastný. dvacátém století ?


Firstly, the auxiliary verb must be strictly second position. Secondly, adverbials in Czech are not separated by a comma as in English, they must be an integral of the sentence. Thirdly, as nueby shows, the topic and the comment (the rheme and the theme) are clearly distinguished here. The comment is expected to be sentence-final. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Topic_and_comment


so then it has to be Ve dvacátém století jsem byl šťastný. there isn't another combination? like it is with other sentences ?


There are several.


Dobré ráno. I reported this as "something else went wrong." I didn't get the question wrong. Instead, I got one of those gentle 'typo' reminders. Duo said I should have typed V instead of Ve.

Obviously, from the page header, the main translation uses Ve. And then I have this from the Tips for the Numbers 2 skill Use ve before a two-consonant sequence ending in a consonant other than "l", "r", or "ř", which of course would supports the use of ve.

I'm interested in what is correct. Maybe usage supports both?


The ratio in favor of "ve" is about 50:1. The typo grading may have been the owl suffering cerebral flatulence. We accept both equally in this exercise.


Can I use jsem byla šťastná instead of the above? Thanks.


Of course. "Ve dvacátém století jsem byla šťastná" is correct when a woman says it and it means the same.

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