Got here through a Type What You Hear. My answer was wrong -- I used "ji" instead of "je." I've probably played the recording more than a dozen times -- on slow -- and it STILL sounds more like "ji" than "je." I imagine "ji" is wrong because it's just the wrong pronoun here. But can someone check the recording and change it, if necessary, to SOUND like "je"? Thanks for listening! :-)
"ale" can be initial, or it can go in the second position (like here).
before you point out that it is actually third here: it is trying to go in the second slot, but got bumped by "je", which has a stronger claim to the second slot. there is a pecking order of mostly short words competing for second place. "ale" is one of the weakest claimants. we have an intro post on the order here, without weak words like "ale"; just put "ale" after all that is listed there.
also, do not just count words. this happens if we substitute "my small children" for "they":
- Moje malé děti je ale nepotřebují.
the entire noun phrase counts as the "first".