"I was writing that letter all day."

Translation:Psal jsem ten dopis celý den.

December 3, 2017

7 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/True_eugene

I can't understand, why the sentence like "She was already speaking" translates as "Uz mluvila", i.e. without jsem, and "I was writing that letter all day" goes as "Psal jsem ten dopis celý den", with jsem. What is a rule or a logic of using it in Past Tense?

December 3, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Nemesis_NaR

3rd person doesn't use the verb "být" for the past tense:

  • Já jsem psal

  • Ty jsi psal

  • On psal

  • My jsme psali

  • Vy jste psali

  • Oni psali

December 3, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Mamke1
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What about "Jsem psala ten dopis cely den?" Do you need the "Ja?" If so, why in this sentence but the subject pronoun is understood in so many other sentences?

March 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/BoneheadBass
Mod
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You can't start a past-tense sentence with "jsem" or any of the various present-tense forms of "být" (as I learned when I made the same mistake...) But in this sentence you can say either "Já jsem psal/a..." or "Psal/a jsem..."

As I understand it, the "subject" personal pronouns generally can be omitted unless they're needed or wanted for clarity.

April 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Mamke1
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What about "Cely den ten dopis jsem psal"?

April 10, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/BoneheadBass
Mod
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I will offer two GUESSES, neither of which may be correct...

  1. It's often said that the part of the sentence that you want to emphasize is placed at the end. In this case, the important part could be that you spent ALL DAY writing that letter. So if "Cely den ten dopis jsem psal" was not accepted, that MAY be a reason why.

  2. This is the scary one... "Cely den ten dopis jsem psal" sounds weird. Given that I'm learning too, that in itself is weird... unless some of this word order stuff that's been making me crazy is starting to sink in and I don't even realize it.

April 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Paul378887

This is my understanding: Jsem must be in 2nd position. It actually takes priority in 2nd position over other clitics.

December 4, 2018
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