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  5. "I am looking at that fox."

"I am looking at that fox."

Translation:Já se dívám na tu lišku.

December 15, 2017



Why is "Ja se divam", but not "Ja divam se"


You will need to tackle one of the hardest parts of Czech, the enclitic words and their placement in the sentence. Read the tips for this skill, especially this part:

The verb particle se in that last example is our first encounter in this course with this challenging word. We cannot omit it with this particular verb. "Dívám na Kateřinu." is an improperly constructed sentence, even if it can be understood readily. The main challenge for foreign learners is that the se wants to be in second place, after the first unit of meaning in the sentence, whether the first unit is expressed in one word or through a complex clause. See the following additional examples of placing se:

  • Ona se dívá na Matěje. (She is looking at Matěj.)
  • Ta nová holka se dívá na Matěje. (The new girl is looking at Matěj.)
  • Kdo se dívá na Matěje? (Who is looking at Matěj?)
  • Na Matěje se díváme my. (We are looking at Matěj.)
  • Proč se nedíváte na Františka? (Why aren't you looking at František?)

A minor added wrinkle is that the conjunctions a (and) and ale (but) as well as independent utterances pre-pended (usually) with a comma do not count as a unit of meaning when se is looking for its second place. So we would need to say

  • Ale on se dívá na Žofii. (But he is looking at Žofie.)
  • Ano, a ona se dívá na Kateřinu. (Yes, and she is looking at Kateřina.)


@nueby i was told that the notes are visible on the app when using your computer but i was unable to find any notes. Are they only for people who pay for the app?


They are only available on the web, use your mobile web browser, not the app.


What would the sentence mean without "se" in it?


That the speaker/writer is foreign. It would be understood and probably chuckled at. "Dívat se" is obligatorily reflexive, period. There is a related, lower register verb "koukat (se)", which lets you get away with or without including the reflexive particle.


nueby, your first sentence is worth the lingot! in fact, have two!


That's the truth. Not often you get a laugh on here.


It corrected me to "Hledím na tu lišku". Is not correct "Hledám na tu lišku"?

Thank you!


hledím; hledět (+ na) = 'look, gaze, stare (+ at)'

hledám; hledat = 'look for, search'


Thanks for that tip!


Why is the "ja" compulsory here ? It seemed to me that it could easily be omitted.


It is not compulsory at all. See nueby's answer above and next time please tell the complete answer that was rejected and read revious answers.


I left the JA out, just "se divam na tu lisku", they said it was wrong, why?


Because of the second position rule for "se". See nueby's answer at the top, the Tips and notes or https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/31466920


So, "Dívám se na tu lišku" would be correct, too?


I am very confused about when i am supposed to put "se" "o" "na" and it keeps leading me to failing the lessons


Could this also be constructed "Tu lisku se divam"?


No, it must be "NA tu lišku". But it is better to start with the object only if you explicitly include "já".


Yes, I meant to put in "Na" but caught my mistake only after I posted. Thanks, that answers my questions. Interesting stuff this.


So is the "se" used the same way that it is in Spanish?


there are similarities. this particular use of the czech "se" is similar to that in spanish "reírse de".

one important difference obvious even from this very exercise is that the czech "se" does not change to other pronouns in the 1st and 2nd persons.


I'd just ad to svrsheque, that in czech it never changes, it is always "se", in this case, it would be: 1. já se dívám, 2. ty se díváš, 3. on/ona/ono se dívá, 1. my se díváme, 2. vy se díváte, 3. oni/ony/ona se dívají. Also we do not write it as a one word in infinitive (unlike in Spanish, ex. in word lavarse) - in this case the infinitive would be: dívat se.


'Dívám se na tu lišku' - correct. 'Díváme se na ta prasata' - incorrect becouse of 'ta'. Why?


Díváme se na ta prasata. is a correct sentence. Whether it is a correct translation of any given sentence depends on the sentence being translated.

Note the difference:

We are looking at pigs. Díváme se na prasata.

I am looking at that fox. Díváme se na tu lišku.


Means se divam I look and vidim I see?


Might be it's simular to German reflective form "Ich gucke an", which sadly is lost in the last years for "Ich gucke den Film."


I do not understand what you mean by reflective. I know reflexive, but that is when you use "Ich .. mir/mich ... ".

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