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"In June, the days are long here."

Translation:V červnu tady jsou dlouhé dny.

December 20, 2017



Again the famous flexible Czech word order. NOT! I'm sure there is a rule but all people can say is that it sounds unnatural. Please help!


Yes, I agree. "Jsou" should be on second position, I think. - "V červnu JSOU tady..." "Tady jsou v červnu..." nebo třeba "Dlouhé dny jsou tady v červnu."

This version seems a few strange to me.


Tady is completely fine in the second position. And jsou is not a clitic so does not really need to be in the second position. It is true that the corpus has more hits for "jsou tady", but "tady jsou" is also possible and it is not our intention to show always just the same basic word order all over again.

tady jsou


What would you say about "V červnu dny jsou tady dlouhé"?


That word order sounds quite unnatural. But "Dny jsou tady v červnu dlouhé" or "V červnu jsou tady dny dlouhé" are OK.


Word order. The "oh-so-debated" subject. Can a native explain what makes them decide what is "unnatural" and what is not? For example, WHY (the why is important) "V červnu dny jsou tady dlouhé" seems unnatural? I wouldn't necessarily need a scientific/linguistic explanation, just something to teach me the natural order of things...


I am not native Czech, so I cannot directly address your question about Czech word order; someone who is a native speaker may do so. But I offer the following:

In (probably) any language, there are word orders that sound natural and others that do not, For example, in English, “In June, the days are long here” sounds perfectly natural. But “In June here are long days” (a literal translation of the Czech sentence) sounds completely unnatural. Could I give a clear explanation of why that is? No; I’ve just somehow absorbed what sounds or feels right and what doesn’t. I suspect (hope!) that, over time and with sufficient exposure, I will also begin to do with same with Czech.

Touching on your later comment, I think that even reaching the advanced student/almost native level in Czech would be difficult to do without already having a pretty good grasp of word order.

Finally, you may want to consider whether it makes sense to make acid comments of your own, if you are looking for help from the people to whom they are directed.


Mate, I never make acid comments of any other kind than my own! (just joking here :) Seriously, though, it's sometimes super frustrating (and really, Czech does not bear any comparison to English in this regard). I hear my native colleagues using words in seemingly any which order. I formulate my phrases in what I think is one of the "correct" orders and BAM! "That sounds weird". It's like a trump card that constantly gets thrown at me, every time I dare to think I was making a bit of progress.

Point taken though, sorry for the slightly lower pH of the comment. Let's chalk it down to pure, unadulterated frustration.


To be fair, I thought your comment was perfectly polite and what lots of us are thinking! I ask lots of questions on here because I am trying to understand and this language is so hard, not because I'm trying to be awkward, but sometimes I think they are taken the wrong way.


How I, being neither an English nor a Czech native speaker, understand it: Let's start with the sentence "dny jsou tady dlouhé", which is correct, as I understand. Now we want to add the constraint "v červnu". In English, there are basically two options, at the end or at the beginning. If we add "in July" to the beginning of "the days are long here", everything gets shifted to the right. That works in English, because the English word order very much depends on the relative position: the verb comes after the subject, and the object comes after the verb, and shifting preserves this relative order.

In contrast, in Czech, the absolute position is of importance. Most notably, the second position plays a special role. Most of the time, the second position collects the not so important information. It is very rare that the subject ends up here (unless the subject is 'to', like in 'je to'). Therefore, if we insert "v červnu", at the beginning, we better preserve the group 'jsou tady' (both are words that like to be in second position) and put the subject "dny" after it.


That's absolutely correct.

This is what we're trying to repeat in these discussions - little unstressed words end up in the second position. The copula (forms of "být" when saying something IS something) belongs to this group of words.

  • Dny jsou tady dlouhé.
  • V červnu jsou tady dlouhé dny.
  • Tady jsou dny dlouhé.
  • Dlouhé dny jsou tady v červnu.
  • etc.

Whatever we do to the word order, "jsou" gets relegated to the least important (second) position because it's just a helper word, it doesn't carry much weight (content). Unless we really stress it - when emphatically arguing with someone who claims the opposite:

  • V červnu tady dlouhé dny jsou!!! - I'm telling you that the days really ARE long here in June, stop saying they're not! - We don't accept such word orders though because they're only usable in very specific and rare situations - it could easily mislead learners otherwise.

"tady" also behaves like a clitic (unless stressed), so it will compete with "jsou" for the second position. In practice it doesn't matter whether we say "Dny jsou tady dlouhé" or "Dny tady jsou dlouhé". Similarly: "V červnu jsou tady dlouhé dny" or "V červnu tady jsou dlouhé dny".


Related to this: is anyone concerned that there are questions of this nature at the "green" level? I mean, at the green (second) level, people should be concerned with pure translation, building a vocabulary and PERHAPS just a bit of conjugation. Word order and "how weird" something sounds is a matter for advanced students/almost natives. This matter could be raised at the "red" level or above (perhaps), but before that?!... (waiting for an acid comment from the mods sigh)


What's wrong with "V červnu dny tady jsou dlouhé"?


First it will be necessary too read the existimg comments here to get some feel. Your proposal is just strange. Placing adverbs correctly is hard. See the above coments for the natural combinations.


"V červnu tady jsou dlouhé tu dny?" Why is "the" understood here but required at other times?


Certainly not "tu dny", but we can discuss "ty dny".

Well, Czech does not have articles and uses demonstrative in other situations than English uses articles. Sometimes these coincide, sometimes they do not. I think here specifically you might be confused by the change of the sentence structure.

The closest (not necessarily natural) translation to the Czech sentence "V červnu tady jsou dlouhé dny." would be something like "In June, there are long days here.". Not even English has any "the" here so it is natural to have no demonstrative in Czech.

The most direct translation to "In June, the days are long here." would be something like "V červnu jsou tady dny dlouhé." Now again, no demonstrative, but at least "ty dny" sounds just unnatural here, not as a complete nonsense. I could perhaps even imagine some context where would indeed use "ty dny".


V červnu tady dny jsou dlouhé??


It sounds strange. "V červnu tady jsou dny dlouhé." is much better if you insist on starting with "V červnu tady".

But it is probably possible so I will add it.


I answered "v červnu tady jsou dni dlouhé" which is presumably INCORRECT (dni) but Duolingo marked it as correct.


Dni is also possible in Czech and explicitly accepted. It is quite poetic.


I wrote "Dny jsou tady dlouhé v červnu" and it said it is not correct. Why so?

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