"But I do not know how to do it with a knife!"
Translation:Já to ale nožem udělat neumím!
31 CommentsThis discussion is locked.
It can definitely be first, too, but doesn't have to. There are many possible word orders here: "Ale já to udělat nožem neumím.", "Já to ale nožem udělat neumím.", "Ale neumím to udělat nožem.", "Neumím to ale udělat nožem.", "Ale nožem to udělat neumím.", "Nožem to ale udělat neumím.", "Ale udělat to nožem neumím.", "Udělat to nožem ale neumím." ...and more.
Yes, it is a little weird. Actually, German does it, too: "Das kann ich aber nicht machen." (But I can't do that.) So it may be part of the Central-European Sprachbund :) I don't know which other Slavic languages can do it, Slovak can, for sure. PavelBotyg in the comment below says that Russian can't.
This is one of the situations where both aspects work. Both "udělat" and "dělat" are accepted here. With "udělat", it's more "I don't know how to complete/finish this work/action using a knife" but the final meaning is nearly the same. We would be more likely to use "dělat" here if it's about general ability, and "udělat" if it's refering to a specific task at hand (I'm unable to do this one task).
Thanks for the explanation! Actually in my e-mail I received two other responses that seem to have been deleted, but which contained useful information.
Firstly, 'ale' takes a zero position in the sentence (I forgot about that.
Consequentely, "ale udělat to nožem neumím" should work, but I had tried that too and it wasn't accepted. I didn't report it, since I wasn't sure.
Lots of interesting discussions for this sentence!
I just have a quick general question, not specifically about this sentence. When considering the position of clitics who want/need the second position, if we put 'Ale' in the first position, does that count as the first position or not?
As far as I understand it, "ale" takes a "zero position" in this case and has no influence on the word order in the rest of the sentence.
See the very helpful comment by nueby on that (search for "ale"):