"The students wrote me a letter in which they complained about you."

Translation:Studentky mi napsaly dopis, v němž si na tebe stěžovaly.

January 13, 2018

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Can we use Present tense in Czech version: "Studentky mi napsaly dopis, v němž si na tebe stěžují"?


Yes, both make sense in Czech.


How am I supposed to know to use the word "studentky" instead of "studenty"?


Studenty is the accusative case, not nominative.

studentI - male students or any students in general, acc. studenty
studentKY - female students, acc. studentky


Why can i not say studentky mi dopis napsaly instead of napsaly dopis? I don't know why, but i try to do this a lot.. i feel like other languages I've learned put verbs at the end of a sentence a lot when they weren't in the same type of order we use in English, so maybe that's why? But often when i try to do this in Czech it's not ok


Verbs don't normally go to the end in Czech. You need a good reason to place the verb at the end.

A negative verb is okay to be placed at the end if you want to emphasize the negation:

  • Studentky mi nenapsaly dopis. -- neutral
  • Studentky mi dopis nenapsaly. -- they did NOT write it

For positive verbs, you need a contrast with something else. If there is no contrast, you are, at the very least, correcting someone who said the opposite.

  • Studentky mi napsaly dopis. -- normal SVO word order (subject - verb - object)
  • Studentky mi dopis napsaly. -- someone just said they did NOT write a letter and you're insisting they did, or correcting someone. In other contexts it makes no sense, because it would beg the question: "What ELSE would they do with the letter instead of writing it?" i.e. what are you contrasting it with, why are you stressing that they WROTE it?

The relative clause in this exercise makes that word order even weirder, because unless something is preventing it, we really want the "dopis", which is further described in the next clause, to be at the end, just before the relative pronoun referring to it.

If no special rules apply and nothing is being stressed, the default = neutral = regular word order in Czech is the same as in English: SVO - subject - verb - object, e.g. The man walks a dog (Muž venčí psa).

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