"How many eggs can you eat in five minutes?"

Translation:Kolik vajíček můžeš sníst za pět minut?

January 29, 2018

This discussion is locked.


Sníst vs jíst? What's the difference?


They both mean "to eat". The difference is in the verbal aspect. "Sníst" is perfective (ie. used for one time, finished actions) and "jíst" is imperfective (ie. used for ongoing, repeated, unfinished actions). You might find a more detailed explanation in the tips and notes.

For the above sentence, there is a limited time in which you have to eat as many eggs as you can. After the time runs out the action is finished and you know the outcome, so you have to use the perfective verb (sníst).


kolik vajíček můžeš sníst v pěti minutách?


Another correct solution of saying 'za pět' is 'během pěti', thank you!


So either "za pet minut" genitive or "behem peti minutach" respectively "v peti minutach" locative. Thx


Just these two:

  • za pět minut
  • během pěti minut (still genitive)

"v pěti minutách" is not good Czech in this context, it's just a verbatim translation from a Germanic language, not natural in Czech. It works, for example, when you want to describe a short film: "třicetiletá válka v pěti minutách" (the 30-year war in 5 minutes).


If the context is someone cooking, inquiring from a prospective eater how much (s)he might eat from what's being cooked, should it then still be 'snist', not 'jist'?


Yes, that doesn't change anything, still "sníst".

Using "jíst" will shift this into the present tense:

  • Kolik vajíček jíš k snídani? -- How many eggs do you eat for breakfast? (usually, always...)
  • Jíš vajíčka? -- Do you eat eggs? (at all), or possibly: Are you eating eggs? (now)

We can of course return it to the future tense:

  • Budeš jíst vajíčka? - Will you eat eggs? (in general, or now, if I cook them) -- I'm just interested in knowing whether you will eat them, not if you finish them (eat them all).
  • Sníš ta vajíčka? -- Will you eat those/the eggs? -- Now I'm asking if you will eat all these eggs, completely, so that there will be no eggs left (for me, or to be thrown away).

When asking how many eggs you'll eat, while I'm cooking them, I obviously want to know how many eggs you'll finish eating (eat completely). In this context, asking "Kolik vajíček budeš jíst?" sounds weird, suggesting that the person will start eating a certain number ("I'll take 5 eggs") but won't eat them all ("But I'll only finish 3"). It's not a big blunder, but asking "Kolik vajíček sníš?" is the natural and logical use of the perfective aspect. In a "kolik" future tense question, the imperfective would only make sense in a future regular habit, such as, you're going on a diet and I want to know about the eating schedule you will have: "Kolik vajíček budeš jíst každý týden?" (every week). Using the perfective (sníš) in this context would suggest that you've already started the diet.

Learn Czech in just 5 minutes a day. For free.