"Levou rukou držel mé pravé ucho."

Translation:He was holding my right ear with his left hand.

February 2, 2018

25 Comments
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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HenMa402882

"He was holding my right ear with the left hand" should be accepted right?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kacenka9

You would never say that as a native speaker. Anytime you can use possessive pronoun in English, you do. "The left hand" sounds like it was somebody else's limb.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidMills574753

Got to disagree with kacenka9 I am afraid, if by native "English" is meant. It certainly is quite accepted and common to miss out the possessive in a statement like this. Who else's hand could it be unless a disembodied one in a horror film or something?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BoneheadBass

I am native AmE and, agreeing that "the" would be fine -- though less common -- here, have added options that use it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AgnusOinas

In doesn't matter that much what's on the English side in this case. What's important to notice here (and in all other similar situations) is that in Czech, even though it's possible to use the possessive before "left hand" (Svou levou rukou...), it's rather excessive - stressing it was HIS hand.

Also, instead of "mé pravé ucho", the dative pronoun "mi" is used in these situations very commonly: "Levou rukou mi držel pravé ucho." I would say this is even more natural in Czech.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tom307502

Native Am Eng speaker here. Really think we students need to take our cues from the native Czech speakers in these situations. Yes, your sentence is a valid sentence, but the more common translation is what the Mod's are attempting to have us understand. Sadly, we have no context for any of the sentences. Perhaps as we gain ability we will be able to handle longer sentences with a more clear translation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Janmunroe

Well, just to chime in, I doubt if ANYONE would say "with his left hand" unless it was an action (he smacked him WITH his left hand, etc.) Much more likely "HELD IN HIS LEFT HAND". I put "with" since that's the exercise and my ego is based on getting things "right", but... Ok, That's it! I've caused enough problems here! LET THE SKIRMISHING BEGIN!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/celyn3

"His left hand held my right ear". Any thoughts? Should it be accepted?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VladaFu

Jeho levá ruka držela mé pravé ucho.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tom307502

I am on the first level of this "unit". The challenge for English speakers is that we wonder where the "with" is hidden. I'm sure it has to do with the case (pátým pádem? Locative?) of "Levou rukou" but without Tips and Notes... The words appear to be sort of in Accusative case, but since we are in this "unit" of the Duolingo tree, I knew that something in my translation needed "with".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BrianSille2

I believe that this is the instrumental case, which indicates what an action is performed with. I does not require a preposition. As I am a beginner this is only my opinion and is open to correction.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VladaFu

You are correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BrianSille2

Thank you. That is encouraging


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Janmunroe

So I translated this as "He HELD my right ear with his left hand" and it was counted wrong. What would the "finished action" verb be? Nedrzel?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AgnusOinas

"held" is accepted.

Your report has "in his left hand" though. That would be "v levé ruce", instead of "levou rukou". Although it's possible that the English "in his hand" is broader and could apply to "levou rukou" as well.

"Nedržel" is the negative, obviously, i.e. "he did not hold".

The perfective aspect is not needed here, an optional perfective verb for "he held briefly" could be "podržel".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Janmunroe

Yes, of course, I should have put "nadrzel" or "udrzel". Early a.m. lessons before work. But again, since I'm being judged for translating into English, I will say that "with his left hand" is connected to an ACTION for the most part, something he DID with his left hand (he wrote with his left hand, he hammered with his left hand, he batted with his left hand, etc.) Held is more of a "passive action" so IN is what we English speakers would tend to use. At least THIS English speaker.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BoneheadBass

FWIW: To me (native AmE), "He held/was holding my right ear IN his left hand" sounds like the ear is no longer attached to me but is now sitting in "his" right hand... :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AgnusOinas

That's exactly what it mostly sounds like in Czech, too -- "Držel mé ucho v levé ruce" sounds like it's no longer part of my body. But given the right context, it could also be used for holding the still-attached ear, probably somehow covering the whole ear with his hand.

And another way of holding the ear would be "Držel mě za (pravé) ucho", which would also be accepted in the reverse translation, were it not disabled. It could mean he really had a grip on me through the ear, or he just held the ear, but probably more firmly, since it literally says "he held me (instead of the ear)".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Janmunroe

Well, that's what I thought the sentence was SUPPOSED to mean. That he had cut my ear off and now was holding it IN his right hand. It never occurred to me that he might be holding MY ear WITH his right hand while it was still on my head. This sentence is right up there with "Crying spiders sitting on my bed" or whatever those pesky arachnids were doing. But again, if that's the spin that is VOX POPULI, I just mislogicked it (not a word, I know, but poetic license strikes again) and yes, then WITH works in this sentence for me. But while we're on the subject, doesn't DUOLINGO accept "Mluvi hlubokym hlasem" translated to HE SPEAKS WITH A DEEP VOICE and HE SPEAKS IN A DEEP VOICE?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AgnusOinas

Ah okay, lol. Well, that's that then -- the sentence means he reached out and held my ear (still attached to my head) with his hand. I don't think it's such a strange sentence... off the top of my head:

  • It was his way to begin cuddling me.
  • He was my dad, I had done something wrong, and he was giving me a good talking-to.
  • He was about to pull a splinter out of my ear.
  • He was an acupuncturist and had a needle ready in his other hand.
  • He was a tattoo artist.
  • He was a Bajoran vedek and was feeling my pah (soul). This is a common scene in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AgnusOinas

The voice question: AFAIK, there is no difference in meaning between "He speaks with a deep voice" and "...in a deep voice", is there? Either way, the only possibility there is the prepositionless instrumental in Czech, no "v + locative".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BoneheadBass

You get two lingots from me for your comment: One for "whatever those pesky arachnids were doing" and one for "mislogicked," a non-word which I will probably... um... borrow for my own use, because I like it so much. :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Janmunroe

Yahoo, Bonehead! The bar is open! I'm buying drinks for EVERYBODY in the place!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Squeeeem

I have to give you a lingot, Agnus, for the thorough list of reasons someone might be holding my ear (I'd only come up with "I was getting a good talking-to"), and especially for dragging Star Trek into it :D

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