"Bylo to zvíře se čtyřma očima."

Translation:It was an animal with four eyes.

February 2, 2018

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I am always like "What?" until I realize it's not the reflexive "se".


Why one of the translations is "this was an animalwith four eyes"? Shouldn't it be either "that was" or "there was" ?


Because "to" does not belong to "zvíře" here. "Bylo to/Je to" is an expression which means "It was/It is".


Why is there not possibly to take "s ctyrma ocima"


Short answer: Ease of pronunciation. Below is an excerpt from a longer description at http://www.locallingo.com/czech/grammar/prepositions.html.

"There is no official rule as to when to use "s/z/v/k" versus "se/ze/ve/ke". The general common-sense rule is to use whichever is easier to pronounce in connection with the word that follows the preposition. The more consonants are placed next to each other, the harder the pronunciation (the perfect example being the Czech tongue twister "Strč prst skrz krk"). The purpose of the -e in prepositions like "se", "ze", "ve" is to make the pronunciation easier when the preposition is placed in front of a word that begins with a consonant or a consonant group that would be difficult to pronounce had the -e not been there... "

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