1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Czech
  4. >
  5. "Matěj o Polsku asi ví hodně,…

"Matěj o Polsku asi hodně, protože o něm napsal šest knih."

Translation:Matěj probably knows a lot about Poland because he has written six books about it.

March 14, 2018



In this multiple choice exercise, my answer was wrong because I chose "Polsko." If the preposition "o" can take either the accusative or locative case, and can mean "about" in both instances, how do we determine which case to use in a given sentence/context? Are there some rules about this? Thanks!


The verb decides which case it requires.


Perhaps vladafu could explain his statement that the verb determines case rather than, as i thought from elsewhere in the course, the preposition. I appreciate the work put into this course but wish there were more tips and notes. I am relying on the web and my czech daughter in law who is an english teacher in czechia as the country is now called by the UN


Well, the cases are determined by both of the verb and the preposition.

Once you fix the verb "vědět", it is the preposition that remains a the decisive factor, but remember that the prepositions are often considered together with verb to form a single entity. Especially that is the case with English phrasal verbs.

So "vědět něco o něčem" "to know something about something" binds with a direct object in accusative and an object in locative using the "o" preposition.

But you can have "vědět něco na někoho", which is probably also "to know something about someone" but with a slighly different meaning. You know something bad about the person. Something you could tell th police or his employer or his wife, for example.

Now, the "o" preposition does make it locative, but the preposition is not locative-only. You can have "zakopnout o něco" "to trip on smth". The "na" preposition does not bind with a single case either. You must always consider the verb in connection with the preposition.

I am relying on my knowledge from school and my native knowledge of Czech + some readings about languages here and there.

So that was my answer to Boneheadbass, he was considering a given preposition, namely "o". Once you fix the preposition it is the verb that decides the case.


I have no idea what you're talking about, but came to read the discussion because I just translated the most complicated sentence so far that I've translated correctly first time with no errors, based solely on what I've learnt in the previous 100 days from your course, thanks. In other words, I've managed to learn organically from your excercises, not from the course notes, which I haven't read.


Sounds like congratulations are in order, so... Congrats on your success with this one, especially the first time out! Your experience proves that a language can be "picked up" through repetition and thoughtful analysis, not only by formal study.


Thanks a lot vladaFu that helps a lot.

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