"It has been going on for hours."

Translation:Už to trvá hodiny.

March 20, 2018

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Why not "Trvalo to hominy."? Kinda confused with this... Am I missing something?


The present perfect tense used here means that the action is still going on. That's why we use the present tense in Czech


I'm having trouble wrapping my head around how "už" works in this sentence. From "it takes hours" to "it's been going on for hours" seems like a very great leap. I'm not questioning the translation, I'm just trying to understand better. Are there other examples of "už" having a similar effect on the meaning of a sentence?


Czech doesn't have a present perfect tense and "už" is a magical word that partially fills its function.


Thank you! That helps.


It is hard to explain, because I do not see any big leap here.

Už sort of means "already" and implies it has been going on for some time and it is still ongoing.


I try to think of "už" as "already". It usually helps, but not this time. "It's been going on for hours" is completely different from "It already takes hours".

(The latter implies that we are discussing a lengthy procedure and someone has suggested changing it in a way that would make it take even longer. The former is much more general.)


More general, so including the latter, or really completely different?


I would have to say that they are completely different.

"It's been going on for hours" states that a particular action started hours ago and is still happening right now. It doesn't indicate whether the action is by nature a lengthy one or a normally brief one that has been prolonged somehow.

"It already takes hours" is a statement about the nature of an action. It tells nothing about whether the action is happening now or how long ago it might have started (if it is happening at all).

In a hypothetical situation where both statements pertained, you would have to state both; neither one could be assumed from the other.


shouldn´t it be: "it is going on for hours" or "už to trvalo hodiny"


No, it is present perfect in English and present in Czech. That is correct. Czech past tense would be in order for English past like "It was going on for hours"/"Trvalo to hodiny.".


Už to jde hodiny


depending on what that is supposed to mean,

  • It has been walking for hours.
  • It has been possible/functioning for hours.


In German the correspondence is more direct than in English: "Das dauert schon Stunden"


There is often much more direct correspondence between German and Czech than between either of the two and English. That happens with neighboring languages even if they're not from the same group.

Idioms and way of saying things are often the same in Czech and German, and very different in English.

Even single words are often direct "copies", for example "výlet" (a trip) is made of the prefix "vý-" meaning "out", and the word "let" meaning "flight". Exactly like German "Ausflug". There is no "outflight" in English.


I wonder why it isn't "hodin" genitive while it's an unspecific amount of hours, it could be 5 or more, if we use mnoho it has to be "hodin". Thx

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