1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Czech
  4. >
  5. "Před dvaceti pěti lety byly …

"Před dvaceti pěti lety byly Česko a Slovensko jednou zemí."

Translation:Twenty-five years ago, Czechia and Slovakia were one country.

March 24, 2018



I have the same question as Tricinium: why not "byla"? Česko bylo a Slovensko bylo.... Česko a Slovensko byla....


No, multiple singular neuter subjects are not the same as a single plural neuter subject.

Multiple neuter subjects agree with a verb in the same form as masculine inanimate and feminine, that means "byly".


Just checked, there are no tips and notes available here yet, but you can use other resources, like https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Czech_conjugation#Agreement_between_subject_and_predicate

but that one is still incomplete. There are links to recommended resources in one of the last reports about the course completion.


Why this sentence is instrumental? Who can explain to me


"to be something" can be either "být něco" (nominative) or "být něčím" (instrumental). These options coexist and we typically accept both. Instrumental is better for temporary things that the subject can become.


thanks for your support


So jedna země would be the other option?


¨zemí¨ is a plural, yes? This misled me to write this sentence as one that could make sense in the future, but not today: "Twenty five years ago, the Czech Republic and Slovakia were once countries."


It's instrumental singular here. You may wish to check the declension table on Wiktionary.


Thank you for the clarification!


why not: czechia and slovakia were one country twenty five years ago


I don't know whether that is accepted or not, but here's a helpful hint for learners:

It's safer not to switch the order of clauses unless doing so results in an odd translation. Some sentences have thousands of possible translations, and unnecessary clause-switching would significantly increase that number.


It is accepted.

The report you sent was for "czechia a slovakia were one country twenty five years ago"

Looks like you forgot to translate "a". It happens to me sometimes, too. The Czech "a" is conveniently short.

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