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  5. "Now there is no one to take …

"Now there is no one to take care of their bear."

Translation:Teď se o jejich medvěda nemá kdo starat.

March 27, 2018



Why not "teď nemá kdo se o jejich medvěda stará"?


Second position rule for "se", and since the main verb is "nemá", the other verb has to be infinitive: "starat"


My (second attempt) answer -- Starat se o jejich medvěda teď není nikdo -- was wrong, with "není nikdo" replaced by "nemá kdo." Can someone explain this one, please? Thanks so much!


If you want "teď není nikdo" you must use a subclause "Teď není nikdo, kdo by se staral o jejich medvěda.".

Sometimes you can use a verbal noun, that would be "Teď není nikdo na starání se o jejich medvěda."="There is no one for taking care of their bear.", but in this specific case it sounds awkward, although it is not grammatically wrong I think.

But you can't just use the infinitive like you did.


Thanks for presenting the alternatives... might be a little early in the course for them (for me!), but the information will be good to have on hand later.

For now, can you please give me a literal translation of the Czech sentence, and/or explain the "nemá kdo" construction? I'm assuming that will be a good thing to know going forward. Thanks!


One of the meanings of the verb "mít (se)" is to "express the existence of someone or something that gives to some process some possibility, permissibility, appropriateness, desirability". So because it expresses existence, you should translate it with "there is" in English. I don't think we can translate the words individually. "Nemá se kdo starat" is "There is no one to take care".


I've been puzzling over this off and on for two days. This morning, a light bulb MAY have come on. You mentioned the verb "mít (se)," and then explained the phrase "Nemá se kdo starat."

Here is the Light Bulb Moment... I've been assuming that the "se" in the translation is the "se" that we're used to using in "starat se." But now I'm wondering if it's the "se" in "mít (se)." Could I be right about that?

If not, then I'll give up on trying to analyze this, and just learn the phrase! In any case, I really appreciate your taking the time to help me master this one.


That's correct, the se belongs to mít. The se from starat se is omitted because we do that whenever we would have two se in one sentence, one from the auxiliary verb and one from the infinitive.


In this exercise “nemá (se) kdo” means “there is no one”, but in a previous exercise “není co” meant “there is nothing”. How does one know when to use “není” or “nemá se” to mean “there isn’t”?


This is very hard to say without the actual sentence at hand.

Please read the rest of the discussion here. You can translate this sentence in two ways. One very direct: Není nikdo, kdo by se o něj staral. and one shorter: Nemá se o něj kdo starat.

Now, the latter one is normally only natural for people, because they can be active. For non-living things it is hard to come up with a sensible sentence for the other option. But perhaps: There is nothing to shine on us. "Není, co by na nás svítilo." "Nemá na nás co svítit."

As you can see, both are possible so I am afraid there is no answer to your question.


I'm very much confused by the word order. Confused and delighted! Also according to the "all-negative sentence" rule, I had expected "nemá nikdo". The sense I make of it is that "nemá" implies a subclause : "there is not : someone takes care of their bears". But as far as I understand, "není" does not work like that. Should we then expect a sentence like "Teď se o jejich medvěda není nikdo starat." or is that just plain nonsense?


As I said above you can say. "Není nikdo, kdo by se staral..." That is where the rules you know work. But the answer above with nemá is a special use of this auxiliary verb and has its own rules. It is a kind of pattern which uses "nemá kdo + verb".


Dear Vladimir,how would we translate "There is someone to take care of the bear"? Do we still use "mít se o kdo starat" ( ="to have [someone] who takes care of + [object]" , if I am right here?!). Second question, could "ted" be positioned at the end?


I am not sure what you mean. Do you mean "There is someone to take care of the bear." ? That would be "Je/Existuje někdo, kdo by se staral o (toho) medvěda." or "O toho medvěda se má kdo starat.".

Note that the o relates to the object here, not to kdo.

Your "mít se o kdo starat" is wrong. There is "mít se o koho starat" = "to have someone to take care of", koho is the object here and the speaker is the one who takes care.


Yes, I meant "There is someone to take care of the bear". I want to compare it with the original from the course. And yes, I must understand to define object. As I learned that "se" should take the second position, "o toho medvěda" is one group, the object more precisely. Your clarification is very useful for me (and for many others)! (My question contains some errors, I will correct them). Thanks a lot for helping me.

  1. No one is taking care of that dog! > O toho psa se nemá kdo starat! 2. Now, no one is taking care of that dog! > Ted se o toho psa nemá kdo starat. With change of position of the object, to keep "se" in second position. ... Am I right here? Can this be confirmed? If yes, I can finally consider the grammar issue of this sentence under control!


I'm responding to your later questions about the poor dog here, because there's no Reply button for that one. I don't think you need the "nemá kdo" construction with those, since they are about someone actively taking (or not taking) care of the dog, so they would be like the earlier "starat se o" sentences. With "nemá kdo," we're talking about not HAVING SOMEONE to take care of someone or something... which is where it got complicated!


A/There's no one to take care of the dogs! > O ty psy se nemá kdo starat. (The dogs have no food and we have nobody to take care of them. I am worried). B/ Now, there's no one to take care of the dogs. >Teď se o ty psy nemá kdo starat (On this moment, the dogs are hungry and I have to go. I'm complaining that we have nobody to take care of them NOW). The sentence is complicated because the course makers wanted to use "starat se o" in the infinitive, and with teď it takes a quite particular wordorder. I discovered that to learn Czech, a good way is to realise a real life situation in which the sentence could be applied. Thanks BHBass!


BoneheadBass is correct.

Your two sentences are correct Czech sentences, but they are not correct translations.

  1. O toho psa se nikdo nestará.
  2. Teď se o toho psa nikdo nestará.

A and B are correct now.


Can someone please explain why this word order is wrong: Teď se nemá kdo o jejich medvěda starat


It isn't wrong.


Thank you! I thought so - but can't go back and report it, unfortunately..


Couldn't you translate this Czech sentence to "now they don't have anyone to take care of their bear" ? The main correct English translation that is offered seems more like "teď není nikdo, kdo by se staral o jejich medvěda." The main difference being neni nikdo "there is nobody or there isn't anyone. And yes I read the rest of the discussion.


Theoretically you could but it is a bit farther, less direct. It explicitly talks about having someone. Nemají nikoho, kdo by se staral o jejich medvěda.

Není nikdo etc. is accepted in the reverse exercise.


what is the subject here? Who or what doesn't have (nemá)? And are there corrected answers including a sub sentence like ted neni nikdo, ktery se o jejich medveda starat?


It must be "kdo", nothing else can be so when you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the subject.


and what about "Ted' uz neni nikdo aby se staral o jejich medvedovi" ?


no, it is not possible


Why the order "Teď se ne ma o jejich medvěda kdo starat" not correct? Just a few sentences earlier there, was: nema se o mně kto starat.


"Teď se nemá o jejich medvěda kdo starat" is accepted. But if you wrote "ne ma", that means nothing in Czech.

Also, in your other sentence, it should be "kdo" ("kto" is Slovak).


I can't attach the screenshot, but yesterday Duolingo did not accept my sentence "Teď se nemá o jejich medvěda kdo starat". That's why I'm writing. It should be added to correct answers list


That sentence is in the correct answers list now. I can't tell right now if it was added after your report. Thanks :)


Yeah, it was me, I added it as I was waiting for a meeting to start, and then it did and I did not have time to 'splain it all.

I do think that we need the reporting button to work instead of whatever this process is here. If every added translation took this much effort, it would be time to pack it up and run.


The last edit was 15 hours back (as I write), and there are some "greens" with this word order -- so it may have been the most recent addition to the list of accepted translations. Whether it's worked its way through the whole system by now is another matter...


I put "teď se o jejich medvěda nemá nikdo postarat". Is it completely or just partly wrong?


You need "kdo" instead of "nikdo", exactly as in the main translation and as explained elsewhere here.


I wonder, why should you break your tongue or damage your brain to construct the sentence this way?!

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