Translation:Czechia and Slovakia were one country.
If both Česko and Slovensko are neuter words, why is the verb "byly"? I thought third person plural for neuter nouns was "byla." Could someone explain, please? Thanks!
You use "-a" if the subject is neuter and plural. If the individual parts of a multiple part subject are singular and none of them is masculine animate you use "-y".
But here you could probably use "byla" but for a different reason. Because you could use it as a singular feminine subject (because of the země).
Thank you for the explanation of why "byly" was used in this sentence, and for the extra info about how "země" could work with "byla." I guess the system didn't like it, though, because my answer with "byla" was not accepted. :-(
No it is not currently accepted but I am thinking whether it should be.
Edit: probably it shoudn't because the Czech original is plural.
But when we speak about political borders state is more useful. For example we can say that Korea is one country, but two different states.
I don't think it is that simple and clear. Wikipedia normaly has "List of countries that..." not "of states", but the list contains what you call states. And, of course, than you have The United States which is a country (or state?) composed of many states.
Besides, Czech has a word state as well - stát.
The US has multiple political subdivisions it calls "states," but they're not states in the geopolitical sense the person you're replying to was speaking of.