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"I haven't written the letter yet."

Translation:Ještě jsem ten dopis nenapsala.

April 8, 2018

18 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BoneheadBass

I finally got this right with "Ještě jsem nenapsal ten dopis." My earlier attempts included "už" instead of "jeětě." (I THINK one of them was "Já jsem už ten dopis nenapsal.")

Anyway, DL insisted on having "ještě"in the answer so I gave up and included it. Am I wrong in thinking "yet" is one of the meanings of"už"? (I can't report this now, because my current answer was accepted.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VladaFu

No, you cannot use here. here would mean something like already. Už to napsal. He has already written it. It doesn't suit well the negative sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BoneheadBass

Thank you! Just to make sure I understand... "už" doesn't work here because the verb is negative?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VladaFu

Negative and in this kind of sentence. I feel quite a big difference in the meaning of these two, it is not just grammar. I just don't know how to explain it.

or již - more like already in the meaning. When talking about past it means something happened (and we may have been waiting for it).

Už to začalo. - It (has) already started. Už jsem to napsal. - I (have) finished it already.

I am not exactly sure when English uses yet and when already in these sentences. But:

Už tam jsme? Are we there yet?

On the other hand when talking about the future it has a negative sense like any moore.

Už to neudělám. I will not do it any more. Už ne! Not any more!

But even in the future it can be positive like

Už to bude. It will be soon. Udělám to už zítra. I will do it tomorrow (yet?already?).

Ještě - More like yet with negative verbs.

Jěště nevím. I don't know yet. Ještě se to nestalo. It has not happened yet. Jěště nejsme na kolenou. We are not or own knees yet.

Also like still, when used with a positive verb.

Jěště stále se to děje. It is still happenning. Jěště žiju. I am still alive.

Also when speaking about quantities, it will mean more or even more.

Chcete ještě? Do you want more? Chci ještě víc peněz. I want even more money.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BoneheadBass

I very much appreciate your excellent explanation... and I'm still trying to figure it out. :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CharlesKru11

Are již and už interchangeable?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VladaFu

Yes. Již can be bookish. Neither fits this sentence, though.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/linguaphile16

I put "Nepsala jsem ještě ten dopis" and got it wrong. There have been other sentences where the past participle was put in the first position. Is it that ještě usually comes at the beginning?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/svrsheque

the aspect of "nepsala" is the problem. the imperfectiveness focuses on the process (rather than the result), so it is like "I was not writing that letter yet."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/2200Lucia60

Svrsheque, does this mean that my try "Nenapsala jsem ještě ten dopis" is correct because in the perfective form ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stephan881810

Where do I see that it is a woman? So why nenapsala and not nenapsal?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VladaFu

All genders are accepted equally.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidMills574753

Regarding all the previous discussion about "už" and "ještě" in the context of "yet", I am puzzled that the immediately prior exercise in which the statement to be translated was, if I remember correctly, "have you written the letter yet" the correct translation of "yet" was given as "už". To my mind in English "already" could substitute for "yet" in both sentences, although "yet" rolls off the tongue better for most native English speakers.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BoneheadBass

For the English Version of the On a Related Note Files...

I would suggest that there is a difference in meaning between “Have you written the letter yet?” and “Have you already written the letter?” I will use an office scenario to illustrate what I mean.

A: Have you written the letter letter yet?
Thought bubble: “I asked you to do it three hours ago. Where is it?”

B: Have you written the letter already?
Thought bubble: “Oops. I just thought of something else to include.”


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidMills574753

Hullo there Boneheadbass, I can't disagree with what you have said. What I am querying though is Duolingo's inconsistency in using "už" in the case of "Have you written the letter yet" which was the previous exercise, which I did not enter the discussion on because as far as I know one can't go back and do that, but "ještě" in the next one, i.e. this one, ("I have not written the letter yet") with a very similar meaning as far as I can tell. Please tell me by the way if it is possible to go back one step?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nueby

What you consider an inconsistency comes from the nature of these two languages. It would be very convenient if we had word-to-word mappings that are not impacted by the rest of the clause in which the words appear. Often it works, more often it does not, and sometimes we get thoroughly puzzling swaps of meanings across two or more words.

The key here is to observe whether the sentence is a positive statement, negative statement, or a question. If you know Spanish, use your knowledge of "ya" and "todavía/aún" to find peace with the behavior of "už" and "ještě". It is easier to learn the Czech from Spanish for this particular item.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidMills574753

OK I'll try and get used to this before it comes round again in practice! Unless we stop to think about it, I don't think we English speakers get the relationship between "yet" and "already". "Have you done your homework yet?" "I have already done my homework". "Yet" and "Already" have exactly the same meaning, I.e. the sense of completed homework is expressed, but English speakers would word these sentences like this at least 99% of the time. With Czech there is obviously a different way, one just has to get immersed in that different sense.

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