"Is he not interested in the machine?"

Translation:Jeho ten stroj nezajímá?

April 13, 2018

This discussion is locked.


Nezajímá se o ten stroj?


Yes, it is correct, I will add it. It was just missing.


Thanks a lot for your answer, Vlada! I'm sure many of us do appreciate you guys' help! And whilst it is not your responsibility, if you still have time, please continue to do so!


nezajímá se o ten stroj? = is he not interested in the machine?

jeho ten stroj nezajímá? = the machine does not interest him?

I am not sure if this is correct in English, but in German or Dutch i can also change the subject without really changing the meaning.of the sentence. If i am right, the translation of "is he not interested in the machine?" should be; "nezajímá se o ten stroj?"


Should not the prompt be, The machine does not interest him? And even then, does Czech allow for this kind of transitive use of zajímat?


Yes, I think this would be a better prompt as well after double checking with a native speaker.


Does it work if I say, "ten stroj nezajímá jeho?"


It is very unusual but it does work in the specific situation where you are surprised that it is HIM specifically and not someone else who is not interested in that machine.

But I will not accept it, because I would phrase the English sentence differently for this specific meaning.


Once again, thanks a lot, Vlada. Like what butterfly said, I really do think that word order in this language is not straight forward and details and care must be taken to know the rmphasis of some sentence structure. I'll hopefully get a better grip of it as I go along through the lessons. Thanks again!


Great, that answers my question too - and again, useful to know the different emphasis the word order offers. Thanks for all the time you put in to this. I am constantly amazed at the detail and care in this course - it's not a straightforward language!


The tips said, that the Several pronouns are parallelly used. So why is "Jej ten stroj nezajímá" wrong then?


The tips also say that many of the forms can only be used in certain positions in a sentence. Jej is a clitic and should be only used in the weak second position. It is also quite formal, even in writing, and is not used very much.


Ah, okay, "jej" too. I thought only the italic ones (tĕ and ho).


The Czech national corpus has only 30 examples of Jej in the first position followed by a verb. Many of those examples are clearly dubious.


This (to an American eye) seems it would translate as "The machine doesn't interest him" which is a bit different than "Is he not interested in the machine". I get that they mean the same thing. But just two different ways to skin a cat.


I entered "On se o ten stroj nezajímá" and it was marked correct. I don't entirely understand the difference between this construction and "Jeho ten stroj nezajímá"?


So why are "se" and "o" not used in this particular example? Are they optional in more informal speech?


You must distinguish two different verbs "zajímat někoho"="to interest someone" and "zajímat se o něco"="to be interested in something". They are really two different separate verbs.


English translation for the answer given should be "The machine doesn't interest him". "Jeho = him" which isn't used in the English example. Do you agree?


"The machine does not interest him?" is also accepted, as multiple ways of making the same point exist both in Czech and in English. Can that be confusing, at least initially? As a fellow learner, I would say it can be. But I guess I've gotten used to it now, as most versions seem to be accepted in most sentences of this type.


Why "Ho ten stroj nezajímá" is incorrect?


The second position rule for "ho". Check the tips and notes available on web.

  • 554

Nezajima jeho ten stroj?


You are using the non-clitic form of the pronoun in the clitic position. I could pronounce it in a way that makes it a valid sentence, but I won't even try explaining it. You are better off if we reject it and you are forced to use a more reasonable word order.


I had "nezajima ten stroj" and it was wrong. Why do I need "jeho"? I thought the verb already makes clear, that it is about a 3rd person singular?


The verb is 3rd person singular, but that's because of "stroj", not because of "him". If you had "Nezajímá ten stroj", the verb would still be 3rd person singular even though this now means I am not interested, not he.

  • Stroj ho nezajímá. - "stroj" is the subject, "ho" is the object
  • Stroj mě nezajímá. - "stroj" is ¨the subject, "mě" is the object
  • O stroj se nezajímá. - "on" (implicit) is the subject, "o stroj" is the object
  • O stroj se nezajmám. - "já" (implicit) is the subject, "o stroj" is the object - the verb is 1st person here


"O tu mašinu se nezajímá " was not accepted. Why?


This version was missing, together with "O ten stroj se nezajímá?", but it's also correct. I've added it.


“Nezajímá se ono o ten stroj”?


I can't say it's outright wrong, because it's correct grammatically. But it's not natural.

1) The subject pronoun position is weird. We normally drop them completely. If you want to included in a question, the best position is at the beginning (turning it into a statement question), or, less often, at the end for very strong emphasis (He?!). The middle position that you used is not wrong, but it's marginal and would use a special voice inflection.

2) "ono" as a wildcard for a person is used very rarely. It would basically replace "dítě", "děvče" or, possibly "zvíře". In case of "dítě", we'd just use a gendered pronoun (on/ona), and we'd use "ona" for a girl (unless you specifically follow a sentence with "děvče").

So you'd have to have a dialogue like the following one to make it usable:

  • O ten stroj se nikdo nezajímá.
  • A co tamto dítě/děvče/zvíře? Nezajímá se ono o ten stroj?

Even so, it sounds quite artificial plus formal.


Děkuju! Thanks for the explanation. I think I mixed up “on” and “ono”. “Nezajímá se on o ten stroj?” might have been better. But it is still unusual, as you explained. So I would say “On se nezajímá o ten stroj?”, right?


on se o ten stroj nezajímá?


What is your question? This is one of the possible translations. Was it not accepted or anything?


I wrote "Ta mašína jeho nezajímá" - please tell me why this is wrong - thanks!


"jeho" is a stressed pronoun and it should be in a stressed position -- in this case the first position.

  • Ten stroj ho nezajímá? -- no stress on the pronoun
  • Jeho ten stroj nezajímá? -- Is he not interested in the machine?

(and same with "ta mašina")


Gotcha! Thank you so much!


O ten stroj se nezajímá on?" seems to be missing as well, or is there any fault? Thx


Chance of utterance: one in a million. Should we accept it anyway?

Situation: You've visiting a factory and before you meet the workers, someone informs you that there is one worker who is not interested in the machine. Equipped with that information, once you meet the workers, you point at one of them and ask "O ten stroj se nezajímá on?" -- So he's the one who's not interested in that machine? Even in this specific context, that I made up to make that word order usabel, it's still clunky. And it's made worse by the definite machine. A more natural question even in that context would be, for example: "To on se o ten stroj nezajímá?" Or two clauses, more colloquial: "To je ten, co se o ten stroj nezajímá?" (or: "To je on, co...")


Whatever, i'm always getting to the extreme to get a hint, how czech works. Right, i was pointing at him telling the above sentence. : ) Thx

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