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"The animal is weak because it has not been eating."

Translation:To zvíře je slabé, protože nejí.

April 19, 2018



"To zvíře je slabé, protože ono nejdelo" is very strange, there shouldn't be the world "ono" because we've already pointed out what is the subject of this sentence in the first two words.


It is not the preferred translation. You can see the oficial preferred translation above. It is just one of the accepted translations because it is not impossible.


nejí seems like a poor translation to me...it doesn't give any sense that the lack of eating is in the past. Can someone explain why present is preferred to say, nejedl or nesnědl? We've also been taught that žrát is the verb to use for animals eating...


That is how Czech works. "nejí" can mean all of "is not eating right now", "does not eat (ever)", "has not been eating".

A Czech speaker had no problem saying "Nejí už týden." "He hasn't been eating for a week (already)."

Nesnědl is impossible here, it is perfective and is used to rall you ate something (and not just a part of it, the food is now eaten and not available any more).

Nejedl is also possible here, there is no 1:1 mapping of Czech and English tenses.

Often you would distinguish: "Nejí už týden." The person has been ill and has not been able to eat or intentionally has been rejecting food.

"Už týden nejedl." The person didn't have any food to eat, but also it can be the illlness so he has not been able to eat.

You can use both jíst and žrát here.


Thanks, Vlad!

I've already gathered that Czech can often use the present if there is some other word that indicates the action was past (i.e., už), but it makes sense that if the present is that flexible already it might be more flexible.

Thanks for the tip on the perfective.


Shouldn't the English translation be "The animal is weak because it is not eating" (using the present tense continuous, to translate the imperfective "neji")? Or, vice versa, shouldn't the Czech translation be "To zvíře je slabé, protože nejedl" (taking advantage of the imperfective "jist" to transmit an action perpetuated over time and still incomplete)?


"To zvíře je slabé, protože nejedlo" - is rather "because it did not eat."

"it has not been eating." means pretty much the right thing as I have already explained at this very page before. It means that for since a certain time ago the animal does not eat.

Do note that "is not eating" is accepted here as well.


To zvíře je slabé, protože uz nejí. Why is the Uz not accepted here to really translate the present perfect ...has not ...


Using with a negative verb attaches the meaning "no longer" or "not anymore" to the verb.


and more generally, "už" in a negative context usually becomes "no longer/not anymore", except with perfective verbs in the past tense, where it becomes approximately "never" with a shade of "never did get to". hard to say which is anomalous there, czech or english. something deeper in the brain:

  • Když jsem se vrátil, už se česky neučil. (When I returned, he was not studying Czech anymore.)
  • Už se česky nenaučil. (He never did learn Czech.)

ETA: future tense can go either way.

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