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  5. "Ptá se na rozdíl mezi chlapc…

"Ptá se na rozdíl mezi chlapci a děvčaty."

Translation:He is asking about the difference between boys and girls.

April 27, 2018



Shouldn’t “o” rather than “na” be used in the construction of this czech sentence? I tried to translate it to “He is asking FOR the difference between boys and girls”, and of course it was wrong.


No. Surprisingly, different languages use different prepositions.


So if I said in Czech “Pta se o rozdíle mezi chlapci a děvčaty” it would be wrong? This is the first time I’ve seen “na” being used as a way to say “about”. Is there some special circumstance where “na” can or should be used to say “about” rather than “for”?


It'd be wrong.

You can't translate the prepositions using a dictionary. Every verb uses certain prepositions. These are NOT the dictionary equivalents of the preposition in a different language. You must learn the valence of each verb individually in each language. You cannot just try to translate the preposition separately as an independent word.


"ask for something" in the sense demand something is more like "žádat něco" . You can see that while the English verb uses the "for" preposition the Czech one uses a direct object. So it is obvious you can't translate the "for" here separately from the verb. A perfective equivalent is "požádat o něco" so another option. Notice it is accusative "o něco", NOT locative "o něčem".

That said I am not sure if "ask for" couldn't be accepted here, but I think it can't after reading the definitions in https://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/ask-for

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