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  5. "Teď se o jejich medvěda nemá…

"Teď se o jejich medvěda nemá kdo starat."

Translation:Now there is no one to take care of their bear.

May 27, 2018



This one is really too hard for tonight. I will sleep on it a night, hoping it helps!!

[deactivated user]

    It's not as hard as it looks. Rearrange using the wrong word order and the meaning becomes clear enough: "Ted' nema kdo se stara o jejich medvěda." Thé only trick then is to know that nemá can mean "there isn't".


    Am I right to believe that “kdo”, presuming the correct word order as displayed above as a model translation, is used as a relative pronoun? In German, it could be translated as: »Jetzt ist hier niemand, der sich um ihre Bären kümmert.« The boldly printed word would be “kdo” in Czech, hence my wondering whether I understand it correctly. It helps to remember the correct word order for such more complicated phrases, thus syntactical constructions.


    "Kdo" can be an interrogative (question) pronoun, a relative pronoun, or an indefinite pronoun (https://cs.wiktionary.org/wiki/kdo)

    It's not a relative pronoun here because relative pronouns join another clause - just like in your German sentence, which can easily be translated quite directly to Czech like this: "Teď tu není nikdo, kdo by se o jejich medvěda staral." - with the important difference that we need a conditional in the subordinate clause (staral by se) to express the same meaning as the sentence in this exercise. Without the conditional it has a slightly different meaning than "...no one to take care of the bear" - which means "no one who could/would take care of the bear".

    The sentence here is only one clause. The "kdo" here is an indefinite pronoun (like "někdo", but "někdo" wouldn't work here) and the verb "starat se" is in the infinitive - thus not forming a second clause.

    Isn't it possible to say something like "Es gibt niemand um Ihren Bären sich zu kümmern" just like in English?

    Here are a few more examples with the same structure: (the longer way of saying it using the conditional, but more similar to English, is in brackets)

    • Nemá mě kdo milovat. - There is no one to love me. (Není nikdo, kdo by mě miloval)
    • Nemám koho milovat. - There is no one for me to love. (Není nikdo, koho bych miloval)
    • Má ti kdo uvařit oběd? - Is there anyone to cook lunch for you? (Je někdo, kdo by ti uvařil oběd?)

    I just realized that you can often use a "have" construction in English in the same way:

    • Nemám koho milovat. - I have no one to love.
    • Ty nemáš kam jít? - You have nowhere to go?
    • František nemá co dělat. - F. has nothing to do.

    It's the same structure, the only difference is that "kdo" is the subject (instead of "I", "you", or "František"). Even "co" can be the subject.

    • Nemá to kdo udělat. - There is no one (here) to do it. (...that could do it)
    • Nemá se co pokazit. - There is nothing to go wrong. (...that could go wrong)


    Thanks a lot for this effusive comment, I just want to ask one more small question on it.

    1. If I now really understand why this is not a relative clause introduced by “Kdo”, this sentence doesn ot seem to have a subject but only “jejich medvěda” as an object, which would transform the German sentence into “Um ihren Bären wird sich nicht gekümmert”. Depending on how well you speak German, you might recognise that this is a passive clause, which distinguishes it from the Czech original sentence because in German, you cannot have a sentence without a subject, it's nearly as essential as the verb. As for how the German sentence could conversely be translated, I do not know as I do not know how exactly the passive is constructed in either Polnish or Czech. Likewise with the respective shape of “být/býć” and perhaps the past tense of the full verb.


    "Um ihren Bären wird sich nicht gekümmert." - Either "O jejich medvěda se nikdo nestará." or with the passive perhaps "O jejich medvěda postaráno není.".

    But there really is a subject in the sentence, it is represented by the "kdo" pronoun, similarly as it is done in questions. It cannot be a relative subordinate clause, because there is only a single (main) clause in the sentence. O medvěda (object) se nemá (predicate/verb) kdo (subject) starat (infinitive, part of the predicate).


    If you read my comment again carefully, you'll notice that I wrote (toward the end) that "kdo" (indefinite pronoun) is the subject of the sentence.

    I gave examples where this "kdo" (or "co") is used as an object (nemá koho milovat, nemá co dělat) where the whole thing can be expressed with "have" in English as well, but have to be rephrased with "there is no one..." when this same indefinite "kdo" is used as a subject.

    Non-passive sentences in Czech all must have a subject (like in German, English or any other IE language). Sometimes the subject is not overtly expressed but only implied ("Jsem muž." implying "já"), but this is not the case - "kdo" is a clear subject.


    You might also find this thread helpful:



    Could it also be "Now he/she has no one to take care of their bear"?


    Why not? What would that be then? Just because of the first Singular, then plural issue? Or is there another reason (too)?


    Translations using "has/have" are not accepted. If you have not already done so, you might want to visit the link in my comment at the top of this thread, focusing on the second comment from VladaFu regarding the mít (se) construction.


    Does "se" relates here to "mít" and not to "starat"? I don't understand.


    to starat. the "se" moves to the second slot.


    Děkuji! And does "mít se" mean anything besides "to be doing fine or poorly"?


    well, the one other set of meanings of "mít se" that comes up is rather idiomatic:

    with preposition "k" followed by a noun phrase in dative, it means roughly "to be into" or "to be about to". Nemá se k práci: S/he is not into work (not eager to work). Má se k odchodu: S/he is eager/about to leave. Má se k ní: S/he is into (sucking up to) her. Nemá se k ničemu: S/he is a lump.

    a minor logical/math twist on this: X se má k Y jako A k B: X is to Y as A is to B, like those nasty SAT/GRE analogies.


    Thank you! I have already seen some phrases with a structure like that in Czech book which I'm trying to read now.

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