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"Many children do not know their fathers."

Translation:Mnoho dětí nezná svého otce.

May 28, 2018

27 Comments


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

Why 'nezná'? Shouldn't it be 'neznají', since I am conjugating 'děti', which is plural? (they)


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

Here the subject is mnoho. dětí cannot be the subject because it is genitive ("of children"). Mnoho is used with verbs in singular.


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

Oh! That's totally new for me. Sorry for my mistake and thank you very much!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vixg
  • 395

It would be great to add this to the Tips which IMHO contain a very confusing layout for all tables instead :(


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

Hi. I'm near the end of my Family Adventure with the Genitive, and neither repeated occurrences of this exercise nor re-reading of this thread has cleared up my confusion here.

The sentence English reads Many children do not know their fathers. The object/accusative is in the plural. So I translated svoje otce. My answer wasn't marked wrong, so I got my points and can move on to the next level. Great. But I still don't understand the preferred translation at the top of this thread with the singular accusative svého otce.

In the exercise going the other way, Czech to English (thread here), I find similar confusion. In a Czech sentence that is singular in the accusative, the main translation in the English is plural.

I know other people have asked this question before, and I think I might be treading the line between learning a Czech language course and translation philosophy. I also recognize the English version of this sentence essentially means the same thing in the plural or singular, and I don't want to kick of a discussion about that.

So after all that, what is my question? . . . . I think I'm asking: Is my confusion related to my understanding the Czech here? I think I understand the Czech. I think I understand that both the Czech and English mean the same thing in the plural and the singular. I think I'm confused because Duo is accepting a translation that a strict old-school hand-slapping teacher wouldn't accept.


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

I think one thing to understand is that both the singular and plural forms of "father" are accepted in both Czech and English. But I think the main thing to understand is that, as described earlier, the subject of the sentence is mnoho which is followed by dětí, the genitive plural form of dítě. And that mnoho takes a singular verb.

So while the singular/plural discussion around "father/otec" is useful, it seems to divert attention from the "adverb of quantity-followed-by-a-noun-in-the-genitive-takes-a-singular-verb" teaching point. But that's just the opinion of one person, who has perhaps not fully understood your comment ... :-)


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

Yes. It's a long sad post. Thanks for your patient reply.

Good. I got the main point then. . . monoho dětí nezná. . . .and I was, as you suggested, distracted by the father/fathers/otec/otce discussion.


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

Wow. That's a long dang post. I think I'll down-vote it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Takis007

Je správný i překlad "Mnoho dětí nezná své otce", když je tam fathers a ne father?


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

Ano, to je také správně. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/R.V.0

or: Mnohé děti neznají své otce. all in plural


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bog999

Is svého otce singular or plural?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Martin659218

i thought the "ho" endings indicated singular. Like maleho kone jeho zenu and so on. And you seem to confirm it but then the answer is plural? (fathers)


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

You can also use plural, but singular is more natural in this sentence in Czech.


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

Both singular and plural can be used in English. FWIW, "fathers" sounds a bit more natural to me (native AmE, East Coast), but "father" is also used. Both are accepted here.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Martin659218

thanks, but the language i'm struggling with is Czech, not English ;)


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

Question: Mnoho deti zna sveho otce? Answer: Ne oni neznaji sveho otce Would that be correct?


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

That is not a good question word order. Rather: Zná mnoho dětí svého otce? The answer is more likely: Ne, nezná. Your answer would be used for a question about some specific children.


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

Re Mnoho deti zna sveho otce? Answer: Ne oni neznaji sveho otce Would that be correct? Yes I undestand what you are saying but if I were doing an comprehension that asked for full sentences, Would the answer be correct. Ne oni neznaji sveho otce .

While question order ' is not good ' Is it grammatically correct?


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

It is grammatically correct, but more likely to be used for some different question.


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

Is the word for father singular because each child (probably) only has one? For instance, if you were trying to say "Many children have hobbies", would the word for hobbies be in the plural since they likely have more than one?


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

yes. this "confusion" relates to how the two languages express 1:1 ownership. i suggest this experiment: Many people lost their lives/life vs. Mnoho lidí přišlo o život/y.


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

Shouldn't 'nezna' be indicated as a tip under 'do not know'. This is not explained elsewhere except in the comments.


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

I added a hint for the whole "Many children do not know". But I cannot promise that Duolingo won't fail in displaying it.


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

This just blows my mind that an adverb is considered the subject of a sentence rather than a modifier. Deti is also the nominative plural of dite (sorry, don't have a czech keyboard), correct? But in this case "deti" is genitive because of the "mnoho". So... I'm just asking... WHO THE HELL PUT THIS LANGUAGE TOGETHER?! I guess that's my REAL question.

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