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  5. "Naše dítě téměř nikdy nepláč…

"Naše dítě téměř nikdy nepláče."

Translation:Our child almost never cries.

June 3, 2018



Are téměř and skoro synonyms?


Yes, at least here.


Isnt this a double negative? never . . . does not cry


unlike English, CZ frequently uses double negatives


I think I will need many more examples of the double negative. Is the ne- part of the verb used for emphasis? Would the sentence carry the same meaning if the ne- was left off?


It cannot be used without the double negation at all. It is obligatory.


Ok, so... "neplace" is a negative. In the above translation, that's not the case. I translated this as "Our child doesn't cry almost ever". The situation being (in English at least) that you can't have a "double negative" in a sentence or it infers the opposite. In the above translation, the verb has been adjusted. In my translation, the adverb (never) has been adjusted to "ever". Both translations mean the same. How do you know which to follow?


I'd just use the one that sounds more natural, and I'm afraid "our child doesn't cry almost ever" is very clunky compared to "....almost never cries".

Also "Our child hardly ever cries" is among the accepted answers - and that doesn't even have a single negative in it.


So if I put "Our child doesn't almost ever cry" (which is far less clunky and indeed is said), it would be considered correct? It seems the "double negative" rule doesn't apply in Czech as it does in English (duh! they're different languages!). If we wrote "never... not cry" it would mean the child cries almost always.


I don't understand why you'd want to put "never... not cry" OR "doesn't almost ever", when you can simply write "never cries" since that's how it's normally said in English.


Agnus, I'm trying to solve the "double negative" conundrum. In English, it inverts the meaning of the sentence. "Never not cry"-Nikdy neplace-- wouldn't happen because it would mean the inverse (the child cries all the time). You would say "almost never cries." That's what I'm trying to get a handle on. It's not so much the correct Czech-English translation that I'm questioning. Apparently, from what I can tell, that's not the case in Czech. Although I haven't had time to check Vladimir's reference which I will tomorrow.


It's quite simple, really. Words like nothing, nobody, never, nowhere etc. are always negative: nic, nikdo, nikdy, nikde, respectively, and the verb that goes with them is also negative. So whether it's "never cries" or "doesn't cry ever" doesn't matter, in Czech they're both negative: "nikdy nepláče". Adding almost/téměř to it just means that the "never" is not 100%, i.e. he occasionally does cry. "Nikdo nikdy nikde nepláče." = "Nobody ever cries anywhere".

English words like anything, anybody or anywhere, by themselves, translate to "cokoli", "kdokoli", "kdekoli" etc. and they just don't work in normal negative sentences because they always mean exactly that - "cokoli" means "anything at all - any thing out of all possible things" - it can't mean "nothing".

Think about "Někdo pláče." (Somebody is crying.) - without the double negative, the opposite "Nikdo pláče" (wrong) would sound very similar and people would have to ask "did you say někdo or nikdo?" all the time. With "Nikdo nepláče" it's clear that nobody is crying. Oh and "Někdo nepláče" means "Somebody is not crying" (there are some who aren't crying), so that doesn't work as a complete negation either.


Would you mind elaborating a bit on your "indeed is said" claim? I am willing to bother our native speaker colleagues, but I fear all they will say is "no, not in my variety of English; where did you hear that?" I see a few internet hits, but they tend to be of the "stream of consciousness" vein,

I appreciate you getting down to the point and being concise which I was not that day, because longer as I've found it does not almost ever mean substantial or of a sober peaced mind.


Neuby, I'm from small-town Missouri (albeit with a Czech mother) and we do all sorts of interesting things with spoken English (which as a writer and an actor, I find quite charming). Another example I've heard is "Might would" (as in "Might would you be interested in buying my house?", etc.) which is incorrect grammatically but again, part of the "regionalism" that is fast disappearing due to TV, etc. And kind of the great part of American English as well.

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