"Moje dcery byly s Žofií v divadle."

Translation:My daughters were in the theater with Žofie.

June 8, 2018

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Would "My daughters were AT the theater with Žofie" also be an acceptable translation?

There's nothing wrong with "in" here, but I think "at" may be used more often than "in," at least in the general context of describing where "my daughters" were.

I would expect to see "in" used in more specific contexts, e.g., "My daughters were IN the theater with Žofie when that balcony collapsed, but they were not sitting near it" or "My daughters were IN the theater when that performance was recorded for TV."

So... just wondering.

UPDATE -- I just tried this with with "at" instead of "in" and it was accepted.


I will say that as someone who is IN the theatre, it also has the connotation that it's your profession. At least in English. Not sure if that applies to Czech.


In Czech, "Je v divadle" just means the location inside, whereas "Je u divadla" could mean either profession or that he/she's standing near the theater building.


I will add a clarification, for the benefit of interested non-English natives who land here:

If you are, for example, an actor or a director, and you want to make the point that your profession is related to onstage productions, you would say, "I'm / I am in theater" -- not "I'm in THE theater." "I'm in THE theater" conveys your location, not your profession.


Bonehead, for the sake of those non-native English learners here, okay. But you do say "I'm in The Theatre" (note the caps) which denotes not the location but the profession--as well as "I'm in theatre". A kind of a self-referential theatrical flourish. We're an unruly lot and don't tend to follow rules, grammatical or otherwise. But it seems I've heard other professions do this as well. Certainly, "I'm in The Movies" (although not "I'm in the TV" which WOULD denote location.) Odd how that works but as we have found out, every language has its quirks.


And English has a lot of quirks. More than Czech, it seems to me :)

We have to pity all those ESL speakers taking this course to learn Czech via English.


Oh, I'm sure. But I must say, I think the English verbs are much easier. There may be ONE change per case (other than "to be"), usually in the third person singular (I run, you run, he RUNS, we run, they run, etc.) And the fact that we don't have "agreements" (masc., fem., neuter, etc) doesn't clog the brain with all those details.


Sure, grammar is definitely more complicated in Czech. But as for quirks (arbitrary "you can't say that, you must say this" moments and all kinds of idioms)... English may be the "richer" one. Also, English has no single standard, leading to discrepancies between its various forms and dialects, while Czech has a unified maintained standard.


I did not try 'se Žofií' instead of 's Žofií' but would it have been accepted? In the audio I cannot hear the 's', it is surely impossible to pronounce it clearly?


It would. Note that the "s" is pronounced as /z/ due to the usual voicing assimilation rules because Ž is voiced. /zžofijí/

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