"Popsali ženu, která jim ukradla motorku."

Translation:They described the woman who stole their motorcycle.

June 29, 2018

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Is it possible use a sentence "they described the woman who stole them a motorcycle" ? Or "they described the woman who stole a motorcycle to them"


I'm not sure exactly what you're asking, but both of those sentences could be "real" sentences in English.

The first one would mean that "they" did not have a motorcycle. But some woman stole one, and she gave it to "them." And then "they" described, to someone else, the woman who stole the motorcycle and kindly gave it to "them."

In the second sentence, "they" described to some other people ("them") the woman who stole the motorcycle. But in this case, the woman may or may not have given the motorcycle to the people who are describing her.

Hope that was something like what you were looking for, and also makes some sense... :-)


Thank you for the explanation. Originally I thought that the both sentences have the same mean as original sentence in czech ("Popsali ženu, která jim ukradla motorku."). After your explanation I think that

  • They described the woman who stole their motorcycle. = Popsali ženu, která ukradla JEJICH motorku.

  • Popsali ženu, která JIM ukradla motorku. = They described the woman who stole them a motorcycle. - Exactly like you explained above.

The second sentence in czech should have two meanings. 1) "The woman who stole their motorcycle" 2) "The woman who stole them a motorcycle" (The motorcycle for them).


I am very confused as to why "jim" is "their" in this sentence. I assumed that "jim" would be dative "them", but when I put the Czech version of the sentence in a translator it comes out as the English version put forth here. Can anyone help?


It is just how English works, you can't translate languages word by word, you must respect their natural phrasings. Czech uses "On mi ukradl kolo." (mi in dative) and English uses "He stole my bike." (my as a possessive pronoun). In Czech you use the possessive pronoun as well: "On ukradl moje kolo.".


Ok, so is the use of the possessive and dative in constructions like this interchangeable? Or is it only with certain verbs that you can use the dative in this way?


No, it is not interchangeable.


That's not quite correct translation. We had our own motorbike. - "They described the woman who stole their motorcycle." We had a rented motorbike. The motorbike wasn't ours. - They described the woman who stole them the motorcycle.


I may be misunderstanding your comment, but "They described the woman who stole them the motorcycle" is not normally correct in English in the meaning of this sentence. It might be used by some with the meaning of, "They described the woman who stole the motorcycle FOR THEM," in other circumstances.


Please see also my answer to smoaking.

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