"Berete jídlo na tři nebo čtyři dny?"
Translation:Are you taking food for three or four days?
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I am a native English speaker and this sentence makes no sense to me. What is "taking food"? Do we mean like eating, or do we mean like moving food from one place to another?
Also, "Are you" cannot be used with the present progressive when a period of time is defined. You can ask "Are you taking food?" but not "Are you taking food for three or four days?" The correct grammar would be "Have you been taking food for three or four days?"
I am wondering about something similar. Is 'na' used to direct the action to an object similar to 'on' or to show purpose/say why similar to 'for'? I cannot tell from the translation what the actual Czech sense is, although I can accept that normally we use 'for' in English. Does this mean that na can be used to show purpose also?
Yes, this confused me, too - I never even considered "taking food for a camping trip," but of course that would work, and the sentence would be correct! I think we would tend to say "bringing" rather than "taking," but either is correct. Thanks for clearing it up in the comments!
If I am staying behind, wouldn't I be asking you about the quantity of food you are taking rather than bringing? The direction you and the food are headed is away from me. The Czech verb allows both directions, away from me as well along with me.
Also, if we chose to rely on "bring" (because maybe the speaker is coming along after all), our users would demand translations with "nést" or "přinášet", which are so off that the reverse exercise would just need to be killed. In fact, even this forward exercise would be subject to pressures to replace the original sentence to avoid translating "brát" with "bring" because of the perceived disconnect in the inherent directionality.