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"Do you want to be taking care of my child?"

Translation:Chceš se starat o moje dítě?

July 10, 2018



Can't we just translate "Do you want to take care of my child?" ?


I believe so. And I think that's how I've translated it.


What is wrong with "Chceš se o moje dítě starat?"? I was corrected by a "ty" introduced between "se" and "o". But is this really necessary, and if so, why?


It is fine, I fixed the problem.


Hello! I'm constantly lost when it comes to order in the sentence. I tried "O moje dítě se starat chceš" and it marked it wrong. Which rule am I missing?


Try to stay in the word orders that are typically natural for other languages. Only try some exotic ones when you have a reason to do so.

In many languages the most common word orders are SVO (subhect, verb, object) for declarative sentences and VSO for questions. Czech often omits the personal pronoun as a subject and clitics must go the the second position. Then if you stress some art of speech, you most often move it to the end.

So start with the verb: "Chceš se starat..." and finish with the object "...o moje dítě?"

This is the most basic sentence word order and you can make many modifications, if there is a reason for them, but you should start from here and the modfications should not be arbitrary.

I see no reason why you would want to put the verb at the and for a question like this and it is certainly very unnatural. You could move the infinitive "starat" there if you stress it.


Thanks for the reply! It was quite helpful. It's not like "I want to" put the verb in the end, it just really comes natural to me. "Natural" and "exotic" are quite subjective.


You can't really follow any feeling at this stage. By exotic I quite objectively mean those word orders that differ from the natural order I described and which is natural in other languages as well.

Which language makes you to feel the verb should come to the end of a question? For sure it can't be English.


German is notorious for the final position of verbs (or infinitives and participles for that matter).

While there are general rules and patterns to follow, it can be confusing where to put what. Especially when it's not so much about the S, the V and the O but adverbs, particles and the like.


"To be taking care of my child" is an unnatural phrasing / tense. It implies that you're asking whether at a certain point in the future your listener wishes to be in the process of taking care of your child. "Do you want to take care" is better phrasing.


"Do you want to take care of my child?" also is accepted.


We wanted to avoid the simple present in the main translation because it would produce a more natural main translation back to Czech using the perfective version of this verb, postarat. There seems to be a long-term nature to the progressive tense here that precludes the pressure to use the perfective aspect.

I am also detecting a difference in the speaker's attitude. The simple present is quite neutral. The progressive appears doubtful as to the other party's willingness to provide the care in the long run. The speaker appears to know something about what they are asking about or the person they are asking.

To me the two tenses are not just two interchangeable alternatives of doing the exact same thing. Not a direct competition.

This could be related to the attitude difference between "He always asks me" and "He's always asking me". The former has 3x the frequency of the latter. Would that be a reason to abandon the latter?

Of course, if you natives feel I am mistaken, do let me know. Learning something new or unlearning something old is about the only compensation I get here :-)


Your explanation, as always, is excellent! I agree that "Do you want to be taking care of my child" has a somewhat different flavor than "Do you want to take care of my child." In my head, the first almost begs to have "... or NOT?!??" -- or something else like ".... for the next two years" -- tacked on at the end. The second is perfectly neutral.

Yes, "to take care of" might be more commonly used in asking the simple question, but I can also appreciate the reverse-direction dilemma. Since "to take care of" is accepted there, too, I don't see a compelling need for a change here. But that's just one person's opinion...


why was my answer "Chcete se starat o moje dětí" marked wrong? Is there a difference between "chces" and "chcete" ? (no accents on my computer)


Of course there is a difference. But both should nevertheless be accepted, because English doesn't differentiate here. "chceš" is 2nd person singular, so you talk to one person. "chcete" is 2nd person plural, talking to several persons.
But your error is "dětí". It should be "dítě". You used the wrong case/number.

no accents on my computer

Not true. You can produce accents on any computer. They are important in mny languages. You should install an international keiyboard layout.


Why not "Chceš se být o moje dítě starat?" I don't understand where the "to be" comes from in the accepted translation.


it is a component of the compound tense. you could also ask where the imperfective aspect of the czech verb vanished to when translated to english. these two languages are not both apples. they aren't even both fruits.

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