"Žofie chtěla, abych ji požádal o ruku."

Translation:Žofie wanted me to propose to her.

July 25, 2018

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Then what is the meaning of "o ruku"?


"požádat o ruku" = "to propose marriage"

literally: "ask for her hand"


My answer was "Žofie wanted me to ask for her hand." Why was that counted wrong? I understand it was literal but how would I know to answer in the figurative?


I am native AmE. Your suggested sentence ("Žofie wanted me to ask for her hand") would not, I suspect, be used very often, but I would not say it's wrong or even weird; just not something I'd expect to hear much.

If it fits the Czech sentence and it's already an accepted alternative, there may have been some small error in what you actually submitted that caused the rejection. If you used the Report button, someone can check for you.


Well, we have been accepting "Žofie wanted me to ask for her hand in marriage." I believe that's clear and understandable albeit it's old fashioned or unusual nowadays.

Do you think the "in marriage" part is entirely optional?


Yep. For me, it's fine without "in marriage" -- unless you think accepting it has a high probability of confusing non-English natives if they get it as a "correction."


All right, I made it optional. Dík!


why is there not : Zofie mê chtela, abych ji posada o ruku (in English "me") Thanks


Because it makes no sense in Czech. "Žofie mě chtěla" automatically means "Žofie wanted me." - period - not "wanted me to do something".

The "me" part is expressed by "abych", which literally means "that I would".

  • Chtěla, abych ji požádal o ruku. - She wanted me to propose to her.
  • Chtěla, abys ji požádal o ruku. - She wanted you to propose to her.
  • Chtěla, aby ji požádal o ruku. - She wanted him to propose to her.
  • Chtěla, aby ji požádala o ruku. - She wanted her to propose to her.


thank you for very clear and complete answer very much! Diky!


Apologies if I'm missing something obvious here, but why in the sentence, 'Katerina mě požádala, abych na ni pockal', can we not also do away with the 'mě'?


Because "žádat" (or the perfective "požádat") normally takes an object to show who's being asked (similar to, for example "tell" in English)

Without an object, "(po-)žádat" sounds very official, formal:

  • Kateřina požádala, abych na ni počkal. -- Kateřina requested that I wait for her.
  • Kateřina mě požádala, abych na ni počkal. -- Kateřina asked me to wait for her.
  • Kateřina mě poprosila... -- same as above but less formal
  • Kateřina mi řekla, ať na ni počkám. -- Kateřina told me to wait for her. -- v. informal

Even in the above example, "požádala" still sounds out of place, it's normally something you do when asking an insitution for something, using a form.


Thank you very much!


If you listen carefully you will hear that she actually says DO ruku!


No, it doesn't. At least the native Czech listener in me doesn't hear anything of the sort.


Why not: Žofie wanted me to propose her.


That doesn't work in English. In the context of making an offer of marriage to someone, it must be "propose TO."


Can this mean both that 'Žofie wanted me to propose to her, as in Žofie' and 'Žofie wanted me to propose to a woman who is not Žofie' like it does in English? Or, because it's just "o ruku," is it implied that it is Žofie's hand?


It can mean both, like in English.

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