"Nastoupil jsem do sestřina auta."

Translation:I got in my sister's car.

August 2, 2018

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How do we know that this is "my sister's" and not "his sister's" or some other variant?


It is assumed in Czech it is my sister. It could also be "your sister" in certain contexts when it is clear we were speaking about "your sister" already. Not accepted here though, "my sister" is the normal meaning here.


This section on possessive adjectives really has my head spinning. Is there some sort of rule when to use these possessives vs. using the genitive case. Earlier in the course we had “Where is your father’s house?” translated as “Kde je dům vašeho otce?”. So in the sentence here could “sestřina auta” be “auto sestry”? And if they are interchangeable, which one would be preferable or more commonly used?


I think they will sound better in most circumstances. Where you can, use them.

For your specific case I would use “Kde je dům vašeho otce?” if we didn't speak about the house or the father before but if we are already in the street with the intention to go there then really just "otcův dům".

Auto sestry is really strange. Auto tvé sestry if we didn't speak about the car before or the sister before. Otherwise sestřino auto.


There is one potentially important difference between "dům vašeho otce" and "otcův dům". Only the genitive construction allows multi-word owners. So even if the "vašeho" was actually needed, you can't sneak it into the individually possessive adjective (no such thing as "váš otcův dům").


How about "I stepped into my sister's car"?


That's somewhat different. I would translate that using vkročil, vstoupil.

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