"A different bird is sitting on the egg today."

Translation:Dnes na tom vajíčku sedí jiný pták.

August 19, 2018

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Am still having trouble with the word order. I "assembled": "Dnes jiný pták sedí na tom vajíčku", which wasn't right. Are there rules for these sentences?


If you start with an adverb, continue with a verb. And you can put the object before the verb.


"Dnes sedí jiné ptak na tom vajičku" is also incorrect. Is it necessary to put the object before the verb if I put the subject after it?


There is no such rule about object and subject placement. You just need to observe what you're stressing in the sentence.

So in "Dnes sedí jiný pták na tom vajíčku." you're stressing the egg and it's weird - you're contrasting "that egg" with some other egg -- plus, an indefinite "another bird" is sitting on a definite "that egg", so this word order would make more sense with "the bird" - "Dnes ten pták nesedí na tomhle vajíčku -- dnes sedí na tamtom vajíčku", for example.

However, it's accepted as a marginal variant, keeping in mind that you'd have to pronounce it with voice-stressing the "jiný pták". Your version would still be rejected because "jiný pták" is necessary (jiné is neuter). You also have some missing diacritics there.


Would "Dnes sedi jiny ptak na tom vajičku" be correct?


It is a strange order.


Proč ne Jiný pták sedí dnes na vajíčku?


Without some kind of intonational gymnastics, understand what you're saying here. The topic is "jiný pták" - already unusual to begin the sentence with it, unless someone asked you about this different word, but then you'd say "the different bird"... And the focus is "na vajíčku" - that's the new information that should contrast with something else.

In the English sentence, the bird is indefinite, so it's new information and should go towards the end. The egg is definite, so it's something already known and should go to the beginning or near it.

Your word order is more likely: "The different bird is sitting on an egg today."


"Dnes jíný pták sedí na tom vejci." Possible? Thx


The use of NA vs V here... Just have to learn by rote when the one or the other is used?


In general, prepositions are like that and have to be learned in combinations with other words.

But "na" is actually the normal, typical equivalent of "on". Both refer to a position on the surface, as opposed to "v" and "in" that refer to a position inside of something.

  • na stole - on the table
  • na zemi - on the ground
  • na botě - on the shoe
  • na čele - on the forehead
  • etc.

But of course, there are some less typical contexts where "na" does not equal "on":

  • na náměstí - at/in/on the square (dep. on BrE vs. AmE and the exact meaning)
  • čekat na někoho - to wait for someone
  • těšit se na něco - to look forward to something

Or, the other way around, "on" might not always be "na":

  • on Sunday - v neděli
  • on June 1, 2021 - prvního června 2021 (no preposition)


Oh, well, I always wondered why my Smichov-born Mom was so high strung. Now I know. It's this language. This DAMN language.


If you try learning ANY other language, you will discover the same - a specific preposition usually translates as something, but sometimes as something else. You will find the same in Dutch and German, which are closer to English.


Well, I DO speak other languages but they're Romance based: French and Spanish. English is my native tongue. But other than the confusion between "en" and "dans" in French (both meaning "in") and when to use them, I don't recall ever stumbling this badly. Obviously, the ear & brain must get used to what works with what (as opposed to having a rule you can apply consistently) so it's second nature. That just takes time. Which hopefully, I have.


Yeah well, Romance langauges are relatively poor in prepositions, compared to Slavic or Germanic ones, but still. What about, for instance, the Spanish "Está sobre la mesa" (It's on the table) vs. "Hablan sobre tu madre" (I'm talking about your mother)? Or the two prepositions "por" and "para", both of which can be "for" and both of which can also be "to" or other things? And I'm sure there are many more such misalignments.

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