"Few people need to know Czech."

Translation:Češtinu potřebuje znát málo lidí.

August 30, 2018

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I expected umět to be correct but not znát, za jazyky. Why is it different here?


Here you have a direct noun object - čeština = the Czech language. So znát works here. Umět does too.

When you use an adverb - česky - then umět is much more common. Znát would be bookish or archaic. At least for me.


Could someone help me with the word order? What's the difference between the suggested meaning and "Češtinu málo lidí potřebuje znát." ?


This is strange. This would be usable if you want to say that they do not need to KNOW it bet they nedd to ... instead. But what would be those ...? It should be some verb.


I am also stumped by word order. Could someone answer previous question please.


What about ¨Málo lidí potřebuje umět česky¨ ?


Would work something like "málokdo musí umět česky" too?


It works, yes. But there's a certain difference between "muset" and "potřebovat".


I wrote "Málo lidi potřebujou umět češtinu".
I used potřebujou because I thought 'few people' would require the 'they' conjugation. Are 'few people' considered a single unit for purposes of conjugating the verb?


All expressions of quantity other than 2-4 take the singular form of verbs (with the noun in genitive instead of nominative):

  • Dva, tři nebo čtyři lidé potřebujou (or potřebují)
  • Pět, šest, deset, málo, několik, hodně, dost (etc.) lidí potřebuje


Thank you. I know that I have previously read this about the nouns, but I don't remember reading about the verbs.


Yes, from the point of view of Czech, the logic is the same as in "A group of people is doing something". Things like five, ten, few, several, many, etc. are all treated as "group", followed by "of people" (genitive) and a singular verb.

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