"Tehdy jsem uměl anglicky hůř než ty."

Translation:I spoke English worse than you then.

September 13, 2018

This discussion is locked.


My answer of “I used to speak English worse than you”, should be accepted. This is very commom phrasing in the US by native speakers and likely in Great Britain as well.


You are missing "then" "at that time" "back then" or some other equivalent of "tehdy".

I am not sure whether we don't translate "used to speak" as "mluvíval" (an iterative/frequentative), I have to check that first.


I know I can translate tehdy to then and back then. I just wanted to propose “used to” as the more common usage.


"I then spoke English worse than you" was not accepted from me!


I wrote “I was worse at English than you back then.” It was not accepted. I’m having trouble understanding where the verb “to speak” appears in the Czech sentence.


It is hard to draw the line. One could argue that yours is closer to "Byl jsem v angličtině lepší...".

The verb to speak does not appear in the Czech sentence at all. But please understand that sometimes there is no direct equivalent or that different languages prefer other expressions.


I then some English worse than you, should be accepted. It is perfectly acceptable in English.


I assume you meant to write "spoke." To me (native AmE), "I then spoke English worse than you" is somewhat awkward.

The subject-THEN-verb construction more commonly used most in professional or other formal settings: "The thief then exited the bank / The nurse then started the saline drip / The defendant's lawyer then made a passionate speech on behalf of his client." In these cases, "then" carries the meaning of "next."

In the Czech sentence, we have tehdy, which is not "then" in the sense of "next," but in the sense of "at that time." This would be best conveyed by the main translation -- "I spoke English worse than you then" -- or something like "(Back) then, I spoke English worse than you."


I do not think that "I then..." would not be used in this context in everyday English and it is certainly not incorrect, though perhaps not as common as with "then" at the end.


Yes, but even if it's used in everyday English, "I then spoke..." mostly carries the meaning of "After that, I spoke/said something..." or "And then I spoke/said something...", which is a different meaning than "At that time in the past, I spoke/was able to speak English..." that is conveyed by the Czech "tehdy".


We must agree to differ. I agree that ,as you say,"it mostly carries..." but it is often used when reminiscing about the past without implying "after that".


I wrote, "I could speak English worse than you then." This was not accepted. It seems that "umet" carries the meaning of "know how to, can, am able to". No? And my sentence is in past tense, as required. I'll be OK if the MODs say that this is just how it's done; that "could speak" has a different meaning from "spoke". I am trying to understand when we would use "umet" vs. when we should use "mluvit".


I personally think that "I could speak English..." is also a valid way of saying this. And in the reverse translation "I spoke English..." could also be "Mluvil jsem anglicky..."


This is interesting. "I could speak English worse than you then" sounds odd to me. But "I couldn't speak English as well as you then" sounds perfectly fine. That's another sentence, of course, but the difference between the "could" and "couldn't/could not" versions got my attention for some reason.

For example "I could speak English worse/better than you... (subtext: but I won't/if I wanted to)" seems fine. But "I could speak English worse/better than you" by itself doesn't, to me, mean quite the same thing as "I spoke English worse/better than you." Further complicating things for me is that "could" feels better with, er, "better" than it does with "worse."

But maybe it's just me, and maybe it's just right now... :-)


"could speak" only works in a positive context.


Is it normal that we dont have the audio for this one?


Hi, was it a listening exercise (where you have to type what you hear) or a translation exercise? Thanks!


Mine is a translation exercise - written in Czech, the words are underlined, I'm to translate to English. The Czech sentence doesn't have the usual audio symbol next to it, though, and no audio plays. (However, I can still listen to the sentence in the discussion!)


Ah, I see why. The sentence had a "male" label so that Duo wouldn't show female characters next to it -- which some learners found confusing, since the sentence is uttered by a man due to "uměl". And since we no longer have the male voice (it was of poor quality and mispronounced a lot of things), no audio was played at all. I have removed the "male" label for now, but it's present in a number of other exercises.


Sorry, I put "Back then I was worse at English than you." Is Umet SPECIFICALLY speaking a language vs. knowing it? This seems to be another one of those "slithery" verbs (stat and stat se pop to mind) that has different meanings in different contexts. Oh, wait, I see someone else has the same question lower down.

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