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  5. "Byly tam dvě pravé boty a čt…

"Byly tam dvě pravé boty a čtyři levé."

Translation:There were two right shoes and four left ones there.

September 19, 2018



Where does the second "there" come from? I translated it as "there were two right shoes and four left ones. (English is not my mother tongue, so not sure if that's rather a question about English?)


"Byly ... [kdo/co]" is translated as "There were ... [who/what]", and "tam" is the second "there" for the local position. If it was "There were ... here", it would be "Byly tady ...".


One is "there is", the other is there for the location. Neither of them is implied by the other.

For those who downvote and state that is "so wrong", "ridiculous" etc., please check https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=There+is+*+there&year_start=1800&year_end=2000


I seem to remember already replying to this thread. I'm guessing you deleted it...

Yes you are correct there are two concepts but you are incorrect that in English neither would imply the other.

A native speaker wouldn't repeat 'there' here on purpose and if they said it, would feel like they made a mistake somehow.

We would just use the first 'there isn't for both the location and the existence.

Your google search just shows a few things that are kind of setpeice phrases. I can't really explain why but then the construction is shorter with just 'there is (one word) there' it sounds more viable.

Some of the search is silly. The results of 'there is and there' are humorous... some are literally grammar questions.


You wrote: "A native speaker wouldn't repeat 'there' here on purpose and if they said it, would feel like they made a mistake somehow."

I can't agree, because I'm native AmE and would certainly say it on purpose in the appropriate situation. And, having said it, I would not feel like I'd make a mistake. So either I'm a know-nothing moron of a native speaker, or "I got somethin' else goin' on." Maybe both are true... but here's the "something else."

The sentence, "There were two right shoes and four left ones" is a statement about the EXISTENCE of those shoes. On the other hand, "There were two right shoes and four left ones there" is a statement about both the EXISTENCE and the LOCATION of those shoes.

And more importantly, as noted elsewhere, the Czech original contains tam, which means "there" in the sense of location or direction (here, location). It does not mean "there" in the sense of "there were." [Edit: Translations that do not take account of tam are not accepted.]

Could an acceptable translation be constructed that does not contain “there” twice? Absolutely. Is the translation shown above (as of 7 Feb 2020 and earlier) wrong? Absolutely not.


Be aware that the results you get in Google Bools are NOT those that are counted using ngrams. Google Books search, unlike ngrams, is not case sensitive and does not consider sentemce boundaries.

BTW do notice there is the opinion of another contributor, who is also a native English speaker, in this discussion.

I would never defend stuff against native speakers if I didn't have support from other native speakers.


Would you say "There were many people there"? Without the second THERE one would be referring to all the shoes in the world!


Be that as it may. In English you don't use the word 'there' twice in one sentence. It's bad English full stop.


That's a very bold statement with which lots of native speakers as well as grammar books will invariably disagree.


Nope. Full stop.


Native English speaker and I have never heard anyone put a second 'there' in such a sentence. You have already identified the place so it is not natural to repeat it.


To be fair, I often speak this way (just a single there) as well, but I have always considered it to be an mistake. Here I learned many native speakers find it correct. That is good. But as you can read in the rest of the discussion, other native English speakers do not consider the double there wrong.


I have read this entire discussion and I feel like I should say my point of view on this question, as it was extremely confusing for me to use two "there"s. I understand why it would be used this way, but this sentence implies that the person was asked a question such as: "How many shoes were there?" or at that the individual saying this sentence has spoken about a certain location prior. I believe that is the cause of many people's, including my own, confusion about this question and perhaps the second there should be removed as this kind of sentence does not come without context, and further confusion can only hinder a person's learning of a language.


Why isn't "2 right shoes and 4 left ones were over there," accepted? Is it because I did not type out the numbers?


This may sound a little weird, but since byly means "there were" and tam means "there" (as in direction or, in this case, location), there should be two "theres" in the translation to English.


"Byly" means "they were" (they is implied by the plural of the verb) and "tam" means "there". In that sentence there is no need for two "there".


English uses the "there is" construction for existence. There are good shoes and bad shoes.

And with a combination of an adverbial it shows location: There is a shoe on the table.


No, we do not accept this even with the numbers typed out. But someone else has to comment on the grammaticality of your answer.


I am a native English speaker. Having 'there' twice in the sentence feels a bit unnecessary and clumsy? It feels like the 2nd 'there' is implicit.


There is a long discussion about this feature on this page already.


I know. I wanted to support the comments of the other native speakers.

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