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Czech sentence - help please

Ahoj :)

I'm reading the article at and came across this sentence: "Ve východním Londýně si ve stánku s rychlým občerstvením právě objednával jídlo". Especially the last part confuses me... Could somebody parse this sentence for me? :/

This article is way above my level, so I was very ambitious when I began reading it. I've had to look up nearly every word in a dictionary... I appreciate your help in gaining further insight into your fascinating language. :)

Sep 24, 2016 1:48 AM
Comments · 5

There is a nice article on wikipedia which tells more about the placement of reflexive pronouns and other clitics in Czech sentences.

The 2nd position is the one where you need to be extremely careful as what to put there, because there are plenty of words who want to be in that one position! :-) So if there are more clitics in one sentence and the 2nd position is already occupied, they will be placed on the nearest spot after the 2nd position (3rd, 4th, 5th..). 

Here is the link in Czech:říklonka

And in English:

Then a Czech sentence can start like this:

"Byl-li jsi se mu představit..." (There's no personal pronoun in accusative here, maybe someone else can think of a sentence where there would be all 5 types/groups. But anyway, I hope it makes the logic how to construct a sentence a bit clearer. :-)

September 28, 2016

There's a tiny mistake in Peachey's translation, which would be correct if the original sentence used the finished ("dokonavý") form "objednal". As the unfinished ("nedokonavý") form "objednával" is used, the exact translation is that he was ordering, not that he had ordered. Other than that, everything else is correct (well, not quite sure about the part about the placement of "si", as I don't know the rules, I just know :) ).

September 24, 2016

Hi John, I can try to give you a couple of insights while we wait for a proper Czech native speaker. The declensions and prepositions will help you parse the sentence.

[ Ve východním Londýně ] si [ ve stánku ] [ s rychlým občerstvením ] právě objednával jídlo.

The parts starting with ve (in) tell us where. The declensions which follow are consistent, ie. East London = Východní Londýn; in East London = Ve východním Londýně.  It's the same with s (with).

Notice I've boldfaced the verb as well as si. This translates as "ordered for himself", and the si floats as close as possible to second-place in the sentence. There are a few confusing rules about this placement, but just be assured that si would never come at the very beginning. :)

My rough translation would be, "He had just ordered some food at a takeaway stall in East London."

September 24, 2016
Thanks a lot Luboš^^ Hopefully I will be able to read news articles in Czech with greater facility and understanding some day :) I love your language and I've been fascinated by Slavic languages, especially Czech, for a long time now :)
September 24, 2016
Thank you so much for solving this for me :) So the words "stánku [stánek in the nominative] s rychlým občerstvením" belong together and mean "takeaway stall" :) 
September 24, 2016
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