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  5. "Are they old?"

"Are they old?"

Translation:Ony jsou staré?

September 5, 2017



Shouldn't "oni" be correct here too instead of "ony"?


"Ony" means only women. If you use "oni" you mean everybody and than you have to change the ending in word starý to "staří". So "Oni jsou staří?"


"Oni" = "they (masc. plural)" "Ony" = "they (fem. plural)" "Ona" = "they (neuter plural)" If you want to mix it (e.g. Men and women = Muži a ženy --> They = ONI), it means that when talking about a group of a few nouns which contains any masculin noun, you always use ONI ?


If the group contains at least one masculine ANIMATE noun, you would use oni.


Why does "oni" get used to talk about "everybody". I thought that it is used for masculine animate?


It is the default one. Used for groups of unknown gender and of mixed gender (when masc. animate is present).


Can we say "Jsou to staří?". TO seems to appear as an all-purpose pronoun in many sentences and is used for 'they', 'it','that', 'this' etc.


No, you can't. You can say "Jsou to staří lidé." but "Jsou to staří." is incomplete. "je to" or "jsou to" requires two things you equate (first of them is implicit).


Does 'r' change to an 'ř' infront of 'í'?


Perhaps historically (1000 years ago). Today we just consider 'r' to always have 'y' and 'ř' to always have 'i', but 'y' and 'i' are the same sound today.


How we should know that this sentence is only about women? It's not stated anywhere...


It isn't, all genders are accepted equally.


staré is not a choice given, so how can I use it?


There are more correct answers for different genders. The word bank exercises are selected randomly by the computer and you can be asked for any gender. E.g., oni jsou staří.


When do we use "Oni" and when do we use "Ony"?


See the Tips and notes, thse are different genders. Oni masculine animate, Ony masculine inanimate and feminine, Ona neuter.


Sorry. Where can I find the "Tips and Notes" section. Or how can I have acces to it. I just can't find it anywhere


Exactly, you'll only find it in the web or mobile browser, not in the mobile app. See https://duolingo.fandom.com/wiki/Mobile#Features


On the web, when selecting a skill, click on the lightbulb.


This came up as a "complete the translation" exercise, and pinged me about a spelling/grammar mistake in a part of the answer that i could not edit


Ony jsou staří VS ony jsou staré

The missing keyword for me to fill in was the "ony" part.


You should have filled "oni".



The feedback error definitely said "Ony" not "Oni"


This translation could be any gender, since there is no gender information in the English sentence.

If I'm reading your screenshot correctly, it looks like you used ony in your answer, and the system (graciously) gave you a "correction" that uses staré and "passed" your answer with a typo. Why it did that, instead of rejecting your answer outright, is a mystery (at least to me).


Why to jsou staré is not correct? How can I guess the gender?


"To jsou staré... co?" - for example: "To jsou staré ženy", "To jsou staré stroje", these are correct sentence, using the "to je / to jsou" construction.

But here you need a personal pronoun that matches "staré" in number (plural) and gender (feminine or masc.inanimate) - and that's "ony". Or you can leave out the pronoun and say simply "Jsou staré."

You don't have to guess the gender, you can use other genders as well: for masculine animate (for example "men") it will be "Oni jsou staří" and that's also a correct answer.


The answer given by the exercise is "Jsou ony staré?", with the verb before the subject. I understood, that unlike in english, in the interrogative form the subject always precedes the verb.


Czech word order is very flexible, there are multiple forms possible.


Why is ony mandatory? Couldnt staři jsou? Or jsou staři work too?


"Jsou staří?" is accepted. "Staří jsou?" is not correct, it just sounds strange.


Ona jsou staré?


"Ona jsou stará?" is the correct sentence for the neuter gender.


Why isn't 'Jsou stare?' correct?


"Jsou staré?" is correct and accepted. Use "My answer should have been accepted" for both.


Why does it have to be necessarily "ony" rather than any of the other forms?


It does not. However you should always report the complete sentence that was rejected. Then we can tell you what was wrong.

Please do also read the previous discussion.


in the previous example it was going like "Oni jsou starí?". what's the difference?


In the nominative plural, staří is the masculine animate form. Staré is for masculine inanimate and feminine. You can see the full declension table here: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/star%C3%BD.


Why "jsou staří oni" doesn't work ? I thought words order was free


No, it is not free. It is flexible, but Czech is an SVO language. Especially certain question-like word orders will not work well for declarative sentences. And later you will meet clitics and adverbs and other complications which are very non-free.


Why isn't "Oni jsou stará/staré" correct? I know it deals with the gender but why has "they" to be masculin?


"They" does not have to be masculine, and answers using other gender forms are accepted. But if you choose to use oni in your translation, you also need to use staří. Oni is the masculine animate form of the pronoun and it requires the masculine animate form of the adjective.


When is í and when is é depending on the use of Ony or Oni?

  • oni = they, masculine or mixed gender
  • ony = they, all feminine or masculine inanimate
  • ona = they, all neuter
  • staří = masculine animate plural
  • staré = masculine inanimate plural or feminine plural
  • stará = neuter plural

And then you just combine them. If the genders in a group are mixed, the default is masculine animate. So:

  • Oni (muži) jsou staří. (men)
  • Ony (stromy) jsou staré. (trees)
  • Ony (ženy) jsou staré. (women)
  • Ona (auta) jsou stará. (cars)


Thank you for this great and inclusive explanation. It's very helpful for me, cause I forgot my keyword and cannot look at the web.

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