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  5. "Ony jsou staré?"

"Ony jsou staré?"

Translation:Are they old?

September 6, 2017



Ony / oni / ona - they

Which one is which gender ? Here ony takes a feminine plural adjective. I would have expected ona to be the feminine. Is ona then masculine ? since oni seems to be neuter - Oni jsou zvířata


You've got it all mixed up a bit. :)

Oni - they for masculine animate Oni jsou muži. 'They are men.'

Ony - they for masculine inanimate and feminine Ony jsou stroje. 'They are machines.' Ony jsou ženy. 'They are women.'

Ona - they for neuter Ona jsou štěňata. 'They are puppies.' or more commonly used to jsou 'those are' To jsou štěňata. 'Those are (they are) puppies.'

Please note that ona means 'she' as well.

Hope it helps and happy learning!


Thanks that is much more clear However, I did not invent that sentence:

Oni jsou zvířata. Are the animals masc. animate ? However the word animal is neuter...


'Animal' is 'neuter'. Oni is 'they masculine animate'

Oni jsou zvířata simply means 'They (the men/the elephants/the lions/the sharks/the snowmen/any masculine animate plural) are animals'.

Hope it helps and happy learning!


Thanks I am happily learning from you: D Just tell me why did you use onA in your first They are animals examples ? Is that a second possibility or maybe only for 'teddy bears' or 'stuffed animals' ?


Nope. I have used it, because the word itself 'zvířata' is a neuter. It wasn't a very good example, though, so I have changed it now, it should be slightly clearer.

Note, that 'they' may sometimes mean the obvious 'They (the animals) are animals.' and sometimes there is some hidden context 'They (the men) are (like) animals.'

As a pretty important side-note: As a native speaker, I would not use the form 'ona - neuter plural' that much, even though it is grammatically correct. That's why it's pretty difficult to come with an example that is both grammatically correct and 'natural-sounding.'

Instead 'ona - they neutral plural' I would say 'To jsou...' which corresponds to 'those are' and which is used A LOT.

To make it more clear, look at some examples.

'Praha, Brno, Plzeň?' 'To jsou města.' = 'Prague, Brno, Pilsen?' 'Those are cities./They are cities.'

'To jsou štěňata.' = 'Those are puppies./They are puppies.'

Hope it helps and happy learning!


Hi, for a group of mixed gender, which pronoun would be used? Oni/Ony/Ona?


For a group of men and women, you'd use "oni."

I'm not sure what would be used for a group of nouns that are NOT men and women but are of different grammatical genders -- for example, if a magazine (časopis, masc), a book (kniha, fem), and a pen (pero, neu) are lying on a table. Maybe you'd just use "to jsou" in a case like that.

But if you wanted to say something about a horse (kůň, masc), a cow (kráva, fem) and a pig (prase, neu) wandering around in a barnyard, maybe it would still be "oni."

At least, that's my GUESS, for what it's worth!


The rule is that if any of the objects is grammatically masc. animate, it will be oni. So here kůň would make it "oni" because it is masc. animate (strangely, it used to be inanimate in Old Czech). The rules for plural groups are more involved.


if there is no noun, how do you know what gender to use?


There is a pronoun there: "ony". And it is masculine inanimate or feminine.


If I understood this thread correctly, "ony jsou staré", the -é implies that it is either feminine or masculate inanimate. "Oni jsou starí " is then masculine animate? Would you be able to use "ona jsou starata"?

Or am I getting something completely wrong about this?


"Ona jsou stará" would be neuter plural. "Ona je stará" is feminine singular.

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