Why isn't this sentence "The foxes are looking for the dogs"? Is it because of the case?
Yes, indeed, it is because of the cases! :)
'The foxes are looking for the dogs' would be Lišky hledají ty psy. Notice the subtle difference between ti psi = nominative and ty psy = accusative.
Hope it helps and happy learning! :)
Ti psi and ty psy don't sound the same. Ti is palatalized. Check the tips and notes for the very first lesson.
What does a palatized t sound like? The notes say it is like an unvoiced d but I can't get my mouth to pronounce that sound.
See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voiceless_palatal_stop It (Ť) is an unvoiced Ď, not D.
You can search for recordings of Czech words at forvo.com.
Vladafu's website recommendation is great if you haven't tried it. IMO the website is a pain to navigate, but has great audio files.
Yes. BUT... there is a way (at least for a Czech native speaker) to tell the difference. If it were the foxes looking for the dogs, not only would it be PSY, but TI would become TY
Lišky hledají ty psy.
If we omitted the TI-TY, nobody could be sure who was looking for whom and the general understanding would be that the first noun is an object and thus the foxes are the ones looking.
You meant to say that the first noun would be taken for the subject, right? Just to prevent any confusion in your great explanation. ;)
Right. And, obviously, I meant spoken word. Written still would have PSY and Czechs SHOULD be able to tell... ehmm.
There is no way to figure this as a listening only exercise: Foxes and dogs sound the same in both Nominative and Accusative cases. While foxes can only be written one way, dogs can be either psi or psy, which sound the same. So this could be "Lišky hledají ty psy" Meaning that the fox is the one acting (by exclusion, because the dog is in accusative case)
That is incorrect. The key is in TI vs. TY. These sound different and determine the meaning of the sentence.
Ti psi hledají lišky. VS Lišky hledají ti psi. What is the difference? I see that majority of phrases are formulated this "less common" way. Is that on purpose? If yes, what is that? Thank you.
Not the majority, just some, the purpose is to show them and to teach how cases and work order work in Czech and that it is very different from Enlish.
The difference is on the stress. The new information in the sentence, usually stressed, is at the end.