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  5. "Ony jsou staré."

"Ony jsou staré."

Translation:They are old.

September 9, 2017


  • 1339

What is the difference between "ony" and "oni"?


Gender. "Ony" is feminine, "Oni" is masculine.


But is it pronounced the same way?

  • 1339

You can try to go with "ы" for "y", Czechs will not notice, probably.


That page was useful thanks! I heard all the sounds and I learnt how to pronunce lot of letters https://forvo.com/user/Zababa/pronounced-words/page-3/


Aagh! They sound exactly the same to me! Maybe my ear is just not trained to recognize the difference.


The reason I ask is in textbooks I've seen something like "in Czech, i and y are pronounced the same", and then in speech it sounds really different, like in the above example.


well.... sorry, this might be longer. They sound the same.... sometimes.

Third grade of Czech schools is pure hell. Kids have to learn which letters can be followed by I, which by Y and which by either.

ž š č ř c j ď ť ň are always followed by I. always.

h ch k r d t n are always followed by Y (with very few exceptions that are foreign words keeping foreign spelling)

b f l m p s v z can be followed by either and you have to learn by heart words where Y is used and then apply I everywhere else.

Notice, that there is ď ť ň and d t n are once under i and once under y. The confusion you have comes from this group. d t n followed by i are pronounced as ď ť and ň even if they "hook" is not there. Actually the "hook" is never there because the i makes it "soft". For Czechs this is no biggie and does not represent a problem even for the third graders. They all get stuck on the b f l m p s v z.

I and Y sound the same post every other letter but D T and N.


kacenka that's super helpful, gonna find myself a czech 3rd grade teacher. ♥


One important note: Oni is also used for mixed groups (like 2 women, 1 man), ony is used for feminine plural


So to be clear, "Ony jsou staré," Is speaking about a group of old women/girls whereas "Oni jsou staři." Is referring to either old men/boys or a mix of both??


Ony implies that all are women. Otherwise, in mixed groups or men it would be oni.


at least one feminine individual, while the rest can contain neuters.


Aha! I was wondering about this when I responded to a post in another discussion. I speculated that "oni" would be used for M-F-N... but I really wasn't sure about the neuters. So thanks for this!


if they are old, how do we know the gender?


In this sentence, because of ony, which is the feminine form.


and how do we know that the "old" ones are feminine?

  • 1339

Technically speaking, they can be masculine inanimate as well ("Stoly, ony jsou staré"; not sure whether this word order works in Czech, however), but usually an animate object is assumed in context of usage of adjective "old", that's why feminine.

But this information can be extracted only from the Czech sentence, not the English one.

Edit: s/masculine animate/masculine inanimate/, sorry for confusion.


Masculine inanimate is indeed perfectly possible.


I thought I had this clear but after reading this i need a summary so... Putting to jsou aside for a bit. (I know to jsou is they are) Ony jsou is only feminine?? Oni jsou is only masculine??
To jsou for not only Neuter. I thought only masc was Ony - Ony jsou dobri muzi only Fem was Ony jsou dobre zeny only neut would be To Jsou dobra auta and masc, fem and Neuter together would be ONY jsou dobri muzi, dobre zeny a dobra auta


Check https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/on#Declension and the related linked below the table.

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