"Mají mnoho malých dětí."

Translation:They have many small children.

September 14, 2017

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Why would one use the genitive case here and not accusative? I think if I read this sentence in English I would say that "many small children" is accusative, so "mají mnoho malé dětí" similar to "I have coffee" or "Mám kávu". However, if I'd say that "I have many of the collectible cards", so here collectible cards is a subset of all of the collectible cards, I would use genitive. Are there any rules when to use genitive and not accusative with the verb mít?


jorubsi, it is not the verb but the word 'mnoho' that is the source of your confusion here. Unlike the word 'many' in English, the word 'mnoho' in Czech is not an adjective. It is an adverb. So the sentence is literally something like "They have muchly of small children."

Or you can think of the sentence as "They have a lot of small children," in which the English sentence too is followed by a genitive phrase beginning with "of".

(In the latter example, some would consider 'a lot' a noun phrase and others would call it an adverbial phrase. Either way it is followed by a genitive.)


I assume genitive is used also after some words or expressions like "mnoho" ( "a lot of" )


In fact this exercise is using "mnoho," so you are obviously right.

And yes, other Czech adverbs of quantity are also followed by the genitive, such as malo" (few, little), hodně (a lot), or dost* (enough).


Thanks for asking, I wouldn’t have picked up why. This is from the explanation under the skill page: …the genitive. It is used for objects of many verbs and with a few prepositions, and also occurs in constructions with nouns/noun phrases (often to show ownership), adverbs of quantity…


The word MNOHO is your culprit. It is considered a number (kind of) and behaves as one. And Czech numbers are really really weird. 2, 3 and 4 behave one way and everything above 5 including generic quantity descriptions like "many, few, more" etc. behave differently.

Read more on numbers under the lessons for numbers. 5 and up are described under Numbers2



Meaning actually small children, like in size? or grandchildren?


Meaning small in size (used here most likely in the sense of being young). Grandchildren are "vnoučata" in Czech, so it would be "Mají mnoho vnoučat".


Is there are reason why young is not accepted then? I thought it's the same thing.


Well we can argue that young kids are usually small but small and young are not synonyms.


Is 'They have many little childs' not correct? Or is little a wrong translation of malý


Děkuji, anglicky nemluvím velmi dobře


This came up before as.. they have many children. I wrote it down and when putting this answer in it now says they have many small children. Even my Czech wife gets confused at some of your answers and translations. I just lost a heart because the answers are not consistent.


small children - malých dětí

If you confused this with some other sentence (e.g., Kateřina má mnoho dětí.), you might have lost a heart. However, do not blame others for that. If you use Duo on the web (including mobile web), you avoid the heart system.

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