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  5. "They are old."

"They are old."

Translation:Jsou staří.

October 15, 2017



Why are here "Jsou stara" and "Oni jsou stare" possible? Why does stara has two different endings here? Shouldnt it be the same gender?


Masculine, mixed or unspecified group: Oni jsou staří

Feminine: Ony jsou staré

Neuter: Ona jsou stará


Thanks for the examples; they are very clear and helpful. A question: why does the "r" change in stari (sorry, my keyboard won't let me make the change) from "stare' " and "stara' " ?


it must change because R is a hard consonant unable to be followed by the required soft ending Í. R becomes Ř in such cases. three other such shifts: H into Z, CH into Š, K into C.


So then why is "Oni jsou zvířata" allowed in a different question? Isn't "zvířata" a neuter noun (as judging by the plural ending "-ata")?


This is different. One is a noun predicate, the other adjective predicate. The noun has a fixed gender on its own, the adjective follows the subject.


Sorry, but why is "to jsou stará" wrong? Is it because of "to"?


Why then in a previous task there was "TO jsou stara zvirata"? Is there any difference?


yes, the difference is the inclusion of the noun "zvířata".

  • To jsou stará zvířata.
  • To jsou zvířata.
  • To nejsou zvířata.
  • Jsou to zvířata.
  • Nejsou to zvířata.

are all ok, but

  • To jsou stará.

is not. the only related sentence with a nounless adjective used predicatively that works would be

  • To je staré.

i note that in that case the natural gender of "to" (singular neuter) matches that of the adjective, so in that last sentence we are really dealing with a slightly different "to".

an exceptional, very informal/expressive sentence that also works is

  • To je stará.

where "stará" is not an adjective despite the appearances, but instead functions as a noun meaning the speaker's wife or girlfriend.


I was thinking it was the absence of the noun, but other places we were discussing how je to/to je and jsou to/to jsou were interchangeable. that may have been not referring to a sentence without a noun. I will have to review with that in mind, or look for a reply here. thanks for the answer you gave, too.


Would you compare this please, to the same sentence using "Je to and To je". Isn't it correct to say, je to male' or to je male' but not je to maly, then? Thank you.


Indeed. "Je to malé." You cannot use malý, only with a masculine noun. "Je to malý strom." If the tree is already in the context, you can say "Je malý.".


what's wrong with Oni jsou stari


"Oni jsou staří." is correct


And we know that we need to use "oni" instead of "ony" because "staří" is masculine, correct?


Why not ¨oni staři?"


You are missing a verb, the sentence needs a verb, Czech is not Russian.


You are THE MUŽ, VladaFu. That little correction has cleared a lot up for me.


When is it Stara, stare or stari?


It depends on the gender. I suggest you to read the Tips and notes or any other resource about the declination of Czech adjectives.

Read also the previous discussion here.


Where can i find the tips and notes? I am a starter and i don't have any resources could you please help me for starter tips? I found alots of things at google but it's so compilacated.


Tips are available in the web version of Duolingo, NOT in the app.

I like the web version more even on my mobile phone.

Yuse your web browser, select a skill and click on TIPS.


Why isn't "Jsou oni staří" accepted here, when "Jsou ony staré?" was accepted for "Are they old?"? Does the question form allow for a more flexible grammatical placement?


Czech is an SVO language, use a different order only when you have a specific reason. A question often uses the VSO order, unlike a normal declarative sentence. It is not natural for a declarative sentence.

The SVO order is: Oni jsou staří.


I'm having difficulty knowing when to use the pronoun (oni in this case) and when not. In some cases it doesn't seem to matter, using or not using appears interchangeable... But in other cases without pronoun it is talking generally about all the old people in the world, vs. These specific people being old.

Sorry for my confusion, thanks if you can give me some insight. So far I've learned a lot by asking questions!


That's really too broad. Ask about some particular sentence you have a problem with. This one can is easy and both are possible.


OK Thanks. I will try to study further the difference between the two and ask a more direct question.


What's the different between "ony jsou staré" and "oni jsou staří" ?


the first is feminine or masculine inanimate, the latter is masculine animate


it could be women. Isn't "ony jsou stara" correct ?


No. feminine plural is staré, stará is neuter plural.


I noticed the ending on the adjective changed to ří in this case. I do not see this in Tips/Notes. Is there any guideline for when to change an r to ř for plurals? Maybe it is an exception to memorize or it is explored later? Thank you.


The Tips contain this:

  • Animate masculine nouns ending in a consonant in the singular usually append -i to form the plural, e.g., muž becomes muži (men) and kluk becomes kluci (boys). Note the consonant shift from k to c before the -i.


  • The consonant shift from k to c also impacts the animate masculine hard adjective before the ending. Thus we get from velký kluk (big boy) to velcí kluci (big boys).

This is true for other hard consonants as well and the consonants they are paired to were mentioned elsewhere (h -> z, ch -> š, k -> c, r -> ř, d -> ď, t -> ť, n -> ň). Don't forget the softening effect of I and Í on the preceding D T and N in Czech orthography.


I was offered "Oni jsou staré" and "Jsou staré". I chose the option with Oni and it was marked as incorrect and that the option omitting Oni was correct. I don't get it, I thought Oni was optional and that it's ok either with or without it. Thanks!


The problem isn't that oni is required, but that it is masculine animate, and staré is not. Oni needs staří.


I don't understand why it has to be staří, because we are not necessarily talking about some thing animate. If we were talking about cities for exaple, it would be: města jsou stará..


That's why that is not only accepted but even one of the multiple possible main correct translations here.

So I do not understand why you say "it has to be staří".


Oh, I think i wrote starý but that's surtainly wrong. Thank you..


Thay are old, and we are young and pretty☆

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