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"Is it big?"

Translation:Je to veliké?

October 16, 2017


  • 1789

Where did the "i" come from in the middle of velky and why did the "y" suffix change to an "e"?


The end "y" changed due to gender (like the answer other reads).

As to the "i" from what I vaguely remember, (it's been a very long time so I am here to brush up/re learn) "velikí" is/can be bigger/larger than just "velký". Sort of like the difference between big and huge. It is also used as "great", as in "Katherine the Great" = "Kateřina velika". As opposed to "velká Kateřina" which would be "big Katerina"

I also found this: http://www.wordbook.cz/index.php (need to scroll down on the page):

veliký - big
veliký - grand adjective
veliký - great
veliký - huge adjective
veliký - large


<pre> velký - big velký - bulk velký - bumper velký - grand adjective velký - great velký - high velký - large velký - magna </pre>

(not sure how I got the yellow in there, just ignore it:)


As Katja-z said, when there is a name (of king, emperor or whatever else) with "the Great" then you have to use "veliký". But there is no other difference between these two. You can use both, it means totally the same thing.


,,ý" changed to ,,é" due to gender (,,ý" is masculine, ,,é" neuter). And I believe that ,,veliký" instead of ,,velký" means ,,great", but I'm not sure


Well, they answered the second part of your question sufficiently, but then changed the discussion to how adding an "i" in the middle of the word changes its meaning to "great". But we are not being asked to translate "Is it great?". We are being asked to translate "Is it big?"


Both velký and veliký can mean both big and great.


Why is it "je veliká" but "je TO veliké"? Why isn't "je veliké" correct?


Read the tips and notes. (light bulb icon on skill selection, web only atm due to Duo being silly).


Thank you endless_sleeper. I definitely cannot find any mention of this new word in the notes.


Can't you also say "Je ono velky?"


No. You probably mean Je ono vel(i)ké? Though I think it's grammatically correct, no one would use it. Using to is much more natural.


Thanks, but i still dont understand why "Je ono velké" is wrong. Following the logic that "on, ona, and ono" are "he, she, and it," if you would say "Je on velký" and "Je ona velká," why is "Je ono velké" incorrect? Or is it TECHNICALLY correct but no one would say it?


Ono is rarely used in contemporary speech and writing. But please understand that there are two "ono"s. One is a form of on (he, she, it), the other is a form of onen (that one). But neither is commonly used. It just sounds weird in most situations.

It is sometimes used as a kind of drop-in subject, that can be added mostly at school when discussing the syntax and needing an actual word to point instead of the implied subject. "Prší." (It is raining.) We need a subject. What is actually doing the raining? "Ono prší.".

You can sometimes also meet it used as a kind of interjection. "Ono prší!" (with a surprised or worried facial expression).

But in "Je to veliké." we really just use the "to". I am not even sure I would write that the phrasing is even "technically correct". Perhaps in some very strict evaluation.

In a stressed declaration, like in the "Ono prší!" example, it could work

"Ono je veliké!"

I can imagine that this sentence might actually be used.

Or even:

Veliké ono (opravdu) je!

It IS (indeed) big!

Here, the ono refers to some actual object that is neuter (město). Not just some indeterminate "this" or "that" as we can do with "to". Please note that the "ono" is there instead of just "Je veliké!" or "Veliké je!", not instead of some "To je veliké.", "Veliké to je." or similar.


It's technically correct, but outdated today, and no one would say it. The best use for the personal pronoun "ono" is when talking about a neuter-gendered living being, which is pretty much either "děvče" or "dítě", but it still sounds quite formal. I can't tell you why. But it's used normally in other cases (e.g. "něj, jemu, jím" etc.) where the forms are the same as for the masculine "on".

And it's also used in other contexts (e.g. "Ono se mi ale opravdu nechce!"), not as a personal pronoun, but that's advanced stuff.


I have a question about the Noun-less "to".

TIPS says "Our "the" test says that because "the" does not work in English, "to" does not change to reflect the noun gender. Here we have no noun, just an unattached adjective looking for something to agree with, and it only finds the "to", which then reverts to its singular neuter role."

My question is - if you were pointing at something non-neuter (ie hrad) when you asked the question, would the adjective remain neuter or would it be : je to velký?


It wouldn't be "to" anymore. Some possibilities:

  • Je velký?
  • Ten je velký? (Is that one big?)
  • Je ten hrad velký?
  • Ten hrad je velký?
  • Je to velký hrad? (switching to the "je to / to je" construction)
  • To je velký hrad?


Brilliant. Thanks.


"Je velike" was accepted.


So wait, can you say "Je to velký", or do you have to say "Je to velké"? Or can you say both?


You have to say "Je to velké?" when using "to". It can mean "Is it big?" or "Is that big?".

But you can also say:

  • Je velký? -- Is he big? or Is it big? where "it" is a masculine thing
  • Je velká? -- Is she big? or Is it big? where "it" is a feminine thing
  • Je velké? -- Is it big? where "it" is a neuter thing, or a child for instance
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