1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Czech
  4. >
  5. "Jsou to malí ptáci?"

"Jsou to malí ptáci?"

Translation:Are they little birds?

October 22, 2017



If "ptáci" is masc. anim. nom. pl. shouldn't the demonstrative adjective be "ti" rather than "to"?


You're right about the first part, however, if you were to use "ti", you'd have to say "Jsou to ti malí ptáci?". Unfortunately, then it would not be a perfect translation of the sentence above.

In this sentence, there is used a phrase "je to/jsou to", which is commonly used in Czech to indentify things/people/etc. The "to" does not change with the gender of a noun, only the verb has to match in singular/plural. (eg. Jsou to ptáci? Jsou to ženy? Jsou to města? Je to muž? Je to kočka? Je to kuře?)


Paul, don't confuse the demonstrative ADJECTIVE 'to' (and its other inflections such as 'ty', etc.) with the uninflected demonstrative PRONOUN 'to'.

Here we have the pronoun, not the adjective. And in Czech, the singular neuter ('to') is used even with a plural complement. So the sentence here means literally 'Are it small birds' = 'Are they small birds'?


"Are those birds small?" is not correct?


I wrote the same thing. Hopefully we can get some help here.


'Are those birds small?' = Jsou ti ptáci malí?

'Are they little birds?' = Jsou to malí ptáci?


Is this the same as "are those little birds? " I'm trying to extend what I know about "Je to x? " which could mean "is it/is that x? "


Yes, "those" would be fine here, too.


Small dog / but little birds? Why? Kdy mám malý překládat jako "little" a kdy "small"?


Díky. Ano, tak podobně jsem to vnímala, ale vyrušil mě vzorový překlad "... a litlle birds" Je to myslené jako "ptáčci" nebo mláďata? Třeba sýkorku modřinku bych nazvala spíš "small bird", správně?

Learn Czech in just 5 minutes a day. For free.