"Chlapci jsou teď malí."
Translation:The boys are little now.
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It is quite regular and appears in other languages as well.
The reason may actually come from the Havlík's law. The -i in the plural is an actual -i that caused the yer between p and c to be weak and thus elided. In nominative the final yer was after the c and was elided instead and the yer between p and c was vocalized.
That's the general process for similar words, the word chlapec may have emerged after this process finished, but was created regularly, similar to other words ending -ec, gen. sg. -ce, nom. pl. -ci.
Compare свѧтьць (svętĭcĭ) -> světec / světci.
This sentence contains four parts: Subject (the boys), verb (are), adjective that modifies the subject (little), and adverb (now). The subject of a sentence is always in the nominative case. And, in a language with multiple inflected cases, like Czech, an adjective that modifies the subject must also take a nominative form.
- this - "tento" (more formal), "tenhle" (less formal)
- that - "ten"
- the - often not needed, otherwise "ten"
- a - usually nothing
You just need to modify "ten" (and "tento", "tenhle") according to gender and number ("ta", "to", "ti" etc.).
And of course, on the English side, "those" and "these" are just plural versions of "that" and "this" respectively.
The "c" cannot be silent in "ch", because there is no "c" in it.
- the letter "c" is pronounced /ts/ (as one sound), similar to English cats
- the letter "ch" is pronounced as in Scottish "loch" or German "Bach". It does not sound as an "h" and definitely not as a "k" either.
It is also pronounced practically the same everywhere -- in "chlapec" as well as in every other word. You may need to get your ears/brain used to it if you haven't learned a language that has it and until you do, it's natural that you may think you hear it differently in different places.