"Narodila se se třema nohama."

Translation:She was born with three legs.

December 8, 2017



This is weird in so many ways! :-o

I mean: why would you use dual when there are three of them? Is it because people usually have two legs? And how does it work with animals that have four, six, eight or a thousand legs?

December 8, 2017


It is just another trap for foreigners!

When we are talking about live legs, hands, ears, etc. , thus those that people and animals have it is -AMA in plural instrumental.

When we are talking about table legs, clock hands, pot ears (yes, pot handles in czech are called ears), it is -AMI in plural instrumental.

December 8, 2017


That's just cruel! ;-)

So that would make: "stonožka chodí sty nožou"?

btw: cups and pots have ears in Dutch too :-)

December 9, 2017

  • 1071

nohou, but otherwise yes, it seems so. Apparently what matters is not that there are two of them (which you'd expect from a well-behaved dual), but that they come in pairs.

October 13, 2018


Just to add some more history to the dual. Old Czech used to have: Singular Dual (two of anything) Plural (for 3-4) Genitive plural (for 5+)

Someone decided that this decided that this was too messy and simplified it by removing dual, and hence today's Czech only have two plural forms. For almost all nouns, the dual-form was removed. But because people were used to speak about certain body parts in two's, for noha, ruka etc. the plural form was instead removed and replaced by the dual form.

And I think the dual form also lives on in somewhat archaic 200: 2 stě.

Hope I got this all right.

November 10, 2018

  • 49

The dual is used for live limbs, ears, eyes etc. (usually pairs) regardless of the actual number.


December 8, 2017
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