1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Czech
  4. >
  5. "I have a light blue car."

"I have a light blue car."

Translation:Mám světle modré auto.

January 11, 2018



Shouldn't this be: Mám světlé modré auto.


Světlé modré auto is a car which is light and blue, světle modré auto has a light blue colour. Perhaps the English sentence could mean both?


Agreed. I think “světle” is an adverb here, and “světlé” is an adjective. I think that, by this point in the course, we’ve probably come across this construction before (e.g., “dobrý” / “dobře”, etc.). Akin to the -ly adverb ending in English.

To my anglophone ear, “light blue” is a color, where “light” functions as an adverb describing “blue”. Describing a car as “light” would imply weight rather than color (e.g., “I like their line of light pickups”), so you would have to say, “I have a light-colored car” or something to that effect. But light blue is a light color, so we’re probably down to semantics here...


Ah, I missed this nuance the first time through, but it tripped me up this time, so I'm glad there was a discussion here, because Wiktionary didn't have the answers.


No, it's a compound adjective. In this case, you can either write "světlemodré auto" or separately "světle modré auto".


'mám auto světle modré' is no good?


I think we have to accept it together with "Auto mám světle modré." which better shows the difference. The verb acts as a sort of copula here but because we cannot translate this into English directly I feel we have to accept it as a translation in this exercise. It more or less means My car is light blue.

It is not the same as placing the agreeing modifier after the noun *"Auto světle modré je na ulici." — that is wrong in normal conversation or prose.


Placing the adjective after the noun makes it sound poetic. This is something you might find in a song or a poem. The standard, regular word order is always adjective+noun, i.e. světle modré auto. "modré" is an adjective that specifies the noun "auto", while "světle" is an adverb that specifies the adjective "modré".

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