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"What is the name of that square?"

Translation:Jak se jmenuje to náměstí?

March 14, 2018



it's not appropriate to use genitive "toho" here for "of that square"?


Not, náměstí is in nominative here, it is the subject of this sentence.

Another translation is "Jaké je jméno toho náměstí?" This one uses genitive.


My first few times past this sentence, I hadn't done any genitive work. But now that I've learned a bit about the genitive, I'm puzzling my little beginner's head on this.

'toho námeští' is the genitive part, yes. Got it.

Here, we're using the neuter noun 'jméno' instead of the verb 'se jmenovat'. I'm somewhat confident about this too.

But what about 'jaké' instead of 'jak'? I see 'jaké' listed in the declension tables for 'jaký' as the nominative neuter, so that matches the noun 'jméno'. Is that where 'jaké' fits in?

And finally, why is the genitive required here? No quantities. No prepositions. 'Je' isn't a verb that requires the genitive, right? Is it in some way considered possessive?, as in 'What is the square's name?'

Edited for postscript: Everytime I post one of this things, I feel a strong urge to thank all you MODS profusely for giving your time to this. It's an unbelievably generous gift of your time and knowledge.


"jaký/á/é" is "what kind of" or "which" asking for some property or quality or character of something, typically a noun or pronoun. Often the answer is an adjective.

"jak" is "how", asking for an adverb or other manner of some verb (here "jmenovat se") or process

The genitive is here indeed a possessive, the name belongs to the square, "the name OF the square".


How can you tell whether to use "jak" or "co"? I have seen a few sentences that alternate. Are they interchangeable?


No, they are very different.

Jak - asking for an adverb, how something is done (here in Czech literally how the square is named)

Jaký - asking for an adjective, some quality or property - What kind of ... ? The square is big, nice, quiet...

Co - asking for some object, What is it? What has he got? Co to je? Je to náměstí.

You must consider that this Czech phrase says "Jmenuji se (somehow)" and not "Mé jméno je (something)".


Oh okay, that makes much more sense now. Thank you :)

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