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  5. "There were twenty-one men he…

"There were twenty-one men here."

Translation:Bylo tady dvacet jedna mužů.

April 13, 2018



jednadvacet/dvaadvacet vs dvacet jedna/dvacet dva: I read about those two possibilities to build the numbers above 20: When is the first one used? Is it more colloquial or outdated? Interestingly it's the way we say it in German.


Bit more colloquial, yes, but commonly used.

I think it is influenced by German for sure.


Interesting. That must be very confusing for children, who have to learn calculating.


It's also confusing for speakers of other Slavic languages, because only Czech and Slovenian (and Slovak marginally) have this "German quirk". My Macedonian boyfriend learned very good Czech very quickly, but whenever someone said, e.g. "Je mu šestačtyřicet let (He's 46 years old)", he would immediately hear it as 64 and he couldn't get his head around it.

(šestačtyřicet = čtyřicet šest)

(čtyřiašedesát = šedesát čtyři)

When doing math at school, only the "proper" forms (dvacet jedna) are generally used.


Yes. It is confusing for me too. :-D I am Slovak.

We (in Slovak) use "jeden-a-dvadsať, dva-a-dvadsať" only when we count seconds. B-)


In this thread the correct answer is shown, but when I type "mužů" when presented with the question I receive the response: "You used the wrong word." and the correct answer shown to me is "Byl tady dvacet jeden muž."


Apparently the error shows up only with the following bad translation. "Byl tady dvacet jeden mužů". I know that is incorrect, but the answer provided ends up being the one in my previous comment which is incorrect.


"Byl tady dvacet jeden muž." is also a correct translation we accept, but it is not something you have to learn. It is a less-used alternative.

Duolingo always shows the answer that is deems to be the closest and it does not care about the relative frequency of use in the spoken or written language.


Ty, I showed it to my Slovak in-laws who are visiting and they had never seen muž used for genitive before, but of course, they are not Czech so... :-)


That's because it is nominative. As I said it is a different form you do not have to learn.


No, it is not colloquial. It is rather obsolete in fact.

So there are multiple ways how you can connect a number and a noun if the last number is less than five:

  1. dvacet jeden muž, dvacet jedna žena, dvacet jedno dítě; dvacet dva muži, dvacet dvě ženy, dvacet dvě děti

  2. dvacet jedna/dva mužů, žen, dětí

  3. jednadvacet/dvaadvacet mužů, žen, dětí

So in the first one you care about the grammar rules for the last number 1 to 4 and you use the nominative or accusative. But it is obsolete, I never use this actively. It sounds somewhat unnatural, I think it may be more common in administrative texts.

In the other two you use genitive.


Ok, I guess the rules I think I know don't always apply. I had thought that once you get to 5 of something, that you start using the genitive of the thing in question in both accusative and nominative.

Vidím jeden strom. Vidím dva (tři, čtyři) stromy. Vidím pět (a víc) stromů. (mužů, žen, koček, aut, etc)

I know I don't have to learn the other form, but out of curiosity, would that way of speaking be considered colloquial? I'm sure I sometimes also get confused with the subtle differences between Slovak and Czech as well. I am not even fully fluent in Slovak (married to a Slovak for 15 years), which helps to complicate my transition to Czech. Just wondering for future reference.


In Slovak is not correct neither "dvadsať jeden muž" nor "dvadsať jeden rok". Only "dvadsať jedna mužov" and "dvadsať jedna rokov". :)

But in Czech it is frequently.

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