1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Czech
  4. >
  5. "They are small animals."

"They are small animals."

Translation:To jsou malá zvířata.

May 2, 2018



Is there a difference between "to jsou malá zvířata" And "jsou to malá zvířata?" I know both are correct but would you use one over the other in different situations or is one more common?


When you see some animals and you express your surprise or enjoyment you say more likely "To jsou...". If some animals were mentioned and you want to tell they are small you say more likely "Jsou to...".


Why isnt it "Oni jsou..."? Why use "To"?


This is the common "to jsou/jsou to" pattern. Please do also read other questions and answers here and under other sentences.

Oni jsou... is possible and accepted. But that would be most likely used if you wanted to say about a group of people that they are small animals. Quite weird but possible. But it could also be a group of animals if they are grammatically masculine animate. Anyway "to jsou" or "jsou to" is more natural here.


This is one of the best explanations i saw on this topic


Jsou ta malá zvířata. Would "ta" agree here with neuter plural?


Nope, there is no agreement here, you always use "to" in "to je" and "to jsou". Consider "It is my mother." or "It is Jim." or "It is him.", no agreement either.


Why it's not malé zvířata?


Zvířata are neuter. Neuter plural nominative is "malá".


I wrote "To jsou zvirata" (can't write the r correctly here) and it got accepted (as a typo), corrected into "zviratka". On the one had, i forgot the "malá", and on the other hand, i didn't know "zvírátka" and it was not on the word bank. Could anyone please explain?


You forgot the "malá", so Duo found the closest correct answer to your "To jsou zvířata", which happens to be "To jsou zvířátka" and assumed you accidentally left out the "k" (a typo).

"zvířátko" is a diminutive of "zvíře", and a diminutive is close to "little something" in meaning. Thus "malá zvířata" =~ "zvířátka".


cool, nice to know that these things exist in czech (i knew the diminutive from german and spanish before, but i didn't even think about it). Thank you!


Yes, it's very common and productive in Czech. There are usually more tiers:

  • stůl - a table
  • stolek - a small table
  • stoleček - a tiny table
  • dům - a house
  • domek - a small house
  • domeček - a cute/beloved house or a house for dolls
  • noha - a foot
  • nožka - a little foot
  • nožička - a baby's foot or a small leg of an object

Sometimes diminutives create new words with a different meaning:

  • list - a leaf or a sheet (of paper)
  • lístek - a ticket (or a small leaf)
  • lísteček - a tiny leaf or a small piece of paper
  • nůž - a knife
  • nůžky - scissors
Learn Czech in just 5 minutes a day. For free.