1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Czech
  4. >
  5. "Where is that car?"

"Where is that car?"

Translation:Kde je ten automobil?

July 28, 2018



'Kde je ten auto' is wrong!?


Auto is neuter. TO auto.


thx for clearing that up! was sure auto was just short for automobil...


So if I would write "Kde je to auto" it would be correct?


"Kde je to auto?" is accepted.


Learning how to use "to" and "ten" is so frustrating and confusing. Is there not an easy way to remember their usage? I'm having trouble knowing what words are masculine and neuter which makes it harder to know what's the correct usage of "to" and "ten". How can one determine if a word is masculine and neuter?


Regarding only the gender of words, it's best just to memorize it when you learn a new word. But you may find something useful in this earlier discussion: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/27322667. You can also check gender (and learn a lot of other things) at a site like: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/auto#Declension_2. (Depending on your display, you may have to scroll up a bit for the gender reference for auto.)


I wrote "Kde je to automobil" and it was marked "wrong" because it should be "ten". I'm confused as to the difference and usage of ten, to, and ta. I gleaned that "to" should be for neuter, but "ten" seems to be used for both neuter (automobil) AND Masculine (ten strom). "Ta" I assume is for feminine direct objets.


Automobil is masculine, auto is neuter.


Tricky. VERY tricky.


How is that possible, they're both referring to "car"


Different words have different grammatical genders. That is a purely grammatical feature that often has nothing to do with the actual object the word describe.

The word osoba is feminine even if the person is male.

Televize is feminine and televizor masculine. Biograf is masculine but kino is neuter. There are countless such synonyms of different genders. And it works similar in many other languages.

The gender is a grammatical feature of that word not of the object the word describes.


If interested, you can check the declension table for demonstrative pronouns here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Czech_declension#Demonstrative_pronouns.


How do you know what word is neuter and what word is feminine or masculine?


By looking into a dictionary and remembering.

You often can tell based on the suffixes and endings it uses. The -o is clearly neuter. the -il is a typical masculine feature.


Mostly (but not always) by looking to the last letter can be helpful. There are more information at "tips" section


"Kde je to automobil" is wrong, but "či je to automobil" is acceptable--curious as to why, thanks.


That is because with Čí, Jaký, Který and similar you are asking for the properties of some specific thing so you can use the "je to"/"to je" construction.


This is a super helpful insight. Thank you!!!


I wrote kde je ta mašina, probably inconciously being influenced both by Russian, where машина means "car", and by this very exercise, in which mašina occurs with the meaning "machine". So, may I assume that Czech mašina, and unlike Italian macchina, is not used for cars? (In German, you can use "Maschine" with reference to an airplane but not to a car).


No, it is not used for cars at all. Sometimes colloquially for motorbikes, but I would not go as far as to say it actually means "a motorbike". German certainly had effects on Czech here, with words like strojní puška from Maschinengewehr (and colloq. mašinkvér), later switched to kulomet (from пулемёт).


Thank you, I always appreciate your helpful comments.


"Kde je ten auto" is used all the time in real life, isnt it?


No, it is to auto as explained in other comments. Please read them.

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