Case + Quantity, Color, and Gender

Barbapapa1985

New Member
English - US
I've just started learning Czech and am struggling with how to determine cases with numbers and colors.

So, for example...

1. I have a black cat. Já mám černou kočku.
2. Anna has a green lizard. Anna má zelenou ještěrku.
3. You have seven purple squirrels. Ty máš sedm fialových veverek.

My workbook says that if you wanted to say, "I have one black cat," though, you'd say Já mám jednu černou kočku.

Why? Why wouldn't jednu be jednou if černou is - aren't thry both adjectives?

What if I wanted to say I have three blue cats or eight blue cats? Já mám tři modrou kočky or osm modrou koček?
 
  • Enquiring Mind

    Senior Member
    English - the Queen's
    Hi Barbapapa1985. Jeden/jedna/jedno is treated grammatically as a numeral (not an adjective) and it doesn't decline with all the same case endings as černý/černá/černé. You can see the singular declension pattern here and find the plural declension pattern at the source, which is Wiktionary:


    declension of jeden​
    masculine animatemasculine inanimatefeminineneuter
    singular
    nominativejedenjedenjednajedno
    genitivejednohojednohojednéjednoho
    dativejednomujednomujednéjednomu
    accusativejednohojedenjednujedno
    locativejednomjednomjednéjednom
    instrumentaljednímjednímjednoujedním


    What if I wanted to say I have three blue cats or eight blue cats? Já mám tři modrou kočky or osm modrou koček?
    A: I have three blue cats: mám tři modré kočky. ("three" + accusative plural adjective + accusative plural noun)
    B: I have eight blue cats: mám osm modrých koček. ("eight" + genitive plural adjective + genitive plural noun)

    After the numbers 2, 3 and 4 (or ending in 2, 3 or 4, e.g. 22, 32, 42, 102 etc.) direct object adjectives and nouns have to agree in the accusative plural case. (So tři modré kočky as in A above.)
    With numbers from 5 upwards (or ending in 5, 6, 7, 29, 58, 106 etc.), direct object adjectives and nouns have to agree in the genitive plural case. (So osm modrých koček as in B above, and sedm fialových veverek as in your example 3 above.).

    This is bound to be explained somewhere in your coursebook, as it's essential grammar for using numbers.

    The personal pronouns (I, you, he etc) with verb forms are not usually expressed in Czech unless there is a good reason, e.g. emphasis, to do so. It's clear from the verb ending that mám means "I have", because it can't mean anything else.

    See also: Page 133, Chapter 6, Numerals and quantifiers – číslovky from James Naughton's 'Czech - An Essential Grammar' here.
     
    Last edited:

    Barbapapa1985

    New Member
    English - US
    Hi Barbapapa1985. Jeden/jedna/jedno is treated grammatically as a numeral (not an adjective) and it doesn't decline with all the same case endings as černý/černá/černé. You can see the singular declension pattern here and find the plural declension pattern at the source, which is Wiktionary:


    declension of jeden​
    singular
    masculine animatemasculine inanimatefeminineneuter
    nominativejedenjedenjednajedno
    genitivejednohojednohojednéjednoho
    dativejednomujednomujednéjednomu
    accusativejednohojedenjednujedno
    locativejednomjednomjednéjednom
    instrumentaljednímjednímjednoujedním



    A: I have three blue cats: mám tři modré kočky. ("three" + accusative plural adjective + accusative plural noun)
    B: I have eight blue cats: mám osm modrých koček. ("eight" + genitive plural adjective + genitive plural noun)

    After the numbers 2, 3 and 4 (or ending in 2, 3 or 4, e.g. 22, 32, 42, 102 etc.) direct object adjectives and nouns have to agree in the accusative plural case. (So tři modré kočky as in A above.)
    With numbers from 5 upwards (or ending in 5, 6, 7, 29, 58, 106 etc.), direct object adjectives and nouns have to agree in the genitive plural case. (So osm modrých koček as in B above, and sedm fialových veverek as in your example 3 above.).

    This is bound to be explained somewhere in your coursebook, as it's essential grammar for using numbers.

    The personal pronouns (I, you, he etc) with verb forms are not usually expressed in Czech unless there is a good reason, e.g. emphasis, to do so. It's clear from the verb ending that mám means "I have", because it can't mean anything else.

    See also: Page 133, Chapter 6, Numerals and quantifiers – číslovky from James Naughton's 'Czech - An Essential Grammar' here.
    Thank you! Your explanation helped tremendously. I also bought the book you mentioned so hopefully between the two books I can figure things out more easily.

    Also thank you for the info about the personal pronouns. I had begun to suspect that, but wasn't sure.
     
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