Slovak: Dva bez jednej/jedného je jedno.



I found another example in my Slovak book which seems to be a mistake, but I am not sure about it. My book says ‘bez jednej’. Having read it I found it strange and tried to to check the internet. My conclusion is that “bez jedného” is the correct form (due to jedno), and “bez jednej” seems to be a ‘Czech effect’.

Can somebody confirm which the proper form is?

PS: “h” in “spoluhlásky” is not a silent consonant, is it? I checked whether it is pronounced or not, but it was hardly audible, nevertheless I feel “hl should not be fully omitted during speech.
  • numerator

    Senior Member
    Hungarian, Slovak
    There are some disagreements about how to read some numbers out loud, as in arithmetic operations, with items numbered 1, 2, 3... The problem is with the numerals 1 and 2 (because they are inflected for gender).

    Interestingly, for the numeral 1, the battle is fought between the masculine and the feminine forms (jeden, jedna) - even though the neuter gender may act as the default choice in other cases, jedno here is completely out of question!

    With arithmetic operations I tend to use the feminine and say, e.g. "jedna a jedna sú dve", "dve bez jednej je jedna"
    With numbered things and sports scores I tend to use "jedna" for 1, but then "dva" for 2: "nástupište jedna, nástupište dva", "Štúrova (ulica) jedna, Štúrova dva", "Slovan vyhral dva-jedna"...

    I was taught in school (in the 1980s) that only the masculine is correct: jeden, dva.
    Since then, it seems, "jedna" has been pardoned, but not so for "dve":

    Jazyková poradňa o slove jedna |
    I find their example "jedna a jedna sú dva" quite grating, but that may be just me.
    I am curious what others have to say.

    So, it seems, your example "2 – 1 = 1" should be "dva bez jedného je jeden" or "dva bez jednej je jedna" (but not "jedno").

    Of course, if you name the things counted, you use their gender and you are off the hook: "Tri jablká bez jedného sú dve (jablká)"...


    You are correct, "h" is never silent, but yes, it can be difficult to hear it sometimes.


    Btw číslovky, my favourite source as regards numbers in Slovak language is tato tabulka:

    Btw2: maybe we are of appr. the same age. It came to my mind that in 80s on Mondays where the Hungarian TV was not broadcasting at all, I as a child watched ‘Branky, body, sekundy’ in CS TV. But as I remember “DAC vyhral dva-jedna” ;-) Anyway Cycle ball was an amazing sport to be watched on CS TV.

    I just checked the forum rules again and saw that there should be no chatting. So I convicted myself. :)
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