This / That

Discussion in 'Čeština (Czech)' started by aedude94, Mar 12, 2007.

  1. aedude94 Senior Member

    English United States
    Hey everyone! Sorry I ask so many questions, but I love the Czech language and need help with all its complexities! ;) Anyways, I wanted to know what are the ways to say "This" and "That" both as demonstrative adjectives and pronouns in Czech? At first I thought that "ten/ta/to" (when put before a noun) meant both this and that. However now, I believe that they just mean that. Now I don't understand how to say this, is it "tento/tato/toto" before the noun? Finally, I am pretty sure that "tenhle/tahle/tohle" mean this as demonstrative pronouns. Is that correct? Sorry for all the confusion and my crazy questions. Please help! Thanks! :)
  2. Jana337

    Jana337 Senior Member

    Your questions are not crazy - please keep them coming! :)

    First of all, this website will help you with registers. You should take seriously (=learn) the first line for each gender and just be aware of the rest.

    As an aside, we consider them pronouns even in the adjectival position. The concept of demonstrative adjectives was introduced to me when I started learning Italian. :)

    Well, the distinction is certainly less sharp than in English.
    This is formally correct, but they also mean "the". It is poor style to overuse ten/ta/to if it means "the".

    Standard - tento/tato/toto. See the website I linked to above for the numerous colloquialisms.

    I'd say we use "tento/tato/toto" (in standard Czech) if we really wish to emphasize "this". Otherwise we go for "ten/ta/to" even if we mean "this".

    All of them can be used as both demonstrative adjectives and pronouns.
    Ten obraz je můj. - That/the painting is mine.
    Tento/tenhle/tenhleten ... obraz je můj. - This painting is mine.
    Tenhle je můj, ale tamten ne. - This one is mine but that one is not.

    Important: When Czechs speaks about undetermined objects, the gender defaults to the neuter.
    Co to je? What is it/this/that?
    To/toto je nepřijatelné! It/this is unacceptable!
  3. aedude94 Senior Member

    English United States
    Thank you very much Jana!!! (Dik Jano!) ;)
  4. beclija Senior Member

    Boarisch, Österreich (Austria)
    So you don't have the tripartition of demonstratives like in other Slavic languages (or Spanish, for that matter), like Croatian ovo (this), to (relatively close that, or beforementioned in a conversation) and ono (distant that)? Interesting...
  5. Jana337

    Jana337 Senior Member

    We have onen/ona/ono but you do not hear them very often. To me, they do not carry a clear indication of distance (except for "onen svět", the hereafter) and the most common meaning is simply "aforementioned". I think the tripartition did work in Czech earlier but it is not perceived this way by most speakers. I admit that I had to spend a while summarizing my thoughts before writing the post above. :D
  6. Tom.K. Member

    Well.. Czech does have quite a few though doesn`t it..

    Tento/Tenhle (Tenhle is a spoken form though right?)

    I guess you just can`t translate them literally into English.

    Ten would be this/that/the.., something we`ve just been talking about.
    Tento is "This here", as in "it`s right in front of me"
    Tamten "That there", or "That thing we were talking about before and have talked about something else in between"
    Onen is, like you were saying Jana, something remote.. really hard to translate into English actually!
  7. aedude94 Senior Member

    English United States
    Hi, I was typing a letter last night to my girfriend and I wanted to say "Is that right?" and I didn't know how to say it. I don't understand how to translate "that" as a demonstrative pronoun, as I need it in my example. Is it tamten? So would the phrase be "Je tamten spravny", is spravny a word? I think I may have made that up, but that is the first thing that came to mind for correct/right, well as did pravdu but that is only used in the phrase mam/mas/ma pravdu for to be right. Anyways, please help me! haha! THANKS! :)
  8. Jana337

    Jana337 Senior Member

    No, in such cases, the simplest variant - ten/ta/to - is the best choice. As I said, we use the neuter a lot.

    Je to správně?

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