Types of numbers

mrssantlow

New Member
Canada, English
I'm an intermediate level student of the Czech language. I recently heard that there are 9 different kinds of numbers in the Czech language – notwithstanding all the declensions. For example, in English, we have cardinal and ordinal numbers. In Czech, I have come across the following, and wonder what the rest are. Can someone please elaborate on this?

1. základní, e.g., jeden, jedna, jedno, atd. – in English, cardinal numbers
2. radové, e.g., prvni, druhy, treti – i.e., in English, ordinal numbers
3. duál, e.g., jedna ruka, dve ruce, tri, ctyri ruky, pet rukou – e.g., used with pairs of body parts
4. souborové, e.g., máme dvoji vino – i.e., 2 kinds of wine
5. pluralia tantum, e.g., kalhoty, šaty, Vánoce, narozeniny – always plural
6. e.g., when telling someone what number to press on the telephone, they use these forms – dvojka, trojka, petka

Thank you.
 
  • Jana337

    Senior Member
    čeština
    mrssantlow said:
    I'm an intermediate level student of the Czech language. I recently heard that there are 9 different kinds of numbers in the Czech language – notwithstanding all the declensions. For example, in English, we have cardinal and ordinal numbers. In Czech, I have come across the following, and wonder what the rest are. Can someone please elaborate on this?

    1. základní, e.g., jeden, jedna, jedno, atd. – in English, cardinal numbers
    2. řadové, e.g., první, druhý, třetí – i.e., in English, ordinal numbers
    3. duál, e.g., jedna ruka, dvě ruce, tri, ctyri ruky (dvě, tři, čtyři ruce - body parts; dvě, tři, čtyři ruky - parts of machines for example, but in colloquial Czech, people use ruky for human hands too), pět rukou – e.g., used with pairs of body parts
    4. souborové, e.g., máme dvojí vino – i.e., 2 kinds of wine
    5. pluralia tantum, e.g., kalhoty, šaty, Vánoce, narozeniny – always plural
    6. e.g., when telling someone what number to press on the telephone, they use these forms – dvojka, trojka, pětka

    Thank you.
    Hello,

    I moved your question into a new thread because it is wider than the previous discussion, although they overlap to a certain extent. :)

    1. OK
    2. OK
    3. Hm... Yes, we have some remnants of dual but does it constitute a category of numbers? I don't think so. What is different about dual are the nouns (like pánové vs. páni, dnové vs. dny, lvové vs. lvi) but you would use normal cardinal numbers
    4. OK (I think we call them druhové)
    5. These are collective nouns. Kalhoty = trousers and they are the same type of words. They are in plural although they only refer to one object. What is interesting about collective nouns in Czech is that you can put the word "jeden", one, in plural --> jedny kalhoty. For a higher numbers of "kalhoty", one would use what you call "souborové číslovky": dvoje, troje, čtvery kalhoty.
    6. OK (the same words are used for school grades and for any opportunities when inflective nouns come in handy).
    ***
    Other types of numbers that spring to my mind (it is not like I am aware of 9 categories of numbers...)
    7. dvojice, trojice, čtveřice, pětice, šestice (sounds strange with higher numbers) - groups or ordered sets of objects: duo/twosome, trio/triad/threesome/triplet etc.
    8. fractions, 1/2 - polovina, 1/3 - třetina, 1/4 - čtvrtina, 1/5 - pětina, 1/12 - dvanáctina, 2/30 - dvě třicetiny, 73/100 - sedmdesát tři setin, 12/1000 - dvanáct tisícin
    9. násobné, dvakrát - two times, dvacetkrát - twenty times, dvojnásobný - double/twofold, čtyřnásobný - quadruple/fourfold etc.

    Hope this helps. Other questions welcome. :)

    Jana
     

    mrssantlow

    New Member
    Canada, English
    Jana,
    I have had a chance to review your response and further digest it, and want to thank you once again. I do have some more questions.

    3. The distinction of "dual" as nouns rather than numbers was a very helpful clarification. About the other examples which you give, are pánové, dnové and lvové actually dual? I see the connection with the body parts which come in pairs, but don't see the connection with men, days and lions.

    The distinction between body parts and machine parts, etc. was particularly helpful to understanding.

    Further question: I have seen p?t noh, as well as p?t nohou. Is there any difference in how each of these are used?

    Also, how do you get the Czech font to post? It looks fine on my screen before posting, and then all of the accents are changed when I preview it.

    D?kují ješt? jednou,
     

    Jana337

    Senior Member
    čeština
    mrssantlow said:
    Jana,
    I have had a chance to review your response and further digest it, and want to thank you once again. I do have some more questions.

    3. The distinction of "dual" as nouns rather than numbers was a very helpful clarification. About the other examples which you give, are pánové, dnové and lvové actually dual? I see the connection with the body parts which come in pairs, but don't see the connection with men, days and lions.
    Neither do I. :) But I remember from school that they are considered duals (although, as explained above, they can go with 2, 3 and 4).
    The distinction between body parts and machine parts, etc. was particularly helpful to understanding.

    Further question: I have seen p?t noh, as well as p?t nohou. Is there any difference in how each of these are used?
    Both are correct (click here and scroll down to the Nohy, ruce, oči, uši (skloňování) section (please notice that it only gives the declensions for body parts - under the table there are some examples of incorrect usage). Please tell us if something is not clear.
    Also, how do you get the Czech font to post? It looks fine on my screen before posting, and then all of the accents are changed when I preview it.

    D?kují ješt? jednou,
    Hm... It might be because of your encoding. Click on View in your browser window and try to find Encoding - Middle European langauges (or perhaps Unicode - one usually has to try several encodings before finding the correct one). Do you use the Czech keyboard?

    Jana
     

    mrssantlow

    New Member
    Canada, English
    Thanks, again for the info.

    About the font, I am using the Czech keyboard. Now, I'm going to try to experiment with the encoding. Here goes,

    Děkuju, ještě jednou.
     
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