Discussion in 'General Language' started by michal7, Dec 21, 2005.

  1. michal7

    michal7 Active Member

    Can someone clarify when to say chleb and when to say chleba? Is it redundant to insert the word bochnik before the word chleb?
  2. Ladis

    Ladis Well-Known Member

    Chleba and chléb mean the same, however chleba is more common in using. Say "bochník chleba" in the similar situatuions like when you say "a bottle of milk", e.g. That is, when you "count" them: "Kup dva bochníky chleba" = "Buy two loafs of bread". However, you can say "Kup dva chleby" instead (but I don't know, whether this is the colloquial Czech :)).

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  3. gementricxs

    gementricxs Well-Known Member

    Chléb is the official name for it, it's what you should use. Chleba is colloquial word, actually I wouldn't use chléb.
    I think that the word bochník is now kinda old. Maybe my grandma would use it,but I don't think so. And in colloquial Czech you won't hear it. I would NEVER say Kup dva bochníky chleba. I always say Kup dva chleby.
  4. Zeisig

    Zeisig Well-Known Member

    Chléb is nominative and accusative, chleba is genitive.

    I do not understand why the nominative form is the official name for something and the genitive form is a colloquial word. Both forms are correct and have their specific role in the sentence. And, of course, they are only different cases (= grammatical forms) for the same thing as the Greek grammarians observed 2000+ years ago.
  5. Zeisig

    Zeisig Well-Known Member

    The question would have to be:

    Can someone clarify when to use the nominative or accusative case of a noun and when to use the genitive case?

    I am affraid that the answer is too complex. Generally the Czech syntax is much more complicated than the Czech morphology and we are not professional linguists (some of us have even difficulties to distinguish the syntax and the morphology).

    Your textbook or grammar book certainly contains some basics of the case syntax (i.e. how to use the cases: subject - nominative, object - accusative or genitive, etc.).
  6. michal7

    michal7 Active Member

    I don't have a problem understanding the difference in when to use the accusative or genative. My original intent of my question was that in spoken Czech I hear chleba used often instead of chleb. I need some clarification on that.
  7. Zeisig

    Zeisig Well-Known Member

    Chleba per se is always the correct genitive form. I always wonder when someone says that chleba is a colloquial word (e.g. bochník chleba surely is not colloquial). But the genitive case can be used instead of the accusative case, so it is rather a problem of the case syntax. And it is often difficult to say when the use of a case is colloquial.


    Posnídal jsem chléb (acc.).
    Posnídal jsem chleba (gen.).

    Both sentences are correct and have slightly different meaning.
  8. gementricxs

    gementricxs Well-Known Member

    This is what I meant. Using word chleba instead of chléb.

    Kup chléb x Kup chleba.
    Na snídani jsem měl chléb. x Na snídani jsem měl chleba.

    Both are correct, but I think that you more hear chleba instead of chlép (It's why I said that it's colloquial word). I don't know what would you said, but me and people of similar age like me (young people) would always say chleba. (So, I would always say the second sentence)
  9. Zeisig

    Zeisig Well-Known Member

    You wrote:

    which literally means that, for example,

    kus chleba is colloquial and kus chléb is official

    You have omitted to mention the cases.
  10. Zeisig

    Zeisig Well-Known Member

    Kup chléb. (acc.) - Buy bread (and not something else).
    Kup chleba. (gen.) - Buy some bread.

    Both sentences are perfectly correct/literary (certainly used even by Dobrovský and Jungmann), but have a different meaning. If the second sentence is more often, it means merely that the people intend to say Buy some bread! more often.

    Nothing in common with colloquial vs. literary.

    Another example:

    Dej koním oves. (acc.) - (... a ne žito)
    Dej koním ovsa. (gen.) - (... něco málo ovsa)
  11. Ladis

    Ladis Well-Known Member

    Cool :shock: Very interesting, now I know more about it :D
  12. Zeisig

    Zeisig Well-Known Member

    Some ethymology:

    The Panslavic word chléb is cognate (maybe very old loan word) with the Germanic word hlaiba (Germ. Laib, Eng. loaf) and is related to the words lord (< hlaford < hlaf-weard = "bread-ward") and lady (< hlaefdige = "making bread").
  13. Rakubrand

    Rakubrand Member

    Could someone please decline this noun colloquially in all its forms?
    Chleba is masculine, right? What is it then, hrdina?

    thanks a lot!
  14. Zeisig

    Zeisig Well-Known Member

    1. chléb
    2. chleba
    3. chlebu
    4. chléb
    5. chlebe
    6. (o) chlebu (rarely chlebě)
    7. chlebem

    1. chleby (obsol. chlebové)
    2. chlebů
    3. chlebům
    4. chleby
    5. chleby (obsol. chlebové)
    6. (o) chlebech (obsol. chlebích)
    7. chleby (colloq. chlebama)

    The partitive genitive (celkový genitiv) chleba is very often used as the object (it is mostly correct) or even as the subject of a sentence (it is considered to be colloquial):

    Posnídal chleba (gen. - obj. - correct).
    Chleba (gen. - subj. - colloq.) je dobrý přítel. (Bread is a good friend.)

    chléb = inanimate masculine noun (o-stem)
    hrdina = animate masculine noun (a-stem)

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