Discussion in 'Grammar & Pronunciation' started by MichaelM, Jul 6, 2007.

  1. MichaelM

    MichaelM Well-Known Member

    In a previous thread, nějaký was given as an example of indefiniteness. Would someone please use this in a sentence (use it in context). Thanks.
  2. Eleshar

    Eleshar Well-Known Member

    Je tam nějaký muž - There is a man
    Je tam ten muž - There is the man

    Našel jsem nějaké brýle. Ty brýle byly červené - I found glasses. The glasses were red.

    The Czech does not express the definiteness (my word formation skills in English are somehow... whithering) as English. The sentences I wrote are a little bit marked (that means special, not absolutely neutral) but it becomes more and more natural in Czech, especially in spoken Czech to use it (I think it is a contamination from languages that do that normally). In written Czech (especially in the higher style), it is not used almost at all because it is still redundant. I can as well write (and even say! no one will perceive the difference):

    Je tam muž - There is a man
    Muž, kterého jsem včera viděl - The man I saw yesterday
    The pronoun "ten" is not omitted so much as it is a referer. I cannot say nor write

    Našel jsem brýle. *Brýle byly červené - I found glasses. The glasses were red.

    I can write/say only:

    Našel jsem nějaké brýle. Ty brýle byly červené - I found glasses. The glasses were red.
    Našel jsem nějaké brýle. Byly červené - I found glasses. They were red.

    But otherwise, it could be omitted (and in written, it is omitted very frequently) because it is not stable grammatical feature of the Czech (although it becomes one).

    There are other markers corresponding to the English determiners, especially the indefinite one.
    "jeden" is an example of such a determiner
    Jeden muž mi řekl, že... - A man told me that...
    Nějaký muž mi řekl, že - A man told me that...

    I do not think they are completely interchangeable because if I say a sentence "Je tam jeden muž", it evokes me rather the number than the fact that he is grammatically undetermined.
  3. scrimshaw

    scrimshaw Well-Known Member

    By marked do you mean designating a specific thing?

    Ten muž je mladý ale ten(or tento) muž je starý.
    Viděl jsi muž, který mi ukradl kolo.
    Ano, je ten, který stojí za stromem.

    And I agree. I never see jeden used as a determiner(indefinite article 'A').
    That would to me always brring to mind the number.

    We use indefinite articles....a,an,some
    and definite articles...the, this, that, these, those
  4. Kanadanka

    Kanadanka Well-Known Member

    "Je tam nějaký muž - There is a man
    Je tam ten muž - There is the man

    Našel jsem nějaké brýle. Ty brýle byly červené - I found glasses. The glasses were red. "

    To me "je tam nejaky muz" would be "there is some man", not just "a" man
    same for the glasses ' Našel jsem nějaké brýle' - I found some glasses.
  5. Eleshar

    Eleshar Well-Known Member

    No, by "marked" I mean "not neutral". I have posted about markedness about a three times already.
    Expressions can be divided to marked an unmarked. Unmarked expression is general, marked is somehow special.
    For example "lion" - unmarked. The word can design a male, a single animal or a whole species.
    On the other hand "lionesss" is marked by feminity, It cannot refer to but female members of the group designed by word "lion".
    You say "there are lions" if you see a group of them and even if you know there are lionesses (or even if there are only lionesses). Normally, you do not say "there are lions and lionesses" or "there are lionesses" (only in case you want to emphasise that there are lions and lionesses or only lionesses). This is the princip of markedness. Very important in any language studies.

    In Czech, it is normal (neutral, i.e. unmarked) to not express the definiteness of a noun. Sometimes it is necessary (I mentioned such an example) but generally, it is suplementary (marked) and sometimes even superfluous (stylistically undesirable).
  6. Karel_lerak

    Karel_lerak Well-Known Member

    Some examples of using "jeden" as indefinite article:
    Byl jednou jeden král... (standard beginning of a ferry tale) :)
    Jedna paní povídala ...
    Zašel si jednoho dne do města ...
    Seděla tam jedna (nějaká) žena a ta ...

    Consider two sentences:

    Přivedli s sebou pána. = Přivedli s sebou svého pána. (specific one)
    Přivedli s sebou jednoho pána. = Přivedli s sebou nějakého pána. (any one)

    Here, the first sentence would be more specific about the "pán", because it would imply e.g. Přivedli s sebou svého pána.
    In case it does not matter which "pán" it is you have to use either "jeden" or "nějaký".

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