peníz a peníze

Discussion in 'Grammar & Pronunciation' started by Nadiah, May 18, 2009.

  1. Nadiah

    Nadiah New Member

    Hi everyone

    I'm a little bit confused about the word "peníze". According to my dictionary, "peníz" means "coin" and "peníze" means money. To my eye it looks like "peníze" is merely the plural of the masculine "peníz". However, a Google suggests that the most popular genitive (2nd case, i.e. koho čeho) declination of "peníze" is "moc peněz", suggesting that "peníze" is female or neutral. For comparison, "moc penízů", which would be correct if "peníze" was the plural of the masculine "peníz", only gets ten hits. However, if "peníze" was in fact a female or neutral word, then wouldn't we normally say "mám penízi" not "mám peníze"? I'm so confused!

    So my questions are:

    1. Are peníz and peníze completely separate words?
    2. If so, what's the gender of each?
    3. How do I declinate these words correctly? The online declinator at isn't giving me much love here.

    Thanks for your help :D
  2. wer

    wer Well-Known Member

    The word “peníz” (=coin) is masculine inanimate noun and it is declined according to the model “stroj” (see here). This word is barely used.

    The word “peníze” (=money) is masculine inanimate noun as well, but it has its own irregular¹ declension with plural forms only (see here).

    Some of the plural forms coincide for both the words.

    The best you can do is to exclude the first word from your active vocabulary and remember the latter one with its declension as an exception.

    ¹In fact, there is a kind of regularity, but you need to study the historical declension.
  3. Nadiah

    Nadiah New Member

    Thank you for that, that clears it up perfectly. And thanks for the link - that declinator is much better than the one I've been using. I'm bookmarking that one instead.
  4. Ctyri koruny

    Ctyri koruny Well-Known Member

    How do you ask

    "Do you have money?"

    because I can't seem to say it without people giggling and the sudden realization hitting me that my mistake in declension has resulted in me asking:

    "Do you have a penis?"
  5. wer

    wer Well-Known Member

    Máš (máte) peníze?

    The ending is of low concern here, your problem is most likely the pronunciation.

    The “n” in “peníze” is pronunced as “ň”, that means as “gn” in words of French origin (champagne, Avignon…) or as “ñ” in Spanish “señor”. The “í” is distinctly long in its duration, like “ee” in “sleep”. And finally, the “z” sound differs¹ distinctly from the “s” sound, it’s “z” like in “zoo”.

    The “n” in “penis” is pronunced as “n”, the “i” is short like in “hit” and the “s” sound is like the English “s” or “c” in “service”. (BTW, the standard rules of pronunciation doesn’t apply for “penis” because it is a loanword. The “standard” Czech spelling should be “penys”.)

    ¹ Only the forms ending in the “z” sound could use the “s” sound.
  6. Dannae

    Dannae Well-Known Member

    Ctyry koruny, you simply ask: "Mas/mate penize?" and you should be OK from now on :wink:
  7. Ctyri koruny

    Ctyri koruny Well-Known Member

    Thanks that helped a lot!


    should keep myself out of trouble in future :)
  8. Sova

    Sova Well-Known Member

    Wer: Thanks for the declension site!

    Nadiah: Welcome to the boards! And by the way, I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one in the world still using LaTeX!
  9. wer

    wer Well-Known Member

    Don’t mention it. But forget of!

    Count me in!

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