The little word 'to'

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scrimshaw
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The little word 'to'

Postby scrimshaw » 28-Oct-07 14:36

Polednikova asked about this in the Halloween thread.
It is pretty tricky to the native english speaker. I have troubles with it too.
It seems to have different roles, accordinig to the placement in the sentence.

When at the beginning it seems to be simply introducing a subject.
Could be singular, plural, feminine, masculne,... we just don't know until the subject is defined. The first clue comes with the form of verb

To je...it is
to jsou...they, those are
Can even be....To jsem já..It is me.(literally I think 'I am it'.

Another role is to declare the pronoun 'it' in a sentence. This is still perplexing to me and I often get it wrong. Sometimes the 'to' is needed and sometimes not.
Jsem zvědav, jak by to vypadalo, kdybych byl přivolávačem deště. Jak by to vypadalo, kdybych uměl přivolat déšt'?
Mám pocit ale, že se to bohužel nikdy nedozvím.
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Alexx
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Postby Alexx » 28-Oct-07 15:17

scrimshaw wrote:To je...it is
to jsou...they, those are
Can even be....To jsem já..It is me.(literally I think 'I am it'.


I guess, but I am not really sure, you can use it for translation of "that" or "this".

To je zajímavé - "It is interesting" or "That's interesting" or "This is interesting"
To jsou jenom oni - "It is just them" or "That is just them"
To jsem já... - "It is me" or "That's me" or "This is me"
I cesta může být cíl.
The journey is the goal.
scrimshaw
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Postby scrimshaw » 28-Oct-07 20:05

Yes, That's it. Thanks.

So I think the two roles of 'to' are either as demonstrative pronouns(this,that,those, these) according to the verb that follows, or the nominative pronoun for 'it'.

Can you tell me, are these following little dialogues correct.

Co je to? To je hrad. Ten hrad je starý. Ten se mí líbí. Mám je(ho) rád.
Co je to? To je kočka. Ta kočka je hezká. Ta se mí líbí. Mám jí rád.
Co je to? To je auto. To auto je zelené. To se mí líbí. Mám jej rád.

The vague 'to' is used until the subjects' gender is defined, right?
Jsem zvědav, jak by to vypadalo, kdybych byl přivolávačem deště. Jak by to vypadalo, kdybych uměl přivolat déšt'?

Mám pocit ale, že se to bohužel nikdy nedozvím.
Karel_lerak
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Postby Karel_lerak » 28-Oct-07 22:32

scrimshaw wrote:Yes, That's it. Thanks.

So I think the two roles of 'to' are either as demonstrative pronouns(this,that,those, these) according to the verb that follows, or the nominative pronoun for 'it'.

Can you tell me, are these following little dialogues correct.

Co je to? To je hrad. Ten hrad je starý. Ten se mi líbí. Mám jej(ho) rád. *
Co je to? To je kočka. Ta kočka je hezká. Ta se mi ** líbí. Mám ji *** rád.
Co je to? To je auto. To auto je zelené. To se mi líbí. Mám jej/je rád.

The vague 'to' is used until the subjects' gender is defined, right?

all dialogues almost correct 8)

*
use "ho" with animate only
**
mi - dative
***
ji - accusative
Karel, Praha, Czechia
scrimshaw
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Postby scrimshaw » 28-Oct-07 23:26

8) Jsem rád, že to konečně začínám pochopit.

To malé zajmena jsou podvodné. :lol:

nerážející...allusive?

Nerážející králík se skrývá pes. Allusive rabbit is hiding from the dog?
Jsem zvědav, jak by to vypadalo, kdybych byl přivolávačem deště. Jak by to vypadalo, kdybych uměl přivolat déšt'?

Mám pocit ale, že se to bohužel nikdy nedozvím.
fabik317
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Postby fabik317 » 29-Oct-07 11:32

one more way how to use to:

To si snad děláte srandu!
(You must be kidding me!)
A woman? Never heard of it. What do you use it for? Where can I download one?
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Polednikova
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Postby Polednikova » 30-Oct-07 9:26

All very helpful - thanks.
scrimshaw
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Postby scrimshaw » 30-Oct-07 16:49

Now in plural :D

Co jsou to? To jsou nový obchody. Ty se mi líbí. Mám je rád.
Co jsou to? To jsou zelené hory. Ty se mi líbí. Mám je rád.
Co jsou to? To jsou staré rozbité okna. Ta se mi nelíbí. Nemám je rád.

And finally nominative male plural animate
Co jsou to? To jsou soucedovi psí. Ti se mi líbí. Mám je rád.
Jsem zvědav, jak by to vypadalo, kdybych byl přivolávačem deště. Jak by to vypadalo, kdybych uměl přivolat déšt'?

Mám pocit ale, že se to bohužel nikdy nedozvím.
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Sova
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Postby Sova » 30-Oct-07 18:19

For plural, at least to me, it sounds better to use "ty." While the gender of "it" or "that" or "those" may be undetermined, the number is not (although perhaps there are exceptions, such as jeans, glasses, etc.). Perhaps linguistically speaking this is not incorrect though, as I know I have heard it often enough.
Eleshar
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Postby Eleshar » 30-Oct-07 21:56

scrimshaw wrote:Now in plural :D

Co jsou to*? To jsou nové obchody. Ty se mi líbí. Mám je rád.
Co jsou to*? To jsou zelené hory. Ty se mi líbí. Mám je rád.
Co jsou to*? To jsou stará rozbitá okna. Ta se mi nelíbí. Nemám je rád.

And finally nominative male plural animate
Co jsou to*? To jsou sousedovi psí. Ti se mi líbí. Mám je rád.


*"co to je", "to" in this context tends to be not accentuated and should not stand in this position (there is emphasis from the last position). There should be "tohle", but it doesn't make sense either.

Co to je - To jsou nové obchody; To jsou stará okna; To jsou zelené hory; To jsou sousedovi psi.

This is like English "what is it?"
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Kyamón apechú

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