Numbers ending in dva, tri, ctyri

Discussion in 'Grammar & Pronunciation' started by stelingo, Oct 20, 2009.

  1. stelingo

    stelingo Member

    Do nouns which come after compound numbers ending in dva, tri, ctyri take the genitive plural or the nom plural. For example does one say Je mi dvacet dva roky or dvacet dva let?
  2. Ctyri koruny

    Ctyri koruny Well-Known Member

    I think with age you always use let and not rok... but that's a lexical thing, I can't help you with the grammar bit.
    So with age it will always be (as far as I know)

    Je mi _____ let.

    I don't know about counting bananas, i'm crap at plural endings! Hense my name here, to remind me!
  3. stelingo

    stelingo Member

    After dva, tři and ctyři you use the nominative plural of rok: roky. For example Je mu dva roky. From pět onwards you use let, the genetive plural of léto, rather than roků. However my question is refers to compound numbers ending in 2,3,4. Not just with age but in general. dvacet dvě knihy or dvacet dvě knih?
  4. Wicker808

    Wicker808 Well-Known Member

    It depends how the compound is formed, and the register at which you are speaking.

    I'll first answer according to the "official" rules, that is, for the literary register. There are two kinds of compound numbers in Czech: regular, and backwards (AKA German style). So, twenty-two can be either dvacet dva or dvaadvacet. After regular compound numbers, the counted noun declines in the nominative (since it follows immediately after dva, tři, čtyři), and after backwards compound numbers, the noun declines in the genitive. So, both of these are correct:

    dvacet dvě knihy
    dvaadvacet knih

    However, when speaking colloquially, a lot of Czechs do not apply this rule regularly, and may use genitive even immediately after dva, tři, or čtyři. So:

    dvacet dva knih

    (Note that dva is now masculine, because it no longer agrees with kniha, which is now in the genitive.) You should probably avoid doing this in writing, but in spoken language, it's unlikely to raise eyebrows.
  5. ondras

    ondras Member

    For me, the acceptable forms are:
    1. Je mi dvacet dva let
    2. Je mi dvacet dva roků
    3. Jsou mi dvacet dva roky (Not "Je mi" )

    I think the most used form is the first one followed by the second one. The third one sounds fine to me too but you will probably not encounter it too often.

    Not quite true. For example you can only use
    Je mi jeden rok (not Je mi jeden let)
    And for ages 2, 3 and 4 the form:
    Jsou mi dva/tri/ctyri roky
    is definitely the most used one ("Je mi dva/tri/ctyri let" is very rare)
  6. Ctyri koruny

    Ctyri koruny Well-Known Member

    Cool! Wow Czech is really something.
  7. stelingo

    stelingo Member

    Thanks for all your answers. I find it pretty amazing that this issue is not treated fully in any of the grammar books I have.
  8. Ctyri koruny

    Ctyri koruny Well-Known Member

    I think they don't want to scare people . I am terrified by this thread.
    But the thing I oonly need to know how to say my own age. there'll be no problems in understanding. I never know how old children are. Twill be fine.

Share This Page