Recently I have been learning some more Czech. I work through a few lessons on Duolingo and Mondly every day. Even though it’s many years since I last studied any Czech, I find I can understand quite a lot, and guess unknown words from context. One thing I struggle with though is all the noun declensions, and the many different forms of pronouns.
Czech has seven noun cases, so nouns and pronouns can come in up to fourteen different forms (6 or 7 in the singular and 6 or 7 in the plural), depending on the role they play in a sentence. In fact the plural forms are the same for some cases, but singular pronouns have long and short forms, and different forms after prepositions.
For example, I is já in the nominative, which is mainly used for emphasis and is generally dropped – (Já) vidím tě = I see you. The nominative singular of you is ty: tě is the accusative (and genitive) short form – the long form is tebe. Word order is flexible, so you could also say Tě vidím or Já tě vidím. Is there any difference in emphasis between the different word orders?
Some more examples:
- Vidíš mě = You see me
- Mluvíš se mnou = You are talking to me
- Dáváš mi peníze = You are giving me money
- Nemluv o mně = Don’t look at me
- Vidíš můj dům = You see my house (dům [house] is masculine)
- Vidíš moje domy = You see my houses
- Vidíš mou kočku = You see my cat (kočka [cat] is feminine)
- Vidíš moje kočky = You see my cats
- Vidíš moje auto = You see my car (auto [car] is neuter)
- Vidíš moje auta = You see my cars
- k mému překvapení = to my surprise
- Odpovězte, prosím, na mou otázku = Please answer my question
- Váš dům je blízko mého = Your house is near mine
This are some forms of the first person singular pronoun (I, me, my, mine). There are as many, it not more, for other pronouns. Maybe one day I’ll be able to recognize and use them all.