I was not struck by inspiration this week, so today’s Slavic Saturday is going to be a bit silly. I am going to show you the various forms that one word can take in Czech within the various cases.
Our word will be the word for a dog, which in Czech is a noun of the masculine (animate) gender and in its singular form is universal to slavic languages. Btw, Czech has four genders – masculine (animate), masculine (inanimate), feminine and neutral. That means a lot of fun.
Lets start with singular grammatical cases:
pes – nominative
psa – genitive and accusative
psu/psovi – dative, locative
pse – vocative
psem – instrumental
That is not all, there is also plural:
psi/psové – nominative and vocative
psů – genitive and accusative
psům – dative, locative
psech – locative
psy – instrumental
Of course that still is not all, there is also singular diminutive:
pejsek – nominative
pejska – genitive and accusative
pejskovi/pejsku – dative, locative
pejsku – vocative
pejskem – instrumental
And plural diminutive:
pejsci/pejskové – nominative, vocative
pejsků – genitive
pejskům – dative
pejsky – accusative, instrumental
But that is not the only diminutive. There is also alternative diminutive “psík”. And “psíček”. And “pejsánek”. And “pejsáneček”. The “če” you can then add for further diminution in principle ad infinity. It would sound silly to say it more than once, but it is gramatically correct.
And there is also augmentative “psisko”.
And the adjective “psí”. Which has different forms depending on the gender of the noun it qualifies.
But I won’t torture you with all their forms, you are brave enough if you read so far. To learn this is a torture even for native speakers. No wonder foreigners have rather hard time when they try to learn this. But at least we are not the worst, there are languages with more cases even here in Europe (looking sideways at the finno-ugric family).