Do you struggle with accusative? Do you know its endings but you don´t know how to use them? Has your teacher still corrected you? I can hear my students use accusative incorrectly, even B1 or B2 students. Let´s have a look at how accusative works in a Czech sentence.

Accusative in a singular form in Czech

Each case in Czech has its function. And this is the first thing you need to understand. An accusative function is an object. An accusative is an object in a Czech sentence. So first, we need to understand and distinguish what subject and object are.

Subject vs. object

Subject

Subject „does“ the activity that a verb „says“.

Example:

  • Petr čte knihu. – Kdo čte knihu? (Who is reading the book?) Petr. Petr „is doing“ the activity that the verb „says“.
  • Jana mluví česky. – Kdo mluví česky? (Who speaks Czech?) Jana. Jana „does“ the activity that the verb „says“.
  • Nemocnice je blízko. — Co je blízko? (What is close?) nemocnice
  • Nová kniha leží na stole. — Co leží na stole? (What is lying on the table?) nová kniha

Subject is always a nominative. The nominative is a basic form of a Czech word (noun, adjective, pronoun, number). It´s also a form we search in a dictionary.

KDO (people) or CO (things) is a question for a subject (nominative).

Object

Compare these two sentences:

  • Petr čte knihu. Kdo čte knihu? (Who is reading the book?) Petr. „Petr“ is a subject.
  • Vidím Petra. Kdo vidí Petra? (Who sees Petr?) Já. „I“ am a subject. I see an object – vidím Petra. „Petra“ is an object.

The object is accusative.

KOHO (people) or CO (things) is a question for an object (accusative).

Compare: Kdo vidí? (Who sees?) Já. (a question for a subject) x Koho vidím? (Who do I see?) Petra. (a question for an object)

 

If you understand the difference between subject and object, you are finished with 50 %. You understand the word function in a sentence and this is very important.

Verbs + accusative

You can also memorize verbs that need accusative. It´s good to write a list of them. Here are some verbs which need accusative.

  • vidět – Vidím novou školu.
  • dělat – Dělám domácí úkol.
  • vařit – Vařím polévku.
  • číst – Čtu knihu.
  • psát – Píšu informaci.
  • hledat – Hledám poštu.
  • čekat na – Čekám na kamaráda Karla.
  • potřebovat – Potřebuj novou tašku.

… (And many others. Write down every new one in a list.)

And now, object (accusative) from a grammar point of view.

Accusative – endings

When you want to „make“ accusative correctly you can focus just on masculine animate (animate noun) or feminine -a or -e. Have a look at the table.

Ma, hard consonantTo je nový student. Učím nového studenta.
Ma, soft consonantTo je mladý muž. Čekám na mladého muže.
MiTo je dobrý džus a čaj. Dám si dobrý džus a čaj.
F, -aTo je česká škola. Mám ráda českou školu.
F, -eTo je kvalitní restaurace. Znám kvalitní restauraci.
N, -oTo je hezké auto. Kupuju hezké auto.
N, -eTo je moře. Vidím moře.
N, -íTo je velké náměstí. Hledám velké náměstí.

Let´s practise accusative

Video

And here is everything you were reading about in a short video. Have a look at and revise.

 

So, can you understand the function of accusative in a sentence better now? Do you know what accusative means? I hope so 😊

  • You could see one of the online exercises in the Quizlet app. Do you use the Quizlet? If not, my high recommendation. You can find a billion (not only) grammar exercises there. Have a look at how the Quizlet works.
  • Do you know we often use accusative when we are cooking? Read more about how you can practise Accusative in a kitchen.

This article in Czech

8th February 2022

 

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