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Slovak language has 7 cases which are applied to nouns, pronouns, adjectives and numerals. Let's have a look at explanations when we use specific case and what are the questions related to each case in order to find the different forms of words.
Nominative is the basic and primary case. It is the infinitive form of the word, not changed at all, basically what you find in dictionary. The question we ask with this case is:
- Kto? (Who?)
- Čo? (What?)
Examples: otec, mama, dieťa
Genitive is the second case. It usually refers to ownership. The help questions we ask are:
- Od koho? (From who?)
- Od čoho? (From what?)
- Bez koho? (Without whom?)
- Bez čoho? (Without what?)
Examples: (od/bez) otca, mamy, dieťaťa
Dative is always the 3rd case. The questions we ask are:
- Dám komu? (To give to whom?)
- Dám čomu? (To give to what?)
or short-form "Komu? Čomu?" (To whom? To what?)
Examples: (dám) otcovi, mame, dieťaťu
The fourth case is always identified with these questions:
- vidím Koho? (I see Who?)
- vidím Čo? (I see What?)
or Who do I see? What do I see?
Examples: (vidím) otca, mamu, dieťa
Accusative case is used very often, because it is usually connected with the verbs of action! For example vidieť (to see), robiť (to do), mať (to have), kresliť (to draw), stavať (to build)...
Locative is the 6th. The questions with this case are as follows:
- O kom? (About whom?)
- O čom? (About what?)
Examples: (o) otcovi, mame, dieťati
Good thing to remember about Locative is that it always comes with prepositions!
- o kamarátke (about a friend), v kabáte (in a coat), na prechádzke (on a walk)
The last 7th case is Instrumental. The questions we ask with this case are:
- S kým? (With whom?)
- S čím? (With what?)
Examples: (s) otcom, mamou, dieťaťom
As you could find out, we gave jumped from 4th case to 6th without mentioning 5th one. It is because vocative is not used anymore.
It is similar to Nominative, as it represents some of the addressing of people. It is separated with comma(s).
For example: Otec, ako sa máš?
Important rules to follow:
- in Instrumental -mi/-ami is always written with "i" at the end, never "y"
- in Locative we always write "i" at the end as well
- suffix -ou represents feminine gender, and in masculine gender it is -ov
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