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1: Czech names of European countries English - Czech
2: Czech names of foreign cities and their English/original equivalent
3: Common Czech names and how to address them
4: Common Czech conversational phrases
5: Names of the week in Czech langauge
6: Names of months in the Czech language
7: Basic words and phrases of Business in the Czech language
8: The numbers in Czech - serials and ordinals
9: Czech diminutives
10: Czech swearwords - not for the under-aged ;-)
11: Basics of Czech pronunciation
12: Czech idioms of comparisons
13: Word formation: adjectives, adverbs
14: Word formation: adjectives, nouns ending with -ost
16: Websites where you can find other information for learning Czech

Czech diminutives

An incomlete list of Czech diminutives

In Czech diminutives are formed by suffixes, as in other Slavic languages. Common endings include -ka, -ko, -ek, -ík, -inka, -enka, -ečka, -ička, -ul-, -unka, -íček, -ínek etc. The choice of suffix may depend on the noun's gender as well as the degree of smallness/affection that the speaker wishes to convey.

Czech diminutives can express smallness, affection, and familiarity. Hence, "Julka" may well mean "our", "cute", "little" or "beloved" Julia. Diminutives can be diminished further by adding another suffix. E.g.: "Júlie" (Julia) → "Julka" (little Julia) → "Júlinka" (very little Julia).

Every noun has a grammatically-correct diminutive form, regardless of the sense it makes. This is sometimes used for comic effect, for example diminuting the word "obr" (giant) to "obřík" (little giant).

Some examples. Note the various stem mutations due to palatalization, vowel shortening or vowel lengthening:

/-ka/ (feminine noun forms)

  • táta (dad) → taťka (little/cute/beloved dad = daddy), Anna → Anka, televize (TV set) → televizka, hora (mountain) → hůrka (little/cute/beloved mountain = a big hill), noha (leg, foot) → nožka

/-ko/ (neuter noun forms)

  • rádio → rádijko, víno (wine) → vínko, triko (T-shirt) → tričko, pero (feather) → pírko, oko (eye) → očko

/-ek/ (masculine noun forms)

  • dům (house) → domek, stůl (table) → stolek, schod (stair/step) → schůdek, prostor (space) → prostůrek, strom (tree) → stromek

/-ík/

  • Tom (Tom) → Tomík (little/cute/beloved Tom = Tommy), pokoj (room) → pokojík, kůl (stake/pole) → kolík, rum (rum) → rumík, koš (basket) → košík

To make things even more interesting diminutives can be formed also with adjectives.

malý - malinký, krátký - kraťoučký, hezký - hezoučký

Hence, you can say kraťoučký den, malinké pivo, hezoučká tvář etc.

 

An incomlete list of Czech diminutives

A shot list of example sentences bellow.

pivo pivečko beer
stůl stoleček table
víno vínečko wine
dítě děťátko child
holka holčička girl
otec táta/tatínek father/dad
matka máma/maminka mother/mom
syn synáček/(moder: synátor) son
dcera dcerka/dceruška daughter
auto autičko car
lžíce lžíčka spoon
kniha knížka/knižečka book
batoh baťůžek rucksack
kreditní karta kreditka credit card
CD cédéčko CD disc
město městečko
city
kočka kočička cat
pes
pejsek/pejsánek dog
karta
kartička
card
taxi
taxík taxi,cab
strom stromeček
tree
dům
domeček
house
ulice
ulička
street/alley
maso
masíčko
meat
písmo
písmeno
letter (a,b,c etc)

 

 

Půjdu do své hospůdky. Sednu si ke svému stolečku a dám si skleničku pivečka.

(This sentence cannot be translated into English.) I am going to my favourit pub. I'll sit to my beloved table and will have a small glass of beer of my liking.

Pojedu se svou ženuškou a dceruškou do městečka na oslíčku. ;)