Lesson 3 Grammar: Using Numbers

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Let’s learn numbers in Slovak. After all, it’s not much good asking how much something costs, if you don’t know what the answer means. You will find the full list (with audio) of Slovak numbers in the vocabulary section. But here are few of them:

jeden (1)
dva (2)
tri (3)
štyri (4)
päť (5)
päťnásť (15)
dvadsať (20)

Let’s use these in some sentences. Let’s go back to the sentence from the dialog, koľko stojí káva? (how much for coffee?):

You: Koľko stojí káva?
Cheap restaurant: Káva stojí jedno euro
Less cheap restaurant: Káva stojí dve eurá
Not a cheap restaurant: Káva stojí tri eurá
Definitely not a cheap restaurant: Káva stojí štyri eurá
Expensive restaurant: Káva stojí päť eur
Really really expensive restaurant: Káva stojí dvädsať eur

Alright, what’s going on here?! I just told you that one and two are jeden and dva, respectively, but I used jedno and dve in the example. Typo? Nope, these two numbers change their form based on the gender of the noun they refer to. The forms for one are jeden, jedna, and jedno for masculine, feminine and neuter nouns, respectively. Since the word euro is neuter, we use jedno. For two you have dvaja for living masculine nouns and dve otherwise. Ok, what about dva? This form is used only as the numeral, when counting. In all practical sentences you will use one of the other two forms.

The word dollar, dolár, is masculine. On the other hand, Libra, the British pound, and koruna (crown), the currency in the Czech republic and formerly also in Slovakia, are feminine. Here are few examples for you to practice numbers with:

Hranolky stoja dva doláre (French fries cost two dollars)
Hamburger stojí päť dolárov (Hamburger costs five dollars)
Polievka stojí štyri libri (Soup costs four dollars)
Coca-cola stojí pätnáť českých korún (Coke costs 15 Czech crowns)

Any questions or something not clear? Just leave a comment and I’ll get back to you in a day or two.

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