Czech by Numbers - Three


Hello and welcome to Czech by Numbers, Radio Prague's own Czech language series which explores Czech numbers and numerals and their use in idioms. Today we'll be looking at the number three - tři. As you can hear, the common Indo-European origin of the English and Czech here is quite obvious.

The form of the word stays the same in all three genders but it, of course, changes according to cases. But, luckily, declension is not on our agenda in this series.

The word for the number three - trojka is also quite a bad mark in school. It can also mean room number three in a hotel, a number-three tram or even a canine tooth. In the plural - trojky - the word means C-cup breasts. It is an old fashioned system which has now been replaced by a European numbering system.

It is not to be confused with a similar word trojice - a group of three, a trio or Trinity. The Holy Trinity is Svatá Trojice. The adjective trojitý means triple as in a triple axel - trojitý axel, a jump in figure skating. Triplets are trojčata, one triplet being trojče.

The ordinal number - third is třetí, as in třetí lekce - lesson number three. One third is třetina. A third-grader is třeťák. And the saying do třetice všeho dobrého means third time lucky.

And finally, there a tongue twister for you. In translation it means "333 silver sprinklers were spraying over 333 silver roofs". Tři sta třicet tři stříbrných stříkaček stříkalo přes tři sta třicet tři stříbrných střech.

Happy practicing and till next time na shledanou - good bye!