Slovak Language Lessons for Beginners - Lesson 8

[Lesson Overview] [Personal Website]
[Lesson 1[Lesson 2] [Lesson 3] [Lesson 4] [Lesson 5]
 [Lesson 6]
 [Lesson 7] 
[Lesson 8]

Lesson 8
You can download the entire Slovak course as a book in PDF format [here]. I am thankful to Alan Morelli of Bergamo, Italy for putting the book together.


Pozor! = Attention! (often used on warnings)
varovanie = warning
zákaz = literally: prohibition (used on signs that prohibit various activities)
dámy a páni = ladies and gentlemen
Presne tak. = That's right. (literally: 'Exactly so.')
To je jedno. = It doesn't matter. (literally: 'It is one [and the same].")
To je mi jedno. = I don't care. (literally: "It is one [and the same] to me.")
Čo znamená _____ ? = What does _____ mean?


vetrovka (or bunda) = winter/warm jacket, anorak
kabát = coat
šál = scarf
rukavica, rukavice = glove, gloves
mikina = a fleece, a hoodie
sveter = sweater
pulóver = pullover
blúzka = blouse
tričko = T-shirt
košeľa = shirt
sako = formal jacket
kravata = tie
nohavice = trousers/pants
rifle (alebo džínsy) = jeans 
tepláky = sweatpants
opasok = belt
sukňa = skirt
spodné prádlo = underwear
slipy = briefs
trenírky = boxers (or shorts)
nohavičky = panties
podprsenka = bra
topánka, topánky = shoe, shoes
ponožka, ponožky = sock, socks
čižma, čižmy = boot, boots
čiapka = hat (for cold weather)
klobúk = a traditional, gentleman's hat
šiltovka = cap
prsteň = ring
náramok = bracelet
náhrdelník = necklace


When an item's owner is male, we use - depending on the grammatical gender of the owned item - the suffixes -ov, -ova, or -ovo:

Michalov počítač = Michal's computer
Michalova košeľa = Michal's shirt
Michalovo auto = Michal's car

When an item's owner is female, we use the suffixes -in, -ina, or -ino. If the female name ends in a vowel (such as -a) - as it often does - the vower is typically dropped:

Janin počítač = Jana's computer
Janina košeľa = Jana's shirt
Janino auto = Jana's car

Consider these examples:
Bratislava je Jurajovo obľúbené mesto. = Bratislava is Juraj's favorite city.
Karolova košeľa je príliš veľká, ale jeho nohavice sú akurát. = Karol's shirt is too big, but his pants are just right.
Zuzanina červená sukňa je celkom pekná, ale jej tričko je škaredé. = Zuzana's red skirt is quite nice, but her T-shirt is ugly. 
Prepáč, ale naozaj neviem, kde je Máriina čierna topánka. = I'm sorry, but I really don't know where Mária's black shoe is.


Ako často ____? = How often ____?
nikdy = never
niekedy = sometimes
často = often
vždy = always
príležitostne = occasionally
raz za čas (or sem-tam) = once in a while


telo = body
hlava = head
krk = neck
hruď = chest
prsia = breasts, female chest
brucho = stomach (tummy)
zadok = bottom
vlasy = hair
brada = chin, beard
fúzy = mustache
obočie = eyebrows
čelo = forehead
líce = cheek (neuter)
oko, oči = eye, eyes
ucho, uši = ear, ears
nos = nose
ústa = mouth
zub, zuby = tooth, teeth
jazyk = tongue
hrdlo = throat
In Slovak, we do not distinguish between arms and hands, between legs and feet, and between fingers and toes:
ruka, ruky = hand/arm, hands/arms
noha, nohy = foot/leg, feet/legs
prst = finger/toe
päsť = fist
lakeť = elbow
koleno = knee
stehno = thigh
lýtko = calf
päta = heel
srdce = heart (neuter)
mozog = brain
žalúdok = stomach
pľúca = lungs


In the present tense, the verb mať (to have) takes on these forms:

ja mám (I have)                                 my máme (we have)
ty máš (you have - sing. informal)        vy máte (you have - sing. formal, and plural)       
on má (he has)                                 oni majú (they have - group of males, and mixed groups)
ona má (she has)                             ony majú (they have - group of females)
ono má (it has; for neuter - rare)

To negate the verb mať, use the usual prefix ne-:

ja nemám (I don't have)                                 my nemáme (we don't have)
ty nemáš (you don't have)                               vy nemáte (you don't have)       
on nemá (he doesn't have)                             oni nemajú (they don't have)
ona nemá (she doesn't have)                         ony nemajú (they don't have)
ono nemá (it doesn't have)


When a word is used as the direct object in a Slovak sentence, we use the accusative case. What we have seen so far, by contrast, are nouns and adjectives in their nominative case form - the form they take on when they are the subject (i.e., the actor) in a sentence. I have underlined direct objects in these English examples:

I have a younger sister.
I see the green house.
I heard the music yesterday.

In this lesson, we will only learn how to deal with a direct object that consists only of one noun. We will learn how to say things like 'I have a car.' 
In a later lesson, we'll also cover direct objects that include adjectives: 'I have a new car.'

How we form the accusative case in Slovak depends on the grammatical gender of the direct object.

Masculine gender: If the direct object is a person or an animal, we add the -a suffix. Otherwise, the word remains unchanged.

 nominative case (basic form)                  accusative case (direct object)                   example:
 brat = brother                                       brata                                                       Jozef má brata. = Jozef has a brother.
 počítač = computer                              počítač                                                    Naša domácnosť má počítač. = Our household has a computer.

Feminine gender: We change the final -a into a -u ending.

 nominative case (basic form)                  accusative case (direct object)                   example:
 kravata = tie                                        kravatu                                                   Milan má vždy kravatu. = Milan always has a tie.
 čiapka = hat                                        čiapku                                                     Jej otec má niekedy čiapku. = Her father sometimes has a hat.

Neuter gender: The word does not change.

 nominative case (basic form)                  accusative case (direct object)                   example:
 okno = window                                     okno                                                        Ich dom má okno. = Their house has a window.
 divadlo = theater                                 divadlo                                                    Mesto Nitra má divadlo. = The city of Nitra has a theater.


Recall all the interrogative pronouns we have already learned:

kto = who
čo = what
kedy = when
kde = where
koľko = how many, how much
ako = how
aký = what kind of

We can use the suffix -koľvek in the same way that -ever is used in English:

ktokoľvek = whoever
čokoľvek = whatever
kedykoľvek = whenever
kdekoľvek = wherever
koľkokoľvek = however many, however much
akokoľvek = however (meaning: in whichever way)
akýkoľvek = any (meaning, roughly: whatever kind of)

We can also use the prefix hoci- in the same way that any- is used in English:

hocikto = anyone
hocičo = anything
hocikedy = anytime
hocikde = anywhere
hocikoľko = however many, however much
hocijako = in any way 
hocijaký = any (meaning, roughly: whatever kind of, any kind of)

iba = only 
len = only
= as many as (emphasizes that there is a lot of something)
Toto lacné auto stojí iba päťtisíc eúr, ale tamto drahé stojí až šesťdesiattisíc. = This cheap car costs only 5,000 euros, but that expensive one over there costs as much as 60,000.
Zajtra bude veľmi chladno - len dva stupne. = Tomorrow will be very cold - only two degrees.


There are several newspapers (noviny) with a national circulation, as well as a number of regional publications. Among the serious newspapers, SME, Denník N ('The N Daily') and Pravda ('The Truth') are most widely read. The most popular tabloid is Nový čas ('New Time') - infamous for its overblown headlines that usually focus on scandalous celebrity affairs.

Nový čas: []

Popular weekly magazines include Plus sedem dní ('Plus seven days'), Život ('Life') and Týždeň ('Week'):

Slovakia has a state-owned TV company called Slovenská televízia ('Slovak Television'), much like the American PBS, which broadcasts on three channels. Private TV channels are more popular, however, and include TV Markíza and Joj. There is also a channel called TA3 (a pun on Tatry, the mountain range) that only broadcasts news all day. You can watch shows from these TV channels online at the following websites:

Slovenská televízia: []

There is also a state-owned radio company Slovenský rozhlas ('Slovak Radio Broadcasting'), not unlike NPR in the United States, which broadcasts on several radio stations. The most popular private radio station today is Rádio Expres, which plays a lot of pop music. You can listen to these radio stations online:

Slovenský rozhlas: []
Rádio Expres: []

You can download the entire lesson in MP3 format [here]. Just right click, and choose "Save as..."