There is no / It is not


New Member

I would like to know if in Czech are possible constructions equivalent to Polish

Jaki tam wstyd?!

or Ukrainian

Ta jakij tam zakon?!

or Russian

Kakoj tam mačo?!

or Bulgarian

Kakăv tam prestăpnik?!

In all of the above sentences the presence of the adverb tam "there" implies a doubt about what is being claimed, i.e. a negative assertion. They are semantically equivalent to saying "It is NOT shameful", "It is NOT law", "He is NOT a mačo", "He is NOT a criminal" etc.

Are there similar constructions with tam in Czech?

  • bibax

    Senior Member
    Czech (Prague)
    In Czech we use pak (then) written together with jaký: jakýpak.

    Jakápak hanba?!
    Jakýpak zločinec, chudák (poor fellow) je to!
    Jakýpak chudák?! Blbec je to!

    Enquiring Mind

    Senior Member
    English - the Queen's
    Hi Snunu, no. The word "tam" obviously exists in Czech, but is used in the kind of phrase you mention to mean only "there", and not in the sense of disbelief that you describe in those other languages.
    That kind of disbelief can be (but isn't necessarily) expressed in Czech by the word "pak" ("then") pegged onto the end of jaký/jaká/jaké ("what" - masculine, feminine and neuter), so "jakýpak". The "jaký" stem will be declined according to its syntactic function in the sentence, but the "pak" on the end remains unchanged. Here are a couple of examples:
    (1) "Jakýpak rasisismus" (neviditelnypes) - What racism? What do you mean - racism? Racism - who's to say? (The commentary is about a recent incident in which two young Vietnamese boys who couldn't swim drowned at a lake resort near Prague. The media have presented the story, based on eye-witness accounts, as a case of racism on the part of the resort staff who allegedly did not do enough or act quickly enough when the alarm was raised over the missing boys, because the boys were Vietnamese. The commentator suggests a different interpretation of the events and does not agree with the way the story has been presented as a racist incident.)
    (2) "Jakoupak úctu tomu zaprodanci" ( Why should we respect that traitor? The article reports that barely half of the elected representatives turned up to greet President Zeman when he visited South Moravia last year. The comment on the article says Zeman's election campaign was allegedly financed illegally with Russian money.

    But note that this "jakýpak" doesn't always express doubt or disbelief. Sometimes it's just wonder, as in "Jakoupak používáte zubní pastu pro děti?" ( - (So) which toothpaste do you use for your children (then)?
    Last edited:


    New Member
    Thank you enquiring mind and bibax for your extensive explanations! You have made it all very clear, it is very helpful. I am interested in the role that distal adverbs (i.e. adverbs that point to something far such as "tam" in Slavic) play in expressing negative or irreal meanings in world's languages and it is interesting to know that this nuance can be expressed in Czech by a different adverbial category
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