Czech cases and declensions are often one of the most intimidating things for Czech learners. When people start learning Czech, often they don't even know what the heck grammatical cases are and why do we need them.
I personally find cases very practical, they help us convey meaning and express our thoughts clearly and accurately. Let me show you an example using the words "fotka - photo" and the name "Ben".
In English, you need a strict word order (subject - verb - objects) and 4 words to express what is being given and to whom.
I'll give the photo to Ben.
In Czech, we can simply say:
Dám fotku Benovi.
Just by changing the word "fotka" to "fotku" and "Ben" to "Benovi", we are able to express that "the picture is being given" and "Ben is the receiver of the picture". Even if we change the word order and say "Dám Benovi fotku", it still means the same thing, the picture is being given and Ben is receiving the picture. Every ending is like a secret code giving you the exact information about what's going on.
In other words, cases (words with different endings) show you what function does the word have in a sentence.
There are seven cases in Czech (nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, vocative, locative and instrumental) so theoretically every noun can exist in 7 different forms (Ben, Bena, Benovi, Bena, Bene!, Benovi, Benem). Each case (each form of the word) expresses another function of the word in a sentences and gives you a clue about what's going on. If you want to find out more about what grammatical cases are and how they work in Czech, check out my video where I explain everything in detail.
Good, now you have an idea of what cases are. Now the question is:
What is the best way to learn Czech cases?
Where should I start? Should I memorize the endings? Should I memorize the declension table?
To help you with that, I asked 6 Czech learners to describe their experience and strategies that help them remember the endings and how to use them in communication. Watch the video to learn about their experience, get practical tips and see different perspectives on learning Czech cases.