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Archive for the 'Czech Phrases' Category

Czech Quotes and Proverbs: Get to Know the Czech Culture

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When I was a little girl, I used to spend a lot of time with my grandma. That wonderful lady, like all grandmothers around the world, was an endless source of what (back then) sounded like weird little poems that didn’t rhyme.

And, of course, they made very little sense to me.

You might feel the same way when you look at a Czech sentence that is (seemingly) just a series of random words.

That’s why you should keep on reading this article.

In this list of Czech quotes with translations in English, you’ll find words of wit and wisdom on a variety of topics. From Czech love quotes to proverbs about life, our top picks will give you a little peek into the intriguing Czech culture and mindset. And this, in turn, will enhance your language studies and help you start speaking Czech like a native in record time.

As you read, you’ll find that some of them are very similar to American proverbs, while others are completely different. These little differences and surprising similarities are fascinating—and besides, why not take a break from memorizing new vocabulary or drilling through Czech grammar?

Let’s get started!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Czech Table of Contents
  1. Quotes About Success
  2. Quotes About Life
  3. Quotes About Time
  4. Quotes About Love
  5. Quotes About Family
  6. Quotes About Friendship
  7. Quotes About Food
  8. Quotes About Health
  9. A Quote About Language Learning
  10. How CzechClass101.com Can Help You Learn Czech in a Fun Way

1. Quotes About Success

First and foremost, Czechs are not go-getters. Some three decades after democracy was restored in Czechoslovakia and people finally got to take a breather and expand their lives, they are still…cautious and coy. (That’s why you might think Czechs are unfriendly. They’re not.)

The reason for this is because, not so long ago, they were living a life that the regime dictated and designed for them; “freedom” was just an empty word, and their choices were severely limited in every single way. However, most citizens were also “taken care of,” meaning that they didn’t really have to think for themselves or work hard. This was the case due to a lack of challenges and numerous restrictions. 

Therefore, success is quite a “new” thing in the Czech Republic, and you might find some of the Czech quotes about success quite grim.

1. Bez práce nejsou koláče.

In English: “Without work, there are no koláče.” (Czech pastry)
Equivalent: “There’s no reward without effort.”

Oh yes. The average Czech person believes that success is a lot of work; in order to achieve it, you have to work your butt off. Succeeding without putting in extreme amounts of hard work might seem suspicious and is often referred to as “good luck” or “a fluke.”

2. Dvakrát měř, jednou řež.

In English: “Measure twice, cut once.”

In other words, make sure you’re 200% prepared before you take action.

We’re not only pessimistic, but also overly anxious and afraid of failure. So much so that some people never try anything new.

3. Co se lehce nabude, snadno se pozbude.

In English: “What is easy to gain, is easy to lose.”
Equivalent: “Easy come, easy go.”

Oh well. I hate to admit that this is still the number-one rule for some people. As you can see, it would be quite difficult to fill your Instagram with inspirational Czech thoughts.

2. Quotes About Life

What is life all about, and how should a person live? People have been asking these questions for a long time. Here are some Czech quotes about life to give you a glimpse into how the Czech might answer.

4. Mluviti stříbro, mlčeti zlato.

In English: “Speaking is silver, silence is gold.”

Sometimes it’s just better to keep your thoughts to yourself. Unless you’re about to give someone a compliment or offer to make food. In that case, speak up. Always.

A Man with Tape Over His Mouth

Mluviti stříbro, mlčeti zlato.

5. Nehas, co tě nepálí.

In English: “Do not fight the fire that isn’t burning you.”

In other words, mind your own business.

Shrug.

6. Malé ryby taky ryby.

In English: “Even small fish are fish.”

Contrary to the common belief that life has to be hard, most Czech people appreciate the little things in life (which might be another thing learned from the Communist rule). 

Here’s a little example: 

In 1983, Miloš Forman was shooting his famous Oscar-winning movie Amadeus in his homeland, Czechoslovakia. He brought his Hollywood crew to Prague, which was bleak and gray (sort of like a very poor Russian suburb). 

The reasons he decided to set his big project there were pretty straightforward: Prague looks a lot like Vienna, the expenses were considerably lower, and thanks to the regime there were no “capitalistic” changes made to the city (no billboards, ads, or new modern buildings). 

One of the American actors happened to have friends who fled Czechoslovakia some years earlier, and before his departure, they asked him to bring some presents and fresh fruit to their relatives back in Europe. Among other stuff, there was a large, fresh pineapple. At that time, the only pineapple you could get in Prague was the canned kind, and the majority of people had never seen the fresh fruit before. The day it was brought to the set, dozens of Czech people gathered around it and admired this new, “Western” wonder.

3. Quotes About Time

Now, here are some Czech quotes and sayings about time to show you how Czechs perceive its influence on our lives.

7. Pozdě, ale přece.

In English: “Late, but still.”
Equivalent: “Better late than never.” / “It’s better to arrive late than not at all.”

Obviously, it’s okay to miss the first ten minutes of a movie and still enjoy the beautiful story—or to meet the love of your life forty years later than expected.

Just show up. 

8. Ráno moudřejší večera.

In English: “Better to sleep on it.”
Equivalent: “Morning is wiser than the evening.” / “Take your time to make a decision.”

Do you like to think before taking action? Do you take your time before making a decision?

Maybe the Czech Republic is your spirit country!

4. Quotes About Love

Are you madly in love with someone? Or maybe you’re a hopeless romantic? Either way, I think you’ll enjoy these Czech quotes about love!

9. Láska prochází žaludkem.

In English: “Love goes through your stomach.”
Equivalent: “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.”

If you and your partner like the same food, you will likely have a lot in common in other areas, too. I completely agree with this. Not to mention that sharing a dessert or cooking together is a great way of bonding!

A Couple Cooking in the Kitchen Together

Láska prochází žaludkem!

10. Snesl bych ti modré z nebe.

In English: “I would bring you the blue from the sky.”
Equivalent: “I would do anything for you.”

Sounds poetic, right?

11. Jsme dva, dva na všechno, na lásku, život, na boj i bolest, na hodiny štěstí. Dva na výhry i prohry, na život a na smrt – DVA!

In English: “There’s two of us, two for everything, for love, life, for a fight and pain, for hours of happiness. Two for wins and losses, for life and for death – TWO!”

    – Karel Čapek, Czech author (1890-1938)

I have always felt like Czechs weren’t the most affectionate people. You won’t hear fiery love declarations too often…if ever. Also, we don’t use the word milovat (“to love”) nearly as often as it’s used in English.

5. Quotes About Family

Family is a major cornerstone of any society. Learn how Czechs perceive familial relationships with these Czech quotes about family. 

12. Krev není voda.

In English: “Blood is not water.”
Equivalent: “Blood is thicker than water.”

Czechs are usually very close with their families (although not to the extent that Southern Europeans are). It’s partly because it isn’t common to move for work and people usually spend their whole lives in one town—or even in one house.

Sunday family lunches are a very common thing, and during the summer break, kids often spend a lot of time with their grandparents.

13. Bližší košile nežli kabát.

In English: “Your shirt is closer to your skin than your coat is.”

This basically means that your own interests/family should be your priority.

Oh yes, we really do like to protect our privacy and hang out only with people we have known for a while!

14. Host do domu, hůl do ruky.

In English: “If a guest comes to your home, grab a stick.”

You guessed it! Czech people aren’t really used to having people over and they are very protective of their privacy. If someone invites you over to their house, it means they trust you and feel warmly about you.

6. Quotes About Friendship

Friends are one of life’s greatest joys and necessities. Here are some Czech friendship quotes for you! Can you relate?

15. Lépe mít sto přátel, než jednoho nepřítele.

In English: “It is better to have a hundred friends than one enemy.”
Equivalent: “Do not think that one enemy is insignificant, or that a thousand friends are too many.”

People Having High Five

You can never have too many friends.

16. Nejlepší přítel je ten, co tě napomene, co ti řekne pravdu do očí. Toho si važ!

In English: “The best friend rebukes you and always tells you the truth. Appreciate friends like this!”

    – Božena Němcová, nineteenth century Czech female author (1820-1862)

Yup, being honest (often too much) is a huge Czech thing. Our friendships tend to be long-term and based on “tough love.”

7. Quotes About Food

Who doesn’t enjoy sitting down to a nice meal now and then? Here are some quotes in Czech that touch on the topic of food!

17. Hlad je nejlepší kuchař.

In English: “Hunger is the best cook.” 

If you’re hungry, you’ll forget about being picky and just eat whatever you’re served. (I hated this proverb so much when I was a kid!)

18. Sytý hladovému nevěří.

In English: “No one will believe you if you’re hungry and they’re not.”
Equivalent: “He who has not experienced difficulties does not believe the accounts of those who have.”

Right. If you’re not in the same boat, it will be pretty difficult to make people understand your struggles.

19. Jez do polosyta, pij do polopita.

This is like saying, “Only eat and drink until you’re half-full.”

No second helpings. (Unless it’s pizza?)

8. Quotes About Health

You should always prioritize your health, because only in good health can you accomplish more important goals and live life to the fullest. Here’s what Czechs have to say about it.

20. Veselá mysl je půl zdraví.

In English: “Merry mind is half of your health.”

Czechs, like many people, believe that everything you do is “healthy” as long as it makes you happy. I totally agree. I mean, if you eat a giant piece of cake that you love so much that it creates sparks of joy floating around in your head…it becomes healthy food, right?

21. Prostě-li žiješ, sta let dožiješ.

In English: “If you live simply, you will live a long life.”

Living and eating simply is beneficial not just for your physical health, but also for your mental health. And our ancestors were well aware of it. Many of us struggle with the unnecessary stress we put on ourselves to just “live a great life” or to “achieve great things.” It’s good to go back to the basics and enjoy the simple things.

22. Strach je nemoc špatného svědomí.

In English: “Fear is a disease of those who feel guilty.”
Equivalent: “Guilt leads to a diseased soul.”

    – Karel Čapek, Czech author

Čapek wrote this in reaction to the political changes that preceded WWII. He was one of the most influential Czech writers of the twentieth century (by the way, he also invented the word “robot”) who died less than a year after the beginning of WWII. He was close friends with the first Czechoslovakian President, Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk. (By the way, the President’s middle name is actually his wife’s maiden name. Charlotte was an American suffragette, and they got married in Brooklyn.)

9. A Quote About Language Learning

To close, let’s look at a quote about language learning. What better way to motivate you in your language studies? 

23. Kolik řečí umíš, tolikrát jsi člověkem.

In English: “The more languages you can speak, the more times you are human.”
Equivalent: “A new language is a new life.”

Learning foreign languages was not common during the Communist Era. Children took Russian (of course), and no one really expected that there would be such wonders as online shopping, YouTube, or even traveling abroad.

Today’s kids are usually pretty good at English and a lot of Czechs speak or learn German.

A Woman Reading Something While on the Bus

Learning another language will make your life more exciting in many different ways.

10. How CzechClass101.com Can Help You Learn Czech in a Fun Way

CzechClass101.com will make learning Czech easy, exciting, and fun. With us, it’s not about endless memorizing or thick textbooks. Learn Czech with us and make progress faster than you could imagine!

What can you find here?

Sign up now—it’s free!

One last thing: Let us know in the comments which of these quotes is your favorite, and why!

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You Better Mean Business: Czech Business Phrases

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We all know life isn’t just work; relationships matter and love conquers all.

However, your career is one of the most important parts of your life (and it also takes up a big chunk of your time on Earth). 

That’s why it’s beneficial to find a career that fulfills you and makes you feel accomplished…or at least pays well and doesn’t kill you on the inside. And, of course, you might want or need to start a career in another country.

If you want to get a job or start your own business in the Czech Republic (yay!), you should work on learning some common Czech business phrases and vocabulary. Every successful entrepreneur will tell you that your language gives away a lot about your personality and approach, and by choosing the right words, you will open more prospects. Doing this in a foreign language may be a little more challenging, but also more fun. Trust me. Been there, done that.

Multilingualism benefits your business/professional skills, and makes you look more invested, motivated, and appealing to your business partners. And can you guess what one of the pillars of strong business/work relationships is? Speaking the local language! It bridges cultural gaps and supports interpersonal relationships. 

In other words: Knowing at least a little business Czech will make you look more attractive and less culturally distant to your future boss or business partners. 

Get your game face on. I’ll walk you through some Czech business phrases that will help you boost or start your career in our lovely Central European country. I’ve also included some vocab and tips for email or phone communication, as well as phrases you’ll need to arrange your Czech business travels.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Business Words and Phrases in Czech Table of Contents
  1. How to Nail a Job Interview
  2. How to Make Friends at Work
  3. How to Sound Smart in a Meeting
  4. How to Handle Business Calls and Emails
  5. How to Have a Successful Business Trip
  6. How CzechClass101.com Helps You Learn Czech in a Fun Way

1. How to Nail a Job Interview

Job Interview

First things first: First impressions are more important than we like to admit. Start with the basics and make sure you know how to introduce yourself in Czech appropriately.

Learning how to say “Hello, my name is…” in Czech will take just a few moments. But in context of the bigger picture, it will change the way your potential boss sees you: as an invested, proactive individual who is willing to work on his/her skills, truly wants to be a part of the team, and is ready to learn new things on the go.

A- The Right Start

Remember that you should be formal and polite. Don’t get too personal, and keep things “clean” and professional (unless your potential employer or business partner shows up wearing ripped jeans and offers you a beer).

What could be your opening lines?

  • Dobrý den, já jsem Ironman. Mám tu pracovní pohovor s paní Gosling.
    “Good day, my name is Ironman. I have a job interview with Mrs. Gosling here.”
  • Dobrý den, jdu za paní Gosling. 
    “Good day, I am here to see Mrs. Gosling.”

Check out our quick guide on Czech greetings. It’s crucial that you be prepared, so that you don’t have to think about your language skills too much, and can focus on the interview.

B- Greetings & Goodbyes

Here are the essentials you need to remember to get by:

    Dobrý den. (“Good day.”) – formal, can be used throughout the day
    Dobré ráno. (“Good morning.”)
    Rád/ráda vás poznávám. (“Nice to meet you.”)
    Nashledanou. (“Goodbye.”)
    Těšilo mě. (“It was a pleasure to meet you.”)
    Ozveme se. (“We’ll keep in touch.”)

This guide on how to say hello in Czech will come in handy, too!

    ➢ When in doubt, stick with Dobrý den and Nashledanou.

C- Ty or Vy? (A.K.A. Using Formal Speech)

The Czech language has two distinct pronouns for “you”: vy (formal) and ty (casual). 

When in doubt, always opt for the formal version vy, especially in business or work settings. However, if someone offers you tykání, which is the use of the informal voice, you can follow suit.

Sometimes tykání is referred to as a first-name basis, but this isn’t entirely correct. In Czech, you can call a person by their first name and still use the formal voice.

    Formal voice: Second person plural, even when you’re talking to a single person.

Rule of thumb:

  • When in doubt: Vy.
  • Your friends, work friends, family, or children: Ty.
  • Anyone else (even if they’re your age): Vy.

It’s very likely that people in creative (more relaxed) environments will offer tykání right away. Just follow the lead!

D- During the Interview

You’ll be asked about your education, accomplishments, strengths, weaknesses, goals, and visions.

Here are some of the words you’ll likely use during your interview (masculine / feminine):

  • Pilný / Pilná (“Diligent”)
  • Kreativní (“Creative”)
  • Ambiciózní (“Ambitious”)
  • Nadšený / Nadšená (“Enthusiastic”)
  • Spolehlivý / Spolehlivá (“Reliable”)
  • Pohodový / Pohodová (“Easy-going”)

You might want to check out this list of adjectives to prepare for your self-introduction in Czech. Write down a few lines about who you are and what you can offer the company.

This list of workplace-related vocabulary will help you put together and recognize some (pretty obvious) questions and answers. Below, you’ll find a list of useful business Czech phrases that you’ll either use or hear from your interviewer:

You:

  • Rád bych se zeptal… / Ráda bych se zeptala… (“I would like to ask…”)
  • Na podobné pozici jsem pracoval/pracovala tři roky. (“I had a similar job for three years.”)
  • V tomto oboru mám mnoho zkušeností. (“I have vast experience in this area.”)
  • Nevadí mi práce přesčas. (“I don’t mind working overtime.”)
  • Jaký je plat? (“How much is the salary?”)
  • Je možný home-office? (“Can I work from home?”)
  • Jaká je pracovní doba? (“What are the working hours?”)
  • Děkuji za váš čas. (“Thank you for your time.”)
  • Chcete se mě na něco zeptat? (“Do you want to ask me any questions?”)

Interviewer:

  • Jaký máte titul? (“What degrees do you have?”)
  • Jaké máte vzdělání? (“What is your educational background?”)
  • Kde jste pracoval/pracovala předtím? (“Where did you work before?”)
  • Na jaké pozici jste pracoval/pracovala? (“What was your role?”)

E- Skills

If you have it, flaunt it!

  • Mluvím anglicky, německy a česky. (“I speak English, German, and Czech.”)
  • Mluvím plynule španělsky. (“I am fluent in Spanish.”)
  • Jsem začátečník. (“I am a beginner.”)
  • Vystudoval/vystudovala jsem… (“I have a degree in…”)
  • Inženýr (Master’s degree in engineering or economics)
  • Magistr (Master’s degree in social studies or art)

(Feel free to learn more about the education structure in the Czech Republic.)

If you need more time to think of an answer:

  • Můžete to zopakovat? (“Could you repeat that, please?”)
  • Pardon, neslyšel/neslyšela jsem vás. (“Sorry, I didn’t hear that.”)
  • Pardon, nerozumím. (“Sorry, I don’t understand.”)

2. How to Make Friends at Work

First of all, bring three batches of homemade triple chocolate cookies…just joking.

Officemates

Vítej! (“Welcome!”)

Making friends at work is important. In fact, studies show that people who have a “best friend” at work are seven times as likely to be engaged in their job! They also have “higher levels of productivity, retention, and job satisfaction than those who don’t.”

Icebreakers

First of all, you need to introduce yourself, right?

We have a great article for ya!

TLDR?

Okay, here’s a snapshot.

  • Smile
  • Jmenuju se… (“My name is….”)
  • Těší mě. (“Nice to meet you.”)

After that, you can get a little more touchy-feely:

  • Jsem tu nový/nová. (“I am new here.”)
  • Moc se mi tu líbí. (“I like it here a lot.”)
  • Chodíte někdy na skleničku? (“Do you go out for drinks?”)
  • Jak dlouho tu pracuješ? (“How long have you been working here?”)
  • Líbí se ti tu? (“Do you like it here?”)
  • Pomůžeš mi, prosím? (“Can you help me, please?”)
  • Děkuji za pomoc! (“Thank you for your help!”)

Want more? See our list of more self-introduction lines!

Business Phrases

3. How to Sound Smart in a Meeting

Yeah, most meetings could have just been emails, but if you do have to see your coworkers or boss or business partners face-to-face, you’re going to want to show off.

No slacking allowed, get ready. 

Business Meeting

Schůzka s kolegy (“Meeting with coworkers”)

Whom you’re meeting with (masculine / feminine):

  • Kolega / Kolegyně (“Colleague,” “Coworker”)
  • Obchodní partner / partnerka (“Business partner”)
  • Investor / Investorka (“Investor”)
  • Šéf / Šéfka (“Boss”)
  • Nadřízený / Nadřízená (“Supervisor”)

Speak up:

  • Podle mého názoru… (“In my opinion…”)
  • Já si myslím… (“I think…”)
  • Dobrá práce. (“Good work.”)
  • Skvělá práce! (“Excellent work!”)
  • Pojďme to probrat. (“Let’s talk about it.”)

This is the ultimate business talk guide. Listen to the vocabulary, practice your pronunciation, and impress with your smooth Czech for business.

4. How to Handle Business Calls and Emails

I have always perceived business calls and emails as a foolproof way to “read” the people on the other end.

Work emails with typos, grammar mistakes (!!!), or sketchy vocab are off-putting and unprofessional.

You really need to pay attention to your spelling and make sure everything is perfect (thank god for online translators—use them!).

The structure should be like this:

  1. Dobrý den, paní Grangerová. (“Good day, Mrs. Granger.”)
  2. Píšu vám kvůli tématu, o kterém jsme spolu mluvili. (“I am writing to you in regards to the topics we talked about.”)
  3. The body of the email.
  4. Pokud budete potřebovat další pomoc, neváhejte se na mě obrátit. (“If you need any additional assistance, please contact me.”)
  5. Děkuji předem. (“Thank you in advance.”)
  6. S pozdravem, (“Regards,”)
  7. Your name.

Other stuff:

  • Děkuji za odpověď. (“Thank you for your reply.”)
  • Mohl/mohla byste mi prosím poslat… (“Would you please send me…”)
  • Můžete mi doporučit…? (“Could you recommend…?”)
  • Pečlivě jsme zvážili váš návrh a… (“We carefully considered your proposal and…”)

Easy peasy.

Of course, you don’t need to be super-official like that when you’re asking your coworkers where you’re going for lunch.

As for calls, well… Do people still do that?

Okay, in case you do need to make a phone call:

When answering the phone, people usually say Prosím (“Please”) or say their name right away, which might catch you off-guard.

A Woman Answering the Phone

Dal/dala bych si salámovou, prosím. (“I’d like pepperoni pizza, please.”)

During the call, you might find these lines useful:

  • Dobrý den, to je design studio Pilot? (“Hello, is it Pilot design studio?”)
  • To je paní Thurman? (“Is it Mrs. Thurman?”)
  • Chci mluvit s paní Thurman, prosím. (“I’d like to talk to Mrs. Thurman, please.”)
  • Prosím přepojte mě do účtárny. (“Please connect me to the finance department.”)

If you’re on the other side of the phone:

  • Nezavěšujte. (“Hold the line.”)
  • Předám… (“I will put you through to…”)
  • Chcete nechat vzkaz? (“Would you like to leave a message?”)
  • Můžete zavolat později? (“Could you call back later?”)
  • Děkuji, nashledanou. (“Thank you, goodbye.”)

Here’s a list of more super-useful phrases for your next phone call.

5. How to Have a Successful Business Trip

Yay or nay? Do you like to travel for work?

Anyway!

Unless you have an assistant, you’ll probably need to book a hotel and tickets, share an itinerary with your coworkers or business partners, get a cab, check in to a hotel…lots of talking to be done! 

Here are some useful phrases to help you out on your business trip to the Czech Republic

  • Jede z letiště do města autobus? (“Is there a bus from the airport to the city?”)
  • Mám rezervaci. (“I have a reservation.”)
  • Máte nějaké volné pokoje? (“Do you have any vacancies tonight?”)
  • Berete kreditní karty? (“Do you take credit card?”)
  • Je Wi-Fi zdarma? (“Is the Wi-Fi free?”)
  • Mohl bych dostat účet? (“Could I have the check?”)
  • Přistaneme v 17:00. (“We land at five p.m.”)
  • Odlétáme v 7:00. (“We take off at seven a.m.”)
  • Vyzvedněte mě na letišti, prosím. (“Pick me up at the airport, please.”)

Plus:

  • Děkuji za pohostinnost. (“Thank you for your hospitality.”)
  • Děkuji za váš čas. (“Thank you for your time.”)
  • Budu tam včas. (“I will be there on time.”)
  • Můj let má zpoždění. (“My flight is delayed.”)

This list of vocabulary will help you prepare for almost any travel situation!

Traveller

Šťastnou cestu! (“Safe travels!”)

6. How CzechClass101.com Helps You Learn Czech in a Fun Way

CzechClass101.com makes learning Czech easy, exciting, and fun. With us, it’s not about endless memorizing or thick textbooks. Learn Czech with us and make progress faster than you could imagine!

What can you find here?

Sign up now, it’s free!

One last thing: Let us know in the comments if this article helped you. Are there any more phrases you need to learn? Let’s get in touch!

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How to Say Goodbye in Czech

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You know, there are certain situations in life where it’s acceptable to just grab your stuff and leave without announcing your departure to the entire room. However, most of the time, it’s nice to be polite and exchange pleasantries! 

Besides, I’m sure that you want to make a good impression. You want people to remember you. You want to have friends and an awesome career, fall in love, and live in a house with a red roof…and how would you achieve that without the persuasive influence of your social graces? 

Saying goodbye in Czech is today’s topic. By the end of this article, you’ll be ready to say bye in Czech to your boss, a cashier in your favorite supermarket, someone you just met, someone you definitely want to see again, someone you never want to speak to again…the list goes on. Ready?

But.

First things first: Go check out our list of ten lines you need to know for introducing yourself and make sure you know all of these cute pleasantries. You’ll soon have all the language skills necessary to make people fall in love with you and earn a special place in their memories. (Want your Czech goodbye to be really memorable? Adding a little emotion never hurts, if that’s your thing.) Start with a bonus, and download the Must-Know Beginner Vocabulary PDF for FREE!(Logged-In Member Only)

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Czech Table of Contents
  1. The Most Common Ways to Say Bye in Czech
  2. Formal Czech Words for Goodbye – When Words Aren’t Enough
  3. See You!
  4. At the Airport or Train Station: Farewell!
  5. Pleasantries (a.k.a How to be Sweet and Caring)
  6. Professional Settings
  7. How CzechClass101.com Helps You Learn Czech in a Fun Way

1. The Most Common Ways to Say Bye in Czech

Most Common Goodbyes

Unlike in English, you won’t get by using just one word for goodbye in Czech. Sorry. In this beautiful Slavic language, we use formal (second person plural) and informal (second person singular) speech.

The good news is that you don’t need to sit there and memorize dozens of new Czech words. These two will suffice:

  • Formal: Na shledanou. (“Bye,” meaning “See you again.”)
  • Informal (a.k.a being on first-name terms): Čau. (“Bye.” – Yes, it’s pretty much the Italian ciao.)

If you remember these two words, you’re going to be okay in any situation.

However…you don’t do basic, do you? Let’s explore a little more.

Also:

    Čau is a hello and a goodbye in Czech. You’re welcome.
    Tak čau (“So, bye”) is a very common form. Don’t be surprised if you hear this.
A Woman Waving Her Hand

Čau!

2. Formal Czech Words for Goodbye – When Words Aren’t Enough

Let’s say you’ve just met your significant other’s parents for the first time. It’s a sensitive situation that could be a little awkward. Plus, not only do you need to say stuff, but you also need to do stuff. On top of that: cultural differences.

Now, I’m gonna tell you my own story, because keeping things real makes writing a whole lot easier.

My American boyfriend’s parents are in their 70s. I was about to celebrate my first Thanksgiving ever with them, but they had never really interacted with a foreigner before and his mom was worried she wouldn’t understand my English (I’m pretty sure she did wish that were true by the end of the weekend). 

I don’t really care what people think about me, but sheesh! This lady birthed my beloved boy; I want her to like me! So, being my usual organized self, I got ready. I asked my boyfriend what to do, what to say, and how to act during the first and final minutes (I managed to be naturally charming in-between), and it worked!

Here’s my advice:

    ➢ When visiting or living in a foreign country, don’t rely on people being understanding. Learn their customs and be respectful of their culture. Try to be one of them (When in Rome…).
    ➢ Do not underestimate the power of culture.
    ➢ A foreign accent is cute, ignorance isn’t.
    ➢ Don’t invade their personal space.

Remember that you need to use formal speech.

Step 1:

Are you leaving? Say:

  • Děkuji za pozvání. Mějte se hezky. Na shledanou. (“Thank you for having me. Be good. Bye.”)

Are they leaving? Say:

  • Děkuji za návštěvu. Mějte se hezky. Na shledanou. (“Thank you for visiting. Be good. Bye.”)

Was it your first meeting? Say:

  • Masculine: Rád jsem vás poznal. (“Nice meeting you.”) 
  • Feminine: Ráda jsem vás poznala. (“Nice meeting you.”)

Do you want to hang out with them again? Say:

  • Masculine: Moc rád vás zase uvidím. (“I would love to see you again.”)
  • Feminine: Moc ráda vás zase uvidím. (“I would love to see you again.”)

Step 2:

  • Shake hands. 

Czech people aren’t huggy. No need for kisses either, unless the other person likes it French. Observe. Let them keep their distance. (Unless it was love at first sight, in which case you should tell them.)

Step 3:

  • Leave.

There’s this weird custom (several customs, actually) that I just don’t get. You’re at someone’s place, you feel like it’s time to go, you say “I’m gonna go,” and then they say: “Are you in a rush? Stay a little longer.” You don’t want to make them feel bad, so you’re torn over whether to leave or stay a few more minutes.

It’s an act. They don’t mean it—it’s just a weird cultural thing. Just get up and go, unless you can tell they’re being genuine.

Want to know more about Czech culture? Read on.

A Flag

Czech culture and American culture have very little in common.

3. See You!

The process of saying bye in Czech is pretty straightforward and linear—you just say čau (“bye”) and go. Still, this phrase is fairly popular as well – you can see some of the variants in the table below!

    Uvidíme se…
    Literal translation: “We will see each other.”

You might hear some of these phrases occasionally:

CzechEnglish
Uvidíme se zítra.“See you tomorrow.”
Uvidíme se večer.“See you tonight.”
Uvidíme se v práci.“See you at work.”
Uvidíme se ve škole.“See you at school.”
Uvidíme se příště.“See you next time.”
Uvidíme se příště?“Will we see each other next time?”

All of these phrases are very neutral, and you can use them in both professional and informal settings with your friends.

A Group of Friends Waving Each Other Goodbye

Uvidíme se zítra! (“See you tomorrow!”)

4. At the Airport or Train Station: Farewell!

Watching people in airports is one of my favorite things to do. There’s something super-powerful in all of the hellos and goodbyes, the hugs, the tears of joy, the drama of parting couples…

What surprises me the most is that the men cry just as much as the women do.

Anyway. 

Here’s how to say goodbye in the Czech language when the parting’s difficult.

CzechEnglish
Šťastnou cestu.“Safe travels.” (Literally: “Happy journey.”)
Dávej na sebe pozor.“Take care.” (Literally: “Take care of yourself.”)
Hodně štěstí.“Good luck.”

Again, all of these phrases are neutral. You can use them with your eighty-year-old boss and your new friend who’s a hippie and ignores all of the niceties and social rules.

5. Pleasantries (a.k.a How to be Sweet and Caring)

You know, all the little things we say before parting.

Do you need/want to leave before everyone else? Say:

  • Musím už jít. (“I gotta go.”)

Are you in a hurry? Say:

  • Musím letět. (“I gotta fly.”)
  • Musím běžet. (“I gotta run.”)

Wanna sound nice? Say:

  • Měj hezký den. (“Have a nice day.”)

Wanna sound nice and casual?

  • Měj se! 
    • This is impossible to translate (literally, “have yourself”). It’s a variation of “Have a good one!”

Do you want to see them again? Say:

  • Ozvi se. (“Keep in touch.”)
    • You can probably guess that this is not something you’d say in formal settings, hence the informal speech.

Do you THINK you might want to see the person again, but you’re not sure yet? Say:

  • Ozvu se. (“I’ll keep in touch.”)

Do you REALLY want to see them again? Say:

  • Musíme to někdy zopakovat. (“We must do this again.”)

6. Professional Settings

The corporate world has its own rules, and unless you’re a freelancer, you’ll probably look for a job some day. If that’s the case, you might hear or say one or more of these phrases at your interview:

  • Děkuji za váš čas. (“Thank you for your time.”)
  • Ozveme se vám. (“We will get in touch.”)
  • Budeme v kontaktu. (“We will keep in touch.”)
A Man and Woman Shaking Hands

Ozveme se vám. (“We will get in touch.”)

7. How CzechClass101.com Helps You Learn Czech in a Fun Way

CzechClass101.com will make learning Czech easy, exciting, and fun. With us, it’s not about endless memorizing or thick textbooks. Learn Czech with us and make progress faster than you could imagine!

What can you find here?

  • English-to-Czech translation and pronunciation tips/tricks
  • Over 630 audio and video lessons
  • Vocabulary learning tools
  • Spaced repetition flashcards
  • Detailed PDF lesson notes

Sign up now—it’s free!

One last thing: Let us know in the comments if this article helped you. Is there anything else you want to know about saying bye in Czech, what to do, and how to get prepared? Let’s get in touch, and we’ll do our best to help!

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How Hard is it to Learn Czech?

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Let’s debunk this myth about Slavic languages being incredibly hard and almost impossible for English-speakers to learn.

Oh, please. 

How hard is it to learn Czech? Not at all. Sure, there’s going to be a lot of new things—things that seemingly make no sense, things you’ll hate, and things that will make your tongue twist. However, Czech isn’t that hard, complicated, or nasty. It’s just different from English.

Learning another language is always an exciting process. Yup, it’s hard at the beginning (beginnings are hard whether you’re learning Czech, training for your first half-marathon, or learning how to produce an edible dinner without setting your kitchen on fire). But once you turn the corner, things get easier and you start to make progress faster.

The trickiest part of Czech is probably a tie between the pronunciation and the declension. But with practice, effort, and determination, it’s nothing you can’t master.

We’ve got your back, buddy! Now. Sit back and let me convince you that Czech is just as easy as any language you already speak.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Learning Czech Table of Contents
  1. Things That Will Require Some Effort: Sometimes Life Gets Hard…
  2. The Good News: The Easy Aspects of Learning Czech
  3. I Can’t Wait to Start Learning Czech! What Should I Do First?
  4. Tips!
  5. How CzechClass101.com Helps You Learn Czech in a Fun Way

1. Things That Will Require Some Effort: Sometimes Life Gets Hard…

…and so does the wonderful Czech language.

Why is Czech hard to learn, and what sucks the most?

A- Declension

There are seven cases in the Czech language:

1. Nominative

2. Genitive

3. Dative

4. Accusative

5. Vocative

6. Locative

7. Instrumental

  • That means there’s a whopping fourteen versions of each noun, adjective, pronoun, and numeral (singular + plural).
  • You need to know the gender of the word (masculine, feminine, neuter) in order to do the declension.
  • Each case changes the ending of the word and the preposition.

Yes, you need to memorize all of them. There’s no shortcut.

No, I’m not kidding.

    ➢ Thankfully, someone very nice and smart created fourteen paradigms of noun declension. Once you memorize the declension of these paradigms and learn to distinguish between words of different grammatical genders, the rest will be a smooth ride.

MasculineFeminineNeuter
Pán (“Mister”)Žena (“Woman”)Město (“City”)
Hrad (“Castle”)Růže (“Rose”)Moře (“Sea”)
Muž (“Man”)Píseň (“Song”)Kuře (“Chicken”)
Stroj (“Machine”)Kost (“Bone”)Stavení (“Cottage”)
Předseda (“Chairman”)
Soudce (“Judge”)
Jiří (“George”)

    ➢ Learn the genders: even though “-a” being at the end of a word is a pretty reliable indicator that the word is declined as žena, it can also be declined as předseda, resulting in completely different endings and meanings.
    ➢ The same goes for adjective declension. These babies are just as easy, and vary depending on the gender of the noun they’re related to.
    ➢ And…pronouns. Pronoun declension is a teeny bit more complicated because some of them are irregular. Teehee.

Check out this amazing article that will make the declension easy for ya.

A Girl Writing on Her Notebook

Be consistent; study every day.

B- Conjugation

Czech conjugation is the way a verb changes to show number, gender, person, and mood

  • There are four verb classes (that means four different verb endings).
  • There are six persons:, ty, on/ona/ono, my, vy, oni/ony/ona (“I, you, he/she/it, we, you, they”).
  • The verb form usually depends on the number of persons and the gender.

Conjugation is a pretty simple and straightforward process. 

Do you speak German, Spanish, Italian, or Latin? Great! Thanks to similar rules, Czech conjugation will be a piece of cake for you!

Watch for the ending of each word.

-at, -át singular + plural (Example: dát “to give”)-ovat, -ít, -ýt singular + plural (Example: kupovat “to buy”) 
1. Dám
2. Dáš
3.
4. Dáme
5. Dáte
6. Dají
1. Kupuji
2. Kupuješ
3. Kupuje
4. Kupujeme
5. Kupujete
6. Kupují
-it, -et, -ět singular + plural (Example: sedět “to sit”)-out, -ci singular + plural  (Example: zapomenout “to forget”)
1. Sedím
2. Sedíš
3. Sedí
4. Sedíme
5. Sedíte
6. Sedí
1. Zapomenu
2. Zapomeneš
3. Zapomene
4. Zapomeneme
5. Zapomenete
6. Zapomenou

Of course, there are a few irregular verbs that you’ll have to memorize and learn how to conjugate from scratch. This lesson is awesome for an avid Czech student! 

A Woman Studying on Her Laptop

There are things you will have to memorize.

C- Formal and Informal Speech

Formal and informal speech What can I say? I don’t understand this quirk either. It’s pretty useless and frustrating, but oh well.

    Formal speech (second person plural, vy) is used in a formal setting, with older people, with people you’ve just met, at work, etc.

    Informal speech (second person singular, ty) is used with family and friends, and in informal settings.

Formal:
Jste krásná. (“You are beautiful.”)

Informal:
Jsi krásná. (“You are beautiful.”)

Cute, isn’t it?

D- Pronunciation

Czech is a phonetic language, and as such, it’s pronounced the same way it’s written (just like Latin or Spanish, for example).

But the Czech language has a little surprise for you: additional letters with diacritics (marks above the letter). These can be a háček (“hook”), čárka (“length mark”), or kroužek (“circle”), and they change the pronunciation of the letter.

Make sure you know and practice the pronunciation of each Czech consonant and vowel.

Remember:

    Final consonants in the Czech language are fully pronounced, including the letter “h,” which is most often silent in English. 

    Voiced consonants (b, v, g, ď, z, ž, h) at the end of the word are silent.

    Ch is a single letter in the Czech alphabet, pronounced through the throat (like “mojito,” for example).

    The soft consonants ď, ť, ň and di, ti, ni don’t exist in English. To pronounce them correctly, try to put the tip of your tongue further back against your soft palate and pronounce the regular “d,” but much, much softer.

This article will help you deal with some of the hardest Czech words to pronounce, and show you how to correct any mistakes you’re making!

2. The Good News: The Easy Aspects of Learning Czech

1. Czech conjugation is somewhat similar to that of certain Latin-based languages (Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, and Romanian).

2. Czech vocabulary is made of subsets of word roots, prefixes, and suffixes linked together in easy-to-remember and logical ways. Many Czech words are combos of prefix + root. For example: Při-nést (“to bring”) / od-nést (“to take away”) / za-nést (“to take something somewhere”).

3. Declension changes only the end of the word, most often the last vowel. Other changes follow consistent and straightforward rules.

4. Czech is a phonetic language, pronounced the same way it’s written. This is similar to the pronunciation in Spanish, Italian, and Latin (and totally different from English pronunciation).

5. There are only three tenses in the Czech language: past, present, and future! How awesome is that!

6. Word order is way looser and easier than in English. It’s flexible, allowing you to put emphasis on different parts of the sentence. The typical Czech word order is subject-verb-object. To ask questions, it’s verb-subject-object. For example: Je těžké naučit se česky? (“Is Czech hard to learn?) / Není těžké naučit se česky. (“Czech isn’t hard to learn.”)

You can do this!

A Woman Carrying Book on Her head

Czech is fun and quite easy to learn!

3. I Can’t Wait to Start Learning Czech! What Should I Do First?

First of all, congrats! Yay!

Now let’s get to work.

1. Set a goal for yourself. This could be “I’m going to be able to order food and ask where the park is in two months” or “I’m gonna be fluent in a year.” Up to you. Get slightly out of your comfort zone; your goal should feel challenging, but doable.

2. Short-term goals seem to be very effective as well. How about learning thirty new words a day?

3. Write down your goals. Write them on several post-it notes and put them somewhere on display. This little mind game is super-effective and motivating.

4. Start with vocabulary. Here’s a list of the most commonly used Czech words. Then, move on to grammar.

5. There are about 300,000 root words in Czech. An average native speaker uses 35,000 words on average. As a beginner, you should master around 500 Czech words. To make small-talk, you should know 1,000-3,000 words.

4. Tips! 

The biggest advantage for you as you set out to learn Czech would be if you speak a language that uses similar grammar (German, Latin, Spanish, Greek)… Think cases, formal speech, and other fun things. Czech grammar is hard even for native speakers—it’s hard for me, too! 

How can you make progress faster?

1. Be consistent, and study every day.

2. Watch kids’ TV shows, and move on to regular TV shows when you feel confident.

3. Read books. Reading is amazing for passively building vocabulary and spelling skills.

4. Challenge yourself. Talk to natives as much as possible (or just listen).

5. Study smart: use flashcards on your phone, download an app, or sign up for an online class.

6. Make it fun and learn about the culture. There are many YouTube videos and interesting TV shows.

7. Visualize, listen, practice.

8. Find a buddy. You’ll push and motivate each other!

9. Talk to yourself, out loud and in your head. This is one of my secret tips that I used when I got serious about actually speaking English with real people (without having a heart attack).

10. Learn from your mistakes. There’s no need to be embarrassed or discouraged.

A Man Smiling while Holding His Earphone

Czech TV shows and podcasts are an excellent way of mastering the language in a pleasant and very effective way.

5. How CzechClass101.com Helps You Learn Czech in a Fun Way

CzechClass101.com will make learning Czech easy, exciting, and fun. With us, it’s not about endless memorizing or thick textbooks. Learn Czech with us and make progress faster than you can imagine!

What can you find here?

  • English-to-Czech translation and pronunciation tips/tricks
  • Over 630 audio and video lessons
  • Vocabulary learning tools
  • Spaced repetition flashcards
  • Detailed PDF lesson notes

Sign up now—it’s free!

One last thing: Let us know in the comments if this article helped you. And if you’ve been learning Czech for a while already, what’s your secret tip for avoiding mistakes? Did we forget to include anything you want to know about learning Czech fast? We’ll do our best to help!

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The 10 Most Common Mistakes in Czech to Avoid

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Mistakes are annoying, and no matter how often you tell yourself that it’s okay to make them, they still suck.

I get it, friend, I’ve been there. I’m a professional translator, and after years of living in a bilingual environment, I still have to pause from time to time and make sure I really want to say “kitchen,” not “chicken.” I ask my American boyfriend for help and clarification all the time. Also, just this morning, I read a Facebook post from Czech Television about a commemorative PLAGUE (instead of “plaque”).

In this article, we’ll be covering typical Czech mistakes that English-speakers make.

The Czech language, like all other languages, has its quirks and surprises that might catch you off-guard or flat out confuse the hell out of you.

Let’s not forget the bright side: You can learn and actually gain perspective from your mistakes. You can use them as a tool to remember certain words or grammar rules, instead of letting them frustrate you and put you off.

Let’s look at the ten most common Czech-English mistakes together.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Czech Table of Contents
  1. Common Pronunciation Mistakes for Czech-Learners
  2. Vocabulary Mistakes in the Czech Language
  3. Word Order Mistakes
  4. Grammar Mistakes
  5. Gender
  6. Word-for-Word Translation
  7. Cases
  8. Conjugation
  9. Prepositions
  10. The Biggest Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
  11. How CzechClass101.com Helps You Learn Czech in a Fun Way

1. Common Pronunciation Mistakes for Czech-Learners

Czech pronunciation might make your tongue twist, and it has nothing in common with English. Remember that Czech is a phonetic language, meaning that the pronunciation highly correlates with the written form. Other phonetic languages with a pronunciation similar to that of Czech include Italian, Spanish, Polish, and Finnish. English is not a phonetic language. 

If your goal is to pronounce Czech correctly, forget about English pronunciation altogether (at least for a bit). Too many mistakes in Czech pronunciation result from trying to incorporate English sounds and rules with those of Czech. 

A- Final consonants

Remember that there are no “silent” letters in the Czech language.

    Final consonants in the Czech language are fully pronounced, including the letter “h,” which is most often voiceless in English.
    Roll your R’s.
    Remember that “ch” is one letter.

For example, the word bůh (“god”) is pronounced without the “puff of air” (aspiration) that’s typical in English pronunciation. It’s a typical Czech mistake, and it’s pretty easy to avoid.

Before you continue, make sure you know how to pronounce consonants in Czech correctly.

B- Sound marks

Sound marks (diacritics) are the marks applied above a letter to create additional sounds other than those in the English alphabet (ž, š, č, ř, ď, ť, ň).

Whilst š, č, ď, ť, and ň can be pronounced quite well by English-speakers (since we can find similar sounds in English), ř and ž tend to be very hard for some people.

    All of these special characters can change the meaning of the word. Be aware of them and don’t ignore them.

Just a few examples:

  • jed (“poison”) / jeď (“drive”)
  • rvát (“to tear”) / řvát (“to scream”)
  • citelný (“significant” or “considerable”) / čitelný (“readable”)

Make sure you familiarize yourself with the top ten hardest words to pronounce and practice in front of a mirror. You can find the basics of how to pronounce characters with diacritics in this lesson.

A Woman in Front of a Blackboard Holding a Stack of Books

Study Czech vocabulary, watch TV shows, and practice!

2. Vocabulary Mistakes in the Czech Language

Okay, vocabulary mistakes might actually be pretty funny, but I bet you don’t want to get yourself into an awkward situation.

A- Prepositions: sem (“here”) and tady (“here”)

This one is tricky.

Remember: If you’re going somewhere (dynamic), you need to use different adverbs and prepositions than if you are/exist somewhere (static)

    ➢ Focus on associating “go” with the dynamic words and “be” with the static words.

Example:

  • Jsem v Praze. (“I am in Prague.”) / Jedu do Prahy. (“I’m going to Prague.”)

B- Correct word, wrong meaning: Czech vs. English

The first thing I want to point out is love. Not the emotion (which is beautiful no matter what), but the word.

    In the Czech language, we only say Miluju tě (“I love you”) to our children or spouses.

I strongly suggest that you stick with mám tě rád/ráda (“I am fond of you”) or mám rád/ráda (“I like”).

    Also, be careful with the word “excited.” The Czech word vzrušený (“excited”) has a sexual meaning. No exceptions.

Say těším se (“I’m looking forward to”) or Mám radost (“I am happy”) instead.

C- Similar Czech Words

Have you ever had cat soup? Gotten a slice of meat with your croissant instead of butter? Gotten a confused look when inviting someone to dinner?

Let’s look at some of the trickiest words: those that sound very similar, but have different meanings.

  • kočka (“cat”) / čočka (“lentil”)
  • včera (“yesterday”) / večer (“evening”) / večeře (“dinner”)
  • máslo (“butter”) / maso (“meat”)
  • jít (“to go by foot”) / jet (“to drive or bike”)
  • přinést (“to bring by carrying”) / přivézt (“to bring something by a vehicle”) / přivést (“to bring someone somewhere by leading”)

It looks like a lot, but it’s actually pretty easy. Just do your work, study slovíčka (“vocabulary”), and you’ll never be served a cat soup!

A Happy Face and a Sad Face

Not all words that sound similar have the same meaning!

3. Word Order Mistakes

One of the most common mistakes Czech-learners make has to do with word order, though this isn’t too difficult. The basic Czech sentence structure follows the subjectverbobject sequence (a.k.a who is doing what). For questions, it’s verbsubjectobject.

    The only rule you should always follow is that the subject ALWAYS precedes the verb.
    The most important info goes last (a.k.a save the best for last).

Example:

  • jdu do kina. (“I’m going to the movies.”)
  • Půjdeš se mnou? (“Will you go with me?”)
  • Ne, proč? (“No, why?”)
  • Proč ne? (“Why not?”)

See? Word order matters. To make things easier for you, we’ve put together this list of the top ten Czech sentence patterns. Memorizing them will help you understand and use the SVO structure.

4. Grammar Mistakes

The Czech language isn’t that difficult, but you should mind a few things:

    Czech doesn’t use personal pronouns as much as English does. Use them only for emphasis.
    When it comes to formal and informal speech, alwaysno matter whatmake sure you’re using formal when speaking to older people or in professional settings.
    I and Y aren’t always pronounced the same and they are not interchangeable.

Here’s an example:

  • Supi napadli holuby. (“Vultures attacked pigeons.”) – first case subject + verb + fourth case object
  • Supy napadli holubi. (“Pigeons attacked vultures.”) – fourth case object + verb + first case subject

We’ve said it a million times, and I’m gonna repeat it for you once more: declension matters, conjugation matters, and ignoring them will do you no good, friend.

In this article, we explain the basics of Czech grammar.

A Little Kid Frustrated with His Homework

Czech grammar isn’t any more complicated than English grammar!

5. Gender

In English, you know who’s a male and who’s a female simply from using personal pronouns. But Czech has different methods. 

Verbs, nouns, pronouns, numerals, and adjectives in Czech change form according to the grammatical case, number, and gender applied to them. If you speak Spanish, Italian, or German, great! You have an advantage.

    The ending of each verb or adjective is different depending on whether it’s feminine, masculine, or neuter.
    Masculine nouns often end with a hard or soft consonant (muž [“man”], hrad [“castle”]).
    Feminine nouns often end with an -a (žena [“woman”], dívka [“girl”]).
    Neuter nouns often end with an -o (město [“city”], světlo [“light”]).

This article will teach you everything you need to know about the Czech gender game.

6. Word-for-Word Translation

Okay, you probably know that this will never work in any language, and you do your best to respect and follow the Czech grammar and vocabulary specs.

Besides, some of your literal translations might actually be pretty embarrassing.

A- I’m excited.

Never, never use the word vzrušený. Yes, the word “excited” does mean vzrušený, but as I mentioned earlier, it has a sexual connotation in Czech. No exception.

When you’re “excited” about something, simply say:

  • To je super. (“That’s awesome.”)
  • Nemůžu se dočkat. (“I can’t wait.”) 
  • Těším se na… (“I’m looking forward to…”)

B- I’m late. / I’m good. / I’m 35.

In this case, you’ll have to learn your slovíčka (“vocabulary”) and not fall into the WFW trap.

These are the most commonly used phrases that just aren’t the same in Czech:

  • “I am late.” (Jsem pozdě.) –> “I am coming late.” / “I am arriving late.” (Mám zpoždění/jdu pozdě.)
  • “I’m good, thanks.” (Jsem dobře.) –> “I have myself good, thanks.” (Mám se dobře, díky.)
  • “I’m hot.” (Jsem horká.) –> “It is hot to me.” (Je mi horko.)
  • “I’m 35.” (Jsem 35.) –> “It is 35 to me.” (Je mi 35.)
Man Unsure about Something

Excited or not?

7. Cases

In Czech, every noun and adjective changes its ending based on its position in the sentence and its function or preposition. That means that every noun has fourteen forms (in singular and plural)—fourteen different endings. Unsurprisingly, many common Czech-English mistakes arise in the form of case confusion. 

Every gender has a set of model nouns (paradigms). Each model noun represents all the other nouns within that gender that carry the same type of ending in the nominative. 

There’s no shortcut around this—you will have to learn every model noun, memorize the endings, and learn how to apply them to other nouns in the same group.

Don’t think you’ll get away with just the first case. 

The same goes for…

8. Conjugation

Czech conjugation and declension essentially provide context so that you know who is doing the action, and when.

The rules are pretty straightforward and easy to understand, but there are also exceptions and irregular verbs.

The two verbs you’ll need and use a lot are:

  • Mít (“to have”)

And

  • Být (“to be”)

Make sure you know how to work with them and use them correctly. Feeling lost? Here’s a list of the fifty most common Czech verbs.

A Man Confused about Pictures on a Blackboard

Conjugation and declension actually make things easier and provide context.

9. Prepositions

In this case, most English-speakers have trouble telling apart “motion” and “static.”

These three guys seem to cause the most confusion:

Do (“Into”): describes a motion into closed places

    Jdu do školy. (“I’m going into school.”)
    Dej to do auta. (“Put it into the car.”)

K (“To”): describes a motion to a point or in connection with visiting someone

    Jedeme k babičce. (“We’re driving to grandma.”)
    Došla jsem k jeho domu. (“I walked to his house.”)

Na (“To”): actions and activities

    Jdeme na výlet. (“We’re going to [on] a trip.”)
    Jedeme na dovolenou. (“We’re going to [on] vacation.”)

Make sure you know what noun prepositions are related to.

10. The Biggest Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

The biggest mistake to make when learning a new language is to be afraid of making mistakes. Remember, by making mistakes, you’ll likely remember the problem/word/specific situation, and it will help you avoid the same mistake in the future.

Don’t rely on books alone. Put yourself out there and start a convo with Czech natives. Watch movies and TV shows in Czech. Read books or articles on the internet.

Variety is the key! Plus, you won’t get bored.

In this article, we summed up the most common Czech-English mistakes. Watch out for them, and your Czech-learning experience will be easy-peasy! Good luck!

11. How CzechClass101.com Helps You Learn Czech in a Fun Way

CzechClass101.com will make learning Czech easy, exciting, and fun. With us, it’s not about endless memorizing or thick textbooks. Learn Czech with us and make progress faster than you can imagine!

What can you find here?

  • English-to-Czech translation and pronunciation tips & tricks
  • Over 630 audio and video lessons
  • Vocabulary learning tools
  • Spaced repetition flashcards
  • Detailed PDF lesson notes

Sign up now—it’s free!

One last thing: Let us know in the comments if this article helped you, and how you’ve been able to avoid mistakes in Czech in the past! Is there anything more you want to know about the common Czech sentence mistakes? We’ll do our best to help!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Czech

The 10 Most Common Czech Questions and Answers

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Hello there, friend! How are you today? How has your day been? How long have you been studying Czech? Do you speak other languages? Do you speak English? 

You can probably tell that this article is all about the most common Czech questions and answers. I’m going to teach you some basic questions in Czech that may come up in pretty much any conversation, and how to answer them.

Why is this important? Well, learning these common phrases and questions will create a great base for your vocabulary and make any interaction in Czech a lot easier for you.

There’s more to it, of course. Asking the right question is an awesome way to start a conversation, learn new things, get where you want to be (geographically and spiritually), and learn Czech in a fun and interesting way.

So how do you say questions in Czech? What question words in Czech are the most used?

Let’s get into this.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Czech Table of Contents
  1. What is your name?
  2. Do you speak Czech/English?
  3. Where are you from? + Where do you live?
  4. How long have you been studying Czech?
  5. Have you been to the Czech Republic?
  6. How are you?
  7. Do you like Czech food?
  8. What are you doing?
  9. What’s wrong?
  10. How much is it?
  11. How CzechClass101.com Helps You Learn Czech in a Fun Way

1. What is your name?

First Encounter

As Czech uses formal and informal speech, there are two ways to ask Czech questions, depending on the situation. Aside from that, it’s easy-peasy.

Questions:

  • Jak se jmenuješ? (“How are you named?” = “What is your name?”)
    People your age; informal speech.
  • Jak se jmenujete? (“How are you named?” = “What is your name?”)
    People older than you; formal speech (vykání).

Occasionally, you might hear this question as well:

  • A ty jsi…? (“And you are…?”)
    Informal speech.
  • A vy jste…? (“And you are…?”)
    Formal speech.

Answers:

  • Já jsem Petra. (“I am Petra.”)
  • Jmenuju se Petra. (“My name is Petra.”)

Both versions are interchangeable.

Colleagues Meeting Each Other for the First Time

Hi, my name is Petra!

2. Do you speak Czech/English?

Again, formal and informal speech differ for this question in Czech.

Questions:

  • Mluvíš česky/anglicky? (“Do you speak Czech/English?”)
    Informal speech.
  • Mluvíte česky/anglicky? (“Do you speak Czech/English?”)
    Formal speech.
  • Umíš česky/anglicky? (“Can you [speak] Czech/English?”)
    Informal speech.
  • Umíte česky/anglicky? (“Can you [speak] Czech/English?”)
    Formal speech.

Answers:

  • Mluvím česky. (“I speak Czech.”)
  • Mluvím anglicky. (“I speak English.”)
  • Nemluvím česky. (“I don’t speak Czech.”)
  • Nemluvím anglicky. (“I don’t speak English.”)
  • Ano, trochu. (“Yes, a little.”)
  • Ano, velmi dobře. (“Yes, very well.”)
  • Ano, ale ne moc dobře. (“Yes, but not very well.”)
  • Ano, docela dobře. (“Yes, quite well.”)
  • Bohužel ne. (“Sorry, I don’t.”)

3. Where are you from? + Where do you live?

Czech Republic Flag

That’s the place I call home. Where are you from?

Questions:

  • Odkud jsi? (“Where are you from?”)
    Informal speech.
  • Odkud jste? (“Where are you from?”)
    Formal speech.
  • Kde bydlíš? (“Where do you live?”)
    Informal speech.
  • Kde bydlíte? (“Where do you live?”)
    Formal speech.

Answers:

  • Jsem z České republiky. (“I am from the Czech Republic.”)
  • Jsem z Prahy. (“I am from Prague.”)
  • Bydlím v USA. (“I live in the U.S.”)
  • Žiju v Praze. (“I live in Prague.”)

Dive deeper and read this lesson to get a grip on Czech phrases and questions related to this topic.

Of course, not everyone lives in the U.S. or the Czech Republic. Find your country and learn how to pronounce it in Czech on Wikipedia or our website

Getting ready for a convo about geography? This article is a must-read for ya!

4. How long have you been studying Czech?

Introducing Yourself

This is the Czech question you should definitely expect to hear if you’ve gotten this far in the conversation! 

Questions:

  • Jak dlouho se učíš česky? (“How long have you been studying Czech?”)
    Informal speech.
  • Jak dlouho se učíte česky? (“How long have you been studying Czech?”)
    Formal speech.
  • Učíš se česky už dlouho? (“Have you been studying Czech for a long time?”)
    Informal speech.
  • Učíte se česky už dlouho? (“Have you been studying Czech for a long time?”)
    Formal speech.

Answers:

  • Učím se česky rok. (“I have been studying Czech for a year.”)
  • Učím se česky od minulého roku. (“I have been studying Czech since last year.”)
  • Ano, učím se česky už dlouho. (“Yes, I have been studying Czech for a long time.”)
  • Ne, neučím se česky dlouho. (“No, I haven’t been studying Czech for a long time.”)

5. Have you been to the Czech Republic?

This Czech question may come up during the conversation, especially if you say you’ve been learning the language for a while.

Questions:

  • Byl/byla jsi někdy v České republice? (“Have you ever been to the Czech Republic?”)
    Informal speech; [masculine/feminine].
  • Byl/byla jste někdy v České republice? (“Have you ever been to the Czech Republic?”)
    Formal speech; masculine/feminine.
  • Jedeš do České republiky? (“Are you going to the Czech Republic?”)
    Informal speech.
  • Jedete do České republiky? (“Are you going to the Czech Republic?”)
    Formal speech.

Answers:

  • Zatím ne. (“Not yet.”)
  • Rád/ráda bych se tam brzy podíval/podívala. (“I would like to visit soon.” – masculine/feminine)
  • Ano, moc se mi tam líbilo. (“Yes, I liked it very much.”)
  • Ano, ale vůbec se mi tam nelíbilo. (“Yes, but I didn’t like it at all.”)

6. How are you?

A Group of Women Catching Up with Each Other

How have you been?

If you’ve made a new Czech friend, you may want to ask how they’re doing next time you see each other. Here are the most common ways to ask and answer this question in Czech.

Questions:

Informal speech:

  • Jak se máš? (“How are you?”)
  • Jak se ti vede? (“How are you doing?”)
  • Jak se vede? (“How is it going?”)
  • Jak se ti daří? (“How are you doing?”)
  • š se dobře? (“Are you doing well?”)
  • Co je nového? (“What’s new?”)

Formal speech:

  • Jak se máte? (“How are you?”)
  • Jak se vám vede? (“How are you doing?”)
  • Jak se vám daří? (“How are you doing?”)
  • te se dobře? (“Are you doing well?”)

Answers:

  • Mám se dobře! (“I’m good!”)
  • A vy/ty? (“And you?” – formal/informal)
  • Daří se mi dobře, děkuji. (“I’m doing well.”)
  • A tobě/vám? (“And you?” – formal/informal)
  • Mám hodně práce. (“I am very busy.”)
  • Nic se nezměnilo. (“Nothing has changed.”)
  • Mám spoustu novinek! (“I have a lot of news!”)

    ➢ Keep in mind that it’s not common to use “How are you?” as a part of just any greeting, such as at the store or in a restaurant while placing an order. The waiters and sales assistants or cashiers would probably be genuinely surprised if you asked (not in a bad way, though).

7. Do you like Czech food?

Svíčková Omáčka Dish

Svíčková omáčka (beef with creamy sauce and dumplings) is one of the most popular Czech meals.

Questions:

  • š rád/ráda české jídlo? (“Do you like Czech food?”)
    Masculine/Feminine; informal speech.
  • te rád/ráda české jídlo? (“Do you like Czech food?”)
    Masculine/Feminine; formal speech.
  • Chutná ti české jídlo? (“Do you like the taste of the Czech food?”)
    Informal speech.
  • Chutná vám české jídlo? (“Do you like the taste of the Czech food?”)
    Formal speech.
  • Jaké je tvoje nejoblíbenější české jídlo? (“What’s your favorite Czech food?”)
    Informal speech.
  • Jaké je vaše nejoblíbenější české jídlo? (“What’s your favorite Czech food?”)

Answers:

  • Ano, je velmi dobré. (“Yes, it’s very good.”)
  • Ano, chutná skvěle. (“Yes, it tastes great.”)
  • Ne, nechutná mi. (“No, I don’t like it.”)
  • Ne, nemám. (“No, I don’t.”)
  • Nejvíc mi chutná řízek. (“I like schnitzel the most.”)
  • Česká kuchyně mi vůbec nechutná. (“I don’t like Czech cuisine at all.”)
  • Miluju české jídlo! (“I love Czech food!”)

Have you been invited to lunch or dinner? Czech out this article and make sure you know how to ask for the food you want to eat!

8. What are you doing?

Man and Woman Talking, Flirting

“What are you doing on Wednesday?”

Questions:

Informal speech:

  • Co děláš ve středu? (“What are you doing on Wednesday?”)
  • Co děláš? (“What are you doing?”)
  • Proč to děláš? (“Why are you doing this?”)
  • Co právě teď děláš? (“What are you doing right now?”)
  • Děláš něco? (“Are you doing anything?”)
  • Co budeš dělat? (“What are you going to do about it?”)

Formal speech:

  • Co děláte ve středu? (“What are you doing on Wednesday?”)
  • Co děláte? (“What are you doing?”)
  • Proč to děláte? (“Why are you doing this?”)
  • Co právě teď děláte? (“What are you doing right now?”)
  • Děláte něco? (“Are you doing anything?”)
  • Co budete dělat? (“What are you going to do about it?”)

Answers:

  • Na středu mám plány. (“I have plans for Wednesday.”)
  • Ve středu mám volno. (“I’m free on Wednesday.”)
  • Nedělám nic. (“I’m not doing anything.”)
  • Teď něco dělám. (“I’m busy right now.”)
  • Nevím, co mám dělat. (“I don’t know what to do.”)
  • Nevím, co s tím udělám. (“I don’t know what I’ll do about it.”)

9. What’s wrong?

Not all days are sunny, and you may want to express your concern for someone if they seem down. Here’s how to ask what happened in Czech.

Questions:

  • Co se stalo? (“What happened?”)
  • Stalo se něco? (“Has anything happened?”)
  • Co se děje? (“What is going on?”)
  • Jsi v pořádku? (“Are you okay?”)
    Informal speech.
  • Jste v pořádku? (“Are you okay?”)
    Formal speech.
  • Potřebuješ pomoc? (“Do you need help?”)
    Informal speech.
  • Potřebujete pomoc? (“Do you need help?”)
    Formal speech.

Answers:

  • Nic se nestalo. (“Nothing happened.”)
  • Všechno je v pořádku. (“Everything is alright.”)
  • Něco se stalo. (“Something happened.”)
  • Potřebuju pomoc. (“I need help.”)
  • Nepotřebuju pomoc. (“I don’t need help.”)
  • Pomozte mi, prosím. (“Help me, please.”)
  • Pomůžu ti. (“I’ll help you.”)
    Informal speech.
  • Pomůžu vám. (“I’ll help you.”)
    Formal speech.

10. How much is it?

A Man Comparing Olive Oil Prices

Which one is on sale?

When you go shopping and there’s no price tag, you’re going to have to ask someone about the price (unless you’re really, really rich or Buddhist).

Questions:

  • Kolik to stojí? (“How much is it?”)
  • Kolik tohle stojí? (“How much is this?”)
  • Kolik stojí tamto? (“How much is that?”)
  • Je to ve slevě? (“Is it on sale?”)
  • Je to drahé? (“Is it expensive?”)
  • Je to levné? (“Is it cheap?”)

Answers:

  • Je to moc drahé. (“It’s too expensive.”)
  • Je to levné. (“It’s cheap.”)
  • Tohle je levnější. (“This is cheaper.”)
  • Stojí to 500 korun. (“It’s 500 crowns.”)
  • Je to ve slevě. (“It’s on sale.”)
  • Není to ve slevě. (“It’s not on sale.”)

We can’t tell you how to handle money, but we can teach you to talk about it in Czech. Find related vocabulary and phrases on CzechClass101.com.

How CzechClass101.com Helps You Learn Czech in a Fun Way

CzechClass101.com will make learning Czech easy, exciting, and fun. With us, it’s not about endless memorizing or thick textbooks. Learn Czech with us and make progress faster than you can imagine!

What can you find here?

  • English-to-Czech translation and pronunciation tips/tricks
  • Over 630 audio and video lessons
  • Vocabulary learning tools
  • Spaced repetition flashcards
  • Detailed PDF lesson notes

Sign up now—it’s free!

One last thing: Let us know in the comments if this article helped you. Oh, and what’s your secret tip that helped you learn how to ask questions in Czech? Is there anything you want to know about other common questions in Czech? We’ll do our best to help!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Czech

The Top 10 Czech Sentence Patterns: A Basic Guide

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Have you ever wondered how some people speak like seven languages? Maybe you even have a friend who starts ordering food in the local language within three days of your vacation. 

Yep, people like that exist—and you could be one of them. In this guide, we’ll introduce and explain the most common Czech sentence patterns. Learning Czech has never been this easy!

You probably know that Czech might be a little tricky to learn (All the conjugation and declension! Lawd!) and that sentence patterns in English and Czech have pretty much nothing in common. Let’s make things easy and forget about lengthy grammar explanations. By simply memorizing the most common Czech sentence structures and patterns, you’ll be able to create dozens of sentence combos and make conversation in Czech a million times easier.

Ready, steady, go!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Czech Table of Contents
  1. A is B
  2. It Is
  3. I Want
  4. I Need to
  5. I Like / I Love
  6. Do You Really Love Me?
  7. Asking Someone to Do Something
  8. May I?
  9. Asking for Information
  10. Asking About Time
  11. Asking About Location or Position
  12. How CzechClass101.com Helps You Learn Czech in a Fun Way

1. A is B

Sentence Patterns

Let’s start with the most used, and probably the most useful, Czech sentence structure. With this pattern, you can either say that a noun is also another noun, or describe a noun using an adjective. 

1- Using a Noun

Czech Sentence Pattern A is BEnglish Translation
Ema je moje přítelkyně.“Ema is my girlfriend.”
Jonathan je můj kolega.“Jonathan is my colleague.”
Tyhle hodinky byly dárek k narozeninám.“This watch was a birthday present.”
Tahle dáma je moje babička.“This lady is my grandma.”
Tohle je moje první novela.“This is my first novel.”

2- Using an Adjective

    Noun/Pronoun – Verb Adjective.
Czech Sentence Pattern A is BEnglish Translation
Jsi nádherná.“You are gorgeous.” (feminine)
Tvoje máma je moc milá.“Your mom is really sweet.” (feminine)
Jeho nový byt je obrovský.“His new apartment is huge.” (masculine)
Náš pes je bílý.“Our dog is white.” (masculine)
Tenhle úkol je obtížný.“This task is difficult.” (masculine)

As you can see, it’s quite easy.

Remember: to speak Czech, you also need to work on your vocabulary. Czech out this video with 600 Words Every Czech Beginner Must Know, and then you might also need to review Czech grammar basics.

Sentence Components

2. It Is

Sometimes, you don’t need a lot of words to express yourself (thank God!).

Here’s an easy Czech sentence pattern to describe actions or situations:

    Pronoun – Verb (Conjugated)Adjective.
Czech Sentence Pattern It is / That isEnglish Translation
To je úžasné!“Thats awesome!”
Tohle je nádherné.“This is wonderful.”
Je to vynikající.“It’s delicious.”
Je moc brzo.“It’s too soon.”
Je to vážně zvláštní.“It’s really peculiar.”

You might also want to step up your Czech adjective game to make sure you’re not repeating the same phrases over and over again. (Although, no judgement, we all have our favorite words…it’s kind of like wearing just thirty percent of your wardrobe, isn’t it?)

Anyway! You might find this list of the fifty most common Czech adjectives very useful.

A Little Girl Amazed at a Book She’s Reading

To je úžasné! (“This is awesome!”)

3. I Want

I want ice cream. I want to be the best version of myself. I want to speak Czech like a native. Let’s try, shall we?

Talking about what we want is fun AND important. Don’t slack off; keep reading, we’re almost there. Here’s how to make Czech sentences for expressing your wants:

    I want – Noun (Accusative)
    I want toVerb (Infinitive)

There are two ways to describe that you want something.

1. Chci (“I want”) is more straightforward and reflexive.

2. Chtěl/a bych (“I would like to”) is more polite. It’s a modal verb in the past tense, followed by the word bych.

Here is the conjugation table for your convenience (you’re welcome).

Czech Sentence Pattern I want / I would like toEnglish Translation
Chci lepší práci.I want a better job.”
Chci dezert.I want a dessert.”
Chci být s tebou.I want to be with you.”
Chtěla bych se vdát.I would like to get married.”
Chtěl by se naučit česky.“He would like to learn Czech.”
    Note: The nouns in this pattern are always in the accusative case. 

  4. I Need to

Okay, we really need to cover this one too. You need to be able to tell people what you need. You need to know how to do it. No worries; it’s easy.

In Czech, we usually use the verb potřebovat or muset (“to need” or “must”).

These two modal verbs can be followed by another verb in the infinitive (just in case you need help, here’s a great summary of Czech conjugation), or by a noun in the accusative.

    I need to/I must” – Verb (Infinitive)
    I need/I must” – Noun (Accusative)
    I need” – Personal Pronoun (Accusative)

Czech Sentence Pattern I need / I need to / I mustEnglish Translation
Musím odejít.I need to leave.”
Potřebuje se víc učit.He needs to study more.”
Musím čůrat.I need to pee.”
Potřebuju kafe.I need coffee.”
Potřebuju .I need you!”
A Little Kid Eating Ice Cream

Chci zmrzlinu! (“I want ice cream!”) 

5. I Like / I Love

The difference here is pretty obvious, right?

In Czech, we don’t usually use the word “love” too often. The verb milovat (“to love”) seems to be reserved for personal liaisons (or food), and Czechs like to like things. We use the verb mít rád (“like”) when we talk about things, and rád when we talk about activities or situations. Another alternative is to say líbí se mi (“I like”) when you talk about things you like, such as movies or clothes.

Any questions? Okay, let’s get this done. Here are a few ways to form sentences in Czech to express your likes:

    Rád / ráda (“I like to” / “I love to”) – Verb (Infinitive)
    Mám rád / ráda (“I like” / “I love”) – Noun (Accusative)
    Líbí se mi (“I like” / “I love”) – Noun/Pronoun (Accusative)
    Miluju (“I love”) + Noun/Personal Pronoun (Accusative)

Czech Sentence Pattern I like / I loveEnglish Translation
Miluju jídlo.I love food.”
Mám ráda moji práci.I like my job.”
Miluju .I love you.”
Ráda běhám.I like to run.”
Líbí se mi tyto modré šaty.I like this blue dress.”

6. Do You Really Love Me?

When you’re talking about people, you should be careful with your choice of words—you want to avoid awkward situations, right?

    ► We don’t tell friends we love them. We always stick with mám tě rád/a (“I’m fond of you”).

There might be some exceptions, of course. For example—it’s two a.m. and you’ve had one too many drinks.

To like (appearance/approach)To love (pretty self-explanatory)To like (to be fond of)
Líbit seMilovatMít rád
Petr se mi líbí, je moc sexy. I like Petr, he’s very sexy.”Miluju ho a chci si ho vzít. “I love him, and I want to marry him.”Mám ráda Julii, je to moje nejlepší kamarádka. “I like Julie; she’s my best friend.”
Líbí se mi, je hezká. I like her, she’s cute.”On miluje svoje rodiče. “He loves his parents.”Mám ho ráda a vážím si ho“I am fond of him and I respect him.”

    ► If you’re curious about the word order in these sentences, we have an entire article about Czech Word Order. Czech it out! 
A Couple Having an Intimate Moment

Miluju tě. (“I love you.”)

7. Asking Someone to Do Something

Please, read these lines carefully. This is important. If you want to ask someone to do something, it’s best to be polite and nice. Did I get your attention?

The key word here is prosím (“please”)—it goes at the very beginning or at the end of the sentence.

    Verb (Imperative) Prosím.
    Prosím Verb (Imperative).

Asking someone to do something in CzechEnglish Translation
Posaďte se, prosím.Take a seat, please.”
Prosím, počkejte zde.Please, wait here.”
Prosím, vyslechněte mě.Please, listen to me.”
Pomozte mi, prosím.“Help me, please.”
Pojďte za mnou, prosím.“Follow me, please.”

You might also want to take a look at this list of Czech key phrases.

8. May I?

Asking for permission in Czech is just as simple as it is in English:

    Můžu (“May I”) – Verb – (Noun) + Please?

When asking for permission, we use the verb “can.” We literally ask: “Can I?”

Again, don’t forget to add prosím (“please”) at the beginning or end of the sentence. In this case, it’s not mandatory, but if you want to be really sweet…

Czech Sentence Pattern May I?English Translation
Můžu si sednout, prosím?May I take a seat, please?”
Můžu se vás zeptat?Can I ask you a question?”
Můžu dostat sklenici vody, prosím?May I have a glass of water, please?”
Můžu ti pomoci?Can I help you?”
Můžu se k nim přidat?May I join them?”

9. Asking for Information

There’s a good chance you’ll need to ask for information. This list of the Top Fifteen Czech Questions will make your conversations in Czech much easier.

Here’s how to form basic Czech sentences for asking information of someone:

    Co je (“What is”)
Czech Sentence Pattern What is…?English Translation
Co je tohle?What is this?”
Co je to?What is it?”
Co je tamto?What is that?”

10. Asking About Time

You don’t want to be late, and most of the time, we have our phones on us to keep track of time.

Sometimes, our technology fails us (dead phone battery in the middle of a busy day), and we need to rely on good ol’ human interaction.

Here’s how to ask what time it is in Czech:

    Kdy? (“When?”)
    V kolik hodin? (“At what time?” / “What time?”)
A Man Checking His Watch

Kolik je hodin? (“What time is it?”)

Czech Sentence Pattern When? / At what time?English Translation
Kolik je hodin?“What time is it?”
Jaký je dnes den?“What day is it?”
Kdy máš narozeniny?“When is your birthday?”
Kdy máme schůzku?“What time is the meeting?”
V kolik hodin přijdeš?“What time will you get back?”

This list of the top twenty-five Czech questions might come in handy as well.

11. Asking About Location or Position

Although we all know how to use Google Maps, you might end up getting lost in a tiny Czech village with no service. What would you do?

Ask for directions in perfect Czech, of course! Here’s how you would start a Czech phrase for this:

    Kde? (“Where?”)
Czech Sentence Pattern Where…? English Translation
Kde jsou toalety?“Where is the restroom?”
Kde ses narodil?“Where were you born?”
Kde je výtah?“Where is the elevator?”
Kde najdu víc informací?“Where can I find more information?”

Well, that was easy, right? If you need more information, check out this list of the top ten Czech sentence patterns.

12. How CzechClass101.com Helps You Learn Czech in a Fun Way

CzechClass101.com will make learning Czech easy, exciting, and fun.

What can you find here?

  • English-to-Czech translation and pronunciation tips & tricks,
  • Over 630 audio and video lessons 
  • Vocabulary learning tools
  • Spaced repetition flashcards
  • Detailed PDF lesson notes

Sign up now; it’s free!

But before you go and create your account, let us know in the comments if this article helped you! Is there anything you still don’t quite understand about Czech sentence structure and patterns? We’ll do our best to help you out!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Czech

Czech Word Order: Loose and Bendy

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It doesn’t matter why you’re learning Czech: Do you want to be able to order a schnitzel in a restaurant, or are you planning to write your first novel in this beautiful Slavic language? We’ve got you covered. In this guide, we’ll explain the specifics of the Czech sentence structure, and show you how to memorize and work with its patterns. 

It might seem quite confusing at first because the Czech word order is entirely different than that in English—let’s say it’s more relaxed and the rules are VERY flexible.

Maybe you’re thinking: “Oh, whatever. Everyone knows what I’m saying as long as I’m using the correct words, right?”

No, my friend, I’m sorry. We’re not mind-readers, and you could get us seriously confused and worried if you told us your homework ate your dog. The good news is that a complete Czech sentence might contain just one single word (a verb). Or it could have a couple of words. That means less work for you. Also, the word order is very loose and flexible (no, I’m not suggesting you can get away with anything, but…).

In this guide, you’re going to learn everything you need to know about the Czech sentence structure. Let’s get into it!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Czech Table of Contents
  1. Overview of Word Order in Czech
  2. Czech Word Order with Prepositional Phrases
  3. Czech Word Order with Modifiers
  4. How to Change a Sentence into a Yes-or-No Question
  5. Czech Word Order: Translation Exercise
  6. How CzechClass101.com Helps You Learn Czech in a Fun Way

1. Overview of Word Order in Czech

Improve Pronunciation

1- Declarative sentences: Subject-Verb-Object

Although the Czech word order rules are very loose and flexible (thanks to declension and conjugation), the basic Czech sentence structure follows SVO, a.k.a who is doing what. 

However, you always want to avoid sentences that allow for more interpretations, of course.

  • The only rule you should always follow: the subject ALWAYS precedes the verb. 

This is an example of a Subject Verb Object sentence:

Sebastian mluví Česky. (“Sebastian speaks Czech.”)

A Man Speaking into a Microphone

Subject: The Doer

  • a noun or pronoun (personal pronouns are usually omitted)
  • who or what performs the action
  • occurs before the verb in a sentence

Verb: The Action

  • describes an action or occurrence, or indicates a state of being
  • placed after the noun

Object: The Meaning

  • a noun or pronoun
  • affected by the action of a verb
  • completes the meaning of a sentence

Before you continue, you may find it useful to watch CzechClass101’s video about the most-used Czech nouns. 

Make sure you check out this list of the most useful Czech pronouns and 50 most common Czech verbs as well.

Remember:

  • The most important info goes last (a.k.a. save the best for last).
  • Declarative sentences end with a period.

2- What if it looks like there is NO subject in the sentence?

Miluju hranolky. (“I love french fries.”)

That awkward moment when you’re about to devour a plate of deep-fried salty goodness and your friend ruins it for you by making a grammar mistake! Maybe you’ll even scream:

miluju hranolky! (“I love french fries!”)

Well…

Remember:

  • In Czech language word order, personal pronouns are used way less often than in English.
  • Personal pronouns are mostly used for emphasis (, or “I,” is seldom used).
  • You don’t need pronouns to determine gender in the sentence.

Therefore, if the sentence starts with a verb and ends with a period, it’s absolutely correct. This list of Czech sentence patterns will help you better understand the basics. 

2. Czech Word Order with Prepositional Phrases

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Prepositional phrases in Czech sentences indicate time, place, or manner. In other words, where, when, or how things happened. 

They can either be placed at the beginning or the end of a complex Czech sentence structure. Remember, the most important part of the sentence always goes last.

  • If you want to emphasize where, when, or how things happened, place it at the end of a sentence.
  • In a Czech sentence, you need to indicate time first, then place, and lastly, manner.

Word order in a Czech sentence:

  1. Subject
  2. Preposition of time
  3. Preposition of place
  4. Verb
  5. Object
  6. Preposition of manner

1- Prepositions of Time

Here’s an example of a neutral declarative sentence (you’re simply stating a fact):

[] Po večeři jím jablko. (“After dinner, I eat an apple.”)

A Woman Eating an Apple

Now, let’s look at an example with an emphasized prepositional phrase:

[] Jím jablko po večeři, ne ráno. (“I eat an apple after dinner, not in the morning.”)

2- Prepositions of Place

Here’s a simple declarative sentence:

[] Po večeři jím v kuchyni jablko. (“After dinner, I eat an apple in the kitchen.”)

If you want to emphasize the place—you eat the apple in the kitchen (not in the bedroom)—put the prepositional phrase at the end:

Po večeři jím jablko v kuchyni. (“After dinner, I eat an apple in the kitchen.”)

3- Prepositions of Manner

Prepositional phrases that indicate how something happened or is done usually go last, and they’re placed after the verb—just like in English!

plavu pomalu. (“I swim slowly.”)

(Ty) Vypadáš nádherně. (“You look gorgeous.”)

(Ona) Vešla s úsměvem. (“She came in smiling.”)

4- A combination of all three prepositions in one sentence

This is where things get a little complicated—just remember that the Czech word order is very loose, and you can get away with pretty much anything.

Here are the general rules for using more prepositions in one sentence:

  • The preposition of time is always placed at the beginning of the sentence.
  • Time and manner usually precede the place,

Unless:

  • You want to emphasize how something happened, rather than when and where it happened.
  • The preposition of manner can be placed before or after the verb.

Example of a neutral declarative sentence:

Po večeři jím pomalu v kuchyni jablko. (“After dinner, I slowly eat an apple in the kitchen.”)

Po večeři pomalu jím v kuchyni jablko. (“After dinner, I slowly eat an apple in the kitchen.”)

3. Czech Word Order with Modifiers

Modifiers are optional elements that clarify, qualify, or limit a particular word in a sentence. Pretty easy, right?

  • Modifiers emphasize, limit, qualify, or explain.
  • They’re always placed before the noun (subject or object) they refer to.

There are four types of modifiers in the Czech language:

1 – Descriptive words

These are adjectives and adverbs that hold the reader’s attention and add “spark” to the sentence.

  • They precede the noun they refer to.

Example without modifiers:

K obědu jsem měl polévku. (“I had soup for lunch.”)

Lentil Soup

With modifiers:

K obědu jsem měl vynikající tomatovou polévku. (“I had a delicious tomato soup for lunch.”)

See the difference?

2 – Determiners 

These are placed in front of a noun to identify things.

The Czech language doesn’t use articles, and nouns are determined by pronouns.

  • Remember that declension applies to determiners.
  • Tohle (“this”), toto (“this”), and tamto (“that”) can be used for feminine, masculine, and neutral (it doesn’t indicate gender).
  • Determiners are mostly used to add emphasis and are often used in place of the definite article.

Singular

Masculine/Feminine/Neuter DeterminerExample SVO
Ten/Ta/To (“The”)Mám rád ten nový byt. (“I like the new apartment.”)

Obléknu si tu novou blůzu. (“I’m going to wear the new blouse.”)

To nové auto vypadá úžasně. (“The new car looks awesome.”)
Tento/Tato/Toto (“This”)Tento svetr není můj. (“This isn’t my sweater.”)

Tato žena mi zachránila život. (“This woman saved my life.”)

Toto jídlo mi nechutná. (“I don’t like this food.”)
Tenhle/Tahle/Tohle (“This”)Tenhle kluk se mi líbí! (“I like this boy!”)

Tahle sklenice je rozbitá. (“This glass is broken.”)

Tohle je moje manželka. (“This is my wife.”)
Tamten/Tamta/Tamto (“That”)Tamten kluk je můj bratr. (“That boy is my brother.”)

Tamta vysoká holka je moje sestra. (“That tall girl is my sister.”)

Tamto sedadlo vzadu je volné. (“That seat in the back is free.”)
Takový/Taková/Takové (“Such”/”This kind of”)Takový přístup zvyšuje účinnost. (“Such an approach enhances the effectiveness.”)

Taková krása je vzácná. (“This kind of beauty is rare.”)

Takové krásné dítě by mělo být slavné. (“Such a beautiful child should be famous.”)

Plural

Masculine/Feminine/Neuter DeterminerExample SVO
Ti/Ty/Ta (“The”)Ti noví kluci se mi líbí. (“I like the new boys.”)

Vezmu si ty nové náušnice. (“I’m going to wear the new earrings.”)

Ta nová auta vypadají úžasně. (“The new cars look awesome.”)
Tito/Tyto/Tato (“Those”)Tito kluci jsou moji spolužáci. (“Those boys are my classmates.”)

Tyto ženy mi zachránily život. (“Those women saved my life.”)

Tato sedadla jsou obsazená. (“Those seats are occupied.”)
Tihle/Tyhle/Tahle (“Those”)Tihle kluci se mi líbí! (“I like these boys!”)

Tyhle sklenice jsou rozbité. (“These glasses are broken.”)

Tahle štěňata jsou moc roztomilá. (“These puppies are very cute.”)
Tamti/Tamty/Tamta (“Those”)Tamti kluci jsou moji bratři. (“Those boys are my brothers.”)

Tamty vysoké holky jsou moje sestry. (“Those tall girls are my sisters.”)

Tamta sedadlo vzadu jsou volná. (“Those seats in the back are free.”)
Takoví/Takové/Taková (“Such”/”This kind of”)Takoví muži se nežení. (“Such men don’t marry.”)

Takové ženy nevaří. (“This kind of woman can’t cook.”)

Takové krásné děti by měly být slavné. (“Such beautiful children should be famous.”)

Exceptions:

  • For plural masculine objects (i.e. NOT live people or animals), always use the feminine determiners.

Example:

Ten hrad je obrovský. –> Tyto hrady jsou obrovské. (“This castle is huge. –> These castles are huge.”)

3 – Numerals 

A numeral is a figure or symbol (or a group of figures or symbols) that denote a number.

  • After the number 1, use the nominative singular form.
  • After the numbers 2, 3, and 4, use the nominative plural.
  • After the number 5 (and after the indefinite numerals)—málo (“a little”), moc (“a lot”), několik (“some”)—use the genitive plural.
  • The counted object is declined along with the numeral.
  • The number is always placed before the noun it refers to.

Examples:

  • Zbývala jen jedna učebnice. (“There was only one textbook left.”)
  • Mají čtyři děti. (“They have four kids.”)
  • Snědl dva sendviče. (“He ate two sandwiches.”)

The suffixes “-st,” “-nd,” and “-rd” are indicated by a period in the Czech language.

EnglishCzech
1st1.
2nd2.
3rd3.
4th4.

However, all numbers below 10 are always spelled out. Check out our lesson on counting from 1-100 in Czech

4 – Possessors 

There’s a number of feminine, masculine, and neuter possessors in the Czech language. 

  • Possessors are always placed before the noun they’re referring to.
  • Masculine and neuter possessors are the same.
  • In plural masculine for objects (NOT live people or animals), always use the plural feminine.
  • The singular and plural for feminine and masculine (+ neuter) are the same.

However, Czech doesn’t use possessors as much as English does.

For example, we don’t say: Bolí mě moje hlava. (“My head hurts.”)

We’d simply omit the pronoun. Therefore, the possessors are mostly used for emphasis.

Possessors – Singular Masculine (+ Neuter)/FeminineExamples
Můj/Moje (“My”)Můj pes je černý. (“My dog is black.”)
Moje kočka je bílá. (“My cat is white.”)
Tvůj/Tvoje (“Your”)Tvůj pes je černý. (“Your dog is black.”)
Tvoje kočka je bílá. (“Your cat is white.”)
Jeho/Její (“His”/”Her”)Jeho pes je černý. (“His dog is black.”)
Její kočka je bílá. (“Her cat is white.”)
Náš/Naše (“Our”)Náš pes je černý. (“Our dog is black.”)
Naše kočka je bílá. (“Our cat is white.”)
Váš/Vaše (“Your”)Váš pes je černý. (“Your dog is black.”)
Vaše kočka je bílá. (“Your cat is white.”)
Jejich (“Their”)Jejich pes je černý. (“Their dog is black.”)
Jejich kočka je bílá. (“Their cat is white.”)
A Black Dog Barking
Possessors – Plural Masculine (+ Neuter)/FeminineExamples
Moji/Moje (“My”)Moji psi jsou černí. (“My dogs are black.”)
Moje kočky jsou bílé. (“My cats are white.”)
Tvoji/Tvoje (“Your”)Tvoji psi jsou černí. (“Your dogs are black.”)
Tvoje kočky jsou bílé. (“Your cats are white.”)
Jeho/Její (“His”/”Her”)Jeho psi jsou černí. (“His dogs are black.”)
Její kočky jsou bílé. (“Her cats are white.”)
Naši/Naše (“Our”)Naši psi jsou černí. (“Our dogs are black.”)
Naše kočky jsou bílé. (“Our cats are white.”)
Vaši/Vaše (“Your”)Vaši psi jsou černí. (“Your dogs are black.”)
Vaše kočky jsou bílé. (“Your cats are white.”)
Jejich (“Their”)Jejich psi jsou černí. (“Their dogs are black.”)
Naše kočky jsou bílé. (“Their cats are white.”)

4. How to Change a Sentence into a Yes-or-No Question

Okay, this is the easy part of Czech language word order. Let’s take a simple declarative sentence that follows the Subject Verb Object  order.

 Sebastian mluví Česky. (“Sebastian speaks Czech.”) [SVO]

  • To make this sentence a question, put the verb first. 

Mluví Sebastian Česky? (Does Sebastian speak Czech?) [VSO]

  • In Czech questions, the verb is always the first word of the sentence.

Again, the sentence structure in Czech is flexible and you’ll often see SVO questions.

When in doubt:

  • As long as there’s a question mark at the end, it’s a question.

5. Czech Word Order: Translation Exercise

Let’s practice forming Czech sentences!

  1. “We speak Czech.” – _________________
  1. “We speak Czech slowly.” – _________________
  1. “We speak Czech slowly with her.” – _________________
  1. “We speak with her in the kitchen.” – _________________
  1. “After dinner, we speak with her in the kitchen.” – _________________
  1. “We never speak with her in the kitchen.” – _________________
  1. “Do you speak with her in the kitchen?” – _________________
People Talking in the Kitchen

Answers:

  1. “We speak Czech.” (Mluvíme česky.)
  2. “We speak Czech slowly.” (Mluvíme pomalu česky./Pomalu mluvíme česky.)
  3. “We speak Czech slowly with her.” (Mluvíme s ní česky pomalu. / Pomalu s ní mluvíme česky.)
  4. “We speak with her in the kitchen.” (Mluvíme s ní v kuchyni.)
  5. “After dinner, we speak with her in the kitchen.” (Po večeři s ní mluvíme v kuchyni.)
  6. “We never speak with her in the kitchen.” (Nikdy s ní nemluvíme v kuchyni./V kuchyni s ní nikdy nemluvíme.)
  7. “Do you speak with her in the kitchen?” (Mluvíš/mluvíte s ní v kuchyni?)

You might want to take a look at this Painless Czech Grammar video. It’ll help you understand the basic rules and nuances of word order in Czech and other major grammar points.

6. How CzechClass101.com Helps You Learn Czech in a Fun Way

CzechClass101.com will make learning Czech easy, exciting, and fun.

What can you find there?

  • English-to-Czech translation and pronunciation tips & tricks
  • Over 630 audio and video lessons
  • Vocabulary learning tools
  • Spaced repetition flashcards
  • Detailed PDF lesson notes

Sign up now. It’s free!

But before you go and create your account, let us know in the comments if this article helped you! Is there anything you still don’t quite understand about Czech word order? We’ll do our best to help you out!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Czech

Telling Time in Czech – Everything You Need to Know

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What’s your relationship with the clock like? Does it run your day from a morning alarm to a cut-off chime for bed, or are you more of a go-with-the-flow type, letting your mood and emotions decide how much you fall in line with time?

Understanding time in Czech is an important part of your studies. As humans, our lives are filled with habits and schedules. From waking up and going to work or gym, to missing rush hour traffic on our way home, we’re always aware of time. We have routines around coffee breaks, meetings, soccer games and vacations. In fact, time can seem rather capricious – going slowly, going fast, sometimes against us, other times on our side – like a force that has a life of its own.

In science, time is often referred to as a fourth dimension and many physicists and philosophers think that if we understood the physics of the universe, we would see that time is an illusion. We sense an ‘arrow’ or direction of time because we have memories, but really time is just a construct that humans have created to help make sense of the world. 

On the other hand, poets through the ages have written impassioned thoughts about time, depicting it as both a relentless thief and an immensely precious resource, not to be wasted at any cost.

Well, poets and scientists may have their views, but in our everyday lives there’s the question of practicality, isn’t there? I mean, if you have plans and want things to happen your way, there’s a certain amount of conforming to the human rules of time that you can’t avoid. 

In ‘The Little Prince’ by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the prince has a rose that he falls in love with, and he tenderly protects it with a windscreen and places it under a glass dome on his tiny planet.  I love this quote from the book:  “It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.”  If we truly love something, we spend time with it and not a second of that time could ever be seen as wasted. I feel that way about horses, my children, travel and learning languages

With that in mind, I’d like to take you on a journey into ‘time’ from a Czech perspective. It’s fun, it’s informative and it’s a basic necessity if you’re learning the language – especially if you plan to travel. CzechClass101 has all the vocab you need to fall in love with telling time in Czech, and not a minute will be wasted.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Time Phrases in Czech Table of Contents
  1. Talking about Time in Czech
  2. How to Tell the Time in Czech
  3. Conclusion

1. Talking about Time in Czech

As a traveler, your primary need for knowing how to read the hour in Czech will be for transportation schedules: the bus, train, airplane, ferry, taxi… whatever you plan to use to get from A to B, it won’t wait for you! Fortunately, it’s really not complicated. You already have a firm grasp of time in English and you know you’ll need to reset your watch and phone to the local time. Great – that means you’ll have the correct time on your person. 

We’re so used to just looking at our phones for the time, that it’s easy to take this convenience for granted and forget some travel basics: in a foreign country, times won’t always be written digitally. If you see the time written in words, it’ll be the same challenge to you as hearing it spoken: you’ll need to be familiar with the language. 

You may be surprised at how often ‘time’ comes into conversation. Learning the Czech terms for time will help you when you have to call a taxi, ask about opening and closing times of events and tourist attractions, restaurants and bars and even late-night food cafes.

My biggest annoyance when traveling is not being able to get coffee and amazingly, even at nice hotels this has happened more times than I care to think about. I’ll be up late planning something, writing my blog or chatting and when I go looking for coffee downstairs, I’m told the kitchen is closed or the ‘coffee lady’ has gone to sleep. Frustrating!

If you’re doing a homestay or at a youth hostel or backpackers, there will probably also be a limited timeframe for when you can grab dinner. Do you know how to ask when it’s time to eat in Czech? I’ve learned that it’s vital to know how to make my queries clearly understood to accommodation staff and for me to clearly understand their answers. Perfect your ‘time in Czech’ translations early on – you’ll thank me. 

At CzechClass101, we’ve put together a comprehensive list of Czech time words and phrases to get you going. 

Pedestrians in a city

1- Morning – ráno

Morning is the time when we wake up from our dreamworld, hopefully fully rested and restored; we brew the first delicious cup of coffee for the day and watch the sunrise as we prepare for another glorious twelve hours of life. No matter what happened the day before, a new morning is a chance to make everything right. 

I like these quiet hours for language practice, as my mind is clear and receptive to learning new things. I start by writing the Czech time, date and word of the day on my whiteboard, then get back under the covers for an engrossing lesson.

Time in the morning is written as AM or A.M., which stands for ante meridiem – meaning ‘before midday’ in Latin.

Person typing with coffee next to them

2- Evening – večer

Evening is the part of night when we’re still awake and doing things, winding down from the day. Whether you enjoy a tasty international dinner with friends, go out to see a show, or curl up on the couch with a Czech snack and your favorite TV series, evening is a good time to forget your worries and do something that relaxes you. If you’re checking in with your Facebook friends, say hi to us, too!  

Evening is also an ideal time to catch up on your Czech studies. The neighbourhood outside is likely to be quieter and time is yours, so grab a glass of wine or a delicious local tea, and see what’s new on your Mac App or Kindle

3- Daytime – den

Daytime is defined as the period from early morning to early evening when the sun is visible outside. In other words: from sunrise to sunset.  Where you are in the world, as well as the season, will determine how many daylight hours you get. 

Interestingly, in locations north of the Arctic Circle and south of the Antarctic Circle, in summertime the sun does not sink below the horizon within a 24-hour period, bringing the natural phenomenon of the midnight sun.  You could only experience this in the north, though, because there aren’t any permanent human settlements south of the Antarctic Circle.

4- Nighttime – noc

Nighttime is all the hours from sunset to sunrise and depending on where in the country you are, people may be partying all night, or asleep from full-dark. 

In the same northernmost and southernmost regions where you can experience a midnight sun, winter brings the opposite phenomenon: the polar night. Can you imagine a night that lasts for more than 24 hours? 

Girl sleeping; moon and starry sky

5- Hour – hodina

An hour is a unit of time made up of 60 minutes and is a variable measure of one-24th of a day – also defined by geeks as 3 600 atomic seconds. Of all the ‘time’ words we use on a daily basis, the hour is the most important, as time of day is typically expressed in terms of hours. 

One of the interesting methods of keeping time that people have come up with is the hourglass. Although the origins are unclear, there’s evidence pointing to the hourglass being invented around 1000 – 1100 AD and one of the ways we know this, is from hourglasses being depicted in very old murals. These days, with clocks and watches in every direction we look, they’re really only used symbolically to represent the passage of time. Still – a powerful reminder of our mortality and to seize the day. In his private journal, the Roman emperor, Marcus Aurelius, wrote: “You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think.”

An hourglass with falling sand

6- Minute – minuta

Use this word when you want to say a more precise time and express minutes in Czech. A minute is a unit of time equal to one sixtieth of an hour, or 60 seconds. A lot can happen in the next 60 seconds. For example, your blood will circulate three times through your entire vascular system and your heart will pump about 2.273 litres of blood. 

7- O’clock – hodin

We use “o’clock” when there are no minutes and we’re saying the exact hour, as in “It’s two o’clock.”

The term “o’clock” is a contraction of the term “of the clock”. It comes from 15th-century references to medieval mechanical clocks. At the time, sundials were also common timekeepers. Therefore, to make clear one was referencing a clock’s time, they would say something like, “It is six of the clock” – now shortened to “six o’clock”.

We only use this term when talking about the 12 hour clock, though, not the 24 hour clock (more on that later!) The 12-hour clock can be traced back as far as Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt. Both an Egyptian sundial for daytime use and an Egyptian water clock for nighttime use were found in the tomb of Pharaoh Amenhotep I. Dating to c.1500 BC, these clocks divided their respective times of use into 12 hours each. The Romans also used a 12-hour clock. Daylight was divided into 12 equal hours and the night was divided into four watches. 

These days, the internet has made it very easy to know what the time is in any part of the world.  Speaking of which, why not add the Czech time zone clock to your laptop?

Many different clocks

8- Half past – půl

When the time is thirty minutes past the hour, in English we say “half past”. Just like the hour, the half-hour is universally used as an orientation point; some languages speak of 30 minutes before the hour (subtraction), whereas others speak of 30 minutes after the hour (addition). 

9- AM – ráno

As mentioned earlier, AM is the abbreviation of the Latin ante meridiem and means before midday. Using ‘AM’ as a tag on your time simply tells people you’re speaking about a time in the morning. In some countries, morning is abbreviated to “AM” and you’ll see this on shop signs everywhere, announcing the opening hour. A typical shop sign might read something like this:

“Business hours are from 7AM to 6PM.” 

Woman in a shop, adjusting the shop sign

10- PM – odpoledne

PM is the abbreviation of the Latin post meridiem and means after midday. Along with ‘AM’, you’ll usually find ‘PM’ on store signs and businesses, indicating the closing hours. It’s advisable to learn the difference between the two, since some establishments might only have one or the other on the sign. For example, a night club sign might say: 

“Open from 10 PM until late.” 

11- What time is it now? – Kolik je teď hodin?

Here’s a very handy question you should memorize, as you can use it in any situation where you don’t have your watch or phone on you. This could be on the beach, in a club, or if you’re stuck anywhere with a flat phone battery. It happens at home, so it can happen when you’re traveling! 

Woman on the phone, looking at her watch

12- One o’clock – jedna hodina

One o’clock, or 1 PM, is the average lunch time for many people around the world – at least, we try to get a meal in at some point between midday and 2 PM.  In terms of duration, the nations vary: Brazililans reportedly take the longest lunch breaks, averaging 48 minutes, whereas Greece reports an average break of only 19 minutes. Historically, Greeks were known for their very leisurely lunch breaks, so it just goes to show how fast the world is changing. If you’re curious about what to expect in Czech Republic, try asking our online community about lunch time in Czech.

13- Two o’clock – dvě hodiny

In his last days, Napoleon Bonaparte famously spoke of “Two o’clock in the morning courage” – meaning unprepared, spontaneous  courage. He was talking about soldiers who are brave enough to tumble out of bed in an instant, straight into action, without time to think or strategize. Do you think you have what it takes? I’m pretty sure all mothers know this feeling!

14- Three o’clock – tři hodiny

3 AM can be perceived as the coldest time of day and is not an hour we want to wake up, but meteorologists will tell you that the coldest time is actually half an hour after sunrise. Even though the sun is peeking over the horizon, the solar radiation is still weaker than the earth’s infrared cooling to space.

Clock pointing to 3 o'clock

15- Four o’clock – čtyři hodiny

Do you know anyone who purposely gets up at 4 o’clock in the morning? As crazy as it sounds, there is something to be said for rising at 4 AM while the rest of the world sleeps. If you live on a farm, it might even be normal for you. I know that whenever I’m staying in the countryside, rising early is a lot easier, because there’s a satisfying reason to do so: watching a sunrise from a rooftop, with uninterrupted views, can’t be beat! It’s also likely that you’ll be woken by a cock crowing, or other animals waking to graze in the fresh pre-dawn air. 

In the world of business, you’ll find a small group of ambitious individuals – many entrepreneurs – who swear by the 4 o’clock in the morning rise. I’m not sure I like that idea, but I’d wake up at 4 AM if it was summer and I had my car packed for a vacation!

16- Five o’clock – pět hodin

What better way to signal the transition between work and play than the clock hands striking 5 o’clock? It’s the hour most working people look forward to each day – at least, those who get to stop working at 5 PM.  Meanwhile, millions of retired folks are taking out the wine glasses, as 5 PM is widely accepted as an appropriate time to pour the first glass. I don’t know how traditional your families are, but for as long as I’ve been alive, my grandparents have counted down the milliseconds to five o’clock, and the hour is announced with glee.

A sunset

17- Six o’clock – šest hodin

This is the time many working people and school kids wake up in the morning. In many parts of the world, 6 o’clock is also a good time to watch the sunrise, go for a run or hit the hiking trails. 

18- Seven o’clock – sedm hodin

Health gurus will tell you that 7 o’clock in the morning is the best time to eat your first meal of the day, and 7 o’clock in the evening is the time you should eat your last meal. I’ve tried that and I agree, but it’s not always easy!

19- Eight o’clock – osm hodin

8 o’clock in the morning is the time that most businesses open around the world, and the time most kids are in their first lesson at school – still full of energy and willing to participate. Interestingly, it’s also the time most babies are born in the world!  In the evening, 8 o’clock is many young children’s bedtime and the time for parents to watch the evening news. 

Smiling boy in school with his hand up

20- Nine o’clock – devět

It’s good to occasionally sleep late on a weekend and for me, this means waking up at 9 AM. If you’re traveling in Czech Republic and staying at a hotel, planning to sleep late means politely requesting to not be woken up by room service.

21- Ten o’clock – deset

10 o’clock in the morning is a popular time to conduct business meetings, and for first break time at schools. We’re usually wide awake and well into our day by then.  But what about the same hour at night? Modern people are often still awake and watching TV at 10 PM, but this isn’t exactly good for us. Experts say that the deepest and most regenerative sleep occurs between 10 PM and 2 AM, so we should already be sound asleep by ten o’clock. 

In advertising, have you ever noticed that the hands of the clock usually point to 10:10? Have a look next time you see a watch on a billboard or magazine. The reason? Aesthetics. Somehow, the human brain finds the symmetry pleasing. When the clock hands are at ten and two, they create a ‘smiley’ face and don’t cover any key details, like a logo, on the clock face. 

22- Eleven o’clock – jedenáct hodin

When I see this time written in words, it makes me think of the hilarious Academy Award-winning very short film, “The Eleven O’Clock”, in which the delusional patient of a psychiatrist believes that he is actually the doctor. 

Then there’s the tradition of ‘elevenses’ – tea time at eleven o’clock in the morning. Strongly ingrained in British culture, elevenses is typically a serving of hot tea or coffee with scones or pastries on the side. It’s a great way to stave off hunger pangs before lunch time arrives. In fact, if you were a hobbit, ‘Elevenses’ would be your third meal of the day!

23- Twelve o’clock – dvanáct hodin

Twelve o’clock in the daytime is considered midday, when the sun is at its zenith and the temperature reaches its highest for that day; it’s written as 12 noon or 12 PM. In most parts of the world, though, this doesn’t happen at precisely 12 PM. ‘Solar noon’ is the time when the sun is actually at its highest point in the sky. The local or clock time of solar noon depends on the longitude and date. If it’s summertime, it’s advisable to stay in the shade during this hour – or at least wear good quality sunblock.

Midnight is the other ‘twelve o’clock’, of course. Midnight is written as 12 AM and is technically the first minute of the morning. On the 24-hour clock, midnight is written as 00:00. 

Sun at noon in a blue cloudy sky

2. How to Tell the Time in Czech

Telling the time

Using a clock to read the time in Czech Republic is going to be the same as in your own country, since you’re dealing with numbers and not words. You’ll know the time in your head and be able to say it in English, but will you be able to say it out loud in Czech? 

The first step to saying the time in Czech is knowing your numbers. How are you doing with that? If you can count to twelve in Czech, you’re halfway there! We’ve already covered the phrases you’ll need to say the exact hour, as in “five o’clock”, as well as how to say “half past”. What remains is the more specific phrases to describe what the minute hand is doing.

In everyday speech, it’s common to say the minutes past or before the hour. Often we round the minutes off to the nearest five. 

Then, there’s the 24-hour clock. Also known as ‘military time’, the 24-hour clock is used in most countries and, as such, is useful to understand. You’ll find that even in places where the 12-hour clock is standard, certain people will speak in military time or use a combination of the two.  No doubt you’ve also noticed that in written time, the 24-hour clock is commonly used.  One of the most prominent places you’ll have seen this is on airport flight schedules.

Airport flight schedule

Knowing how to tell military time in Czech is really not complicated if you know your numbers up to twenty-four. One advantage of using the 24-hour clock in Czech, is there’s no chance of confusing AM and PM.

Once you know how to say the time, it will be pretty easy to also write the time in Czech. You’re already learning what the different hours and minutes look and sound like, so give yourself some writing practice of the same. 

3. Conclusion

Now that you understand the vocabulary for telling time in Czech, the best thing you can do to really lock it down is to just practice saying Czech time daily. Start by replacing English with Czech whenever you need to say the time; in fact, do this whenever you look at your watch. Say the time to yourself in Czech and it will become a habit. When learning a new language, the phrases you use habitually are the ones your brain will acquire. It feels amazing when that turning point comes!

To help yourself gain confidence, why don’t you make use of our various apps, downloadable for iPhone and iPad, as well as Android? Choose what works best for you. In addition, we have so many free resources available to supplement your learning, that you simply can’t go wrong. Some of these are:

If you prefer watching your lessons on video, check out our YouTube channel – there are hundreds of videos to browse. For those of you with Roku, we also have a TV channel you can watch.

Well, it’s time for me to say goodbye and for you to practice saying the time in Czech. Look at the nearest clock and try to say the exact time, down to the seconds. See you again soon at CzechClass101!

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Essential Vocabulary for Directions in Czech

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Do you know your left from your right in Czech? Asking for directions can mean the difference between a heavenly day on the beach and a horrible day on your feet, hot and bothered and wondering how to even get back to the hotel. Believe me – I know! On my earlier travels, I didn’t even know simple terms like ‘go straight ahead’ or ‘go west,’ and I was always too shy to ask locals for directions. It wasn’t my ego, but rather the language barrier that held me back. I’ve ended up in some pretty dodgy situations for my lack of directional word skills.

This never needs to happen! When traveling in Czech Republic, you should step out in confidence, ready to work your Czech magic and have a full day of exploring. It’s about knowing a few basic phrases and then tailoring them with the right directional words for each situation. Do you need to be pointed south in Czech? Just ask! Believe me, people are more willing to help than you might think. It’s when you ask in English that locals might feel too uncertain to answer you. After all, they don’t want to get you lost. For this reason, it also makes sense that you learn how to understand people’s responses. 

Asking directions in Czech Republic is inevitable. So, learn to love it! Our job here at CzechClass101 is to give you the confidence you need to fully immerse and be the intrepid adventurer you are.

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  1. Talking about position and direction in Czech
  2. Getting directions in Czech
  3. Conclusion

1. Talking about position and direction in Czech

Have you ever tried saying the compass directions of north, south, east and west in Czech? These words are good to know, being the most natural and ancient method of finding direction. In the days before GPS – before the invention of the compass, even – knowing the cardinal directions was critical to finding the way. Certainly, if you were lost somewhere in the mountain regions now and using a map to navigate, you’d find them useful. Even more so if you and a Czech friend were adrift at sea, following the stars!

In most situations, though, we rely on body relative directions – your basic up, down, left and right, forward and backwards. Most cultures use relative directions for reference and Czech is no exception. Interestingly, in a few old languages there are no words for left and right and people still rely on cardinal directions every day. Can you imagine having such a compass brain?

A black compass on a colored map

Well, scientists say that all mammals have an innate sense of direction, so getting good at finding your way is just a matter of practice. It’s pretty cool to think that we were born already pre-wired to grasp directions; the descriptive words we invented are mere labels to communicate these directions to others! Thus, the need to learn some Czech positional vocabulary. So, without further ado… let’s dive in.

1- Top – svršek

If planting a flag at the top of the highest mountain in Czech Republic is a goal you’d rather leave for  adrenaline junkies, how about making it to the top of the highest building? Your view of the city will be one you’ll never forget, and you can take a selfie  for Twitter with your head in the clouds. 

man on the top rung of a ladder in the sky, about to topple off

2- Bottom – spodek

The ‘bottom’ can refer to the lower end of a road, the foot of a mountain, or the ground floor of a building. It’s the place you head for after you’ve been to the top!

What are your favorite ‘bottoms’? I love the first rung of a ladder, the base of a huge tree or the bottom of a jungle-covered hill. What can I say? I’m a climber. Divers like the bottom of the ocean and foxes like the bottom of a hole. Since you’re learning Czech, hopefully you’ll travel from the top to the bottom of Czech Republic.

3- Up – nahoru

This is a very common and useful word to know when seeking directions. You can go up the street, up an elevator, up a cableway, up a mountain… even up into the sky in a hot air balloon. It all depends on how far up you like to be!

Hot air balloons in a blue cloudy sky

4- Down – dolů

What goes up, must surely come down. This is true of airplanes, flaming arrows and grasshoppers – either aeronautics or gravity will take care of that. In the case of traveling humans who don’t wish to go down at terminal velocity, it’s useful to know phrases such as, “Excuse me, where is the path leading back down this mountain?”

5- Middle – střed

In Lord of the Rings, Tolkien’s characters live in Middle-earth, which is just an ancient word for the inhabited world of men; it referred to the physical world, as opposed to the unseen worlds above and below it. The ancients also thought of the human world as vaguely in the middle of the encircling seas.

When we talk about the ‘middle’, we’re referring to a point that’s roughly between two horizontal lines – like the middle of the road or the middle of a river. While you’re unlikely to ask for directions to the ‘middle’ of anything, you might hear it as a response. For example, “You’re looking for the castle ruins? But they’re in the middle of the forest!”

Castle ruins in a forest

6- Center – střed

In Czech, the words for “middle” and “center” are the same. Technically, “center” means the exact central point of a circular area, equally distant from every point on the circumference.  When asking for directions to the center of town, though, we don’t mean to find a mathematically-accurate pinpoint!

Bull’s eye on a dartboard

7- Front – předek

The front is the place or position that is seen first; it’s the most forward part of something.  In the case of a hotel, the front is going to be easy to recognize, so if you call a taxi and are told to wait “in front of the hotel”, you won’t have a problem. It’s pretty cool how just knowing the main Czech directional words can help you locate something if there’s a good landmark nearby.

8- Back – zadní strana

I once rented a house in a charming little street that was tucked away at the back of a popular mall. It was so easy to find, but my boss took three hours to locate it from 300 meters away. Why? Well, because she spoke no English and I had no clue what the word for ‘back’ was. All she heard, no matter which way I said it, was “mall, mall, mall”.  As a result, she hunted in front of and next to the mall until she was frazzled. 

Knowing how to describe the location of your own residence is probably the first Czech ‘directions’ you should practice. This skill will certainly come in handy if you’re lost and looking for your way home. 

9- Side – strana

If the place you’re looking for is at the ‘side’ of something, it will be located to the left or the right of that landmark. That could mean you’re looking for an alleyway beside a building, or a second entrance (as opposed to the main entrance). 

As an example, you might be told that your tour bus will be waiting at the right side of the building, not in front. Of course, then you’ll also need to understand “It’s on the right” in Czech.

Jeepney taxi parked at the side of a building

10- East – východ

If you’re facing north, then east is the direction of your right hand. It’s the direction toward which the Earth rotates about its axis, and therefore the general direction from which the sun appears to rise. If you want to go east using a compass for navigation, you should set a bearing of 90°. 

We think of Asia as the ‘East’. Geographically, this part of the world lies in the eastern hemisphere, but there’s so much more that we’ve come to associate with this word. The East signifies ancient knowledge and is symbolic of enlightenment in many cultures.

Monks reading on a boulder in front of a Buddha statue

11- West – západ

West is the opposite to east and it’s the direction in which the sun sets. To go west using a compass, you’ll set a bearing of 270 degrees. 

If you were on the planet Venus, which rotates in the opposite direction from the Earth (retrograde rotation), the Sun would rise in the west and set in the east… not that you’d be able to see the sun through Venus’s opaque clouds. 

Culturally, the West refers mainly to the Americas and Europe, but also to Australia and New Zealand, which are geographically in the East. The Western way of thinking is very different to that of the East. One of the most striking differences is individualism versus collectivism. In the West, we grew up with philosophies of freedom and independence, whereas in the East concepts of unity are more important. 

Food for thought: as a traveler who’s invested in learning the languages and cultures of places you visit, you have an opportunity to become a wonderfully balanced thinker – something the world needs more of.

12- North – sever

North is the top point of a map and when navigating, you’d set a compass bearing of 360 degrees if you want to go that way. Globes of the earth have the north pole at the top, and we use north as the direction by which we define all other directions.

If you look into the night sky, the North Star (Polaris) marks the way due north. It’s an amazing star, in that it holds nearly still in our sky while the entire northern sky moves around it. That’s because it’s located nearly at the north celestial pole – the point around which the entire northern sky turns. Definitely a boon for lost travelers!

The North Star with the Big Dipper in a night sky

13- South – jih

South is the opposite of north, and it’s perpendicular to the east and west. You can find it with a compass if you set your bearings to 180 degrees. 

The south celestial pole is the point around which the entire southern sky appears to turn. In the night sky of the southern hemisphere, the Southern Cross is a very easy to find constellation with four points in the shape of a diamond. If you come from the southern hemisphere, chances are your dad or mum pointed it out to you when you were a kid. You can use the Southern Cross to find south if traveling by night, so it’s well worth figuring it out!

14- Outside – ven

This word refers to any place that is not under a roof. Perhaps you’ve heard talk about some amazing local bands that will be playing in a nearby town on the weekend. If it’s all happening outside, you’ll be looking for a venue in a park, a stadium or some other big open space. Come rain or shine, outside definitely works for me!

A young woman on someone’s shoulders at an outdoor concert

15- Inside – uvnitř

I can tolerate being inside if all the windows are open, or if I’m watching the latest Homeland episode. How about you? I suppose going shopping for Czech-style accessories would be pretty fun, too, and that will (mostly) be an inside affair. 

16- Opposite – naproti

This is a great word to use as a reference point for locating a place. It’s right opposite that other place! In other words, if you stand with your back to the given landmark, your destination will be right in front of you. 

17- Adjacent – přilehlý

So, the adorable old man from next door, who looks about ninety-nine, explains in Czech that the food market where he works is adjacent to the community hall on the main road. ‘Adjacent’ just means next to or adjoining something else, so… head for the hall! 

While you’re marveling at the wondrous and colorful displays of Czech food, think about how all of these delicious stalls lie adjacent to one another. Having a happy visual association with a new word is a proven way to remember it!

Outdoor food market fruit display

18- Toward – směrem k

To go toward something is to go in its direction and get closer to it. This word can often appear in a sentence with ‘straight ahead’, as in:

“Go straight ahead, toward the park.”

If you’ve come to Czech Republic to teach English, you might have to ask someone how to find your new school. Depending on what town you’re in, you could simply head toward the residential area at lunch time. You’ll see (and probably hear) the primary school soon enough – it will be the big fenced building with all the kids running around the yard!

19- Facing – čelem k

If you look at yourself in a mirror, you’ll be facing your reflection. In other words: you and your reflection look directly at each other.  Many plush hotels are ocean-facing or river-facing, meaning the main entrance is pointed directly at the water, and the beach out front faces the hotel. 

20- Beside – vedle

I know of a special little place where there’s a gym right beside a river. You can watch the sun go down over the water while working out – it’s amazing. What’s more, you can park your scooter beside the building and it will still be there when you come out.

21- Corner – roh

I love a corner when it comes to directions. A street corner is where two roads meet at an angle – often 90 degrees – making it easier to find than a location on a straight plane. 

“Which building is the piano teacher in, sir?”

“Oh, that’s easy – it’s the one on the corner.”

The key to a corner is that it leads in two directions. It could form a crossroads, a huge intersection, or it could be the start of a tiny one-way cobblestone street with hidden treasures waiting in the shadow of the buildings.

A white and yellow building on the corner of two streets

22- Distant – vzdálený

When a location is distant, it’s in an outlying area. This Czech word refers to the remoteness of the site, not to how long it takes to get there. For that reason, it’s a very good idea to write the directions down, rather than try to memorize them in Czech. Even better, get a Czech person to write them down for you. This may seem obvious, but always include the location of your starting point! Any directions you’re given will be relative to the exact place you’re starting from.

Man lost on a dusty road, looking at a road map and scratching his head

23- Far – daleký

This word has a similar meaning to the previous one, but it speaks more about the fact that it will take some time to get there. If you’re told that your destination is “far”,  you’ll no doubt want to go by public transport if you don’t have your own vehicle. Get your hands on a road map and have the directions explained to you using this map. Don’t hesitate to bring out the highlighters. 

24- Close – blízko

This word is always a good one to hear when you have your heart set on a very relaxing day in the sun. It means there’s only a short distance to travel, so you can get there in a heartbeat and let the tanning commence. Remember to grab your Nook Book – learning is enhanced when you’re feeling happy and unencumbered. Being close to ‘home’ also means you can safely steal maximum lazy hours and leave the short return trip for sunset! 

A smiling woman lying in a hammock on the beach

25- By – při

This word identifies the position of a physical object beside another object or a place. A Bed and Breakfast can be ‘by the sea’ if it’s in close proximity to the sea. 

‘By’ can also be used to describe the best mode of transport for your route, as in:

“You can get there by bus.”

26- Surrounding – obklopující

If something is surrounding you, it is on every side and you are enclosed by it – kind of like being in a boat. Of course, we’re not talking about deep water here, unless you’re planning on going fishing. Directions that include this word are more likely to refer to the surrounding countryside, or any other features that are all around the place you’re looking for.

A polar bear stuck on a block of ice, completely surrounded by water.

27- All sides – všechny strany

Another useful descriptive Czech term to know is ‘all sides’. It simply means that from a particular point, you will be able to see the same features to the front, back and sides of you. It doesn’t necessarily imply you’ll be completely surrounded, just more-or-less so. Say, for example, you’re visiting the winelands for the day. When you get there, you’ll see vineyards on all sides of you. How stunning! Don’t neglect to sample the local wines – obviously. 

28- Next to – vedle

The person giving you directions is probably standing next to you. The place being described as ‘next to’ something is in a position immediately to one side of it. It could refer to adjoining buildings, neighbouring stores, or the one-legged beggar who sits next to the beautiful flower vendor on weekdays. ‘Next to’ is a great positional term, as everything is next to something! 

“Excuse me, Ma’am.  Where is the train station?”

“It’s that way – next to the tourist market.”

29- Above – nad

This is the direction you’ll be looking at if you turn your head upwards. Relative to where your body is, it’s a point higher than your head. If you’re looking for the location of a place that’s ‘above’ something, it’s likely to be on at least the first floor of a building; in other words, above another floor.

‘Above’ could also refer to something that will be visible overhead when you get to the right place. For example, the road you’re looking for might have holiday decorations strung up from pole to pole above it. In the cities, this is very likely if there’s any kind of festival going on.

View from below of a carnival swing, with riders directly above the viewer

30- Under – pod

Under is the opposite of above, and refers to a place that lies beneath something else. In the case of directions in Czech, it could refer to going under a bridge – always a great landmark – or perhaps through a subway. In some parts of the world, you can even travel through a tunnel that’s under the sea!

Of course, you might just be missing your home brew and looking for an awesome coffee shop that happens to be under the very cool local gym you were also looking for. Nice find!

2. Getting directions in Czech

The quickest and easiest way to find out how to get where you’re going is simply to ask someone. Most people on the streets of Czech Republic won’t mind being asked at all and will actually appreciate your attempt to ask directions in Czech. After all, most tourists are more inclined to ask in their own language and hope for the best. How pedestrian is that, though?

Asking directions

I know, I know – you normally prefer to find your own way without asking. Well, think of it like this: you obviously need to practice asking questions in Czech as much as you need to practice small talk, counting, or ordering a beer. Since you can’t very well ask a complete stranger if they would please help you count to five hundred, you’ll have to stick with asking directions!

We spoke earlier about body relative directions and these tend to be the ones we use most. For example:

“Turn left.”

“Go straight.”

“Turn right.” 

Remember, too, that your approach is important. Many people are wary of strangers and you don’t want to scare them off. It’s best to be friendly, direct and get to the point quickly.  A simple ‘Hi, can you help me?” or “Excuse me, I’m a bit lost,” will suffice. If you have a map in your hand, even better, as your intentions will be clear. 

The bottom line is that if you want to find your way around Czech Republic with ease, it’s a good idea to master these basic phrases. With a little practice, you can also learn how to say directions in Czech. Before you know it, you’ll be the one explaining the way!

3. Conclusion

Now that you have over thirty new directional phrases you can learn in Czech, there’s no need to fear losing your way when you hit the streets of Czech Republic. All you need is a polite approach and your own amazing smile, and the locals will be excited to help you. It’s a chance for them to get better at explaining things to a foreigner, too. Most will enjoy that!

I advise keeping a few things handy in your day pack: a street map, a highlighter, a small notebook and pen, and your Czech phrasebook. It would be useful to also have the Czech WordPower app installed on your phone – available for both iPhone and Android

Here’s a quick challenge to get you using the new terms right away. Can you translate these directions into Czech?

“It’s close. Go straight ahead to the top of the hill and turn left at the corner. The building is on the right, opposite a small bus stop.”

You’re doing amazingly well to have come this far! Well done on tackling the essential topic of ‘directions’ – it’s a brave challenge that will be immensely rewarding. Trust me, when you’re standing at a beautiful location that you found just by knowing what to ask in Czech, you’re going to feel pretty darn good.

If you’re as excited as I am about taking Czech to an even deeper level, we have so much more to offer you. Did you know that we’ve already had over 1 billion lesson downloads? I know – we’re blown away by that, too. It’s amazing to be bringing the world’s languages to people who are so hungry for learning. Let me share some of our best options for you:

  • If you haven’t done so already, grab your free lifetime account as a start. You’ll get audio and video lessons, plus vocabulary building tools. 
  • My favorite freebie is the word of the day, which will arrive in your inbox every morning. Those are the words I remember best!
  • Start listening to Czech music. I’m serious – it really works to make the resistant parts of the brain relax and accept the new language. Read about it here for some tips.
  • If you enjoy reading, we have some great iBooks for your daily commute.
  • If you have a Kindle and prefer to do your reading on a picnic blanket,  there are over 6 hours of unique lessons in Czech for you right there.

That’s it for today! Join CzechClass101 to discover many more ways that we can offer you a truly fun and enriching language learning experience. Happy travels!

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