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How to Nail Your CCE Czech Language Exam

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Taking a Czech language test or exam is a decision that might change your entire life.

Let’s get a bit touchy-feely and personal, shall we? 

My long story short: “Oh, maybe I want to be a translator or something, what do I do? Okay, apparently I need a certificate…when’s the next exam date? In a few weeks? Cool! Erm… How am I supposed to learn all this stuff in three weeks?” -> Daily panic attacks and lots of crying in the shower (figuratively speaking). -> Passed the exam. -> Works as a freelance translator and writer, currently sitting on a couch thousands of miles away from home, and writing an article on how to pass a Czech language test.

See? It’s doable, even if you don’t have the time (or money) for a specialized prep course.

A language exam is not as bad as it might seem. First of all, it’s just a Czech test. You’re not putting your pet’s life at risk, the world won’t stop spinning, your mom will love you no matter what, and there will be lots of new Marvel movies—no matter the result.

Of course, you want to pass. And maybe your ambitions are even higher. Maybe you want to ROCK! You don’t need a magic pill or superpowers. You just need to study, keep positive, and believe in yourself.

In this guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know for smooth sailing: Where to apply, how to prepare for the Czech Language Certificate Exam (CCE), and how to ace your test without losing faith in life.

A Happy Man with A+ Score

Nail your CCE with CzechClass101!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Study Strategies in Czech Table of Contents
  1. Who Should Take it and How to Apply
  2. A Closer Look at the Czech Language Certificate Exam
  3. Top 10 Tips for Preparing for Your Czech Language Test
  4. How CzechClass101.com Helps You Prepare for Your Czech Language Certificate Exam

1. Who Should Take it and How to Apply

The Czech Language Certificate Exam (CCE) was developed by the Institute for Language and Preparatory Studies of Charles University in Prague. If you’re a non-EU citizen applying for a permanent residence, you’re going to have to go through this, friend. Thus, it’s sometimes called the “Czech citizenship test.”

To pass, your communication skills must reach the required B1 language proficiency level under the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). 

You might want to consider getting the certificate even if you’re not after a permanent residence in the Czech Republic. Some employers might want to see proof of your language proficiency, too. Speaking from personal experience, Czech employers love certificates and diplomas the way that businesses in English-speaking countries adore references.

Last but not least: a CCE certificate might also help you with the university application process if you’re looking to study in the Czech Republic.

Not sure if you need to put yourself through this? Check out the Ministry of the Czech Republic website.

Language Skills

A- CCE Test Registration

Yay for modern technology! 

You can register online. Just fill out an application form on the ILPS CU website and submit.

It’s possible to take the CCE exam in the Czech Republic (Prague and Brno), and in more than fifteen other countries around the world. 

    ➢ You’ll need to enroll at least three weeks before the exam (or by the date set by the foreign examination center if you’re going to take the exam abroad).
    ➢ You’ll also need to pay the fee two weeks before your exam date.
    ➢ You can select your exam venue and date in the application form.

For a complete list of countries and fees, check out this section of the official website.

B- Exam Structure

The CCE exam tests your reading comprehension, listening comprehension, and writing skills. The oral part of the exam tests your speaking abilities.

The CCE exam has five parts:

1. Reading Comprehension 
2. Listening Comprehension
3. Grammar/Lexical Text
4. Writing
5. Speaking

You can find more info on the official website.

Someone Answering Multiple-choice Questions

For the speaking part, you work in pairs. During the tests—you’re on your own, buddy.

C- Levels of Proficiency

The CCE has five levels of Czech proficiency, corresponding with those of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR):

CCE–A1: Beginner. This exam tests your ability to understand and use basic expressions and phrases (you’re able to introduce yourself and interact in the Czech language at a slow pace).

CCE–A2: Lower-intermediate. At this level, you can understand more-complex sentences and frequently used expressions and phrases. You’re also able to communicate and describe things using simple terms.

CCE–B1: Intermediate level. You’re able to communicate, as well as describe events and experiences in Czech.

CCE–B2: Upper-intermediate. You’re a “confident Czech speaker.” You’re able to understand more-complex content related to your field and speak Czech without any huge effort or preparation.

CCE–C1: Advanced. Longer and complex interactions are a piece of cake for you. You’re able to use Czech for social, academic, or professional situations.

    ➢ The Czech CCE–B2 and CCE–C1 exams are recognized for demonstrating the language skills of individuals applying for employment in the Czech Republic.
    ➢ At each of the five proficiency levels, the Czech Language Certificate Exam tests candidates’ communicative proficiency with the criteria stated in the CEFR.

D- Results: Did I Pass?

The results for your CCE exam will be posted online within thirty days. The certificate will be mailed to you within seven weeks following your exam.

    In order to pass, you need to get a score of at least 60% overall AND at least 60% in each of the five parts.

2. A Closer Look at the Czech Language Certificate Exam

In the following sections, I’ll outline what you can expect to see in each part of this Czech language proficiency test. 

A- Introduction to the Listening Section

ProficiencyTimeTasks
A120-25 minutes4 tasks in totalMultiple-choiceMatching 
A220-25 minutes4 tasks in totalTrue/FalseMultiple-choiceMatching 
B135-40 minutes4 tasks in totalMatchingMultiple-choiceTrue/False
B240-45 minutes4 tasks in totalMatchingMultiple-choiceTrue/False
C150-55 minutes4 tasks in totalMatchingMultiple matchingMultiple-choiceTrue/False
    The audio is played twice.

Listening is often the most dreaded part of the Czech language test, and listening comprehension is considered the hardest skill to develop.

How can you be sure to pass this part of the test, then?

A Man Listening to Something

Practice active listening daily!

Nail It!

Before the Exam:

  1. Prepare. People often recommend listening to or watching movies in your target language (with or without subtitles). However, passive listening isn’t enough, and it won’t get you anywhere. You need to LISTEN. Put a movie/podcast/YouTube video on, grab a piece of paper, and focus. Twenty minutes a day will make a huge difference.
  1. Start with a topic that you’re interested in. This can be anything you like—watch make-up tutorials on YouTube if that’s your thing; watch fishing videos, cooking shows…you need to be engaged.
  1. Start with audio/video that’s quite easy for you to understand. After a few days, move on to another level that’s a little bit above yours—this is very important. In order to make progress, you NEED to challenge yourself, regardless of whether you’re going to take the A1 or C1 Czech test level.
  1. Another great option is talking to native speakers (I can’t recommend this enough).
  1. Practice listening at slow, moderate, and fast speeds. Try this video for beginners (great for A1 and A2).
  1. Write down words, phrases, and idioms you don’t understand and memorize them.

During the Exam:

  1. Focus on the big picture and save details for later. Try to get a good grasp of the context and message the first time the audio is played. The second time, figure out the rest.
  1. Be alert. Don’t forget that you can’t rewind.
  1. Jot down notes. Write down the topic and core points (you can use your exam sheets for this).
Students Taking a Test in a Classroom

B- Introduction to the Reading Section

ProficiencyTimeTasks
A1(+ Writing) 60 minutes6 tasks in total (10-80 words)2 writing tasks (20 and 20-30 words)
A245 minutes4 tasks in total (80-170 words)True/False and multiple-choice
B150 minutes4 tasks in totalTrue/False
B250 minutes4 tasks in totalTrue/FalseMatching
C160 minutes4 tasks in totalTrue/FalseMatchingMultiple matching

Nail It!

Before the Exam:

  1. Remember that this isn’t just about readingit’s about comprehension. Don’t focus on individual words and literal meanings; try to find the core message and emotions.
  1. Practice the timing. Your attention likely dwindles (or even disappears) after a certain amount of time. Try to push yourself by adding a couple of minutes every time you read.
  1. Work on your vocabulary (I’m gonna say this a lot, for a good reason!). Write down words you don’t know, and memorize them. You can use our Vocab Builder.
  1. Read articles, magazines, books, and subtitles. Try our Reading Lesson for Intermediate or Beginner Czech learners. We also have a great Reading Guide for ya.

During the Exam:

  1. Read the text first. Focus.
  1. After that, read the questions
  1. If you get lost or confused, summarize what you’ve read so far. Skim through the text and look for the context.
  1. For the A1 Czech language test, you should spend no more than 35 minutes on the reading. Then, move on to the writing part (25 minutes).

C- Introduction to the Writing Section

ProficiencyTimeTasks
A1Included in the Reading Comprehension part
A240 minutes2 tasks
B160 minutes2 tasks
B280 minutes2 tasks
C190 minutes2 tasks

Writing might be tricky for you. Trust me, at the time of my exam, I was a seasoned writer (with a degree in journalism), my English was okay, but the writing task was a pain for me. This is because I wasn’t used to writing by hand, and I didn’t spend enough time practicing.

Learn from my mistakes!

Nail It!

Before the Exam:

  1. Practice the timing. This is very important, and I wish I hadn’t slacked on this. Find a topic, hit the Start button or your stopwatch, and get to work.
  1. Read! This will help you get accustomed to various sentence structures, and improve your vocabulary and spelling.
  1. Learn proper punctuation. The punctuation in Czech and English is very different. You don’t want to lose points on periods and commas, do you?

Start with simple, short pieces. When you feel comfortable enough, move up to more complex texts. We have a great guide on How to Write 1000 Czech Words in 5 Minutes a Day that will help you get started. Check it out:

During the Exam:

  1. Read the instructions twice. I know way too many people who failed an exam just because they didn’t read (and follow) the guidelines.
  1. Start with an outline.
  1. Use as much vocabulary and grammar elements as you can. You want to show off—if you have it, flaunt it. But…
  1. …if you get super-nervous, keep your pieces short and coherent.
  1. Make sure you have enough time to review your work—five minutes should be enough. This is especially important if you’re taking the Czech B1 exam or higher.

D- Introduction to the Speaking Section

ProficiencyTimeTasks
A15-8 minutes (per person)2 tasksYour family, hobbies, where you’re fromAsking and giving information about institutions or events
A210-13 minutes (per pair)2 tasksYour family, hobbies, where you’re fromAsking and giving information about institutions or events
B115-18 minutes (per pair)3 tasksIntroduce yourself (2 minutes)The examiner asks questions (general topics, 3-4 minutes) + you’ll describe an imageThe candidates have to communicate and plan an event or trip
B218-21 minutes (per pair)3 tasksIntroduce yourself (3 minutes)The examiner asks questions (general topics, 3-4 minutes) + you’ll describe an imageThe candidates have to communicate and plan an event or trip (3 minutes per candidate)
C123-27 minutes (per pair)3 tasksDialogue on given sayings or quotes (the examiner asks questions, approx. 5 minutes per candidate)5-minute monologue (culture, sports, etc.)The candidates have to communicate and look for a solution to a situation (5-6 minutes per candidate)

This part will be easy and fun if you’re a talker! If you like to keep your mouth shut, practice even harder.

    You’ll be working in pairs, asking each other questions.
Colleagues Discussing Something

The topics usually include: 

  • Work or school
  • Where you learned Czech 
  • How long you’ve been studying Czech
  • Your hobbies
  • Why you decided to study Czech
  • How many languages you speak

Possible situations:

  • Information about museums/galleries
  • You’re at the hospital/restaurant/university/party/trip/etc.

Nail It!

Before the Exam:

  1. Practice, practice, talk, talk, talk. Super-important. 
  1. Practice the timing. Get an image and describe it. Prepare a short introduction including where you’re from, what you like to do, etc.
  1. Practice asking questions.
  1. Work on your pronunciation.
  1. Check out our neat videos for conversation practice here and here.

During the Exam:

  1. Talk. A lot. Do not stop talking—let the examiners stop you.
  1. Use as much vocabulary and grammar elements as possible, especially if you’re taking the Czech B1 exam or higher.

3. Top 10 Tips for Preparing for Your Czech Language Test

  1. Know your strengths and weaknesses. It doesn’t matter if you’ve spent years in the Czech Republic or just completed your first exercise at CzechClass101.com. Assess your skills and get clear on where you’re at.
  1. Bring your strongest skills to the highest possible level. Do not slack off. Make sure you feel super-confident.
  1. Work on your weaker points daily. Practice. Get out of your comfort zone, whatever that means for you. Strike up a conversation with a native speaker, learn ten new words a day, try reading magazine articles in Czech… Make progress.
  1. Know the structure of the exam like the palm of your hand: the types of questions, topics, timing…gather as much info as you can.
  1. Check past exam papers and materials. You need to get used to the format and patterns.
  1. Buy textbooks prepared specifically for the exam candidates and use them.
  1. Practice the tasks. Set a timer and try talking about specific topics mentioned in the textbooks and study materials. Read. Answer questions. Take a CCE mock test. Do this every single day.
  1. Practice the timing and plan ahead. Figure out how much time you have to answer one question. You might need to save some time for a double-check—keep that in mind.
  1. Learn from your mistakes. Seeing your most-frequent errors will help you see which skills you need to practice and develop the most.
  1. For the sake of your Czech test results, try to get at least a tiny bit above your level of proficiency. Show off. Try to use as much vocabulary (including idioms) as possible. Practice daily! You need to get used to using new words and sentence structures.

Last but not least:

    Stay calm. If you get overly anxious, focus on your breathing for a few seconds. Think positive thoughts and don’t let any doubt creep in.

Good luck!

4. How CzechClass101.com Helps You Prepare for Your Czech Language Certificate Exam

In this guide, I did my best to help you understand the structure and requirements of the CCE.

CzechClass101.com is a modern, multi-device platform for Czech language-learners that makes learning Czech easy, exciting, and fun. Make sure you check out our video and audio lessons, and don’t forget to use our vocabulary learning tools!

What else can you find on our website?

  • 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!

Before you go and create your account, let us know in the comments if you feel more prepared for your test now! Is there anything I haven’t covered that you still want to know?

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Study Strategies 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 Keyboard: How to Install and Type in Czech

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You asked, so we provided—easy-to-follow instructions on how to set up your electronic devices to write in Czech! We’ll also give you a few excellent tips on how to use this keyboard, as well as some online and app alternatives if you prefer not to set up a Czech keyboard.

Log in to Download Your Free Czech Alphabet Worksheet Table of Contents
  1. Why it’s Important to Learn to Type in Czech
  2. Setting up Your Computer and Mobile Devices for Czech
  3. How to Activate an Onscreen Keyboard on Your Computer
  4. How to Change the Language Settings to Czech on Your Computer
  5. Activating the Czech Keyboard on Your Mobile Phone and Tablet
  6. How to Practice Typing Czech

1. Why it’s Important to Learn to Type in Czech

A keyboard

Learning a new language is made so much easier when you’re able to read and write/type it. This way, you will:

  • Get the most out of any dictionary and Czech language apps on your devices
  • Expand your ability to find Czech websites and use the various search engines
  • Be able to communicate much better online with your Czech teachers and friends, and look super cool in the process! 

2. Setting up Your Computer and Mobile Devices for Czech

A phone charging on a dock

It takes only a few steps to set up any of your devices to read and type in Czech. It’s super-easy on your mobile phone and tablet, and a simple process on your computer.

On your computer, you’ll first activate the onscreen keyboard to work with. You’ll only be using your mouse or touchpad/pointer for this keyboard. Then, you’ll need to change the language setting to Czech, so all text will appear in Czech. You could also opt to use online keyboards instead. Read on for the links!

On your mobile devices, it’s even easier—you only have to change the keyboard. We also provide a few alternatives in the form of online keyboards and downloadable apps.

3. How to Activate an Onscreen Keyboard on Your Computer

1- Mac

1. Go to System Preferences > Keyboard.

2. Check the option “Show Keyboard & Character Viewers in Menu Bar.”

3. You’ll see a new icon on the right side of the main bar; click on it and select “Show Keyboard Viewer.”

A screenshot of the keyboard viewer screen

2- Windows

1. Go to Start > Settings > Easy Access > Keyboard.

2. Turn on the option for “Onscreen Keyboard.”

3- Add-ons of Extensions for Browsers

Instead of an online keyboard, you could also choose to download a Google extension to your browser for a language input tool. The Google Input Tools extension allows users to use input tools in Chrome web pages, for example.

4. How to Change the Language Settings to Czech on Your Computer

Man looking at his computer

Now that you’re all set to work with an onscreen keyboard on your computer, it’s time to download the Czech language pack for your operating system of choice:

  • Windows 8 (and higher)
  • Windows 7
  • Mac (OS X and higher)

1- Windows 8 (and higher)

  1. Go to “Settings” > “Change PC Settings” > “Time & Language” > “Region & Language.”
  2. Click on “Add a Language” and select “čeština – Czech.” This will add it to your list of languages. It will appear as Czech with the note “language pack available.”
  3. Click on “čeština” > “Options” > “Download.” It will take a few minutes to download and install the language pack.

2- Windows 7

  1. Go to “Start” > “Control Panel” > “Clock, Language, and Region.”
  2. On the “Region and Language” option, click on “Change Keyboards or Other Input Methods.”
  3. On the “Keyboards and Languages” tab, click on “Change Keyboards” > “Add” > “Czech.”
  4. Expand the option of “Czech” and then expand the option “Keyboard.” Select the keyboard layout marked as “Czech.” You can ignore other keyboard layouts. Click “OK” and then “Apply.”

3- Mac (OS X and higher)

If you can’t see the language listed, please make sure to select the right option from System Preferences > Language and Region

1. From the Apple Menu (top left corner of the screen) go to System Preferences > Keyboard.

2. Click the Input Sources tab and a list of available keyboards and input methods will appear.

3. Click on the plus button, select “Czech,” and add the “Czech – QWERTY” keyboard.

Adding a system language

5. Activating the Czech Keyboard on Your Mobile Phone and Tablet

Texting and searching in Czech will greatly help you master the language! Adding a Czech keyboard on your mobile phone and/or tablet is super-easy.

You could also opt to download an app instead of adding a keyboard. Read on for our suggestions.

Below are the instructions for both iOS and Android mobile phones and tablets.

1- iOS

1. Go to Settings > General > Keyboard.

2. Tap “Keyboards” and then “Add New Keyboard.”

3. Select “Czech” from the list.

4. When typing, you can switch between languages by tapping and holding on the icon to reveal the keyboard language menu.

2- Android

1. Go to Settings > General Management > Language and Input > On-screen Keyboard (or “Virtual Keyboard” on some devices) > Samsung Keyboard.

2. Tap “Language and Types” or “ + Select Input Languages” depending on the device and then “MANAGE INPUT LANGUAGES” if available.

3. Select “čeština” from the list.

4. When typing, you can switch between languages by swiping the space bar.

3- Applications for Mobile Phones

If you don’t want to add a keyboard on your mobile phone or tablet, this is a good app to consider:

A man typing on a computer

6. How to Practice Typing Czech

As you probably know by now, learning Czech is all about practice, practice, and more practice! Strengthen your Czech typing skills by writing comments on any of our lesson pages, and our teacher will answer. If you’re a CzechClass101 Premium PLUS member, you can directly text our teacher via the My Teacher app—use your Czech keyboard to do this!

Log in to Download Your Free Czech Alphabet Worksheet

Premium PLUS: The Golden Ticket for Language-Learning

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Do you remember the moment you fell in love with languages?

Do you desire to learn or advance in Czech quickly and effectively?

Then you need a Czech tutor.

A common question that first-time language-learners ask is “Where do I begin?” The answer? Guidance.

For native English-speakers who want to learn Asian languages, for example, timelines provided by the U.S. Foreign Service Institute can appear discouraging. However, defeating these odds is not unheard of. If you want to beat the odds yourself, one of the best learning options is a subscription to Premium PLUS from Innovative Language.

As an active Premium PLUS member of JapanesePod101.com and KoreanClass101.com myself, I have an enjoyable experience learning at an accelerated pace with at least thirty minutes of study daily. The following Premium PLUS features contribute to my success:

  • Access to thousands of lessons
  • A voice recorder 
  • Spaced-repetition system (SRS) flashcards
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As someone who decided to make Japanese her second language one year ago, I am extremely grateful for Premium PLUS.

Allow me to emphasize on how these Premium PLUS features strengthen my language studies.

Gain Unlimited Access to Audio and Video Lessons!

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As a Premium PLUS member, I have full access to the lesson library and other Premium features. Best of all, I’m not limited to one level; I can learn to my heart’s content with upper-level courses.

There are lessons on various topics that tackle crucial language-learning elements, such as:

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Because of the abundance of lessons, I’ve found pathways in the lesson library to help me prepare for certain events. Thanks to the “Speaking Perfect Japanese at a Restaurant” pathway, I spoke fully in Japanese while dining in Japan. Additionally, I participated in conversations at language exchange meetups in South Korea after completing the “Top 25 Korean Questions You Need to Know” pathway.

Each lesson has lesson notes, which I read while simultaneously listening to the audio lesson. This strategy enables me to follow along on key points. Lesson notes generally contain the following:

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As someone who’s constantly on-the-go, I heavily benefit from mobile access to lessons. Podcasts and lesson notes are available on the Innovative Language app and/or Podcasts app for iOS.

All lessons and their contents are downloadable. Prior to my flights to Japan and South Korea, I downloaded lessons on my iPhone. The apps make learning more convenient for me during my commutes.

Practice Speaking with the Voice Recording Tool!

a young man practicing his pronunciation with a microphone headset

Pronunciation is an essential ingredient in language-learning. Proper pronunciation prompts clear understanding during conversations with native speakers.

Prior to learning full Korean sentences, my online Korean language tutor assigned the “Hana Hana Hangul” pathway to me. It demonstrated the writing and pronunciation of Hangul, the Korean alphabet. Throughout this pathway, I submitted recordings of my Hangul character pronunciations to my language teacher for review.

I was given a similar task on JapanesePod101.com with the “Ultimate Japanese Pronunciation Guide” pathway. My Japanese language teacher tested my pronunciation of the Japanese characters kana. My completion of the two pathways boosted my confidence in speaking.

Speaking is one of the more challenging components of learning a language. The voice recording tool in particular was a great way for me to improve my speaking skills. Further, because the lesson dialogues are spoken by native speakers, I’m able to practice speaking naturally.

This feature is also available for vocabulary words and sample sentences. Being able to hear these recordings improves my pronunciation skills for languages like Japanese, where intonation can change the meaning of a word entirely. The voice recorder examines my speed and tone. I also follow up by sending a recording to my online language tutor for feedback.

A great way to boost one’s speaking confidence is to shadow native speakers. During the vocabulary reviews, it’s helpful for me to hear the breakdown of each word; doing so makes a word that was originally difficult to even read a breeze to say!

Some lessons create opportunities to speak your own sentences. For example, the “Top 25 Korean Questions You Need to Know” pathway presents opportunities to answer questions personally. This helps you gain the ability to give answers as the unique individual you are.

Example Scenario:

The host asks the following question:

어디에 살고 있습니까?

eodieseo salgo isseumnikka

“Where do you live?”

If you live in Tokyo, you would readily say the following:

도쿄에 살고 있습니다.

Tokyo-e salgo isseumnida.

“I live in Tokyo.”

Increase Your Vocab with Spaced-Repetition Flashcards and More!

A child learning words with flashcards

Imagine having a conversation with a native speaker and hesitating because you lack a solid vocabulary base.

Premium PLUS offers various features to expand learners’ vocabulary, including Free Gifts of the Month. CzechClass101’s free gifts for April 2020 included an e-book with “400 Everyday Phrases for Beginners,” and the content is updated every month. When I download free resources like this, I find opportunities to use them with co-teachers, friends, or my language tutors.

An effective way to learn vocabulary is with SRS flashcards. SRS is a system designed for learning a new word and reviewing it in varying time intervals.

You can create and study flashcard decks, whether it’s your Word Bank or a certain vocabulary list. For example, if you need to visit a post office, the “Post Office” vocabulary list for your target language would be beneficial to study prior to your visit.

In addition to the SRS flashcards, each lesson has a vocabulary slideshow and quiz to review the lesson’s vocabulary.

There’s also the 2000 Core Word List, which includes the most commonly used words in your target language. Starting from the 100 Core Word List, you’ll gradually build up your knowledge of useful vocabulary. These lists can be studied with SRS flashcards, too.

With the SRS flashcards, you can change the settings to your liking. The settings range from different card types to number of new cards per deck. Personally, I give myself vocabulary tests by changing the settings.

After studying a number of flashcards, I change the card types to listening comprehension and/or production. Then I test myself by writing the translation of the word or the spoken word or phrase.

The change in settings allow me to remember vocabulary and learn how to identify the words. This is especially helpful with Japanese kanji!

Complete Homework Assignments!

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Homework assignments are advantageous to my language studies. There are homework assignments auto-generated weekly. They range from multiple-choice quizzes to writing assignments.

Language tutors are readily available for homework help. Some writing assignments, for instance, require use of unfamiliar vocabulary. In such cases, my language teachers assist me by forwarding related lessons or vocabulary lists.

In addition to these auto-generated homework tasks, language tutors customize daily assignments. My daily homework assignments include submitting three written sentences that apply the target grammar point of that lesson, and then blindly audio-recording those sentences. My personal language tutor follows up with feedback and corrections, if needed.

Your language tutors also provide assignments upon requests. When I wanted to review grammar, my Korean teacher sent related quizzes and assignments. Thus, you are not only limited to the auto-generated assignments.

Every weekend, I review by re-reading those written sentences. It helps me remember sentence structures, grammar points, and vocabulary to apply in real-world contexts.

Furthermore, I can track my progress with language portfolios every trimester. It’s like a midterm exam that tests my listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills.

Get Your Own Personal Language Teacher!

A woman teaching pronunciation in a classroom

My language teachers cater to my goals with personalized and achievable learning programs. The tangible support of my online language teachers makes it evident that we share common goals.

Once I share a short-term or long-term goal with my teacher, we establish a plan or pathway that will ultimately result in success. I coordinate with my teachers regularly to ensure the personalized learning programs are prosperous. For example, during my JLPT studies, my Japanese language tutor assigned me practice tests.

Your language tutor is available for outside help as well. When I bought drama CDs in Japan, I had difficulty transliterating the dialogue. My Japanese teacher forwarded me the script to read along as I listened.

Additionally, I often practice Korean and Japanese with music. I memorize one line of the lyrics daily. Every time, I learn a new grammar point and new vocabulary. I add the vocabulary to my SRS flashcards, locate the grammar in the Grammar Bank, and study the associated lessons online.

I send my teachers the name of the songs, making them aware of my new goal. One time, my song for Korean was “If You Do” by GOT7. My Korean teacher revealed that she was a huge fan of GOT7 like me! For Japanese, it was “CHA-LA HEAD-CHA-LA,” also known as the Dragonball Z theme song. My Japanese teacher excitedly told me that she sang the song a lot as a kid!

A remarkable thing happened to me in South Korea. I was stressed about opening a bank account with limited Korean. I sought help from my Korean teacher. She forwarded me a script of a bank conversation.

After two days, I visited the local bank. It all started with my opening sentence:

은행 계좌를 만들고 싶어요

eunhaeng gyejwaleul mandeulgo sip-eoyo.

I want to open a bank account.

Everything went smoothly, and I exited the bank with a new account!

The MyTeacher Messenger allows me to share visuals with my teachers for regular interaction, including videos to critique my pronunciation mechanisms. I improve my listening and speaking skills by exchanging audio with my teachers. In addition to my written homework assignments, I exchange messages with my language teachers in my target language. This connection with my teachers enables me to experience the culture as well as the language.

Why You Should Subscribe to Premium PLUS

It’s impossible for me to imagine my continuous progress with Japanese and Korean without Premium PLUS. Everything—from the SRS flashcards to my language teachers—makes learning languages enjoyable and clear-cut.

You’re assured to undergo the same experience with Premium PLUS. You’ll gain access to the aforementioned features as well as all of the Premium features.

Complete lessons and assignments to advance in your target language. Increase your vocabulary with the “2000 Core Word List” for that language and SRS flashcards. Learn on-the-go with the Innovative Language app and/or Podcasts app for iOS users.

Learning a new language takes dedication and commitment. The Premium PLUS features make learning irresistibly exciting. You’ll look forward to learning daily with your language tutor.

As of right now, your challenge is to subscribe to Premium PLUS! Complete your assessment, and meet your new Czech teacher.

Have fun learning your target language in the fastest and easiest way!

Subscribe to Posted by CzechClass101.com in Czech Language, Czech Online, Feature Spotlight, Learn Czech, Site Features, Speak Czech, Team CzechClass101

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

Improve Listening

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.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Around Town in Czech Table of Contents
  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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Saints Cyril & Methodius Day in the Czech Republic



What do you think your daily life would look like without a working written language? I don’t know about you, but my life would be a lot more difficult!

Well, the Czech Republic (and a number of other Slavic countries) have the Saints Cyril and Methodius to thank for their written language.

In this article, you’ll learn about Saints Cyril and Methodius Day in the Czech Republic, and what these two brothers are most known for. Let’s get started!

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1. Who Were St. Cyril and Methodius?



Statues of Saints Cyril and Methodius

Saint Methodius and Saint Cyril were missionaries from Greece who visited the Slavic people to učit (“teach”) them the Christian gospel. The two brothers were sent in 863 by the Byzantine Emperor, who received a letter from the Moravian people’s ruler requesting missionaries to achieve the misie (“mission”) of evangelizing to the Moravians.

To effectively evangelize, Saints Cyril and Methodius created a new written jazyk (“language”), using the Glagolitic alphabet. Because they were able to teach the Moravians in their own language, the Moravians were more receptive to what they had to say. St. Cyril and Methodius also translated parts of the Bible into this new language, though no one knows for sure which parts of the Bible they were able to translate.

Some believe that the Glagolitic alphabet eventually led to the creation of the Cyrillic alphabet, named after St. Cyril. The Cyrillic alphabet is still used in many Slavic languages, including Russian and Bulgarian.

Because of the saints’ great achievements, people consider them equal to the first Christian apostles. Each year, Christians in the Czech Republic celebrate St. Cyril and Methodius Day to honor the work and lasting legacy of the two saints in the region.



2. When is St. Cyril and Methodius Day?



A Woman and Her Son Posing for a Photo During Summer

Each year, Saints Cyril and Methodius Day in the Czech Republic falls on July 5.

The date for this holiday used to be March 9, but Pope Pius IX changed the date because July 5 is when St. Cyril and St. Methodius arrived in the Moravia region.

3. Celebrations for St. Cyril and St. Methodius



A Church

St. Cyril and Methodius Day celebrations tend to be solemn, with a large focus on the kostel (“church”). Throughout the nation, Czechs gather for masses in honor of the two saints. Prominent religious and political leaders, believers, and other citizens attend these masses.

The largest mass in the Czech Republic for the St. Cyril and Methodius festival is held in Velehrad, which used to be the heart of Great Moravia. This mass is held in the ancient basilica here, and the procession is televised so people can watch from home.

Because the day after St. Cyril and Methodius Day is another national holiday (The Day of Burning Jan Hus), most Czechs get two days off of work or school. After attending mass and other festivities, people can prepare for the rest of their vacation!



4. The Church of Saint Cyril and Methodius in Prague



Did you know there’s a church of St. Cyril and St. Methodius in Prague?

While this isn’t the only church or public building named after the two saints—in Slavic countries or abroad—this cathedral has a fascinating history.

The Saints Cyril and Methodius Cathedral played a curious role in WWII. This is where a handful of Czechoslovaks took a final stand against a group of German Nazis in 1942. Two of the Czechoslovaks died, and the others committed suicide.

Today, these Czechoslovaks are considered national heroes.

5. Essential Czech Vocabulary for this Holiday



Someone Writing in Cursive Using a Fountain Pen

Ready to review some of the vocabulary words from this article? Here’s a quick list for you to study!

  • “Brother” — Bratr [n. masc]
  • “Teach” — Učit [v.]
  • “Church” — Kostel [n. masc]
  • “Language” — Jazyk [n. masc]
  • “Saints Cyril and Methodius Day” — Den slovanských věrozvěstů Cyrila a Metoděje [masc]
  • “Slavonic” — Staroslověnština [n. fem]
  • “Slav” — Slovan [n. masc]
  • “Monk” — Mnich [n. masc]
  • “Monastery” — Klášter [n. masc]
  • “Missionary” — Misionář [n. masc]
  • “Mission” — Misie [n. fem]
  • “Handwriting” — Písmo [n. neut]
  • “Apostle” — Apoštol [n. Masc]


To hear the pronunciation of each word and phrase, visit our Czech St. Cyril and Methodius vocabulary list with audio recordings!

Final Thoughts



The significance of St. Cyril’s and Methodius’s role in Great Moravia can’t be overstated. They not only influenced the region’s religion long term, but also provided the Moravians with their own written language that would later be used to shape modern languages.

Who are the most important figures in your country’s history, and why? Let us know in the comments!

To continue learning about Czech culture and the language, visit CzechClass101.com and read some more free articles:



Before you go, know this: We applaud you for taking the time—and the plunge!—to learn about another culture and its language. We know it’s not always easy, but consider St. Cyril and Methodius: They took a similar plunge and forever influenced an entire region!

Stay safe out there, and happy learning! 🙂

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Hey, You Rock: Czech Compliments

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Dobré slovo i železná vrata otvírá. (“A nice word can open even an iron gate.”)

However, there are a few things you might want to avoid when complimenting a native Czech…in Czech.

First and foremost: We are very reserved and generally not good with compliments. We don’t know how to accept them, and we don’t compliment often (this is especially true of older people who would rather bite their tongue).

And guess what: that actually makes Czech compliments even more powerful. Just don’t be surprised when you get a blank look or an “Oh, this? This dress is actually really old, I found it in the dumpster and I don’t like it at all.”

My dear friend V. gained 70+ pounds during her pregnancy, and it took her a long time to start shedding the extra weight. At that time, I was away for over a month, and when I got back to the Czech Republic, she looked like a different person.

I started jumping around, screaming: “Oh my God, look at you, you look so freaking awesome!”

She looked at me and said: “Guess how many people have mentioned that. Just you.”

Czech people (again, this is true mostly of older people—communism wasn’t particularly healthy for one’s self-esteem) often take other people’s success as their own failure. Don’t be surprised if nobody blinks when you present them with your hand-made tiara made of gold you mined yourself in Alaska.

Let’s look at how to give iron-gate-opening compliments in Czech.

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Table of Contents

  1. You’re Beautiful!
  2. Great Job!
  3. You’re the Master of Czech Compliments: Social Skills
  4. How to Make Your Compliments Sound More Sincere
  5. How to Respond When Someone Pays You a Compliment
  6. Are You Flirting with Me?
  7. How CzechClass101.com Helps You Learn Czech in a Fun Way

1. You’re Beautiful!

Compliments

Complimenting someone’s looks seems to be reserved for women and flirting, and if you’re a guy, you probably won’t hear “Your hair looks good today, are you using a new shampoo?”

Czech men aren’t the most considerate gentlemen, and complimenting someone’s looks isn’t all that common (unless you’re flirting). However, if someone does tell you that you have the most beautiful eyes they’ve ever seen, they mean it.

The most common compliments in Czech include:

Jsi krásná. [feminine] “You’re beautiful.”
Jsi krásný. [masculine] “You’re handsome.”
Dneska máš super vlasy. “Your hair looks great today.”
Moc ti to sluší. “You look great.”
Máš krásný úsměv. [feminine + masculine] “Your smile is beautiful.”
Jsi moc zajímavá. [feminine] “You’re really interesting.”
Jsi moc zajímavý. [masculine] “You’re really interesting.”

1- Examples of the most commonly used adjectives (feminine / masculine / neuter):

  • Krásná / Krásný / Krásné (“Beautiful”)
  • Nádherná / Nádherný / Nádherné (“Gorgeous”)
  • Skvělá / Skvělý / Skvělé (“Great”)
  • Výborná / Výborný / Výborné (“Excellent”)
  • Milá / Milý / Milé (“Nice” or “Sweet”)
  • Roztomilá / Roztomilý / Roztomilé (“Cute”)
  • Fantastická / Fantastický / Fantastické (“Fantastic”)

You’re welcome to get more creative, of course.

You’ll find a guide on how to use Czech adjectives and a list of personality-describing adjectives on CzechClass101.com.

Want more? Watch the video below to learn the 100 adjectives every Czech beginner must know.

    → You can simply say “I love” or “I like” when complimenting someone’s looks or clothes.

Líbí se mi tvoje boty! “I like your shoes!”
Miluju tvoje vlasy! “I love your hair!”
Moc se mi líbí tvůj styl! “I really like your style!”

2. Great Job!

Woman Giving a Thumbs Up

Offering Czech compliments on professional success is a little more common, and people will appreciate your recognition—whether they just landed a huge deal or baked the world’s most perfect bread. However, your Czech colleagues or friends might respond with something like: “That was nothing.” Don’t take it personally, please.

That’s just how we roll.

Here are the most common work-related compliments in Czech:

Dobrá práce! “Good job!”
Skvělá práce! “Great job!”
To se ti vážně povedlo! “You did really good!”
Gratuluju! “Congratulations!”

3. You’re the Master of Czech Compliments: Social Skills

Social skills (and complimenting them in others) are the secret weapon of every successful person. You might be a genius scientist or an heir to the world’s biggest empire, but if you don’t know how to talk to people, it’ll be much harder for you to live up to your full potential.

If you’re looking for inspiration, I suggest you czech out How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. I promise this book will change your outlook on human interaction, and it’ll help you deal with seemingly hard situations.

But you don’t always want to be complimenting someone’s glossy hair or major business deals, right?

These are the most common Czech compliments you might want to use at parties, family gatherings…or when you just want to win friends:

Mluvíš jako rodilý mluvčí! “You speak like a native!”
Moc si vážím tvé pomoci. “I really appreciate your help.”
Jsi vážně moc milá/milý. [feminine / masculine] “You’re really kind.”
Moc jsi mi pomohl/a. “You helped me a lot.”

1- Complimenting on Food

This, my friend, is the most useful list of compliments in Czech.

Czech people love talking about food and movies (and other people).

When complimenting on food:

  • Vynikající. (“Delicious.”)
  • Chutné. (“Tasty.”)
  • Výborné. (“Great.”)
  • Velmi dobré. (“Very good.”)

Tohle jídlo je opravdu vynikající. “This is a very delicious meal.”
Tohle je opravdu moc dobrý koláč. “This is a very good pie.”
Tohle kuře je vynikající. “This chicken is delicious!”
To je výborná polévka! “This is a great soup.”
Vypadá to skvěle! “It looks fantastic!”
Nádherně to voní. “It smells great.”

You might also want to check out this guide on Speaking Perfect Czech at a Restaurant.

2- Sentence Structure

    → When complimenting on a skill, the simplest sentence structure is:

Example:

  • Skvěle vaříš. (“You cook great.”)
  • Nádherně kreslíš. (“You draw beautifully.”)
  • Krásně zpíváš. (“You sing beautifully.”)
    → When complimenting on a trait, you’ll follow the SVO sentence structure:
    1. Personal pronoun
    2. Conjugated verb
    3. Adjective

Example (feminine/masculine):

  • Ty jsi vtipná/vtipný. (“You are funny.”)
  • Ty jsi klidná/klidný. (“You are calm.”)
  • Ty jsi statečná/statečný. (“You are brave.”)

This list of the 50 most-used Czech verbs might be helpful when getting ready to be the start of the party!

5. How to Make Your Compliments Sound More Sincere

Women Talking

Let’s just go over how to avoid giving empty and fake compliments: Be honest, shower your companion with sincere appraisal, but don’t overdo it.

Here’s how to compliment someone in Czech:

  • Be honest. If there’s nothing to compliment, keep your mouth shut.
  • Look them in the eyes.
  • Be ready for a rather cold response.

Oh yes, Czechs love to demean themselves, and you’ll often hear something like this:

  • To nic nebylo. (“That was nothing.”)
  • Nemyslím si, ale díky. (“I don’t think so, but thanks.”)
  • Ty jsi lepší. (“You are better.”)
  • Tohle? To je hodně staré. (“This? This is very old.”)

6. How to Respond When Someone Pays You a Compliment

Positive Feelings

1- Thank them.

Please don’t deny the appraisal; Czech people don’t compliment often, and when they do, they mean it!

  • Děkuju! (“Thank you!”)
  • Díky! (“Thanks!”)
  • Moc děkuju! (“Thank you very much!”)
  • Vážím si toho. (“I appreciate it.”)
  • Prosím. (“You’re welcome.”) [to be used after receiving a “Thank you.”]
  • Moc to pro mě znamená. (“It means a lot to me.”)

2- Return the favor.

Responding with another compliment in Czech is a great way to make people feel good about themselves (which will make them like you).

  • Ty také! (“You too!”)
  • Já taky děkuju! (“Thank you too!”)

Example:

Compliment Response
Máš moc hezké šaty.
“You have a very nice dress.”
Děkuju, ty také!
“Thank you, you too!”
Moc jsi mi pomohl, díky.
“You helped me a lot, thank you.”
Ty mně také!
“You helped me too!”

7. Are You Flirting with Me?

Couple Flirting

There’s a very thin (and blurry) line between being nice and hitting on someone.

    → Being the “cold” and “distant” people that we are, some folks might take your compliments the wrong way.

Complimenting someone’s looks (eyes, smile, or even a perfume) is very personal, and many people might find it inappropriate.

Just to illustrate this:

My mom told me she’s flirting with her English teacher. I was genuinely impressed and asked what’s been going on. She said: “I texted him and wished him a happy birthday.”

That’s it.

I don’t mean to scare you, of course. Saying “You are beautiful,” in Czech sounds lovely to most people (an accent is always cute, isn’t it?); however, it would be best for you to stick with less-personal compliments and focus on their achievements:

  • “This is a wonderful pie!” (To je vynikající koláč!)

Or skills:

  • “Your handwriting is gorgeous.” (Tvoje písmo je nádherné.)
    → Don’t get too personal too soon.
    → Complimenting someone’s looks might be intimidating and feel just “too much.”

1- How to Compliment a Czech Girl

Czech chicks are used to hearing cheesy compliments, or no compliments at all.

So, pretty much any nice thing you say will be met with great enthusiasm and appreciation.

Save the personal compliments for later and try to enchant her with your amazing observation skills. Be unique: mention her voice, her achievements, her green shoelaces…anything but her eyes or figure.

Feel free to use our list of 15 compliments everyone wants to hear! Happy complimenting!

8. 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! Are there any compliments in Czech you still want to learn? We’ll do our best to help you out!

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Get Angry in Czech with Phrases for Any Situation!

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Anger is a natural response to pain of some sort; when you’re angry, you’re angry with a cause and want someone to pay! It’s so much harder when you’re traveling, because your routines are off-kilter, there’s culture shock to deal with and the smallest problems can seem overwhelming. How do you handle someone who’s just pushed your last button?

At home, we often have a go-to person who is good at calming us down, but emotions are tricky to deal with in a foreign country. Sometimes people may treat you unfairly, but you’re completely baffled as to why. You have to remember that people in Czech Republic think differently to how you do and it’s not impossible to inadvertently cause offense. Don’t stress about it too much, because you’ll adapt! Once you feel at home in Czech Republic and people get to know you, it will be easy to flow with the local rhythm and handle tensions well.

This brings us to two obvious reasons why you should learn some angry phrases in Czech: first, so you can understand when you’ve upset a Czech person, and second, to have the vocabulary to tell a person off when they absolutely have it coming. Not only will you be far more likely to solve the problem if you know some appropriate angry Czech phrases, but you’ll probably earn some respect, too! At CzechClass101 we’re ready to help you articulate those feelings.

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Table of Contents

  1. Czech phrases to use when you’re angry
  2. Feeling negative in Czech
  3. Conclusion

1. Czech phrases to use when you’re angry

Complaints

Okay, so you’ve had a very frustrating day at your new teaching job in Czech Republic and all you want to do is chill on your bed with ice-cream and a Nook Book, but you come home to find your landlord in your apartment, apparently doing an inspection of your personal possessions. How do you handle it? Do you have an angry Czech translation for “What the heck are you doing?”

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about confronting someone in their own country, it’s to press the pause button on my reactions and think first! Is my first thought worth expressing? Sometimes, you need to think like a chess player: if I make this move, what will happen next?

It’s always better to think ‘win-win’ in Czech Republic. A good tactic is to keep a mental note of your personal speed limit before engaging. After all, you want a positive outcome!

So, do you know how to say “I am angry” in Czech? You will – CzechClass101 is about to teach you how to get mad! Here are fifteen great angry phrases in Czech.

1- It’s none of your business. – To není tvoje věc.

As a foreigner in Czech Republic, you’ll be a topic of interest. While most folks understand boundaries, there’s always that one individual who doesn’t!

Sometimes you feel that a person is getting way too involved in your affairs, and this expression is a commonly-used one for letting them know that. If said calmly and firmly, while looking them in the eye, it should do the trick and even earn you some respect.

Angry Blonde Girl Holding Up Her Hands to Warn Someone Away

2- I’m upset. – Jsem naštvaná.

I find this phrase useful for times when I need to express annoyance to someone I can’t afford to lose my temper with. A boss, for instance. As long as you say it without yelling, this can be a polite way of letting someone know that you are feeling bad and that you want those feelings validated. No matter what has happened, the result is that you are troubled and need some time to get over it. Depending on how you say it, “I’m upset” can also be a subtle invitation for the other party to address the problem.

3- You’re not listening to me. – Ty mě neposloucháš.

Isn’t this the most frustrating thing? You’re in a situation where you’re telling someone why you’re mad at them, but they just won’t look at the story from your point of view. Rather than resort to bad language, try to convince them to take a breather and hear you out. This expression is a great way to ask someone to stop talking and to listen to you properly.

Asian Couple Fighting Head-to-Head, Woman Blocking Her Ears

4- Watch your mouth. – Pozor na pusu.

Where have you heard this before? Let your mind go back to all the times you were cheeky and disrespectful in your youth… that’s right – it was your parents! If you’re on the receiving end, this angry phrase means that you said something you shouldn’t have. It has an authoritative, challenging tone and it implies that there could be consequences if you don’t stop.

So, when can you use it? Well, be careful with this one; it may very well get you in trouble if not used with caution. It can also be seen as very rude if used on anyone you don’t actually have authority over!

5- That’s enough. – To stačí.

Depending on your tone of voice when you say this, you could be calmly telling someone to stop doing what they’re doing, or you could be sternly ordering them to stop. In Czech, as in English, tone is key when it comes to making yourself understood. Just don’t be saying this to anyone, as it carries an authoritative tone and would be seen as rude if said to an older person.

Angry School Mistress Shaking a Ruler As If Reprimanding

6- Stop it. – Přestaň.

One of the more common imperatives in any language, this is a basic way to warn somebody that you don’t like what they’re doing and want them to stop. You can use it in most situations where a person is getting under your skin. Often, “Stop it” precedes some of the weightier phrases one resorts to if the offender doesn’t stop and anger escalates. For this reason, I always add a “Please” and hope for the best!

7- Cut it out. – Zkrať to.

I think parents and teachers everywhere, throughout time, have heard variations of this expression of annoyance for as long as we’ve had tweens and teens on Earth! It’s a go-to command, thrown about frequently between siblings and peers, to stop being irritating. You’d generally use this on people you consider your relative equals – even though in the moment, you probably consider them low enough to stomp on!

8- What the heck are you doing? – Co to sakra děláš?

Here’s an interjection for those instances when you can scarcely believe what you’re seeing. It denotes incredulity ranging from mild disbelief to total disgust or dismay. You would typically use this when you want an action to stop immediately, because it’s wrong – at least, in your perception of things.

It may be worth remembering that the English word “heck” doesn’t have a direct translation in Czech – or in other languages, for that matter; most translations are more accurately saying “What the hell.” We say “heck” in English as a euphemism, but that word is thought to come from “hex” – an ancient word for “spell” – so I don’t know which is better!

9- Who do you think you are? – Kdo si myslíš že jsi?

I avoid this expression as it makes me nervous! It’s quite confrontational. I’m reminded of the time a clerk in a busy cellular network service store was being rude to me and a rich-looking man came to my rescue, aiming this phrase at the clerk loudly and repeatedly. At first, I was relieved to have someone on my side, but I quickly grew embarrassed at the scene he was causing.

Using this phrase has a tendency to make you sound like you feel superior, so take it easy. The irony, of course, is that someone who provokes this response is taking a position of authority or privilege that they aren’t entitled to! Now you look like two bears having a stand-off.

They call this an ‘ad hominem’ argument, meaning the focus has shifted from attacking the problem, to attacking the person. So, is it a good phrase to use? That’s up to you. If you’re in the moment and someone’s attitude needs adjusting – go for it!

Man and Woman Arguing, with White Alphabet Letters Coming from the Man’s Mouth and White Question Marks Above the Woman

10- What?! – Co?!

An expression of disbelief, this is frequently said mid-argument, in a heated tone, and it means you cannot believe what you’re hearing. In other words, it conveys the message that the other person is talking nonsense or lying.

11- I don’t want to talk to you. – Nechci s tebou mluvit.

This is a great bit of vocab for a traveler – especially for a woman traveling solo. Whether you’re being harassed while trying to read your Kindle on the train, or hit on by a drunk man in a bar, chances are that sooner or later, you will encounter a character you don’t wish to speak to.

The most straightforward way to make the message clear is to simply tell them, “I don’t want to talk to you”. If you feel threatened, be calm and use your body language: stand straight, look them in the eye and say the words firmly. Then move away deliberately. Hopefully, they will leave you alone. I’d go so far as to say learn this phrase off-by-heart and practice your pronunciation until you can say it like a strong modern Czech woman!

Highly Annoyed Redhead Girl Holding Up Her Hands As If to Say “Stop!”

12- Are you kidding me? – Děláš si ze mě srandu?

To be ‘kidding’ means to joke with someone in a childlike way and it’s used both in fun and in anger. Like some other expressions, it needs context for the mood to be clear, but it pretty much conveys annoyed disbelief. You can use it when a person says or does something unpleasantly surprising, or that seems unlikely to be serious or true. It’s a rhetorical question, of course; try to familiarize yourself with how it sounds in Czech, so next time it’s aimed at you, you don’t hunt your inner Czech lexicon for an answer!

Dark-haired Girl Giving a Very Dirty Look, with One Hand on Her Hip and Holding a Gift Box with Apparent Disgust

13- This is so frustrating. – Je to tak frustrující.

Another way of showing someone you have an intense battle going on inside, is to just tell them you’re terribly frustrated and feeling desperate to find a solution. Use this expression! It can be a useful tool to bring the other person into your headspace and maybe even evoke some degree of empathy from them. More polite than many others, it’s a sentence that seems to say, “I beg you to work with me so we can resolve this!”

Asian Man Yelling, Bent Forward, with His Hands Held Up Next to His Head

14- Shut up. – Drž hubu.

The use of the phrase “shut up” to signify “hold one’s tongue” dates back to the sixteenth century and was even used by Shakespeare as an insult – with various creative twists! It’s been evolving ever since and there are variations in just about every language – proving that no matter where you come from, angry emotions are universal!

One example of old usage is a poem Rudyard Kipling wrote in 1892, where a seasoned military veteran says to the troops: “Now all you recruities what’s drafted to-day, You shut up your rag-box an’ ‘ark to my lay.”

Well, when I was twelve and full of spirit, I was taught that nice girls don’t say this. “Shut up” is an imperative that’s considered impolite; it’s one of those expressions people resort to when they either can’t think of better words to use, or simply can’t bear to listen to any more nonsense. Either way, it’s at the lower end of the smart argument scale. Like all angry phrases, though, it does have its uses!

15- So what? – No a co?

When you don’t believe the other person’s defense argument legitimizes or justifies their actions, you might say these words. Basically, you’re telling them they need to come up with better logic!

Another time you could use this one, is when you simply don’t care for someone’s criticism of you. Perhaps you don’t agree with them, or they’re being unfair and you need to defend your position. “So what?” tells them you feel somewhat indignant and don’t believe you’re in the wrong.

2. Feeling negative in Czech

Negative Feelings

What was the most recent negative emotion you felt? Were you nervous about an exam? Exhausted and homesick from lack of sleep? Maybe you felt frightened and confused about the impact COVID-19 would have on your travel plans. If you’re human, you have days when you just want the whole world to leave you alone – and that’s okay!

When you’re feeling blue, there’s only so much body language can do. Rather than keeping people guessing why you’re in a bad mood, just tell them! Your Czech friends and colleagues will be much more likely to give you your space (or a hug) if they know what’s wrong. Not only that, but it’s nice to give new friends the opportunity to be supportive. Bring on the bonding!

The fastest way to learn to describe negative feelings in Czech Republic, is to get into the habit of identifying your own mood daily in Czech. Here’s an easy way: in your travel journal, simply write down the Czech word for how you feel each morning. You can get all the words directly from us at CzechClass101. Remember, also, that we have a huge online community if you need a friend to talk to. We’ve got you!

3. Conclusion

Now that you know how to express your bad feelings in Czech, why not check out some other cool things on our site? You can sign up for the amazing free lifetime account – it’s a great place to start learning!

And really – make the most of your alone time. After all, it’s been proven that learning a new language not only benefits cognitive abilities like intelligence and memory, but it also slows down the brain’s aging. So, on those days when you just need to be away from people, we have some brain-boosting suggestions that will lift your spirits:

  • Have you heard of Roku? A Roku player is a device that lets you easily enjoy streaming, which means accessing entertainment via the internet on your TV. We have over 30 languages you can learn with Innovative Language TV. Lie back and enjoy!
  • If you like your Apple devices, we have over 690 iPhone and iPad apps in over 40 languages – did you know that? The Visual Dictionary Pro, for example, is super fun and makes learning vocab easy. For Android lovers, we have over 100 apps on the Android market, too.
  • You can also just kick back on the couch and close your eyes, letting your headphones do the work with our audiobooks – great for learning the culture while you master the language. Similarly, if you’re more of a reader, we have some fantastic iBooks that are super interesting and fun for practicing your daily conversation skills.

Whatever your learning style (or your mood), you’ll find something that appeals to you at CzechClass101. Come join us!

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