2.1.3 Pronominal morphology
Rather than constituting an independent declensional type, Czech pronouns use endings from
both noun and adjective pardigms, and often can be said to have a mixed declensional type.
Personal, reflexive, and interrogative pronouns
All pronouns are inflected for case. Personal pronouns distinguish person and number and, in
the third person, gender as well. Personal and reflexive pronouns can occur as enclitics, and the
singular and reflexive pronouns have for the genitive, dative, and accusative cases two forms, a
long one restricted to non-enclitic uses, and a short stressless enclitic one.
First person
singular plural
long non-enclitic short enclitic
N já my
G mne mě nás
D mně mi nám
A mne mě nás
L mně nás
I mnou námi
Second person
singular plural
long non-enclitic short enclitic
N ty vy
G tebe tě vás
D tobě ti vám
A tebe tě vás
L tobě vás
I tebou vámi
Ty and its forms are used only in addressing a single intimate friend, relation, or a child; vy is
used both for singular as well as for plural formal address.
Third person
singular plural
masculine neuter feminine
long short long short
N on ono ona oni, ony, ona
G jeho ho jeho ho jí jich
D jemu mu jemu mu jí jim
A jeho, jej jej, ho, -ň je ji je
L něm něm ní nich
I jím jím jí jimi
The initial j- of the genitive, dative, accusative, and instrumental is replaced by n- ([­])
whenever a pronoun is preceded by a preposition; because the locative case appears only with
prepositions, pronouns are cited only in their n- forms. Masculine accusative jej can serve in
both enclitic and non-enclitic roles; -ň is uncommon and restricted only to position after
prepositions ending in a vowel: naň onto him/it. In the plural, gender is distinguished only in
the nominative case: oni masculine animate, ony masculine inanimate + feminine, ona neuter.
Reflexive pronoun
long short
G sebe sebe
D sobě si
A sebe se
L sobě sobě
I sebou sebou
Because the reflexive pronoun typically refers to a nominative subject, it does not have a
nominative (or vocative) form.
Interrogative pronouns: kdo who and co what
N kdo co
G koho čeho
D komu čemu
A koho co, -č
L kom čem
I kým čím
Like -ň, -č appears only after prepositions ending in a vowel: Není zač Dont mention it (lit:
Not for what). Syntactically kdo is always masculine animate singular and co is neuter singular,
regardless of the gender and number of actual referents.
Possessive pronouns
Possessives exist for all persons, numbers, and genders represented by personal pronouns and
the personal interrogative. Můj my and tvůjĘthy, your share one declension type, and náš
our and váš your share another declension type. Jeho his/its and jejich their are
indeclinable. Její her and čí whose decline like soft stem adjectives.
můj my (tvůjĘthy, your has the same endings)
singular plural
masculine feminine neuter masculine feminine neuter
můj má, moje mé, moje mé, moje
mí, moji
mé, moje má, moje
G mého mé mého mých
D mému mé mému mým
mou, moji mé, moje mé, moje mé, moje má, moje
L mém mé mém mých
I mým mou mým mými
In the nominative and accusative cases for feminine and neuter in the singular and all genders in
the plural, there are variant contracted (consisting of a single long vowel) and uncontracted
(consisting of oj + short vowel) forms; these forms are in free variation, although the contracted
forms are more frequent in writing and uncontracted ones are encountered more often in speech.
Note the length of the root vowel ů in the masculine singular můj, tvůj, which is short o in all
other uncontracted forms.
náš our (váš your has the same declension)
singular plural
masculine feminine neuter masculine feminine neuter
náš naše naše naše
naše naše
G našeho naší našeho našich
D našemu naší našemu našim
naši naše naše
L našem naší našem našich
I naším naší naším našimi
Note that náš, váš as well as the following demonstrative and other pronouns (and numerals
jeden one and všechen all) show a mixed declensional type, with both short (for direct cases)
and long (for oblique cases) endings. This type has nominal endings for the nominative and
accusative cases (with the exception of the masculine animate Asg, which follows the genitive),
and adjectival endings for the remaining cases. Additionally it is characteristic that endings for
masculine/neuter singular NGDAL, feminine singular NA, and all plural cases use short
vowels; but endings for masculine/neuter singular I and feminine singular GDLI follow the
long adjectival pattern. Note also the length of the root vowel in masculine singular N náš, váš,
which is short in all other forms (sám oneself, presented below, shows the same shortening).
Demonstrative pronoun
ten this, that, the
singular plural
masculine feminine neuter masculine feminine neuter
ten ta to ty
ty ta
G toho té toho těch
D tomu té tomu těm
tu to ty ty ta
L tom té tom těch
I tím tou tím těmi
Ten participates in various compounds with affixed -to here, tam- there, -hle look
(emphatic), in which ten is declined as expected, among them: tento this (...here), tamten that
, tenhle this/that , tamhleten that (there emphatic). Ten can also be reduplicated (in
which case it is declined in both positions), as in tenhleten this/that (emphatic).
Relative and other pronouns
Jenž is a bookish relative pronoun which is declined like náš with the final -ž appearing after the
desinences. The adjective který which, that, who is usually used in place of jenž. Sám oneself
is declined as a hard stem adjective (with a stem of sam-) in all oblique cases and has the
following endings in the nominative and accusative:
singular plural
masculine feminine neuter masculine feminine neuter
sám sama samo samy
samy sama
samu samo samy samy sama
Všechen all has a larger and unique paradigm (note the e > i vowel shift in the Nplmasc
singular plural
masculine feminine neuter masculine feminine neuter
všechen všechna všechno/
všechny všechna
G všeho vší všeho všech
D všemu vší všemu všem
A všechen všechnu/
všechny všechna
L všem vší všem všech
I vším vší vším všemi
In the singular všechen combines with mass nouns, in the plural with count nouns. The neuter
singular všechno/vše (and its case forms) is used impersonally to mean everything; the
masculine animate plural všichni (and its case forms) has a similar force, invoking everybody.
The following forms in the paradigm have alternates (used more frequently in speech) in -cek,
-ck-: všechen > všecek, všechna > všecka, všechno > všecko, všechnu > všecku, všechny >
všecky, všichni > všicci.
2.1.4 Numeral morphology
The following table provides a representative sample of cardinal and ordinal numerals.
ordinal cardinal
first, one první jeden, jedna, jedno
second, two druhý dva, dvě
third, three třetí tři
fourth, four čtvrtý čtyři
fifth, five pátý pět
sixth, six šestý šest
seventh, seven sedmý sedm
eighth, eight osmý osm
ninth, nine devátý devět
tenth, ten desátý deset
eleventh, eleven jedenáctý jedenáct
all other teens -áctý -áct
twentieth, twenty dvacátý dvacet
thirtieth, thirty třicátý třicet
fortieth, forty čtyřicátý čtyřicet
fiftieth, fifty padesátý padesát
all other tens -átý -át
hundredth, hundred stý sto
two hundredth, two hundred dvoustý dvě stě
three hundredth, three hundred třístý tři sta
four hundredth, four hundred čtyřstý čtyři sta
five hundredth, five hundred pětistý pět set
all other hundredths, hundreds -istý -- set
thousandth, thousand tisící tisíc
millionth, million milióntý milión
billionth, billion miliardový miliarda
Cardinal numerals
All cardinal numerals are inflected for case, oneĘand twoĘadditionally distinguish gender, and
one further distinguishes number formally as well (with a meaning one pair or set of).
jeden one
singular plural
masculine feminine neuter masculine feminine neuter
jeden jedna jedno jedny
jedny jedna
G jednoho jedné jednoho jedněch
D jednomu jedné jednomu jedněm
jednu jedno jedny jedny jedna
L jednom jedné jednom jedněch
I jedním jednou jedním jedněmi
dva two
masculine feminine +
NA dva dvě
GL dvou
DI dvěma
Oba both shares this paradigm.
tři three and čtyři four
NA tři čtyři
G tří čtyř
D třem čtyřem
L třech čtyřech
I třemi čtyřmi
The numerals five- nineteen; the eight multiples of ten, twenty - ninety and all inverted
(one-word) numerals have zero-ending in the NA and -i for all oblique cases (GDLI). Noninverted
(two-word) numerals ending in -1, -2, -3, and -4 have the same endings as the
numerals would have individually. Two-digit numerals above the teens can be expressed either
by listing the tens (twenties, etc.) plus ones (twos, etc.) or by use of an inverted compound
consisting of one through nine + -a- + twenty through ninety; thus twenty-three can be
realized as dvacet tři or třiadvacet.
five pět pěti
eight osm osmi
nine devět devíti
ten deset deseti/desíti
eleven jedenáct jedenácti
eighteen osmnáct osmnácti
twenty dvacet dvaceti
eighty osmdesát osmdesáti
twenty-five (inverted) pětadvacet pětadvaceti
twenty-five dvacet pět dvaceti pěti
eighty-six (inverted) šestaosmdesát šestaosmdesáti
eighty-six osmdesát šest osmdesáti šesti
twenty-one (inverted) jednadvacet jednadvaceti
twenty-one dvacet jedna dvaceti jedn- (endings as
thirty-two (inverted) dvaatřicet dvaatřiceti
thirty-two třicet dva třiceti dv- (endings as
The following four numerals have other declensions:
sto hundred is a hard stem neuter noun; note dvě stě two hundred;
tisíc thousand is a soft stem masculine noun with alternate Gpl forms tisíc and tisíců;
milión million is a hard stem masculine noun;
miliarda billion is a hard stem feminine noun.
All four of these numerals observe the syntax of numeral phrases when combined with other
numerals: pět set five hundred, tři tisíce three thousand, šest miliónůĘsix million (see
section 3.2 for an explanation of numeral syntax).
Ordinal numerals
All ordinal numerals are declined like adjectives; three are of the soft stem type: první first,
třetí third, and tisící thousandth. Aside from the suppletive první first and druhý second,
all cardinals are formed by adding -ý, but cardinals in -e/ět have ordinals in -átý. With compound
numerals all items are ordinal: stý sedmdesátý pátý one hundred seventy fifth, however this
usage is quite bookish and it is more normal to use cardinal forms for numerals above ninety,
followed by ordinal forms for the final two digits: sto sedmdesátý pátý. As with cardinal
numerals, two-digit numerals between 21 and 99 (excluding the even tens, which consist of
only one word) have two possibilities: both dvacátý třetí and třiadvacátý express twenty-third.
Indefinite numerals
Kolik how many, několik several, tolik so many, and mnoho much, many all follow the
same paradigm, with the desinence -a in all oblique cases. Other indefinite numerals, such as
málo little, few, trochu some, hodněĘa lot, are adverbial and uninflected.
Other numerals
Collectives tend to be limited to numerals five or lower. There are three common types, all of
which are most frequently used with groups of people: dvoje two, troje three; čtvero four,
patero five; dvojice two, trojice three, čtveřice four, pětice five. Collections of types of
substances can be named by dvojí two types of and trojí three types of (both declined as soft
stem adjectives).
Multiples have four types of expression. Both -krát (an adverb indicating repetition) and
-násobný (an adjective with corresponding adverb in -ě with nuances of intensity) yield times,
and both can combine with definite and indefinite numerals: třikrát three times, mnohokrát
many times; trojnásobný three times, kolikanásobný how many times. Dvojitý double and
trojitý triple (both adjectives) are isolates with no correlates for higher numerals. For the Xth
is an adverb formed from the ordinal prefixed in po- with an ending of -é/í: podruhé for
the second time
, potřetí for the third time.
Aside from half, fractions are formed by adding -ina to the stem (sometimes modified) of
the cardinal numeral in the denominator: sedmina seventh, desetinaĘtenth, setina onehundredth
(but note třetina third, which is formed from the ordinal stem). The resulting
feminine hard stem noun is then modified by the cardinal numeral of the numerator according to
the customary rules of numeral syntax. Half has a variety of realizations, among them: půl,
půlka, polovina, polovice, polovic; fourth has alternative forms: čtvrtina, čtvrt, čtvrtka.
2.1.5 Verbal morphology
The categories expressed by verbal morphology include aspect (perfective, imperfective), mood
(indicative, imperative, conditional), voice (active, passive), tense (non-past, past), person (first,
second, third), gender (masculine animate and inanimate, feminine, neuter), and number
(singular, plural); motion verbs additionally distinguish the sub-aspect of directionality
(unidirectional/temporal, non-unidirectional/non-temporal). The maximum paradigm of a typical
verb contains the following forms, all of which are marked for aspect (and directionality, if a
motion verb) and the indicated categories:
an infinitive
a non-past conjugation (person and number)
a past conjugation (person, gender, and number)
a conditional conjugation (person, gender, and number)
an imperative conjugation (person and number)
participles (active and passive, further declined as adjectives)
gerunds (tense, gender, and number)
A deverbal noun can be formed quite regularly from the passive participle by adding -í, creating
an -í type neuter noun (compare the passive participle pit drunk and the noun pití drinking).
The verb být be is both highly irregular and essential to the paradigms of all other verbs,
since many of its forms serve as auxiliary forms. Here are the forms of být:
Present Past Future Conditional
1sg jsem byl/-a/-o jsem budu byl/-a/-o bych
2sg jsi byl/-a/-o jsi/s budeš byl/-a/-o bys
3sg je byl/-a/-o bude byl/-a/-o by
1pl jsme byli/-y/-a jsme budeme byli/-y/-a bychom
2pl jste byl/-a/-i/-y/-a jste budete byl/-a/-i/-y/-a byste
3pl jsou byli/-y/-a budou byli/-y/-a by
The past tense of all verbs is formed by using first- and second- person present tense forms of
být (jsem, jsi -- sometimes reduced to just s, jsme, and jste) as enclitic auxiliary forms, in
combination with the -l forms of a verb. The -l forms of the main verb (for example,
byl/Đa/Đo/Đi/Đy) indicate number and gender, specifically: masculine and feminine for 1sg and
2sg; masculine, feminine, and neuter for 3sg; masculine animate and masculine
inanimate/feminine for 1pl; masculine singular (formal address), feminine singular (formal
address), masculine animate and masculine inanimate/feminine plural for 2pl; and masculine
animate, masculine inanimate/feminine, and neuter for 3pl. The future tense of být is used as an
auxiliary verb to form the future tense with imperfective infinitive verb forms. Like the past
tense, the conditional uses the -l forms of the main verb in combination with an enclitic auxiliary
which is part of the být paradigm: bych, bys, by, bychom, byste, by.
Except for the biaspectual verbs (such as jmenovat name, organizovat organize), all verb
forms unambiguously express aspect, and this has a direct influence on tense. Perfective verbs
always denote some change of state. Very often, they designate an accomplishment which has
been carried out. The process of carrying out this accomplishment is expressed by an
imperfective verb (almost always with the same stem) which then forms an aspectual pair with
its corresponding perfective. But imperfective verbs also frequently designate an unchanging or
static state, or an activity (which may consist of repeated acts) which does not move toward an
implicit goal. These imperfectives do not enter into aspectual pairs with perfectives; they are
imperfectives tantum. On the other hand, perfectives which designate only change of state and
involve no particular carrying out of an accomplishment do not enter into aspectual pairs with
imperfectives; they are perfectives tantum.
Tense is formally limited to a binary opposition of non-past vs. past, and the imperfective
additionally forms a future with the future tense of the verb být be used as an auxiliary.
Past Present Future
past conjugation:
He called.
(discrete past act)
non-past conjugation:
He calls.
(discrete narrated act)
non-past conjugation:
He will call.
(discrete future act)
past conjugation:
He was calling/called.
(durative or repeated
past act)
non-past conjugation:
He is calling/calls.
(durative or repeated
present act)
future auxiliary +
Bude volat.
He will be calling/will

(durative or repeated
future act)
Perfective verbs are incompatible with the future auxiliary. The prefective present has a
restricted range of uses, and appears most often in the narration of a past event in the historical
present, in stage directions, and in instructions. Conjugation classes
Czech verbal inflection is rife with morphophonemic alternation, analyzable in terms of
stem types (cf. Townsend 2000 & 1990). All verbs are either suffixed or non-suffixed and are
identified by suffix or final root segments. For each subtype an example verb is cited in its basic
stem form (which is either the infinitive or the 3pl non-past, whichever presents a longer stem
after the desinence is removed), and the corresponding form is also given (the 3pl if the
infinitive is basic, the infinitive if the 3pl is basic). The basic stem form identifies the subtype of
the verb, thus providing the information necessary to generate the entire inflectional paradigm.
Notes on the pecularities of each paradigm type are provided. PPP refers to passive participle.
In the remainder of 2.1, all regular verbs are cited in their basic form only.
Czech verbs can be divided into three general categories:
Type I: Suffixed verbs with 1sg -ám
Type II: Suffixed verbs with 1sg -ím
Type III: Suffixed and non-suffixed verbs with 1sg -u/-i, which are further divided
according to the final segment of the stem into stems ending in a nasal, j, or obstruent.
The following is a list of the types of verbs with an example for each type. The example
verb is listed in both its infinitive and 3pl forms; the form that is listed first is the basic form.
The conjugation lists: all forms of the non-past; the masculine singular past (-l form); the
masculine singular past passive participle (or verbal noun if there is no past passive participle);
and the singular imperative. Variant forms are listed where they exist. C indicates consonant;
V indicates vowel, and n/s indicates non-syllabic. A hyphen indicates that a given form
does not exist without a prefix. For a detailed description of special features of the verb types,
see Townsend 2000.
TYPE I - SUFFIXED with 1sg -ám
Subtype Example Verb Conjugation
aj dělají, dělat
do, make
dělám, děláš, dělá, děláme, děláte, dělají; dělal; dělán;
TYPE II - SUFFIXED with 1sg -ím
i soudit, soudí
soudím, soudíš, soudí, soudíme, soudíte, soudí; soudil;
souzen; sud
ě trpět, trpí
trpím, trpíš, trpí, trpíme, trpíte, trpí; trpěl; trpěn; trp
ěj umějí, umět
know how
umím, umíš, umí, umíme, umíte, umějí; uměl; umění; uměj
TYPE III - SUFFIXED with 1sg -u/-i
Subtype Example Verb Conjugation
ova sledovat, sledují
sleduji, sleduješ, sleduje, sledujeme, sledujete, sledují;
sledoval; sledován; sleduj
a nonlabial
mazat, mažou
mažu/maži, mažeš, maže, mažeme, mažete, mažou/maží;
mazal; mazán; maž
a labial sypat, sypou/sypají
sypu/sypám, sypeš/sypáš, sype/sypá, sypeme/sypáme,
sypete/sypáte, sypou/sypají; sypal; sypán; syp/sypej
n/s a zvát, zvou
zvu, zveš, zve, zveme, zvete, zvou; zval; zván; zvi
n/V/s a brát, berou
beru, bereš, bere, bereme, berete, berou; bral; brán; ber
ř třít, třou/trou
třu/tru, třeš, tře, třeme, třete, třou/trou; třel; třen; tři
Cnou tisknout, tisknou
press, print
tisknu, tiskneš, tiskne, tiskneme, tisknete, tisknou; tiskl;
tištěn/tisknut; tiskni
Vnou minout, minou
minu, mineš, mine, mineme, minete, minou; minul; -minut;
TYPE III - NONSUFFIXED with 1sg -u/-i
Subtype Example Verb Conjugation
Nonsuffixed Stems Ending in a Nasal
n 1 začnou, začít
začnu, začneš, začne, začneme, začnete, začnou; začal;
začat; začni
n 2 tnou, tít/tnout
tnu, tneš, tne, tneme, tnete, tnou; tal; tat; tni
jm 1 zajmou, zajmout
zajmu, zajmeš, zajme, zajmeme, zajmete, zajmou; zajal;
zajat; zajmi
jm 2 sejmou,sejmout/
snít(i) take off
sejmu, sejmeš, sejme, sejmeme, sejmete, sejmou;
sejmul/sňal; sejmut/sňat; sejmi
Nonsuffixed Stems Ending in a j
yj kryjí, krýt
kryji, kryješ, kryje, kryjeme, kryjete, kryjí; kryl; kryt; kryj
ij pijí, pít
piji, piješ, pije, pijeme, pijete, pijí; pil; pit; pij
uj plují, plout
float, sail
pluji, pluješ, pluje, plujeme, plujete, plují; plul; plutí; pluj
aj hrají, hrát
hraji, hraješ, hraje, hrajeme, hrajete, hrají; hrál; hrán;
ěj (í) klejí, klít
kleji, kleješ, kleje, klejeme, klejete, klejí; klel; -klet; klej
ěj (á) hřejí, hřát
hřeji, hřeješ, hřeje, hřejeme, hřejete, hřejí; hřál; hřát/hřán;
Nonsuffixed Stems Ending in an Obstruent
d/t vedou, vést
vedu, vedeš, vede, vedeme, vedete, vedou; vedl; veden; ved
z/s nesou, nést
nesu, neseš, nese, neseme, nesete, nesou; nesl; nesen; nes
h/k pečou, péci
peču/peku, pečeš, peče, pečeme, pečete, pečou/pekou; pekl;
pečen; pec/peč
Irregular verbs:
spát; spím, spíš, spí, spíme, spíte, spí; spal; spaní; spi sleep.
chtít; chci, chceš, chce, chceme, chcete, chtějí; chtěl; chtěn, chtějĘwant has a stem alternation of
chc- vs. cht-.
jít; jdu, jdeš, jdeme, jdete, jdou; šel; -jití; jdiĘwalk has a non-past stem of jd- and a suppletive
past stem: m sg šel, f sg & n pl šla, n sg šlo, etc.
jet; jedu, jedeš, jede, jedeme, jedete, jedou; jel; -jetí; jed ride is a d/t subtype which truncates
the stem in infinitive and past forms.
číst; čtu, čteš, čte, čteme, čtete, čtou; četl; čten; čti read is a d/t subtype with a mobile vowel.
bát se; bojím se, bojíš se, bojí se, bojíme se, bojíte se, bojí se; bál se; --; boj se fear and stát;
stojím, stojíš, stojí, stojíme, stojíte, stojí; stál; stání; stůj stand are suffixed ěĘsubtype
verbs with contracted infinitive and past forms.
stát se; stanu se, staneš se, stane se, staneme se, stanete se, stanou se; stal se; -stání; staň se
become is a non-suffixed verb with an n in the non-past forms.
mít; mám, máš, má, máme, máte, mají; měl; mání; měj have has variations in the vowel of
the stem.
mlít; melu, meleš, mele, meleme, melete, melou; mlel; mlet; mel grind is an unusual nonsuffixed
moci; můžu/mohu, můžeš, může, můžeme, můžete, můžu/mohou; mohl; -možen; -- is most
similar to the h/k subtype with a short infinitve and unusual stem alternations.
jíst; jím, jíš, jí, jíme, jíte, jedí; jedl; jedení; jezĘeatĘand vědět; vím, víš, ví, víme, víte, vědí; věděl;
vědění, věz know share irregularities in the non-past and imperative.
hnát; ženu, ženeš, žene, ženeme, ženete, ženou; hnal; hnán; žeň chase is a n/s a type with a
non-past stem of žen- and a past stem of hna-.
vzít; vezmu, vezmeš, vezme, vezmeme, vezmete, vezmou; vzal; vzat; vezmi take is a nasal type
with unusual stem alternations.
Imperative formation
Synthetic imperatives (2sg, 1pl, 2pl) are derivable from the non-past conjugation via the
following algorithm:
I. for Type I verbs, the imperatives are -ej, -ejme, -ejteĘ(cf. dělej, dělejme, dělejteĘdo)
II. for other verbs, take the 3pl non-past form and remove the final -ou or -í.
A. if the resulting form ends in a single consonant, the imperative endings are -0Ę(zero),
-me, -te: (cf. sleduj, sledujme, sledujte follow; trp, trpme, trpte suffer
i. if the final consonant is t, d, n, k, or h, it undergoes Type 1 alternation:
imperatives ved, vedme, vedte lead; the velars have alternate forms with Type 2 alternations
as well, cf. pec/peč, pecme/pečme, pecte/pečte bake.
ii. if the stem vowel is long, shorten it: vrátit return has vrat, vratme, vratte;
koupit buy has kup, kupme, kupte; přiblížit approach has přibliž, přibližme, přibližte.
B. if the resulting form ends in a consonant cluster, the imperative endings are -i, -ěme,
-ěte, which condition Type 1 alternations (cf. zvi, zvěme, zvěte call).
Third person imperatives consist of the particle at or necht and the appropriate non-past
form: at/necht píšou let them write!. The particles at/necht can also be used with first and
second person non-past forms: At neuděláš žádné chyby! Dont make any mistakes!, At ho
už víckrát neuvidím! May I never see him again!.
Gerunds and active participles
In addition to the forms cited above, the paradigm of a verb may include a present gerund, a past
gerund, and both present and past active participles.
The present gerund is formed using the following endings, depending upon the conjugation
type and the gender and number:
Type I and Type II verbs Type III verbs
m: -e dělaje m: -a veda
f or n: -íc dělajíc while doing f or n: -ouc vedouc while leading
pl: -íce dělajíce pl: -ouce vedouce
The present active participle is formed by adding the soft adjectival ending -í to the
feminine/neuter form of the present gerund: dělající (the one who is) doing; vedoucí (the one
who is) leading, boss
The past gerund is formed by removing the -l of the past tense and adding these endings: m
-v, f or n -vši, pl -vše; the past active participle is formed by adding -vší. This yields forms like
dělav, dělavši, dělavše having done, dělavší (the one who has) done. The -v in these forms is
omitted for obstruent stems: přived, přivedši, přivedše having led (to a place), přivedší (the
one who has) led (to a place)
. Negation
Verbs are negated by prefixing ne- to the non-past or past conjugated form: volám, volat, volal
call > nevolám, nevolat, nevolalĘnot call. In the imperfective future the ne- is prefixed to the
future auxiliary: budu volat I will be calling > nebudu volat I wont be calling. Otherwise neis
never prefixed to auxiliaries. The verb být be has an irregular negative 3sg form: není is
38 Aspectual derivation
Most simplex verbs are imperfective (volají call), but some are perfective (dají give).
Aspectual derivation is achieved by means of both prefixation and suffixation. Prefixation may
additionally modify lexical meaning.
Formation of perfectives
Perfectives can be formed by adding a prefix (do-, na-, nad-, o-, ob-, od-, po-, pod-, pro-, pře-,
před-, při-, roz-, s-, u-, v-, vy-, vz-, z-, za-) or the suffix -nou-/-nu- to a verbal stem:
volají > zavolají call
děkovat > poděkovat thank
dají give > přidají add to
křičet > křiknout > vykřiknout yell.
Note, however, that there are many verbs suffixed in -nou-/-nu- that are imperfective (therefore
the presence of this suffix does not necessarily predict that a verb will be perfective): táhnout
pull, drag and tisknout press are both imperfective.
Formation of imperfectives
There are four imperfectivizing suffixes which are added to the stem of a prefixed or simplex
perfective stem: -aj-, -vaj-, -ova-, and -ěj-. The first three are associated with stem vowel
lengthening (vowel lengthening often occurs, but is not entirely predictable), the fourth with
stem vowel shortening. The -nou-/-nu- suffix is dropped in imperfective derivation.
Suffix -aj- produces Type I aj imperfectives from the following verb subtypes and is associated
with lengthening of the preceding vowel for Type III obstruents (e > é, o > á):
Base Type Example Verb Derived Imperfective
Type III: ending in obstrents vylezou crawl out
pomohou help
Type III: n/s a, ř (insert í/ý)
Type III: ending in nasals
(insert í)
vyberou choose
začnou begin
Type II: nou podniknout undertake podnikají
Suffix -vaj- produces Type I aj imperfectives from the following verb subtypes and is
associated with lengthening of preceding vowels (a > á, ě > í, i > í, y > ý, u > ou):
Base Type Example Verb Derived Imperfective
Type III: ending in j přežijí live through přežívají
Type I: aj vydělají earn vydělávají
Type III: ova zpracovat process zpracovávají
Type III: a, n/s a přičesat comb přičesávají
Suffix -ěj- produces Type II ěj imperfectives from the following verb subtypes and is associated
with Type 2 consonant alternations and the lengthening of preceeding vowels
(a > á, o > á, i > í, u > ou):
Base Type Example Verb Derived Imperfective
Type II: i odpustit forgive odpouštějí
Type III: ij propijí squander on drink propíjejí
Suffix -ova- produces Type III ova imperfectives from the following verb subtypes, and is
associated with Type 2 consonant alternations (for Type I verbs) and shortening of root vowels
(for verbs of all Types):
Base Type Example Verb Derived Imperfective
Type II: i, ě odsoudit sentence odsuzovat
Type III: nou přetáhnout extend přetahovat
Type III: a dokázat prove dokazovat
A few aspectual pairs are suppletive or display unusual variations:
Gloss Imperfective verb Perfective verb
take brát, berou vezmou, vzít
put, lay

(prefix)-kládají (prefix)-ložit
tell říkají říci, řeknou
write -pisovat -psat, -píší
eat -jídají -jedí, -jíst
Prefixed motion verbs use specialized variants of their roots when deriving imperfectives; this is
discussed in
A frequentative suffix -vaj- can be added to some imperfective stems; it lengthens the vowel in
the preceding syllable (or replaces it with á) and forms Type I aj verbs with a frequentative
Imperfective Verb Frequentative Verb
chodit walk chodívají walk habitually
sedět sit sedávají sit habitually
nosit carry nosívají carry habitually
být be bývají be habitually
The verb být be can take the reduplicated form of the frequentative suffix, producing bývávat,
as in Bývávalo dobře Things used to be good. Motion verbs
A small group of verbs involving physical movement through space exhibit a further aspectual
distinction within the imperfective catgeory, distinguishing between motion along a route at a
given time (expressed with the determined stem, which signals unidirectionality and
unitemporality) and motion that is random or habitual (expressed with the non-determined stem,
which signals non-unidirectionality and non-unitemporality). This distinction is crisper for
prototypical motion verbs (walk, lead, carry, ride, etc.) than for less prototypical verbs
(flow, roll, pull, drag). A salient morphological characteristic of motion verbs is their
tendency to use specialized variants of their roots when forming derived imperfectives. A
perfectivizing prefix can be added to the determined stem, creating a perfective verb with no
marking for the determined/non-determined distinction (since this exists only for imperfective
verbs). The corresponding imperfective is typically formed from the non-determined (instead of
the determined) stem, often derived by -ěj-, with the expected mutation of final consonant and
lengthening of root vowel. Thus, for example, the prefix při- can be added to the determined
stem jdou, jít walk to create the perfective verb přijdou, přijít arrive (on foot). The
corresponding imperfective is the derived imperfective stem: přicházejí, přicházet (derived from
chodí, chodit instead of jdou, jít). Three verbs (marked with asterisks in the table) do not form
the prefixed perfective directly from the determined stem, but use a related stem in -nout for this
purpose. Thus arrive (running) is: perfective přiběhnout and imperfective přibíhají (but note
that fly can append prefixes to either -letět or -létnout).
Gloss Determined Stem Non-Determined
walk jdou, jít chodit -cházejí
ride jedou, jet jezdit -jíždějí
lead vedou vodit -vádějí
carry (on foot) nesou nosit -nášejí
carry (by

vezou vozit -vážejí
drive, chase hnát, ženou honit -hánějí
fly letět, *-létnout létají -létají or -letovat
run běžet, *-běhnout běhají -bíhají
drag vlečou, *-vléknout vláčet -vlékají
flow, run tečou těkají -tíkají
roll valit válet -valovat
pull táhnout tahají -tahovat
2.1.6 Uninflected parts of speech
Czech has several classes of words that are not inflected. These include all adverbs,
prepositions, conjunctions, particles, and interjections. We begin with a table of the prepositions
and the cases they use (an explanation of the syntactic use of case both with and without
prepositions appears in Chapter 3), followed by examples from each of the latter three
Prepositions and the Cases They Govern (Note that prepositions ending in a consonant may add
-e (less frequently -u); this phenomenon is described under Vowel Epenthesis in section 1.2.):
Genitive Dative Accusative Locative Instrumental
během during
bez without
blízko near
daleko far
dle according

do (in)to,

k to, toward
kolem around,

kromě except
mezi between
mimo besides
Genitive Dative Accusative Locative Instrumental

místo instead of
na to, for on, at
nad above
naproti opposite
navzdory in spite of
o for, against,

about, at,

ob every other
od from
okolo around
po up to, all

after, along,
over (a
each, by

poblíž near
pod under
under (rest)
podél along
podle according
to, along,

pro for, because

proti against,
compared to

před to the front
in front of
přes across,
over, in spite

při at, near,
with, in view

s off of,

capable of with
skrz through
u near, by, at
uprostřed in the
middle of

uvnitř inside
v into in
včetně including
vedle near, by,
Genitive Dative Accusative Locative Instrumental
next to

vně outside
vůči towards, in
the face of

vyjma except except
z out of,

za during behind,
(motion), by,

zpod from

Conjunctions: a and, ačkoliv (al)though, ale but, ani(ž) not even, až when, up until,
bud...(a)nebo either...or, i and (even), dokud until, jak how, jelikož since, jestli(že) if,
, kdežto whereas, když when, if, nebo or, nebot since, než than, until, nýbrž
rather, instead, pokud to the extent that, if, poněvadž since, protože because, přestože
(al)though, zda(li) whether, že that.
Particles: ale well, copak how can it be?, hele hey, look!, kéž if only, konečně
ultimately, no well, nu(že) well, přece nevertheless, after all, tedy/teda well, then, třeba
perhaps, for example, vždyt after all.
Interjections: bác boom, cák drip, frr zoom, fuj yuck, hepčí achoo, hurá hooray,
chřup crunch, křáp crash, mňam yum, prásk slam, tú, tú honk, vid right?, vrz
squeak, žbluňk splash, žuch kaboom.