Important verbs in Czech

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Learn and practice the following, frequently-used, Czech verbs. In many languages, the most important verbs are often completely irregular, and so must be learned individually and carefully. Many of these verbs, particularly být, are frequently used as auxillary verbs, and are thus doubly important.

Být - To Be[edit]

"To be" is the most irregular verb in the Czech language, as indeed it is in English and many other languages. It is also the most important, because it is used as an auxillary verb to form both the past and future tense, and features in other grammatical constructions as well.

Present conjugation[edit]

Být has an irregular present-tense conjugation, in that both the stem (js-) and the conjugal suffixes don't follow the any of the usual, regular rules for present conjugation in Czech.

1st person 2nd person 3rd person
Singular jsem = I am jsi = you are je = he/she/it is
Plural jsme = we are jste = you are jsou = they are

Past participle[edit]

byl, byla, bylo; byli, byly, byla. When talking about a singular subject, you need only know the (grammatical) gender of the subject...

Masculine Feminine Neuter
Singular byl = he was byla = she was bylo = it was

... but things are a little different when you want to say "they were".

Masculine animate Feminine &
masc. inanimate
Neuter
Plural byli byly byla

Future tense[edit]

budu, budeš, bude; budeme, budete, budou. For the future imperfect ("I will do such-and-such") aspect, one uses the infinitive (dictionary) form of the verb with the appropriate future tense form of být, which functions like the English future auxillary verb "will".

1 2 3
Sing. budu = I will budeš = you will bude = he/she/it will
Plu. budeme = we will budete = you will budou = they will

Predictably, the future tense of být by itself, expresses "I/you/he/etc. will be".

Imperative mood[edit]

buď, buďte, buďme! There are three ways to order people about in Czech. When it comes to být, the stem for the imperative, buď-, is irregular. If you're talking to one person, you can use the second-person-singular: buď! If there are more than one person, or you wish to be more formal, use the plural: buďte! Finally, if you want to include yourself in the group, there's the first-person-plural: buďme!

Conditional mood[edit]

The conditional mood in Czech is constructed from the past participle and special forms of být. We use conditionals whenever we use the phrase "I would..." to say what might have occured had things been otherwise (had some condition prevailed). The most familiar and useful of conditional expressions is "I would like... ": Chtěl bych...

1 2 3
Sing. bych = I would bys = you would by = he/she/it would
Plu. bychom = we would byste = you would by = they would

Passive voice[edit]

One of two ways to form the passive voice in Czech involves the verb být. English speakers also use "to be" when forming a passive sentence, such as the following one. A passive sentence is formed from the approriate tense of být, followed by the passive participle of the main verb. Být does not itself have such a participle, as it cannot meaningfully be used in the passive voice.

Dávat - To Give[edit]

Present conjugation[edit]

1 2 3
Sing. dávám = I give dáváš = you give dává = he/she/it gives
Plu. dáváme = we give dáváte = you give dávají = they give

Past participle[edit]

Masculine
(animate)
Masculine
(inanimate)
Feminine Neuter
Sing. dával = he gave dával = it gave dávala = she gave dávalo = it gave
Plu. dávali dávaly dávaly dávala

Future tense[edit]

1 2 3
Sing. budu dávat = I'll give budeš dávat = you'll give bude dávat = he/she/it'll give
Plu. budeme dávat = we'll give budete dávat = you'll give budou dávat = they'll give

Dělat - To Do or Make[edit]

Dělat is not an irregular verb (is is in fact a class-V or á-type verb), but it is a very frequently used and useful one.

Present conjugation[edit]

1 2 3
Sing. dělám = I do děláš = you do dělá = he/she/it does
Plu. děláme = we do děláte = you do dělají = they do

Past participle[edit]

Masculine
(animate)
Masculine
(inanimate)
Feminine Neuter
Sing. dělal = he did dělal = it did dělala = she did dělalo = it did
Plu. dělali dělaly dělaly dělala

Future tense[edit]

1 2 3
Sing. budu dělat = I'll do budeš dělat = you'll do bude dělat = he/she/it'll do
Plu. budeme dělat = we'll do budete dělat = you'll do budou dělat = they'll do

Chtít - To Want[edit]

Present conjugation[edit]

1 2 3
Sing. chci = I want chceš = you want chce = he/she/it wants
Plu. chceme = we want chcete = you want chtějí = they want

Past participle[edit]

Masculine
(animate)
Masculine
(inanimate)
Feminine Neuter
Sing. chtěl = he wanted chtěl = it wanted chtěla = she wanted chtělo = it wanted
Plu. chtěli chtěly chtěly chtěla

Future tense[edit]

1 2 3
Sing. budu chtít = I'll want budeš chtít = you'll want bude chtít = he/she/it'll want
Plu. budeme chtít = we'll want budete chtít = you'll want budou chtít = they'll want

Jít & Jet - To Go[edit]

Present conjugation[edit]

1 2 3
Sing. jdu = I go jdeš = you go jde = he/she/it goes
Plu. jdeme = we go jdete = you go jdou = they go
1 2 3
Sing. jedu = I go jedeš = you go jede = he/she/it goes
Plu. jedeme = we go jedete = you go jedou = they go

Past participle[edit]

šel, šla, šlo; šli, šli, šla. Jít has an irregular set of past participles.

Masculine
(animate)
Masculine
(inanimate)
Feminine Neuter
Sing. šel = he went šel = it went šla = she went šlo = it went
Plu. šli šli šli šla

jel, jela, jelo; jeli, jely, jela. Jet has a rather more regular past tense.

Masculine
(animate)
Masculine
(inanimate)
Feminine Neuter
Sing. jel = he went jel = it went jela = she went jelo = it went
Plu. jeli jely jely jela

Future tense[edit]

půjdu, půjdeš, půjde; půjdeme, půjdete, půjdou. Jít like some other verbs expressing movement, possesses an irregular future tense, instead of using auxillary být. The future tense is constructed from the prefix pů-, and the present conjugation, as shown below.

1 2 3
Sing. jdu = I'll go jdeš = you'll go jde = he/she/it'll go
Plu. jdeme = we'll go jdete = you'll go jdou = they'll go

pojedu, pojedeš, pojede; pojedeme, pojedete, pojedou. Jet, similarly, posesses a future tense constructed from the present tense, preceded by the prefix po-.

1 2 3
Sing. pojedu = I'll go pojedeš = you'll go pojede = he/she/it'll go
Plu. pojedeme = we'll go pojedete = you'll go pojedou = they'll go

Mít - To Have[edit]

Present conjugation[edit]

1 2 3
Sing. mám = I have máš = you have má = he/she/it has
Plu. máme = we have máte = you have mají = they have

Past participle[edit]

Masculine
(animate)
Masculine
(inanimate)
Feminine Neuter
Sing. měl = he had měl = it had měla = she had mělo = it had
Plu. měli měly měly měla

Future tense[edit]

1 2 3
Sing. budu mít = I'll have budeš mít = you'll have bude mít = he/she/it'll have
Plu. budeme mít = we'll have budete mít = you'll have budou mít = they'll have