to be – být + to have + mít (A0-A1)

Hello, all students and readers, 

As you might already know, Czech is a pretty whimsical language which uses many, many, MANY endings.

That might seem overwhelming but it doesn’t have to be! 

Firstly, you definitely don’t need to know all the endings to start communicating in Czech. 

Actually, you need to know just very few transformations for the start. For example a conjugation of a couple of basic and commonly used verbs. 

Let’s have a look at those few verbs which conjugation might be useful to know for the beginning: 

First of all is definitely “to be” – “být”

Let’s use a nice and neat table to see the changes well: 

I – jsemwe – my jsme
you (singular, informal) – tyjsi you (plural, formal) – vyjste
he – onjethey (masculine, mixed group) – onijsou
she – onajethey (feminine, masculine inanimate group) – ony jsou
it – ono/tojethey (neutral group) – onajsou

So using these forms in phrases would look like this: 

I am David. – Já jsem David. 

You are David. – Ty jsi David. 

He is David. – On je David. 

She is Anna. – Ona je Anna. 

It is a house. – To je dům. 

We are people. – My jsme lidé.

You are people. – Vy jste lidé. / You are Mr. Novak. – Vy jste pan Novák. 

They are people. – Oni jsou lidé. 

They are sisters. – Ony jsou sestry.

They are babies. – Ona jsou mimina. 

ATTENTION: Very often the pronouns, mainly for the first and second person are not used in Czech, so the phrases above ? can frequently look like ?:   

I’m David. – Jsem David. 

You’re David. – Jsi David. 

He is David. – On je David. 

She is Anna. – Ona je Anna. 

It is a house. – To je dům. 

We’re people. – Jsme lidé.

You’re people. – Jste lidé. / You’re Mr. Novak. – Jste pan Novák. 

They are people. – Oni jsou lidé. 

They are sisters. – Ony jsou sestry.

They are babies. – Ona jsou mimina. 

Also “to be” – “být” is often used with demonstrative pronouns in third person

This is a house – To je dům

They are my brothers. – To jsou moji bratři. 

This is a woman. – To je židle. 

They are his sisters. – To jsou jeho sestry. 

These people are your parents. – Ti lidé jsou tvoji rodiče. 

That is an apple. – To/Tamto je jablko. 

Another important and commonly used verb is “to have” – “mít

Let’s have a look at its forms in a table: 

I – mámwe – my máme
you (singular, informal) – tymáš you (plural, formal) – vymáte
he – onthey (masculine, mixed group) – onimají
she – onathey (feminine, masculine inanimate group) – ony mají
it – ono/tothey (neutral group) – onamají

What differs from “to be” – “být” is that “to have” – “mít” needs a direct object which is expressed by accusative case. Therefore, it is needed to bear in mind that the noun which serves as an object might be (don’t have to be) in another form compared to “to be.”  

Let’s compare below ⤵️:

This is a dog. – To je pes. ✖️ I have a dog. – Já mám psa.

This is related to the function and the character of the verb “to have” – “mít” and accusative case. It is not related to the person and the subject in general.

The subject does not impact the object. The subject impacts the verb. ⤵️

I have a dog. – mám psa. (Mám psa.)

You have a dog. – Ty máš psa. (Máš psa.)

He has a dog. – On psa.

She has a dog. – Ona psa.

It has a dog. – Ono/To psa.

We have a dog. – My máme psa.(Máme psa).

You have a dog. – Vy máte psa.(Máte psa.)

They have a dog. – Oni/Ony/Ona mají psa.

To sum up the last piece of information a little for a general usage:

The subject influences the verb. The character of the verb influences the form of the object IF it is not accompanied by a related preposition – otherwise prepositions play the most important role in choosing the right object form.

That was a brief summary and adding a new piece of information, but don’t worry, we will not discuss prepositions and related noun forms in this text. It will be something waiting for us in the future.

Thank you for reading, keep learning and don’t forget – learning a language is a long and hard process. Don’t worry if it takes you some time and effort to understand – it’s totally natural.

?Therefore, carry on and be kind to yourself! ?