Czech adjectives end in long vowels and change according to the gender of the noun they are describing. There are four possible endings of adjectives in singular, all of which will be explained in this lesson.
The four endings are:
- -ý for masculine nouns
- -á for feminine nouns
- -é for neutral nouns
- -í for nouns across genders
Adjectives are always placed before the noun that is being described. Let’s take dobrý (good/tasty) as en example.
Another example can be shown at nový (new) adjective.
You will always learn new adjectives in the masculine form which is accepted as the basic form. Any dictionary as well as Czech Time will always state new adjectives with the -ý ending.
There are some common adjectives to work with.
Adjectives ending in -í
There are also adjectives ending in long i (referred to as -í). These are usually borrowed words from other languages, especially English, but can also be originally Czech.
-í ending adjectives are usually popular with students since the ending always stays the same no matter the gender of the noun. Look at the example with different words below:
In English, many adjectives can be formed from nouns, just like the word work (work schedule, work computer). However, it never works this way in the Czech language. The original noun is práce (f) and since all adjectives unconditionally have to end in a long vowel, the word has to be changed into the altered form pracovní. There is not a unified rule on how to form adjectives and all such words have to be learnt individually.
Gender words with adjectives
You can combine adjectives with gender words you learned in Lesson 1. The gender word (ten, ta, to) will always go first, followed by an adjective of your choice. Unlike English, you only use ten, ta, to when referring to something specific, usually something you can point at with your finger. You will learn more about this in the future.
- Ten hezký pes (the pretty dog)
- Ten starý slovník (the old dictionary)
- Ta dobrá kobliha (the good doughnut)
- Ta velká postel (the big bed)
- To rychlé kolo (the fast bicycle)
- To dlouhé pravítko (the long ruler)
- Ten striktní učitel (the strict teacher)
- To zahradní centrum (the garden centre)
Please remember that this whole lesson deals only with singular forms of adjectives. You will learn plurals later.