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Czech Conjunctions

The structure of Czech complex or compound sentences (sentences that consist of two or more clauses or "sub-sentences") and the relationships between the clauses within a sentence determine the use of commas in those sentences. There are strict rules for using commas in Czech and you will often see a comma placed in front of a conjunction.

Example of a simple sentence:
Rád jsem vás poznal. ("It was nice meeting you.")

Example of a complex sentence:
Rád jsem vás poznal a doufám, že se opět brzy uvidíme.
("It was nice meeting you and I hope that we will see each other again soon.") - this sentence consists of three clauses (sentences within that sentence), which are separated by the conjunctions "a (and)" and "že (that)".

Examples of Czech conjunctions:

a - and
Never preceded by a comma, unless required by sentence structure or when part of a composite conjunction, such as "a proto".
Ivana je doma a Michal je venku.
Ivana is at home and Michael is outside.

i - and (usually connects words rather than sentences, e.g. in "both...and...")
Usually not preceded by a comma, unless required by sentence structure or when part of a composite conjunction, such as "i když".
Ivana i Michal jsou doma.
Both Ivana and Michael are at home.

aby - to, in order to, so that
Always preceded by a comma.
Ivana šla domů, aby mohla studovat.
Ivana went home so that she could study.
For more information, see Constructions with "aby"

ale - but
Always preceded by a comma.
Ivana je doma, ale Michal je venku.
Ivana is at home but Michael is outside.

že - that
Always preceded by a comma.
Michal říká, že Ivana je doma.
Michael says that Ivana is at home.

protože/neboť (bookish) - because
Always preceded by a comma.
Ivana je doma, protože venku prší.
Ivana is at home because it is raining outside.

když - when
Always preceded by a comma, except when used as the composite conjunction "i když" - the comma is then in front of the "i".
Ivana je doma, když venku prší.
Ivana is at home when it rains outside.

až - as late as/not before/when (in the future)
Always preceded by a comma when connecting two sentences.
Ivana půjde ven, až přestane pršet.
Ivana will not go out before it stops raining.
Ivana will go out when it stops raining.

jestli/jestliže (bookish)/pokud - if/whether/provided that
Always preceded by a comma.
Ivana půjde ven, jestli/jestliže/pokud přestane pršet.
Ivana will go out if it stops raining.

kdyby - if, in case
Always preceded by a comma.
Ivana by šla ven, kdyby přestalo pršet.
Ivana would go out if/in case it stopped raining.

nebo/anebo/či (bookish) - or
May or may not be preceded by a comma (rules apply).
Chci mluvit s Ivanou nebo s Michalem.
I'd like to speak with Ivana or with Michael.

buď..., nebo.../anebo... - either... or...
Always separated by a comma.
V sobotu je Ivana buď doma, nebo/anebo (je) venku.
On Saturdays, Ivana is either at home or (she is) outside.

(a) proto - (and) that is why, (and) so, (and) for that reason
Always preceded by a comma.
Venku prší, (a) proto je Ivana doma.
It is raining outside, (and) so/that is why Ivana is at home.

i když/přestože - although/in spite of
Always preceded by a comma.
Ivana je venku, i když/přestože prší.
Ivana is outside although it is raining.

ani..., ani... - neither..., nor...
Always separated by a comma.
Ani Ivana, ani Michal nejsou doma.
Neither Ivana nor Michael are at home.

nejen - ale i / jak - tak: both - and / not only - but also
Always separated by a comma.
Doma je nejen Ivana, ale i Michal.
Both Ivana and Michael are at home.

který/jenž (bookish) - who/which/that
Always preceded by a comma, both change with gender and declension.
Ivana má knihu, kterou dostala od Michala.
Ivana has a book which/that she got from Michael.

aniž - without ...ing
Always preceded by a comma.
Ivana odešla, aniž by se rozloučila.
Ivana left without saying goodbye.

než - than
Always preceded by a comma when connecting sentences. Not preceded by a comma when connecting words.
Ivana přišla dřív, než jsme čekali.
Ivana arrived earlier than we expected.
Ivana je starší než Michal.
Ivana is older than Michael.

 
     
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