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Sintaksa

Word order is basically free, but the preferred (and stylistically most neutral) word order is subject – verb – object (SVO). It is not mandatory, but note that placing the object before the subject will not help in making clear the meaning. This is not the case of sentences where either a personal pronoun or the pronoun kto is either subject or object, because personal pronouns and kto have their own accussative forms, so the meaning is always clear.

Modifiers usually precede the noun. This is not mandatory either, but it is the most neutral and the clearest way of building a sentence.

There are two types of questions:

  • Yes-no questions can be made in three different ways:

    • either it differs from a normal declarative sentence only by intonation:

      – Otec kupil knigu? „Has father bought a book?”

    • or this sentence is preceded by the particle či:

      – Či otec kupil knigu?

    • or it is marked by the question particle li placed right after the focus point of the question, usually the verb:

      – Kupil li otec knigu?

  • Other questions start with an interrogative pronoun or adverb, placed at the beginning of the sentence:

    – Koju knigu kupil otec? „Which book has father bought?”\ – Gde otec kupil tu knigu? „Where did father buy that book?”\ In this type of sentences, the meaning is usually made clear by the case that's been used:\ – Koja žena ljubi togo muža? „Which woman loves that man?” (woman = subject, man = object)\ – Koju ženu ljubi toj muž? „Which woman does that man love?” (man = subject, woman = object)

  • If necessary, it is possible to use passive sentences that are always clear:

    – Koja žena jest ljubjena od togo muža? „Which woman is loved by that man?”

Final clauses are translated by means of že or da followed by the conditional:

  • Turisti posětet Niderlandiju, že by fotografovali tulipany. „Tourists visit the Netherlands to take photos of the tulips.”
  • Turisty posětili Niderlandiju, že by fotografovali tulipany. „Tourists visited the Netherlands to take photos of the tulips.”
  • Ona prinosi jabloka, da by děti byli zdrave. „She brings apples so that the kids will be healthy.”
  • Ona prinosila jabloka, da by děti byli zdrave. „She brought apples so that the kids would be healthy.”

The passive voice can be used, but if so, it should be done with caution. A sentence like: „Pica je dělana“ or „Pica je dělajema“ „Pizza is being made“ is grammatically completely correct. Still, it can better be avoided, because a construction like that sounds clumsy to those Slavs who are not accustomed to using the verb „to be“ very often, especially in the present tense. Besides, while it is perfectly natural for part of the Slavic speakers, for others the past passive participle cannot be used for a present tense construction at all. Therefore, if the subject is known, it is better to utilise a normal active sentence. And if the subject isn't known, as in the case of our pizza, it is possible to use third person plural form without the subject: „Dělajut picu“ „They make pizza, one makes pizza, pizza is being made“. Even more common is a reflexive construction: Pica dělaje se, which literally means „Pizza is making itself“ and should be translated as „One makes pizza, pizza is being made“.