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Czech: question about pro-drop

I get it that we can drop Czech pronouns when not emphasizing: Jsem student. Jsi žák. Jsme studenti. Jste inženýři.

Things get confusing with on, ona, on, and to. Kdo je ten pán? Je nový profesor. (Is pro-drop ok here?)

I've also seen "je to nový profesor" (why is pro-drop not ok here? )

Another question: If "on" can be omitted, why can't "to" be omitted?

P. S. I read many related threads before posting! :)
This is a summary of my doubts after reading many other similar threads.

September 23, 2018



the mere inclusion of a pronoun does not automatically mean that it is not ok to drop it. in many situations it can go either way. in the answer about who the man is, i would actually prefer a pronoun (On je, To je, Je to), without claiming that it is mandatory.


I think you find it confusing because you think you cannot distinguish between male and female without using "on, ona"? If not, ignore - I might be getting it wrong. But you can always drop, because- 1) CZ forms distinguish gender - profesor (on) x profesorka (ona) 2) clear from context 3) you can ask for clarification :)

Je to nový profesor. You can also use. To je nový profesor. Je nový profesor. Nový profesor. All are equally good, Je to nový profesor being the most formal.

I hope this helps.


Nový profesor.

i think you dropped too much there and are left with a fragment.

also, it is not entirely true that you can always drop the pronoun in czech. specifically, when the subject of the verb is in focus because of the context (such as when contrasting the activities or states of two subjects), the pronoun becomes mandatory. consider:

  • Já jsem chytrá, ale ty jsi hloupý.

the first subject (já) could possibly be dropped (depending on further context outside the sentence that would somehow have backgrounded the speaker as a previously discussed item), but the mere presence of the first part of this sentence means that the second subject (ty) cannot be dropped.

i like this example much better than the related Já mám kufr, ale ona nemá. from p. 76 of Naughton's book.


svrsheque, thanks for the examples. Here's the context that's been bugging me for a while: -Kdo je ten chlapec? - Je to nový žák. Je velmi chytrý

Does that sound okay? (Using to first, but then dropping the pronoun when adding "je velmi chytrý")


@Pyroblast, thanks for the examples. Have a lingot.

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