6.4 – going by vehicle – the verbs jezdit and jet

6.4 – going by vehicle – the verbs jezdit and jet

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6.4 – going by vehicle – the verbs jezdit and jet
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6.4 – going by vehicle – the verbs jezdit and jet

In this lesson we are going to learn about two more verbs, jezdit ‘to go by vehicle (indet.)’ and jet ‘to go by vehicle (det.)’. As the definition implies, these verbs are used to describe motion by vehicle (as opposed to chodit and jít, which are used for motion on foot).

jezdit (like the verb chodit)  is an indeterminate verb of motion, while the verb jet (like jít) is a determinate verb of motion.






to go (by foot)



to go (by vehicle)

Motion to Close-by Places

How strict are Czechs in differentiating going by foot and going by vehicles? In general the foot verbs are used for motion that was definitely on foot, but also for motion to places that are close by. A good rule of thumb is that you can use is that if the place is close by and you don’t wish to explicitly state that the motion was by vehicle.

Far away Places

On the other hand, for far away places it is quite necessary to use the vehicle verbs. If you use the foot verbs in these instances it would sound quite odd to the Czech ear and quite literally imply that you went there by foot, i.e. – imagine you say that you went to Germany and used the one of the foot verbs. To a Czech, this would sound as if you walked all the way to Germany!

Using jezdit and jet

So how are these verbs used? Let’s take a closer look at the difference between them:

indeterminate (jezdit) – these verbs are called indeterminate verbs because they either have many instances of a goal or lack a goal altogether

determinate (jet) – these verbs are called determinate verbs because they have a single one-time goal.

  • habitual acts of going – use the verb chodit when you are describing frequent or habitual trips.

A                                B

Často jezdím do Olomouce.

‘I often go (by vehicle) to Olomouc.’

Dřív jsme  jezdili na chatu každý víkend.

‘I used to go to the pub twice a week.’

  • single trip – use the verb jít when you describing a single trip from point A to point B.

A                             B

Dneska jedeme do Prahy.

We’re going to Prague today.

Včera jsme jeli do Brna.

Yesterday we went to Brno.

Jedeme teď do Ostravy.

‘We’re going to Ostrava now’

We will talk more about the 2nd meaning at a later time, for now you don’t have to worry about it.

  • goal-less motion

Taxikáři obvykle jezdí celý den po městě.

‘Taxi drivers usually drive around the city all day.’

Image used in this document comes from this source.