Style guide

1. Writing Style

Language General Style

  • Numbered and Bulleted Lists

Numbered lists

Numbered list items should be separated by periods. An initial capital is required for the first word of each item.

Bulleted lists

Bulleted lists generally fall into three categories. The examples below show the most common bulleted lists and how to punctuate and capitalize each one.

Unbroken syntax: no colon, no final punctuation of items, and items usually not capitalized. Example:

Příkaz slouží k

  • nastavení
  • přepracování
  • vymazání

Typical list: main clause followed by colon, possible final punctuation of items, items usually not capitalized. Example:

Tímto příkazem lze zajistit:

  • vymazání nepotřebných dat;
  • aktualizaci dat;
  • převod všech dat.

Complex list: main clause followed by colon, semicolon at the end of each item (except the last one which ends with a period), and items usually not capitalized. Example:

Pomocí maker lze:

  • kombinovat příkazy a zajistit automatické spouštění určitých funkcí;
  • ukládat data do souborů.

2. Language Rules

Capitalization Rules

Use initial caps for:

  • proper names and official names
  • all other words when at the beginning of a title (in a cross-reference, for instance); in Czech, you don’t use initial capitals for each word of a title
  • all words at the beginning of a sentence
  • Your/you is translated with lower case vy/váš. The capitalization of these pronouns might be required in formal, direct facing letters or e-mails.

Numbers, Date and Address Formats


In Czech, spaces are used as thousand separators; comas are used as decimal separators: Example:

EN; 1,000,500.866

CS: 1 000 500,866

For numbers smaller than 1, you must always put 0 before the decimal comma – 0,25; 0,33


In Czech, the week starts on Monday and ends on Sunday. Weekdays are often abbreviated using a 2-letter form: po, út, st, čt, pá, so, ne.


Czechs use military time. If you have to use “a.m.” and “p.m.” as in English use “dop.” and “odp.”.

Do localize 12-hour (i.e., “a.m.”/ “p.m.”) format to 24-hour format. Use a colon (:) to separate hours and minutes. Do not use leading zeroes for single digits. Example:

nine o’clock in the morning > 9:00

nine o’clock in the evening > 21:00


Months are not capitalized in Czech. Example:

EN: Printed in Germany – March 1999

CS: Vytištěno v Německu – březen 1999

Standard Date Format

The English date format “mm/dd/yy” becomes “d.m.y” in Czech.

English date format

Czech date format







If the month name is used instead of the month number, a period must be put after the day. The month is in genitive case.

30. června 1990

In English, the following date formats are most frequently used:

April 18, 2001


In Czech these dates are as follows:

18. dubna 2001


Standard Phone Number Format

The most common separation of phone numbers is three digits, example:

+420-777 605 111.

Standard Address Format

In Czech, the most frequent address format is:

title, first name, last name

street name, street number/apartment number

zip code, city , city area number


Ing.                                    Václav Novák

                                            Jezerní 1324/5

                                            430 00 Liberec 1

The word “state” of the US address should be translated as “stát”.

Example: stát Colorado


Currency and Units of Measurement


The currency symbol should be placed after the number and must be separated from it by a space. Examples:

4 138,23 Kč, 100 €, 1 000 $, 1 000 EUR, 1 000 USD, 10 000 eur,

10 000 dolarů

Units of Measurement

In Czech single space separates the unit of measurement from the number. Example:

English:                       3MB

Czech:                          3 MB

Punctuation Rules

In typography, commas, periods, question marks, exclamation marks, colons, semicolons, and ellipsis immediately follow the word and are not preceded by a blank space.

Note:       A dash (-) is separated from the words before and after it by a space.

Quotation Marks

Use curly Czech characters: The opening quotation mark has the format 99 below; the closing one 66 above (i.e., „“). The codes for these are Alt+0132 for the opening and Alt+0147 for the closing quotation mark in Windows/Word and &#8222 for the opening and &#1220 for the closing quotation mark in HTML/S-Tagger.

Example: Viz tabulku „Prodejní a servisní střediska HP“

Parentheses and Brackets

Punctuation marks appear after the closing parenthesis. If parentheses contain a complete sentence, the punctuation marks appear before the closing parenthesis. Example:

Řídicí program tiskárny HP obsahuje čtyři složky (Papír, Kvalita tisku, Písmo a Možnosti zařízení), ve kterých můžete provádět změny různých nastavení.

Or:            Řídicí program tiskárny HP obsahuje čtyři složky.


One space follows a period at the end of sentence. Periods are not preceded by spaces (as well as other punctuation marks)

Hyphen, En Dash, Em Dash

In general, all Czech words are hyphenated by syllables: tis­kár­na.

Another occurrence for hyphens in the Czech language is compound nouns. They are put together with no space in between. Example: velko­výroba

Use an en-dash (CtrlNum -) or a semicolon between phrases. Also see the rule for spacing before & after punctuation marks.

Never use the em-dash (—) in Czech; always use an en-dash separated by spaces.


Semicolons are not used so often as in English, Consider using two sentences or similar structure

Comma, Colon, Exclamation Mark, Question Mark

Commas, colons, exclamation marks, question marks are not preceded by spaces (as well as other punctuation marks)

Quotation Marks

Czech quotation marks are to be preferred unless there is an explicit need for technical quotes. „“ are the Czech quotation marks

Spacing Before and After Punctuation

In Czech, end-of-sentence periods are followed by one blank space.

Capitalization After Punctuation

  • The word following a period is always capitalized.
  • The word following a question mark or exclamation mark is capitalized except when inside the same sentence. Example:

    Pokud obdržíte zprávu ,,Ukončit program?“,  stiskněte …

  • The word after a colon is capitalized when it starts a new sentence. It is not capitalized when it introduces an enumeration or a bulleted list. Example:

    Tento program vám umožňuje: posílat sdělení, tisknout dokumenty …

  • Words are not capitalized after semicolons. Semicolons can be used to separate items in long enumerations or bulleted lists.

Special Symbols

Usage of %

In Czech % (without a space between symol and number) means an adjective, example:

5% (pětiprocentní) in the sentence: you shoud add 5% solution of Ethanol to the reaction mixture...

While 5 % (with space) means twenty five percent as a noun pět procent, example:

The final concentration of Ethanol in the mixture was 5 %.

3. References

  1. Client Style Guides: Please refer to the specific instructions of the project, which should contain information on how to obtain client-specific style guides for the target language.
  2. Other Reference Material: (Czech Language Institute)