Slovene Nouns with Special Declension

An interesting concept about Slovene nouns is its declension. As we know, nouns are divided into three genders (masculine, feminine and neuter) and three grammatical numbers (singular, dual and plural). There are six “general” skloni, which are applied to most nouns. Some exceptions are declined by genders. And some nouns are even more special and have their own declension.

Here’s a list of some special nouns that falls into the last category. Blue marks the “roots”, red marks the “regular endings” and green marks the difference.

Dan – Day

Dan is a noun that is used on a daily basis and it is masculine. Some declension has two versions – a short and a long, and both are correct. The longer version, dan becomes dnev and it follows the general endings.

dan(E) ednina(D) dvojina(M) množina
Sklon 1dandnevadveni
Sklon 2dneva / dne dni / dnevovdni / dnevov
Sklon 3dnevudnema / dnevomadnem / dnevom 
Sklon 4dandneva / dnidni / dneve
Sklon 5dnevudneh / dnevihdneh / dnevih
Sklon 6dnevom / dnemdnema / dnevomadnevi / dnemi

Človek – Man

Človek is a very interesting masculine noun as its singular and plural form are very different. With človek, it follows the normal declension, while with ljudi, it doesn’t.

človek(E) ednina(D) dvojina(M) množina
Sklon 1človekčlovekaljudje
Sklon 2človekaljudiljudi
Sklon 3človekučlovekomaljudem
Sklon 4človekačlovekaljudi
Sklon 5človekuljudehljudeh
Sklon 6človekomčlovekomaljudmi

Gospa – Lady

The noun gospa is feminine and quite funny noun because despite the six declensions and three grammatical numbers, the variation is slight. You might notice, when the regular ending should be -i, it is e.

gospa(E) ednina(D) dvojina(M) množina
Sklon 1gospagospegospe
Sklon 2gospegospagospa
Sklon 3gospegospemagospem
Sklon 4gospogospegospe
Sklon 5gospegospehgospeh
Sklon 6gospogospemagospemi

Otrok – Child

Most endings for the masculine noun otrok follow the general declension, but there is a little deviation.

otrok(E) ednina(D) dvojina(M) množina
Sklon 1otrokotrokaotroci
Sklon 2otrokaotrokotrok
Sklon 3otrokuotrokomaotrokom
Sklon 4otrokaotrokaotroke
Sklon 5otrokuotrocihotrocih
Sklon 6otrokomotrokomaotroki

Hči – Daughter

Hči is another special feminine noun, where hči becomes hčer. Some endings follow the general declension, but not entirely.

hči(E) ednina(D) dvojina(M) množina
Sklon 1hčihčerihčere
Sklon 2hčerehčera / hčerhčera / hčer
Sklon 3hčerihčeramahčeram
Sklon 4hčerhčerihčere
Sklon 5hčerihčerahhčerah
Sklon 6hčerjohčeramahčerami

Mati – Mother

Mati is the noun for mother and it is obviously feminine, even if it does not end with -a. Endings are the same as in general but mati becomes mater. (Bonus: mami means mommy and is never declined.)

mati(E) ednina(D) dvojina(M) množina
Sklon 1matimaterimatere
Sklon 2materematermater
Sklon 3materimateramamateram
Sklon 4matermaterimatere
Sklon 5materimaterahmaterah
Sklon 6materjomateramamaterami

Other nouns also have special declension, but the only difference is that some are only plural nouns.

Oko – Eye and Oči – Eyes

Oko is the singular form for eye and it is neuter – but it can be dual, plural. While oči is the plural form for eyes and feminine – but it is only plural. Why there are two versions? I have no idea. (If any of you know, please tell me! An example of the use would be:

  • Imam rdeče oko. (I have one red eye.)
  • Imam suhi očesi (I have two dry eyes).
  • Krompir ima tri očesa (The potato has three eyes.)
  • Imate zdrave oči. (You have healthy eye – a healthy pairs of eyes.)

oko(E) ednina(D) dvojina(M) množina
Sklon 1okoočesiočesa
Sklon 2očesaočesočes
Sklon 3očesuočesomaočesom
Sklon 4okoočesiočesa
Sklon 5očesuočesihočesih
Sklon 6očesomočesomaočesi
oči(M) množina
Sklon 1oči
Sklon 2oči
Sklon 3em
Sklon 4oči
Sklon 5eh
Sklon 6očmi

Tla – Floors

Tla, which means floors, is neuter and always plural.

tla(M) množina
Sklon 1tla
Sklon 2tal
Sklon 3tlom
Sklon 4tla
Sklon 5tleh
Sklon 6tlemi / tli

Other nouns that you might want to check out : uho (ear), drva (wood)…

I know it is a lot of different “special endings” at once, but you don’t need to memorize them perfectly at once. Take your time, get familiar with them, and just by knowing that those nouns are “special” in Slovene, is already a big step! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate and contact me!

Discover more Slovene “lessons” that might interest you: Slovene Numbers & NumeralsSlovene Nouns & PronounsSlovene VerbsSlovene AdjectivesSlovene SyntaxSlovenian Idioms, Slovene Adverbs.

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