Slovene Nouns with Two Declensions

In Slovene, nouns are divided into three genders: masculine, feminine and neuter. Each gender has their own declensions and exceptions as well. Some Slovene nouns are actually written the same, but of different gender, meanings and of course, declension.


Kap : drip or stroke

If kap means “gutter”, which is the lowest part of the roof that gather rain down a drain, it is masculine and the declension is normal. If kap means “stroke”, it is feminine and the declension is special: “third” second feminine declension.

KAP (m)(E)KAP (ž)(E)
1kapkap
2kapakapi
3kapukapi
4kapkap
5kapukapi
6kapomkapjo
  • Sosedov strešni kap je upokravjen (The neighbor’s roof gutter is broken).
  • Sosed je imel kap (The neighbor had a stroke).

Klop : bench or tick

If klop means “bench”, it is feminine and declined with the “third” second feminine declension. If klop means “tick”, it is masculine and the declension is normal. Although, even if they are written the same, the accented pronunciation is different.

KLOP (ž)(E)KLOP (m)(E)
1klopklop
2klopiklopa
3klopiklopu
4klopklopa
5klopiklopu
6klopjoklopom
  • Dedek sedi na klop in čaka svojega vnuka (Grandfather sits on the bench and waits for his grandson).
  • Hočem cepljenje proti klopu (I want the vaccine against tick).

Med : brass or honey

If med means “brass”, a metal composed of copper and zinc, it is feminine and declined with “third” second feminine declension (Usually, medenina will be used instead.) If med means “honey”, it is masculine with a little exception: the singular form in second sklon has two endings: -u or -a.

MED (ž)(E)MED (m)(E)
1medmed
2medimedu / meda
3medimedu
4medmed
5medimedu
6medjomedom
  • Kupil je okvir iz medi (He bought frame made from brass).
  • Rad pije čaj z medom (He likes to drink tea with honey).

Pot : path or sweat

If pot means “path”, it is feminine and in the “third” second feminine declension. If pot means “sweat”, it is a masculine exception, where the singular form in second sklon has two endings: -u or -a.

  • Marljivost je pot do uspeha (Hardworking is the path to success).
  • Majico ima mokro od potu (He has his t-shirt wet from sweat).
POT (ž)(E)POT (m)(E)
1potpot
2potipotu / pota
3potipotu
4potpot
5potipotu
6potjopotom

Prst : finger or soft soil

If prst means “finger”, it is masculine with a normal declension. If prst means “soft soil”, it is feminine with a special declension: “third” second feminine declension.

  • S prsti je pokazal, da je star pet let (With his finger he showed that he is 5 years old).
  • Katere vrste prsti je najboljše za orchidea (Which type of soil is best for an orchid)?
PRST (m)(E)PRST (ž)(E)
1prstprst
2prstaprsti
3prstuprsti
4prstprst
5prstuprsti
6prstomprstjo

Red : order or row

If red means “order”, it is a masculine exception: the ending -ov is added in dual and plural form with all skloni. If red means “row”, like a row of grass, it is feminine and declined with the “third” second feminine declension.

  • Ne razumem besednega reda (I don’t understand word order).
  • Ljudi so čakali v dolgi redi (People waited in long row).
RED (m)(E)RED (ž)(E)
1redred
2redaredi
3reduredi
4redred
5reduredi
6redomredjo

Fortunately, there are not many nouns that have different meaning AND gender – but it is always interesting to know that they do exist. If you know any other examples, do share them with me!

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