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!

Understanding Slovenian Idioms #009

An interesting way to learn and understand Slovene is through its local idioms. While using them, you get to speak like Slovenians and get an insight of the heritage and culture.

  • Beliti si glavo – To whiten your head
    It doesn’t mean to paint your head in white, but to think about something very hard in order to remember it (so much that you might grow some white hairs…).
  • Iz te moke ne bo kruha – From this flour there will be no bread
    As we know, flour is needed to make bread, but also other ingredients and actions (such as kneading and baking) as well. It means that not every effort will yield the expected result.
  • Nositi vodo v Savo – To bring water in Sava
    Sava is a river that goes through Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia. Bringing water to Sava, means that all efforts made no difference.

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

Discover Slovenian Facts #002

Hey guys,
as you guys know, I’m currently attending a Slovene course and of course, I’m learning a lot of different things and discussing different topics as well. The other day in class, we talked about how some of the Slovene grammar was quite strange and almost “illogical”. After some thoughts, it is actually true, but also interesting and it can make it easier to remember.


Five Cats Sleep

To show it, I will just use a random example, such as “five cats sleep“. As you know, Slovene has three genders: masculine, feminine and neutral. Obviously, cats can only be male (m) or female (ž).

  • 1 mačekm / mačkaž spi (One cat sleeps).
  • 2 mačkam / mačkiž spita (Two cats sleep).
  • 3/4 mačkim / mačkež spijo (Three/four cats sleep).
  • 5 mačkovm / mačkž spi (Five cats sleep).

As you can see, when the amount reaches 5 (and more), the verb is conjugated in singular. That’s in Present tense.

There is another particularity with the participle used in Past tense and Future tense.

  • 1 mačekm / mačkaž je spal / spala (One cat slept).
  • 2 mačkam / mačkiž sta spala / spali (Two cats slept).
  • 3/4 mačkim / mačkež so spali / spale (Three/four cats slept).
  • 5 mačkovm / mačkž je spalo (Five cats slept).

Even more strangely, when the amount reaches 5 (and more), the participle changes into its neuter form. Even if the subject is masculine or feminine.

Of course, it also works when a quantifying adverb, such as veliko (a lot), dovolj (enough) nekaj (some), is used instead of a specific number.

  • Veliko študentov2(M) ima avto (A lot of students have a car).
  • Nekaj ljudi2(M) je pilo kavo (Some people drank coffee).

BONUS – Večina (most) and polovica (half) can function as a noun or as a quantifying adverb.

  • Večina1 je čokolado (Most eats chocolate).
  • Večina žensk2(M) je čokolado (Most women eat chocolate).

But be careful in Past and Future tense.

  • Večina1 je jedla čokolado (Most ate chocolate).
  • Večina žensk2(M) je jedlo čokolado (Most women ate chocolate).

It’s so fun to discover some “strange” grammatical rules, because of the “illogic”, it is easier to remember. I’m sure there are many more. Can you think of any, or some that you found especially weird? Please share them with me!


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

Let’s discover together,
Anna.

Changes in Learning Materials!

Hey guys!

As I’ve mentioned before my yearly subscription is coming to an end, I’ve decided to stop using Powtoon EDU for creating video. I will be using Canva and I hope to be able to create fun and interesting videos about Slovene!

Upon this decision, I’m also compiling my eBook 7 Days of Basic Slovene (Week 1-2-3-4) into one single pdf – which will be available as a Supporter Post only, via my Ko-fi page. And my Anna’s cheat sheets will be made into spreadsheets, available on my blog in Learning Materials.

(Special Thanks to Monika V. for checking mistakes and typos. I really appreciated it!)

Cheat sheets and individual eBooks will be removed. If you have supported me in the past and would like to get the entire pdf, you can contact me.


Since I start writing my blog, I’ve been trying different new things: photography, videos, eBooks, printables… It’s all great and fun, but also a lot to keep track.. I’ve enjoying the journey and learning a lot as I go, but I want to keep things simple. For you, and for me.

(No, this is not a goodbye post!) Just making changes to the learning materials available on my blog.

I’m also very grateful for your support and positive comments 🙂 It means a lot to me!

Naljlepša hvala!

Video – Opposites in Slovene

Hey guys,
as my yearly subscription is coming to an end, I’ve decided to stop using Powtoon EDU for creating video. I’m going to to try out Canva.com instead. I have to say that I am quite happy with the results and how easy it is to use. I hope that you will like it too!

If you want to try Canva.com for your projects, you can use my Referral Link (here).

We will both earn Canva Credits for premium elements for free!

I didn’t make a “vocabulary list” for “Slovene opposites – Nasprostja” because I highly encourage that you create your own! By writing them down and using them, it will be a lot easier to remember!

Do let me know how you like (or not like) my new video. For more videos, don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel: Anna in Slovenia!

Ask Anna about Slovene #006

There are many ways to learn Slovene and one that can help you improve is by asking questions (and of course, looking for the question). In my opinion, questioning doesn’t mean that you don’t know, but it means that you are “stepping out” of the books and improving your understanding of Slovene!


Question by Jasmine

The answer to the question “Od kod gre vlak za Maribor?” is “s šestega tira“. I wonder why it is not “od šestega tira” instead.

Anna’s Answer

The preposition “s/z” (from) is used in second sklon when the preposition “na” (on) is used in fourth sklon.

For example,

  • Sklon 4 : Vlak gre na tir4 (The train goes on the rail).
  • Sklon 2 : Vlak gre s šestega tira2 (The train goes from the sixth rail).

The preposition “iz” (from) is used in second sklon when the preposition “v” (to, into) is used in fourth sklon.

For example,

  • Sklon 4 : Grem v Slovenijo4 (I go to Slovenia).
  • Sklon 2 : Grem iz Slovenije5 (I go from Slovenia).

The preposition “od” (from) seems to be used in second sklon when the preposition “k/h” (to) in third sklon or the preposition “pri” (at, beside) is used in fifth sklon.

For example,

  • Sklon 3 : Grem na obisk4 k babici3 (I go on visit to grandmother).
  • Sklon 5 : Sem pri babici5 (I’m at grandmother).
  • Sklon 2 : Grem od babice2. (I go from grandmother).

Personally, I didn’t know the answer to this question, and I had to ask around – and I’m glad that I’ve learnt something 🙂 So, if you have any other questions, please do ask me and let’s all learn together!


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

Understanding Slovenian Idioms #008

An interesting and playful way to discover Slovene as a language is by learning the idioms. Some doesn’t seem to make much sense at first, but what’s more significant is to understand the meaning behind the words!

  • Imeti maslo na glavi – To have butter on the head
    It doesn’t actually mean to have butter on the head, but instead, it means to be guilty of something – like to have a guilty conscience.
  • Skakati čez plot – To jump over the fence
    It doesn’t refer to an innocent athletics action as to jump over the fence, but it actually means to be cheating in marriage. s not to jump “over” the fence, just across the fence, which means to
  • Ugrizniti v kislo jabolko – To bite into a sour apple
    It is obviously not very pleasant to bite into a sour apple instead of a sweet one – it means having to deal with something unpleasant or to go ahead and “bite the bullet”.

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

Ask Anna about Slovene #005

The best way to learn and improve your understanding of Slovene is by asking questions and finding the answers! I’m a strong believer that there are no question too silly to ask, but on the contrary, that all questions are good ones.


Question by Jasmine

How do you say “What’s your/his/her name” and “What is your mom’s/dad’s name?” and how is it related to the third sklon?

Anna’s Answer

One of the first conversation questions that we learn is ” Kako ti3/vam3 je ime? ” (What is your name?). The personal pronoun used is indeed in third sklon, but why?

The best explanation that I can find is by looking at the reflexive pronouns se4 and si3, because the indication for third sklon is the same: indirect object, which answers the question komu (whom).

For example,

  • umiti se4 (to wash myself) – the direct object of the verb is directly the subject (myself) ∴ the reflexive pronoun is in fourth sklon.
  • umiti si3 lase4 (to wash my hair) – the direct object of the verb is not directly the subject but part of the subject (my hair) ∴ the reflexive pronoun is in third sklon.

If we transpose it,

  • Kako ti3 je ime1? (What is your name?) – the direct object of the verb is not directly the subject but part of the subject (your name) ∴ the reflexive pronoun is in third sklon.

The personal pronouns in third sklon are as follow:

EDM
1mi / mene (my)nama (our two)nam (our)
2ti /tebi (your)vama (your two)vam (your)
3mu /njemu (his)
ji/njej (her)
jima / njima (their two)jim / njim (their)
Reminder:  1, 2, 3 is for first, second and third person and (Eednina/singular, (Ddvojina/dual, (Mmnožina/plural.
——–
And the short version is used.

Therefore, to say ” What’s your/his/her name” is Slovene is Kako ti/mu/ji je ime“.


As for how to say ” What is your mom’s/dad’s name”, it is really simple: “Kako je ime1 tvoji mami3/ tvojemu očetu3“. You just declined the corresponding possessive determiner (moj, tvoj) and the noun in third sklon.


That was a very stimulating question and I just love it! If you have any questions about Slovene, don’t hesitate and let me know! I would to look for the answer and improving our understanding of Slovene, all together!


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

Possessive Pronouns in Slovene

Possessive pronouns in Slovene are also known as svojilni zaimek. Same as in English, they are a group of words that are used to indicate possession or ownership of something. It also answers the question word čigav, which means whose.

In Slovene, there are:

  • three persons: first person, second person and third person,
  • three genders: masculine, feminine and neuter and
  • three grammatical numbers: singular, dual and plural.

In this end, there is a lot of subjects, which are the personal pronouns in first sklon. But possessive pronouns are simpler, as the gender distinction is only in singular third person.


Personal Possessive Pronouns / Adjective

Here are the basic (first sklon) form of the personal possessive pronouns in Slovene for all three genders: masculine (m), feminine (ž) and neuter (s).

Singular Form – Ednina

mžs
Minemoj*mojamoje*
Yourtvoj*tvojatvoje*
His
Her
Its
njegov
njen
njegov
njegova
njena
njegova
njegovo
njeno
njegovo

Dual Form – Dvojina

mžs
Our twonajinnajinanajin
Your twovajinvajinanajina
Their twonjunnjunanjuno

Plural Form – Množina

mžs
Ournaš*našanaše*
Yourvaš*vašavaše*
Theirnjihovnjihovanjihovo
Reminder* is the famous bracket (cčšž, j) where the o changes into e.

These possessive pronouns in Slovene are actually possessive determiners AND possessive pronouns in English. But in Slovene, they acts similar to Slovene adjectives, which means that they are declined following the corresponding noun. Remember that the gender of the subject matters for the singular third person (he, she, it – his, her, its).

Here’s a few examples as possessive determiners, which needs to be used with a noun.

  • Moj pes1 je bel (My dog is white).
  • Jan nima njegovega telefona2 (Jan doesn’t have his phone).
  • Mina je njuno kosilo4 (Mina eats her lunch).
  • Peter je šel z našim učiteljem6 (Peter went with our teacher).

Bonus: Slovene is a precise language, therefore:

  • Filip je najin sin1 (Filip is our son – both parents).

Here’s a few examples as possessive pronouns, which are used “alone”. But remember that the function of a pronouns is to replace a noun. Therefore, subject, gender and grammatical numbers all have to correspond.

  • Čigava je hiša? Moja. (Whose house it is? Mine.)
  • Čigav je pes? Njegov. (Whose dog it is? His.)
  • Čigavo je kolo? Njeno. (Whose bicycle it is? Hers)

Bonus: “Ta” is masculine and also feminine. “To” is neuter.

  • Ta je moj1 (This is mine).
  • Ta je moja1 (This is mine).
  • To je moje/naše/vaše1 (This is mine/ours/yours).

Reflexive Possessive Pronouns

In Slovene, there is reflexive possessive pronouns, known as povratni svojilni zaimek. It is used to express the property of the subject.

There is just “one word” used to express it for all the different subjects: svoj (one’s own) BUT it is declined by gender, grammatical numbers and skloni following the general table of endings, according

Singular Form – Ednina

mžs
SKLON 1svojsvojasvoje
SKLON 2svojegasvojesvojega
SKLON 3svojemusvojisvojemu
SKLON 4svojega ❤
svoj
svojosvoje
SKLON 5svojemsvojisvojem
SKLON 6svojimsvojosvojim

Here’s a few examples of reflexive possessive pronouns.

  • Nina je svoje kosilo4 (Nina eats her own lunch).
  • Mark nima svojega avta2 (Mark doesn’t have his own car).
  • Jan sedi pri svoji hiši5 (Jan sits by his own house).

Bonus: Look at the “slight” difference in meaning.

  • Teja mu3 je prinesla njegov telefon4 (Teja brought him his phone).
  • Teja mu3 je prinesla svoj telefon4 (Teja brought him her phone).

Possessive Adjectives from Names

When a noun is the owner, the possessive adjective from names are used – svojilni pridevniki iz lastnih imen. In this case, you need to pay attention to the gender of the owner and the gender of the thing that is owned.

For masculine name, you add -ov + the corresponding ending in red.
For feminine name, you add -in and the corresponding ending in red.

JAN (Jan’s)JANA (Jana’s)
Janov_*brat (brother)Janin_
Janova*sestra (sister)Janina
Janovo*kolo (bicycle)Janino
Reminder* is the famous bracket (cčšž, j) where the o changes into e.

For example,

  • Peter je Nikov dedek (Peter is Nik’s grandfather).
  • Mirina hiša je najlepša (Mira’s house is the prettiest).
  • Domnovo kolo je modro (Domen’s bicycle is blue).

Bonus: here are some exceptions:

  • Peter – Petrov (Peter’s)
  • Babica – Babičin (Grandmother’s)
  • Oče – Očetov (Father’s)
  • Stric – Stričev (Uncle’s)

Expressing possession or ownership might seem confusing at first, mainly because there are “many of them”. My suggestion is to keep it simple. First, remember the “basic forms” then the rest will come naturally because they are declined as nouns and follows the general table of endings. Do keep in mind that all elements have to match (subject, gender, grammatical numbers)! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate and let me know!


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

Ask Anna about Slovene #004

A great way to improve your Slovene is by asking questions and finding answers. I believe that it actually means that you are starting to understand the language and developing “your own path of learning path”, which is awesome! And remember, there are no “too stupid” question to ask, ever.


Question by perarin2015

In the expression “za dobro narave“, the preposition za is for fourth sklon, but why is it “dobro narave“. “Dobro” is neuter but “narava” is feminine and plural.

Anna’s Answer

First off, the word “dobro” is very versatile and it can fill different roles:

  • as adverb (which modifies a verb, adjective or another adverb and is never declined) – Dobro delate (You work well).
  • as an adjective (which describes a noun and is declined same as the noun, doberm / dobraž / dobros) – To je dobro delo1s (This is good work). Jem dobro torto4ž (I eat a good cake).
  • as a noun (which is declined accordingly to the sklon) – Dobro1 in zlo sta nasprotji (Good and evil are opposite).
Reminder: (mmoški/masculine, (žženski/feminine, (ssrednji/neuter.

In this case, dobro (good) is used as a noun, it is neuter and singular. Narava (nature) is also a noun, but feminine and singular.

Dobro narave” means “good of nature”. As we know, when it is double nouns, the first noun is declined according to the sklon, but the second noun is always in second sklon (nounx + noun2). And the preposition za (for) is indeed used with the fourth sklon. Therefore, za dobro4s narave4ž.

Trick: The “double nouns” in Slovene can be translated in English as two nouns connected with the preposition “of”.

You are more than welcomed to ask me any questions about Slovene, I will be more than happy to find the answer, because it helps my understanding of Slovene and I hope that it will help yours as well. And remember, there are no “too stupid” question to ask, ever. So, don’t be shy and ask away!


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