Slovene “Pre-Made” Phrases – Part 1

An easy way to learn how to express yourself in Slovene is to use some “pre-made” phrases. They are a short set of words, usually connected with a specific sklon or personal pronoun, in either third or fourth sklon. They are quite versatile and simple to use. Two things to pay attention to are:

  • the sklon used for the following noun and
  • the personal pronoun, whether it’s in third (Z3) and fourth (Z4) sklon.

Of course, the phrases cannot be literally translated in English, but you should be able to understand the meaning.

If there is a sklon specific preposition, then it has priority and it will determine which sklon to use.

Most of the phrases can be used with conjunctions, such as če (if), ko (when),
da (that), ker (because) and so on.

The form of the object (Z3 and Z4) will depend on the personal pronoun (Z1) used.
For example, jaz1 is mi3/me4, on1 is mu3/ga4, ona1 is ji3/jo4 and so on.

The verb is conjugated according to the subject: singular, dual or plural.
For example, for the verb biti (to be) in singular is je, dual is sta and plural is so.

Všeč mi3 je + […]1 – I like […]

  • Všeč mi3 je čokoladna torta1 (I like chocolate cake).
  • Všeč mu3 je, ko se smejiš (He likes when you smile).
  • Všeč so mi3 živali1 (I like animals).
  • Všeč jim3 je, ko/če prideš na obisk (They like when/if you come visit).

Ime mi3 je + […]1 – I am named […]

  • Ime mi3 je Anna1 (I am named Anna).
  • Ime ji3 je Leja1 (She is named Leja).

Rad(a) imam + […]4 – I like […]

  • Rad(a) imam kavo4 (I like coffee).
  • Rad te4 ima (He likes you).
  • Radi imajo počitnice (They like holidays).

Boli me4 + […]1 – It hurts me […]

  • Boli me4 glava1 (My head is hurting me).
  • Bolijo me4 noge1 (My legs are hurting me).
  • Boli ga4 hrbet, ko/če dolgo hodi (His back hurts him when/if he walks for long).

Zebe me4 + v […]4 – I am cold […]

  • Zebe me4 v roke4 (My hands are cold).
  • Zebe me4, ko sneži (I’m cold when it snows).

Zanima me4 + […]1 – It interests me […]

  • Zanima me4 vezenje1 (I am interested in embroidery / Embroidery interests me).
  • Zanima jo4 risanje1 (She is interested in drawing / Drawing interests her).
  • Zanimajo me4 čevlji1 (Shoes interest me).
  • Zanima me4, če je majica še na voljo (I am wondering if the t-shirt is still available).

Skrbi me4 + […]1 – It worries me […]

  • Skrbi me4 prihodnost1 (I worry about the future).
  • Skrbi me4 zate4 (I worry about you).
  • Skrbi jo4, ker si sam doma (It worries her because you are home alone).

Veseli me4 + […]1 – It makes me happy […]

  • Veseli me4 glasba1 (Music makes me happy).
  • Veseli me4, da smo se srečali (It makes me happy that we met).
  • Veseli me4, da je zime konec (It makes me happy that the winter is over).

Vroče mi3 je + […] – I am hot […]

  • Vroče mi3 je na soncu5 (I am hot in the sun).
  • Vroče ji3 je v trebuhu5 (Her stomach is hot).
  • Vroče mi3 je, ko tečem (I am hot when I run).

Težko mi3 je + […] – It is hard for me

  • Težko mi3 je, ko ne razumem, kaj rečes (It is difficult for me when I don’t understand what you are saying).
  • Težko mi3 je, kadar te ni doma (It is hard for me when you are not home).

Strah me4 je + […]2 – I am scared […]

  • Strah me4 je mraka2 (I am afraid of the dark).
  • Strah me4 je, ko hodi sama ponoči (It scares me when she walks alone at night).

More Phrases

  • Moti me4 + […]1 – It bothers me […]
  • Slabo mi3 je + […] – It makes me sick […]
  • Peče me4 + […]1 – It burns me
  • Privlači me4 + […]1 – It attracts me […]
  • Jasno mi3 je + […] – It is clear to me […]
  • Sram me4 je + […]2 – I’m ashamed […]
  • Groza me4 je + […]2 – I am terrified […]
  • Lepo mi3 je + […] – It is nice to me […]
  • Dolgčas mi3 je + […] – It bores me […]
  • Prijetno mi3 je + […] – It is pleasant to me […]

No need to mention that there are many more useful “pre-made” phrases. Most can also be used in negation, as well as in past and future tense. In those cases, the Order of Word is applied and it can become quite complicated (to be continued in Part 2).

I’m sure that you have heard or know more phrases, if there are any that you would like me to add to the list or if you have any questions, do let me know!

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

Demonstrative Pronouns in Slovene – This and That

Demonstrative pronouns, also known as kazalni zaimki, are pronouns that show or point at something. In general, there are “three levels” of demonstrative pronouns in Slovene – which are sorted depending on the distance, both in time and space, between the object that is pointed at and the speaker.

“This” (tam) and “that” (tistim and onim) are the same as in English, but instead of having just a singular and plural form, the Slovene form is “fully” declined. This means:

It might seems like a lot, but please do not panic. Keep reading.

This – Ta

The demonstrative pronouns “ta” is used to points at objects that is directly in the vicinity of the speaker or something that is close to the speaker. It can also be used to refer to something that has just been mentioned.

For example,

  • Ta teden ima dopust (This week I have holidays).
  • Vidite, ta punca, ki se sedi pred vami, je Petrova hčerka (You see, this girl sitting in front of you, is Peter’s daughter).
  • Fiona rada ima to mavrično torto (Fiona likes this rainbow cake).

Tisti – That

The demonstrative pronoun “tisti” is used to indicate something that is relatively distant from the speaker. It can also be used with something that had been previously mentioned.

For example,

  • Tisti tam je naš nov sosed (That one there is our new neighbor).
  • Lani sem rodila hčerko, tistega dne ne bom nikoli pozabila (Last year I gave birth to my daughter, that day I will never forget).
  • Hodil je v tisto šolo na drugi strani parka (He went to that school on the other side of park).

Oni – That

The demonstrative pronoun “oni” is used to indicate something that is very distant from the speaker. It is also use to point at something that is unknown, unnamed or unspecific.

For example,

  • Ta skupina otrok se igra v igralnici, oni pa bere pod drevesom (This group of kids plays in the playground, that one reads under the tree).
  • Ona stran gozda je porasla z grmovjem (That side of the forest has grown with bushes).
  • V parku vedno srečaš tega ali onega znanca (You always meet this or that acquaintance in the store).

Table for “Ta

1ta – ta – tota – ti – titi – te – ta
2tega – te – tegatehteh
3temu – tej – temutematem
4ta/tega – to – tota – ti – tite – te -ta
5pri tem – pri tej – pri tempri tehpri teh
6s tem – s to – s tems temas temi

Table for “Tisti

1tisti – tista – tistotista – tisti – tistitisti – tiste – tista
2tistega – tiste – tistegatistihtistih
3tistemu – tisti – tistemutistimatistim
4tisti/tistega – tisto – tistotista – tisti – tistitiste – tiste –tista
5pri tistem – pri tisti – pri tistempri tistihpri tistih
6s tistim – s tisto – s tistims tistimas tistimi

Table for “Oni

1oni – ona – onoona – oni – onioni – one – ona
2onega –one – onegaonihonih
3onemu – oni – onemuonimaonim
4oni/onega – ono – onoona – oni – onione – one –ona
5pri onem – pri oni – pri onempri onihpri onih
6s onim – s ono – s onims onimas onimi
Reminder:  (Eednina/singular, (Ddvojina/dual, (Mmnožina/plural and (mmoški/masculine, (žženski/feminine, (ssrednji/neutral.

As you can see, there are a lot of similarities through all three demonstratives pronouns:

  • marked in blue are -e instead of the usual -i,
  • marked in bold are the same for all three genders,
  • marked in red are the same in dual and plural forms and
  • tisti and oni, they are basically the same thing: just replace “tist-” with “on-.

So, the demonstrative pronouns in Slovene go from nearest to farthest: tatistioni. For example,

  • To knjigo, ki jo imam v roki, berem zdaj (This book, that I have in my hand, I am reading now).
  • Tiste, ki so na polici, bom brala otrokom zvečer. (Those, that are on the shelf, I will read to my kids in the evening).
  • Ne vem, kdaj bom dobila one, ki sem jih naročila v knjižnici (I don’t know when I will get those, that I ordered from the library).

Demonstrative pronouns in Slovene have a lot more “forms” that in English, but don’t worry – it’s all about endings that you probably already know, and if not, just take it slow. Practice makes perfect! If you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate and ask me!

Slovene Nouns to Adjectives – Vrstni Pridevnik

As we know, adjectives are used to describe or modify how a noun is. There are also different types of adjectives in Slovene, but they can’t be directly translated into English:

  • lastnostni (kakovostni) pridevnik (characteristic or qualitative adjective),
  • svojilni pridevnik (possessive adjective) and
  • vrstni pridevnik (“kind” adjective).

Lastnostni pridevniki or kakovostni pridevniki are descriptive adjectives. They are used to describe specific characteristic that are proper to the noun (color, size, age, shape) and answer the question kakšen (how is). For example,

  • Vozim hiter avto4. (I drive a fast car).
  • To je velika hiša1 (This is a big house).
  • Kopali smo se v toplem morju5 (We swam in the warm sea).

As you can see, the adjective always follows the declension of the noun.

To learn more about declension of adjective, read Slovene Adjectives in General.

Svojilni pridevniki are possessive adjectives used to describe the ownership of the noun. They answer the question čigav (whose). For example,

  • Tim vozi Markov traktor4 (Tim is driving Mark’s tractor).
  • Mira je Janina sestra1 (Mira is Jana’s sister).
  • Ne maram sosedovega psa2(I don’t like the neighbor’s dog).

As you can see, -ov + the corresponding ending is added to masculine nouns, while -in + the corresponding ending is added to feminine nouns.

Please note that possessive adjectives are different from possessive pronouns. Learn more here.

Vrstni pridevniki are adjectives “made from nouns”. They are also used to describe a noun, but specifically the “type”, “kind” or ”category”, which answer the question “kateri” (which). The adjective’s endings can be put into groups, but unfortunately without any patterns.

Adjectives ending with -ni

  • turist (tourist) – turistično mesto (touristic town)
  • jagoda (strawberry) – jagodna marmelada (strawberry jam)
  • mesto (town) – mestni avtobus (city bus)
  • čokolada (chocolate) – čokoladna torta (chocolate cake)

Adjectives ending with –ski or –ški

  • morje (sea) – morski sadeži (seafood)
  • Slovenija (Slovenia) – slovenska zastava (Slovenian flag)
  • nedelja (Sunday) – nedeljsko kosilo (Sunday lunch)
  • otrok (child) – otroško igrišče (children playground)

Adjectives ending with -ov

  • oreh (walnut) – orehova potica (walnut potica)
  • borovnica (blueberry) – borovničev sok (blueberry juice)
  • sir (cheese) – sirov zavitek (cheese strudel)
  • kokos (coconut) – kokosovo mleko (coconut milk)

Adjectives ending with -nji

  • jutro (morning) – jutranje vaje (morning exercises)
  • noter (interior) – notranji bazen (inside pool)
  • jutri (tomorrow) – jutrišnji dan (tomorrow day)
  • blizu (near) – bližnji vzhod (nearby exit)

Adjectives ending with -ji

  • pes (dog) – pasji frizer (dog groomer)
  • maček (cat) – mačja trava (catnip)
  • medved (bear) – medvedja šapa (bear paw)
The difference between lastnostni pridevnik and vrstni pridevnik is the question that they answer. Lastnostni pridevnik is used for description of shape, color, size and age, while vrstni pridevnik is used to describe the type or kind.
Tim potuje po Sloveniji z novim modrim električnim avtom6 (Tim travels around Slovenia with a new blue electric car).
Dalia ne mara svežega kozjega mleka2 (Dalia doesn’t like fresh goat milk).
Martin rad je slastno mehiško hrano4 (Martin likes to eat delicious Mexican food).

Knowing that some adjectives can be made from noun is a fun and useful way to learn Slovene. It’s like killing two birds with one stone! With adjectives, no matter which type, do remember that the declension is the same as the noun. If you have any questions, comments or adjectives that you would like to add, please let me know!

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

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)
  • 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)
  • 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)
2medimedu / meda
  • 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)
2potipotu / pota

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)

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)

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!

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:

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


Dual Form – Dvojina

Our twonajinnajinanajin
Your twovajinvajinanajina
Their twonjunnjunanjuno

Plural Form – Množina

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

SKLON 1svojsvojasvoje
SKLON 2svojegasvojesvojega
SKLON 3svojemusvojisvojemu
SKLON 4svojega ❤
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.

Anna’s tricks about Skloni

As we know, Slovene is a very precise language and its grammar can seem very complex and complicated. But if you are able to find a way of thinking that can help you detangle it, then everything will be much easier. I know that everyone’s way of logic is different, so this might work for you… or not.

In this post, I’m just going to attempt to show you what’s going in my mind when I see a sentence in Slovene – my personal algorithm to determine which sklon is being used. (This post is not about endings, as I’ve already mentioned tricks by comparison in my posts about each sklon).

Keep in mind that all elements of a sentence can be an important clue of some sort but to decide which sklon to use, I focus on two: verbs and prepositions.

Clue – Verbs

The first element that I like to look for is the verb, which are the action words used to describe what the subject is doing, because it is present in most sentence.

Is the verb used biti (to be)?

  • If the answer is yes, then it is in first sklon.
    For example, Jaz sem Anna1 (I am Anna).
  • Bonus: If the verb biti is used in negative, it is also in first sklon.
    For example, Nisem Anja1 (I am not Anja).
SKLON 1 Verbs postati (to become), ostati (to stay), imenovati se (to be named) are in first sklon.
  • If the answer is no, then go to the next question.

Is the verb negative (-) or affirmative (+)?

  • If the answer is negative, then it is in second sklon.
    For example, Nimam psa2 (I don’t have a dog).
SKLON 2 Verbs bati se (to be afraid of), dotakniti se (to touch), lotiti se (to start working), najesti se (to appease one’s hunger), napiti se (to appease one’s thirst), spomniti se (to remember), veseliti se (to be glad) are specific to the second sklon.
  • If the answer is affirmative, then it is in third or fourth sklon.

Is the object of the verb direct or indirect?

  • If the object is direct, it usually comes right after the verb, then it is in fourth sklon.
    For example, Imam knjigo4 (I have a book)
  • If the object is indirect, which indicates to whom something is done, then it is in third sklon.
    For example, Knjigo4 dam prijatelju3 (I give a book to my friend).
SKLON 3 Verbs čestitati (to congratulate), čuditi se (to wonder), lagati se (to lie), obljubiti (to promise), odpovedati (to cancel), opravičiti se (to excuse), pomagati (to help), pridružiti se (to join), telefonirati (to phone), smejati se (to laugh), zaupati (to trust) are specific to the third sklon.

Clue – Prepositions

Another relevant indicator that you can easily point out are prepositions, because most of them are specific to one sklon. Although, some prepositions can be used with different skloni, which I will to clarify.

If the preposition is specific to one sklon, then it is quite straightforward, you just need to remember them.

SKLON 2 Prepositions blizu (near), brez (without), iz (from), izmed (among), izven (out of), izza (from behind), mimo (passing by), (nasprosti (opposite of), od-do (from-until), okoli (around), okrog (around), poleg (beside), preko (across), sredi (in the middle of), zaradi (because of), zraven (beside) are specific to the second sklon.
SKLON 3Prepositions k/h (to), kljub (despite), proti (against, toward) are specific to the third sklon.
SKLON 4Prepositions skozi (through), čez (across) are specific to the fourth sklon.
SKLON 5Prepositions o (about), ob (at), pri (beside) are specific to the fifth sklon.

Some prepositions are associated with more than one sklon, in that case, you will need to paid attention to the verb used as well as the context.

The preposition v (into, to, in, at) and na (on, at, in) can be fourth or fifth sklon.

  • If the preposition is used with a movement verbs and the context is a destination, then it is in fourth sklon.
    For example, Grem v šolo4 (I go to school).
Movement verbs can be hoditi (to walk), iti (to go), priti (to come), teči (to run), voziti (to drive)…
  • If the preposition is used with a verb without movement and the context is a position or location, then it is in fifth sklon.
    For example, Sem v šoli5 (I am in school).
Verbs without movement can be biti (to be), čakati (to wait), ostati (to stay)…

The preposition pred (before), pod (under), za (behind), nad (above), med (in between) can be fourth or sixth sklon.

  • If the context is a destination, then it is in fourth sklon.
    For example, Letalo se je dvignilo nad oblake4 (The plane has raised above the clouds).
  • If the context is a position or location, then it is in sixth sklon.
    For example, Irma se rani nad kolenom6 (Irma wounds herself above the knee).
  • Bonus: If za means “for”, then it is the fourth sklon.
    For example, Marko ima darilo4 za Anno4 (Marko has a gift for Anna).

Beside the context, the meaning can also help you decide which sklon to use.

The preposition po can be fourth or fifth sklon.

  • If po means “for”, then it is in fourth sklon.
    For example, Grem v pekarno4 po kruh4 (I go to the bakery for bread).
  • If po means “around”, then it is in fifth sklon.
    For example, Nik potuje po svetu5 (Nik travels around the world).

The preposition s/z can be in second or sixth sklon.

  • If s/z means “from”, then it is in second sklon.
    For example, Nina je s Ptuja2 (Nina is from Ptuj).
  • If s/z means “with”, then it is in sixth sklon.
    For example, Grem v šolo4 z avtobusom6 (I go to school with bus).

This is just the method that I use to analyze which sklon to use or to know which sklon is being used. And I hope that it help clarify the Slovene skloni, even a little bit.

What about you? What’s going on in your mind when you see a sentence in Slovene? Is your algorithm similar to mine or completely different? Or maybe other elements that can be added? I am quite curious, so please share it with me! And if you have any questions or comments, do let me know!

How to write a formal letter in Slovene

Nowadays, a lot of formal communication is made through emails or letters, either for job application or any official request. Knowing how to properly write a formal letter is thus very important. 

Standard Format of Formal Letter

Above is a template of the elements in a formal letter. I will explain them one by one. Keep in mind that the red dot represents a space line.

1. Your full name is written as follow name (ime) and surname (priimek).

  • Irma Novak

2. Your address (naslov) is written in two lines, the first line is street address while the second line is the postal code and the city. (Under your address, you can also add your phone number and email.)

  • Slovenčeva ulica 1
    1000 Ljubljana

3. Place (kraj) and date (datum) refer where and when the letter was written. Be aware that dates have a specific format. (Check How to Say Dates and Times in Slovene – Part 1 for more details.)

  • Ljubljana, 28.  2. 2021

4. Recipient’s name (prejemnikov naziv) can be a person or place name, depending on the nature of your letter.

  • Janez Mklavž or
  • Rolli Shop D.O.O. or
  • Upravna Enota Kranj

5. Recipient’s address (prejemnikov naslov) is written in two lines as well.

  • Celovška cesta 18
    1000 Ljubljana

6. Zadeva is where you state the subject of your letter.

  • Zadeva: Prijava na razpis za delovno mesto učiteljice (Subject: Application for a job vacancy as teacher)
  • Zadeva: Prošnja za reklamacijo (Subject: Request of complaint)

7. Spoštovani is the conventional greeting for letters (it means “dear”) and it is followed by a comma (,) or an exclamation (!). Don’t forget to start with capitals if your greeting ends with an exclamation. You can also add in the recipient name (with title) if you know it.

  • Spoštovani gospod Janez Miklavž,
  • Spoštovana gospa Marta Miklavž,

8. Content (vsebina) is where you write paragraph(s). The content will depend on the nature of your letter, but usually introduce yourself or explain why you are writing. If it is for a job application, aim for 140-150 words, not too long. 

9. S spoštovanjem with a comma (,) is a standard way for the final greeting (it means “with respect”). Other final greetings that you can use are:

  • Lep pozdrav (without comma (,))
  • Lepo Vas pozdravljam. (with an period (.))

10. Signature (podpis) is your handwritten signature, if it is an actually printed letter.

11. Your full name again.

12. Priloge is where you list the attachments that are included.

  • Priloge:
    – življenjepis (resume)
    – priporočilo (recommendation letter)
    – fotokopija diplome (copy of diploma)

Personally, I am not a big fan of formal letters, as I’m never sure how to get it started and what to write… (Yes, I blog, but it’s a lot more friendly). So I hope that this post was able to demystify the “how to write a formal letter in Slovene” or at least, a standard template, because what to write as content… that’s a different and unique story.

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.

Slovene Verbs to Nouns

A fun way to enrich your vocabulary is to know how to convert Slovene verbs into nouns! It might seems a little random at first, but there are actually guidelines that can help you remember!

In general, it will be related to the verb or the noun endings.

One of the most commonly seen ending for Slovene verbs to nouns is -enje and it applies to different verb endings:

Verbs ending with -iti

  • iti se (to learn) – enje (study, learning)
  • kolesariti (to bike) – kolesarjenje* (cycling)
  • dovoliti (to allow, to permit) – dovoljenje* (permission)

Verbs ending with -eti

  • živeti (to live) – življenje (life)*
  • hiteti (to hurry) – hitenje (haste)
  • sedeti (to sit) – sedenje (seat)
  • leteti (to fly) – letenje (flight)*

Verbs ending with -sti

  • vesti (to embroider) – vezenje (embroidery)*
  • plesti (to knit) – pletenje (knitting)*
  • gristi (to bite) – grizenje (bite)*

Verbs ending with -či

  • striči (to cut hair) – striženje (haircut)*

On the other hand, one of the most common ending for Slovene verbs is -iti and the nouns have different endings:

Nouns ending with -ba

  • telovaditi (to work out) – telovadba (gymnastics)
  • ponuditi (to offer) – ponudba (offer)
  • spremeniti (to change, to modify) – sprememba (change)*
  • odrediti (to decree ) – odredba (order, decree)

Nouns ending with ja

  • vaditi (to practise) – vaja (exercise)
  • hoditi (to walk) – hoja (walk)

Nouns ending with -nja

  • voziti (to drive) – vožnja (ride)*
  • prositi (to ask) – prošnja (request)*

Nouns ending with -tev

  • rešiti (to solve) – rešitev (solution)
  • vrniti (to return) – vrnitev (return)
  • ločiti (to separate) – ločitev (separation)

There are other endings that follow a certain “pattern”.

Verbs ending with -ati becomes -anje

  • plavati (to swim) – plavanje (swim, swimming)
  • smučati (to ski) – smučanje (skiing)
  • potovati (to travel) – potovanje (travel, travelling)
  • oblikovati (to design) – oblikovanje (design)
  • tekmovati (to compete) – tekmovanje (competition)

Verbs ending with -ti becomes -tje

  • peti (to sing) – petje (singing)
  • piti (to drink) – pitje (drink)

And other endings.

Nouns endings with -ek

  • začeti (to start) – začetek (beginning)
  • dogoditi se (to happen) – dogodek (event)

No ending

  • teči (to run) – tek (race)
  • sprehoditi (to take a walk) – sprehod (promenade, walk)
  • oditi (to go, to leave) – odhod (departure)
  • lagati (to lie) – laž (lie)

Of course, there are many more examples and it will be difficult to remember all of them at once. But by knowing that it is possible to group them up, it should be easier to learn them – plus it is very fun and useful way to expand your Slovene vocabulary!

Hope you enjoyed! If you have any questions or comments, please let me know via comment!

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