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.

Reported Speech in Slovene

Reported speech is quite simple in Slovene. A good example as to how it is used, would be: the teacher says something and afterward, a fellow student asks you what did the teacher and you would tell him by using reported speech.

Different punctuation will have different reported speech.

Declarative Sentence – Trdilna Poved

Sentence that ends with a period ( . ) is a declarative sentence. It is used to formulate a fact, an opinion, an feeling and much more. To report a declarative sentence, the word “da” is used.

For example,
Domen : “Vesel sem.” (Domen : “I am happy.”)
Domen pravi, da je vesel. (Domen said that he is happy.)

The verb praviti (to say, to tell) can be replaced by similar verbs, such as

  • reči (to say)
  • povedati (to tell)
  • dejati (to say, to tell)
  • odgovoriti (to answer)

For example,
Peter : “Pes je lačen.” (Peter : “The dog is hungry.”)
Peter je rekel, da je pes lačen. (Peter said that the dog is hungry.)

Interrogative Sentence – Vprašalna Poved

Sentence that ends with a question mark ( ? ) is an interrogative sentence. Obviously, it is used to ask questions. To report an interrogative sentence, a question word is used.

For example,
Mina : “Ali ste lačni?” (Mina : “Are you hungry?”)
Mina vpraša, ali/če smo lačni. (Mina asks if we are hungry.)

Depending on the context, different question words can be used, such as

  • kdo (who)
  • kdaj (when)
  • kje (where)

For example,
Teresa : “Kdaj pridete?” (Teresa : “When are you coming?”)
Teresa vpraša, kdaj pridemo. (Teresa asks when are we coming.)

Requesting, Commanding Sentence – Velelna Poved

Sentence that expresses a request or a command can end with an exclamation mark ( ! ) or a period ( . ), it all depends on the tone. To report requesting or commanding sentence, the word “naj” is used.

For example,
Mami : “Pospravi igrače!” (Mommy : “Clean your toys!”)
Mami mi je rekla, naj pospravim igrače . (Mommy told me to clean your toys.)

Depending on the tone, the verb reči (to say) can be replaced by other verbs, such as

  • svetovati (to advise)
  • prositi (to ask)

For example,
Učitelj : “Prosim, pospravi igrače.” (Teacher : “Please, clean your toys.”)
Učitelj me je prosil, naj pospravim igrače. (The teacher asked me to clean my toys.)

Reported speech can be really fun to use and they are also very easy to practice. Once you mastered it, you will be able to express yourself more freely! 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.

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Conjunctions in Slovene

Same as in English, conjunctions – known as vezniki, are used in Slovene to connect clauses or sentences in a way that they would make senses together. These words do not change form, and are not affected by gender, numbers or cases.

Conjunctions in Slovene are divided into two groups : priredni (coordinating) and podredni (subordinating). Depending on the context, they can be put at the beginning or in the middle.

Coordinating – Priredni Vezniki

Coordinating conjunctions are used to connect two clauses that are grammatically equal, like two nouns, two verbs or two independent clauses…

  • In (and) , ter (then)
    Moram kupiti kruh in mleko ter sir – I have to buy bread and milk then cheese.
  • Samo / le (only)
    Vsi jejo torto, samo Tina ne – All eat cake, only Tina doesn’t.
  • Ampak / toda / vendar (but, however)
    Miha nima brata, ampak ima sestro – Miha doesn’t have a brother but has a sister.
  • Kot (like)
    Zame si kot sestra – You are like a sister to me.
  • Ali (or)
    Gremo na desno ali na levo – We go right or left?
  • Torej / zato (therefore)
    Mira je noseča, torej ne pije alkohola – Mira is pregnant, therefore she doesn’t drink alcohol.

Subordinating – Podredni Vezniki

Subordinating conjunctions are used to connect a subordinating clause – a clause that cannot stand alone.

  • Ko (when/as)
    Jedli bodo, ko bodo lačni – They will eat when they will be hungry.
  • Ker (because)
    Rada jem temno čokolado, ker je grenka – I like to eat dark chocolate because it’s bitter.
  • Kar (since)Kako dolgo je bilo, kar si šel v šolo – How long has it been since you went to school?
  • Da (that)
    Recimo, da  imaš prav – Let’s say that you are right.
  • Če (if, in case)
    Če imaš preveč časa, lahko študiraš slovenščino – If you have too much time, you can study Slovene.
  • Čeprav (Although, though)
    Prišel je, čeprav pozno – He came, although late.

Multi-Words Conjunctions

Sometimes, a combination of conjunctions are treated as a whole – without a comma between them.

  • Namesto da (instead of)
    Namesto da bi ostal zunaj, lahko prideš noter – Instead of staying outside, you can come inside.
  • Zato ker (because)
    Zato ker nisem pričakovala, sem bila res presenečna – Because I was not expecting, I got really surprised.
  • Kljub temu / kljub temu da (despite that / despite the fact that)
    Kljub temu da je bilo veliko snega, sem šla v službo – Despite the fact there was a lot of snow, I went to work.
  • Medtem ko (while)
    Medtem ko otroci spijo, kuham kosilo – While the children are sleeping, I’m cooking lunch.
  • Potem ko (after)
    Potem ko je Tilen naredil domače naloge, je šel domov – After Tilen did his homework, he went home.

It might seems a lot a first, but there are actually more… 😛 Do not panic, just take it one at the time. Conjunctions are actually kind of fun to use as it helps connecting clauses together. It is actually a very good practice for your Slovene! If you have any questions, or others conjunctions that you would like me to add, just let me know!

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

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Punctuation in Slovene

How to use punctuation – ločilo, is pretty obvious, as it is the same in most language. But the main problem is how to say them… Personally, I think that it is very important to know how to say punctuation – and soon you will know why.

Here’s a little anecdote from my English class when I was a child.

So, it was a nice sunny day and it was also dictation day… My understanding of English was not as great back then, and I could remember was hearing the teacher saying mid-sentence “comma” and “comma“… Naive as I was… I wrote down “comma” every single time.

Of course, afterward, I realized that “comma” was not an exact word in the sentence, but a punctuation.

Therefore, to avoid embarrassment during dictation… Here they are:

  • Pika → period ( . )
  • Vprašaj → question mark ( ? )
  • Klicaj → exclamation point ( ! )
  • Vejica → comma ( , )
  • Podpičje → semicolon ( ; )
  • Dvopičje → colon ( : )
  • Narekovaj → quotation marks ( » «,  „  “ )
  • Tri pike → ellipses ( … )
  • Pomišljaj → dash( – )
  • Vezaj → hyphen ( – )
  • Oklepaji → parentheses, brakets ( (   ), [   ] )

Punctuation names might not seem very important, but they are actually crucial, especially during dictation! So, if you do have the spare time, do try to learn them! If you have any questions or comments, let me know!

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

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Nouns – Neuter Exceptions

Neuter Slovene nouns end with “-e” or “-o” and follow the six grammatical cases known as skloni. Neuter exceptions have the same endings, but with some extra “add-ups”, which we will cover now.

Ending with -O

Most nouns ending in “-o” are neuter ( if it’s not masculine exceptions). You will probably recognize some of them.

When declined, “-es” is added.

  • kolo (bicycle) → Grem z kolesom6E  (I go with bicycle).
  • drevo (tree) → Imamo veliko dreves2M (We have lots of trees).
  • telo (body), slovo (farewell)
 (E) ednina(D) dvojina(M) množina
Sklon 1telotelesitelesa
Sklon 2telesatelesteles
Sklon 3telesutelesomatelesom
Sklon 4telotelesitelesa
Sklon 5telesutelesihtelesih
Sklon 6telesomtelesomatelesi

When declined,  it takes a different forms and “-es” is added.

  • oko (eye) → Tim je imel poškodbe očesa4M (Tim had eyes injuries).
  • uho (ear) → esa1Mme bolijo (My ears hurt me).
 (E) ednina(D) dvojina(M) množina
Sklon 1uhoesiesa
Sklon 2esaeses
Sklon 3esuesomaesom
Sklon 4uhoesiesa
Sklon 5esuesihesih
Sklon 6esomesomaesi

Ending with -E

Another ending for neuter is “-e” (again, if it’s not a masculine exceptions).

When declined, “-t” is added, usually for youths.

  • tele (calf, baby cow) → Letos imamo tri teleta4M (This year we have three calves).
  • dekle (little girl) →  V skupini so tri dekleta1M (In the group are three little girls).
 (E) ednina(D) dvojina(M) množina
Sklon 1dekledekletidekleta
Sklon 2dekletadekletdeklet
Sklon 3dekletudekletomadekletom
Sklon 4dekle
Sklon 5dekletudekletihdekletih
Sklon 6dekletomdekletomadekleti

When declined, “-n” is added.

  • ime (name) → Pes je brez imena2E (The dog is without a name).
  • vreme (weather) → Danes nimamo lepega vremena2E (Today we don’t have good weather).
  • pleme (tribe), breme (load), ramaž / rames (shoulder)
 (E) ednina(D) dvojina(M) množina
Sklon 1imeimeniimena
Sklon 2imenaimenimen
Sklon 3imenuimenomaimenom
Sklon 4imeimeniimena
Sklon 5imenuimenihimenih
Sklon 6imenomimenomaimeni

If compared with feminine and masculine exceptions, neuters are probably less complicated. Although, as a foreigner, learning “exceptions” can sometimes be difficult. From my point of view, the importance is not to always remember the exceptions, but to know that they exist. If you have any questions, let me know!

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

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