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!

Ask Anna about Slovene #003

A good way to improve your Slovene (or anything else) is to ask question and find answer. I believe that it will stimulate your “problem-solving” ability. Because a language is very flexible, the answer will not always be in a textbook – therefore searching for it is the way to go.

Question by Daniele

In the sentence “Vse poletje čakam, da pride jesen.”, čakati is imperfect, because this action happens regularly, but why is priti is perfect?

Anna’s answer

A better version of this sentence would be “Celo poletje čakam, da pride jesen.” (The whole summer I wait that autumn comes/arrives.)

A little review, Slovene verbs are imperfect, perfect or both. For more details, you can check Grammatical Aspect: Perfect vs Imperfect Verbs in Slovene.

The definition of an imperfect verb (nedovršni glagol) is:

  • a verb that is ongoing in time
  • a verb that is a repetitive action, done many time
  • a verb that describe a long action

The definition of a perfect verb (dovršni glagol) is:

  • a verb that gives a result at the end, like an achievement
  • a verb that define an action that is done once
  • a verb that express the beginning  of an ongoing action

The verb čakati (to wait) is imperfect because it is a long action (in this case, the whole summer). While the verb pridi (to come, to arrive) is perfect because it gives an result at the end (the arrival of autumn).

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate and let me know! I would love to help you find the answer! Plus, it’s a great way for everyone to learn together!

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

Double Celebrations – Week 4 is out!

Hey guys,
today we celebrate Debel Četrtek (Fat Thursday) but also Chinese New Year’s Eve! Such a coincidence, two different cultural celebrations – both meaningful to me, on the same day!

For those who doesn’t know what Fat Thursday is. It is the Thursday before Pust – the Carnival, a traditional festivity that chases winter away! It is called “fat” because it is believed that on this day, we have to eat “fat” foods, such a krof (a popular fried donut) to have a good harvest year.

As for Chinese New Year’s Eve, we usually have a happy family gathering with lots of delicious and prosperous foods, some new clothes and of course, red envelops with money.

Funny thing is nian, which means “year” in Chinese is originally an evil beast, that’s why we would light firecrackers and make a lot of noises to scare it away. This practice is very similar to Pust, the Carnival where kuranti would also make a lot of noises with their bell to chase winter away.

Week 4 of my eBook – 7 Days of Basic Slovene

After a lot of interruptions and working multiple things at the same time, I’ve finally finished compiling the last part of my first eBook series. Hope that you will like it!

Change 28.08.2021 – Available as an entire pdf compilation via Ko-fi supporter post only.

Don’t forget to check out Learning Materials for more resources!

Week 4 is the last planned part of 7 Days of Basic Slovene. But I do have in mind to compile another eBook, so stay tuned! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate and ask me! Eat a lot today and happy celebrations!

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.

Week 3 of 7 Days of Basic Slovene (my eBook) is out!

Hey guys,

Week 3 is out! (28 pages + tables + exercises)

I want to take this opportunity say a big THANK YOU for your generous support via Ko-fi!

Thank you for taking the time to send me a message of appreciation, or sharing your story with me and asking me questions! (Yes, I LOVE questions, because I like to look for answers!)

7 Days of Basic Slovene

Change 28.08.2021 – Available as an entire pdf compilation via Ko-fi supporter post only.

Most of the contents can be found on my blog. My eBooks are just more convenient but not a must.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me and I will try my best to answer!

Simplified Slovenian News on RTV Slo

Hey guys,

the other day from an EXPATS Sharing Group, I came across a very interesting resource, especially for learners : Enostavno – Simply on RTV Slo. It’s basically simplified news in Slovene on different topics. The most relevant part is that the text can actually be read normally (preberi) and read slower (preberi počasi).

I think that it is an excellent way to practice for reading and listening to Slovene, especially the pronunciation. Because the text is relatively simplified, you can even use the text as an exercise to identify skloni by putting the number of the corresponding sklon in  superscript.

If you come across other useful resource for Slovene, don’t hesitate and share!

Thank you Gifts for your support!

Happy holidays everyone!
Hope that you are doing well and that you got some free time to learn Slovene!

Recently I’ve been busying myself with a little project of mine : eBooks! As a way to thank you – my readers, for learning Slovene with me, I’ve decided to create “7 Days of Basic Slovene“. And now, with the holidays, it seems to be the perfect time to share with you.

I’ve divided them by week, so it doesn’t seem too much at once, and it’s a good way to guide your learning.

As a token of appreciation and to encourage you to learn Slovene.
Download Week 1 here.
28 pages of contents + tables + exercises.

As a special thanks to those that have decided to generously support me via my Ko-fi page.

Change 28.08.2021 – eBook will be available as an entire pdf compilation via Ko-fi supporter post only.

Donations will be used treat myself for a sweet treat! ❤

Keep in mind that most content from my eBooks are also available on my blog. The eBooks are set as a progressive learning instead of by topic.

There will be more eBooks available soon, so stay tuned!
Thank you for again for your support!

Blog and Social Media’s Makeover

Hey guys,

just a quick update.

As you might have noticed, my blog and social medias have gone through a nice and cute makeover. A special thanks to my cousin, Jeannie – who is an graphic designer & illustrator for the help! ❤

You can have a look at my social medias:

I’m also working on a little project of mine (Slovene related), more to come!

Renovating Bathroom in Gorenjska

Hey guys,
for the past month we’ve finally got our bathroom renovated! We’ve been wanting (and needing) to do it for a while already, but there were always issues. Such as deciding the bathroom plan, the furniture, the color and all that stuff.

Once you know what you want, the next step is to find the right contractor. Indeed, more researches and asking around for recommendations. At the end, we decided to go with SEMAGO d.o.o. – a local firm from Tržič. They do lots of big and small projects in the Gorenjska region.

The renovation took a little over a month, but as you guys know, we have a stone house. In between demolishing, rebuilding and finishing up, there was a lot of work to do, especially with the foundations. Overall, it took a lot of time, but the end result was awesome, and totally worth it!

If you plan any renovation or building projects in the Gorenjska region, I can totally recommend them!

Enjoying our new bathroom,

Slovenian Dialects on RTV Slo

Hey guys,
I’ve been quite busy with hay, but now that it’s rainy, I get to rest a little bit.

The other day, between two batches of hay, I came across a very interesting documentary series and thought to share with you guys : Slovenska narečja – Slovenian dialects on RTV Slo. Although, there are no subtitles, it can still be fun to watch.

As we know, there are around 50 dialects in Slovenia, divided into 7 regions. Some dialects are so different that it wouldn’t be weird if two Slovenians from two different regions wouldn’t entirely understand each others. 😛

What about us, foreign learners? …haha.

Until next time,