Colloquial Slovene – Vocabulary

At school or in books, standard Slovene – knjižna slovenščina is taught with the proper grammar and vocabulary. This literary version of the language is found in newspapers, on TV and such. On the other hand, colloquial Slovene – neknjižna slovenščina, is used in familiar and informal conversation or online chat. Sometimes, you will notice that it sounds like it was borrowed from another language, such as German or English.

I noticed that while chit-chatting with my in-laws, family, neighbors, friends, family in Slovenia, they used some words, po domače (at home), that I wouldn’t understand right away. Now I’m using them everyday.


Cuk’r
means sladkor (sugar) | i.e. Cuk’r mi je padel (My sugar is dropping).

Friš’n
means svež (fresh) | i.e. Vsak dan jem friš’n kruh (Everyday I eat fresh bread).

Cajt
means čas (time) | i.e. A ‘maš cajt (Do you have time)?

Fajn
means lepo (nice, pretty) | i.e. Fajn se ‘mejte (Have a good day).

Jest
means jaz (I) i.e. Jest ne jem torte (I do not eat cake).

Južna
means obrok (meal) | i.e. Južna je že na mizi (The meal is already on the table).

Laufat
means teči (to run) | i.e.  Pes laufa zunaj (The dog is running outside).

Kofe
means kava (coffee) | i.e. Kdo bo kofe (Who will have a coffee)?

Merkati
means paziti (to look after) | i.e. A lahko merkaš Nino za pet minut (Can you look after Nina for 5 minutes)?

Deka
means volnena odeja (woolen blanket) | i.e. Spim brez deke (I sleep without blanket).

Glih
means ravno (just, exactly) | i.e. Sem glih prišla domov (I just came home).

Žleht
means hudoben (malicious, wicked, naughty) | i.e.  Ona ima žleht jezik (She has a wicked tongue).

Štala
means hlev (stall) | i.e. Krave so v štali (The cows are in the stall).

Nucati
means potrebovati, rabiti (to need) | i.e. Kaj nucaš (What do you need)?

Župa
means juha (soup) | i.e. Danes sem jedla govejo župo (Today I ate beef soup).

Uštimati se
means urediti se (to arrange yourself) | i.e. Za zmenek se bom lepo uštimala (For my date I will arrange myself prettily).

Zmartran
means utrujen (tired) | i.e. Danes sem zmartrana (Today I am tired).

Šporget
means štedilnik na trda goriva (wood-burning stove) | i.e. Doma imamo šporget  (We have a wood-burning stove at home).

Gužva
means gneča (terrible crowd) | i.e.  Na sejemu je bila gužva (There was a terrible crowd at the fair).


Added by readers 🙂

flaša”steklenica (bottle); šalca”skodelica (cup); štenge”stopnice (stairs); rampe”zapornice (railway gate); lojtra” – lestev (ladder), šajtrga”samokolnica (wheelbarrow)


This is just a short list, I’m sure that there are a lot more po domače words.If you can think of any, please let me (and others) know via comments! Knowing about them (and integrating them) is an excellent way to converse informally with Slovenians! But do keep in mind about the standard Slovene as well.


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

Let’s learn,
Anna.

Advertisements

Homonyms in Slovene

Just like English or any language, Slovene also has some homonyms, enakozvožnice – words with same spelling or pronunciation but different meaning. It can be quite tricky and confusing at the beginning, especially when trying to expand your vocabulary, but if you think it that way: it’s like to kill two (or more) birds with one stone!


Kot
1. corner, angle | i.e. Stol je v kotu(The chair is at the corner).
2. like | i.e. Tiha kot miš (Quiet like a mouse).

Jezik
1. language | i.e. Koliko jezikov2 govorite (How many languages do you speak)?
2. tongue | i.e. Kača ima dolg jezik4 (Snake has long tongue).
It is the similar in French.

Klop
1. bench | i.e. Sedim na klopi5 (I’m sittng on the bench).
2. tick | i.e. Pazi se klopov2 (Beware of ticks)!

Metuljček
1. little butterfly | i.e. Vidim lepe metuljčke4 (I see pretty little butterflies).
2. bowtie | i.e. Janez nosi metuljček4 vsak dan (Janez wears a bowtie everyday).

“Je”
1. is | i.e. Žan je prijazen (Žan is nice).
2. eats | i.e. Marko je pico4 (Marko eats pizza).
It is written the same, but the pronunciation is different

Čelo
1. forehead | i.e. Ema ima buško4 na čelu5 (Ema has a bump on her forehead).
2. violoncello | i.e. Anita igra čelo4 (Anita plays violoncello).

Tečaj
1. course | i.e. Grem na tečaj4 slovenščine2 v Ljubljani5 (I go to Slovene course in Ljubljana).
2. exchange rate | Banka ima menjalniški tečaj4 (The bank has exchange rate).
3. pole | i.e. Božiček živi na severnem tečaju5 (Santa Claus lives in North Pole).


Added by readers 🙂

Kopati – 1. to bathe 2. to dig


These  are just a few examples of Slovene homonyms that I can think of at the moment. I am certain that there are way more – if you can think of any, share them with me in comments and I will add them!


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

Let’s learn,
Anna.

Nouns – Second Feminine Declension, Part 2

In Slovene, feminine nouns usually end with -a, but some have a different endings and declensions. First feminine declension is used with nouns ending with -ev. The second feminine declension is divided into three sub-group:

  • 2.1 Feminine declension: nouns ending with –ost,
  • 2.2 Feminine declension: some nouns ending with –en/em/el,
  • 2.3 Feminine declension: some short nouns.

Second Female Declension, endings withen/em/el

Nouns that end with –en/em/eare feminine. For example, ljubezen (love), pesem (song) and misel (thought) are all beautiful nouns and thus feminine 😛

Be careful not to confuse with adjectives that end with er/ek/en/el as they are masculine. More information can be found here: Slovene Adjectives in General.

Also, notice how the “e” is underlined, it means that when declined, the e” is removed.

If you know the “first-second” feminine declension with -ost, then learning the “second-second” feminine declension with -en/-em/el should be fairly easy. Pay attention to the text in red.

Here’s the table of Skloni with feminine noun ending with –ost:

2.1 ž. skl. Ednina/Singular Dvojina/Dual Množina/Plural
 SKLON 1 lepa starost lepi starosti lepe starosti
 SKLON 2 lepe starosti lepih starosti lepih starosti
 SKLON 3 lepi starosti lepima starost(i)ma lepim starostim
 SKLON 4 lepo starost lepi starosti lepe starosti
 SKLON 5 lepi starosti lepih starostih lepih starostih
 SKLON 6 lepo starostjo lepima starost(i)ma lepimi starostmi

Here’s the table of Skloni with feminine noun ending with –en/-em/el:

2.2  ž. skl. Ednina/Singular Dvojina/Dual Množina/Plural
 SKLON 1 hitra misel hitri misli hitre misli
 SKLON 2 hitre misli hitrih misli hitrih misli
 SKLON 3 hitri misli hitrima mislima hitrim mislim
 SKLON 4 hitro misel hitri misli hitre misli
 SKLON 5 hitri misli hitrih mislih hitrih mislih
 SKLON 6 hitro mislijo hitrima mislima hitrimi mislimi

❤ A simplified version of the ending:

 2.1 ž. skl. Ednina/Singular Dvojina/Dual Množina/Plural
 SKLON 1 -A -OST -I -I -E -I
 SKLON 2 -E -I -IH -I -IH -I
 SKLON 3  -I -I -IMA –(I)MA -IM -IM
 SKLON 4 -O -OST -I -I -E -I
 SKLON 5 -I -I -IH -IH -IH -IH
 SKLON 6 -O –JO -IMA –(I)MA -IMI –MI

and

 2.2 ž. skl. Ednina/Singular Dvojina/Dual Množina/Plural
 SKLON 1 -A -EL -I -I -E -I
 SKLON 2 -E -I -IH -I -IH -I
 SKLON 3  -I -I -IMA –IMA -IM -IM
 SKLON 4 -O -EL -I -I -E -I
 SKLON 5 -I – I -IH -IH -IH -IH
 SKLON 6 -O –IJO -IMA –IMA -IMI –IMI

If we compare the two tables, you will see that it is very similar, except at four places, where an –I is added:

  • the singular form in sixth case has an “extra” –I infront of the –JO, remains the same as its original form,
  • the dual form in third and sixth case has an “extra” –I infront of –MA, 
  • the plural form in sixth case also has an “extra” –I infront of –MI (which is the same as in normal feminine declension ending with -a).

The declension of adjectives doesn’t change and it remains the same as in “normal” feminine declension.


Second feminine declension is divided into three groups, and it can feel quite overwhelming – do not panic (or give up). In my opinion, just knowing that there are different groups and endings is already a big achievement. With practice and determination, you will learn to use them correctly.

If you have any questions or comments, just leave me a message and I will try to get back at you as soon as I can!


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

Let’s learn,
Anna.

Nouns – Second Feminine Declension, Part 1

As mentioned in a previous post, Slovene feminine nouns are recognized with their ending -a, although, some feminine nouns have different endings. Such as -ev, which are declined with the first feminine declension.  The second feminine declension, known as druga ženska sklanjatev, are for feminine nouns that end with ost, some –en/em/el and some short nouns.

Second feminine declension will be divided into three parts:

  • 2.1 Feminine declension: nouns ending with –ost,
  • 2.2 Feminine declension: some nouns ending with –en/em/el,
  • 2.3 Feminine declension: some short nouns.

Second Female Declension, endings with -ost

Nouns that end with ost, such as kakovost (quality), starost (age), možnost (possibility) are feminine.

If you know the female declension of nouns ending with -a, learning the “first-second” feminine declension ending with -ost should be easy. Pay attention to the text in color.

Here’s the table of Skloni with feminine noun ending with –a:

 “normal” Ednina/Singular Dvojina/Dual Množina/Plural
 SKLON 1 dobra miza dobri mizi dobre mize
 SKLON 2 dobre mize dobrih miz_ dobrih miz_
 SKLON 3 dobri mizi dobrima mizama dobrim mizam
 SKLON 4 dobro mizo dobri mizi dobre mize
 SKLON 5 dobri mizi dobrih mizah dobrih mizah
 SKLON 6 dobro mizo dobrima mizama dobrimi mizami

Here’s the table of Skloni with feminine noun ending with –ost:

2.1 ž. skl. Ednina/Singular Dvojina/Dual Množina/Plural
 SKLON 1 dobra kakovost dobri kakovosti dobre kakovosti
 SKLON 2 dobre kakovosti dobrih kakovosti dobrih kakovosti
 SKLON 3 dobri kakovosti dobrima kakovost(i)ma dobrim kakovostim
 SKLON 4 dobro kakovost dobri kakovosti dobre kakovosti
 SKLON 5 dobri kakovosti dobrih kakovostih dobrih kakovostih
 SKLON 6 dobro kakovostjo dobrima kakovost(i)ma dobrimi kakovostmi

❤ A simplified version of the ending:

 “normal” Ednina/Singular Dvojina/Dual Množina/Plural
 SKLON 1 -A -A -I -I -E -E
 SKLON 2 -E -E  -IH –_ -IH –_
 SKLON 3  -I -I  -IMA –AMA -IM -AM
 SKLON 4 -O –O  -I -I -E -E
 SKLON 5 -I – I -IH -AH -IH -AH
 SKLON 6 -O –O -IMA – AMA -IMI – AMI

and

 2.1 ž. skl. Ednina/Singular Dvojina/Dual Množina/Plural
 SKLON 1 -A -OST -I –I -E –I
 SKLON 2 -E –I -IH –I -IH –I
 SKLON 3  -I –I -IMA -(I)MA -IM –IM
 SKLON 4 -O –OST -I –I -E –I
 SKLON 5 -I – I -IH –IH -IH –IH
 SKLON 6 -O –JO -IMA – (I)MA -IMI – MI

If we compare the two table, you will notice that there is basically a lot of –I with -ost nouns, except:

  • the singular form in fourth case remains the same as its original form,
  • the singular form in sixth case, instead of being just –O, it becomes –JO,
  • the dual form in third and sixth case, instead of –AMA, it becomes –(I)MA

    Dual form in third and sixth case of this group of feminine nouns can be –IMA or –MA, both endings are accepted. Although, it is good to know that on Amebis Besana (a great search engine for Slovene words) will only show the form -MA.
  • the plural form in sixth case is only –MI instead of –IMI.

The declension of adjectives doesn’t change and it remains the same as in “normal”.


Other Nouns – “Exceptions”

Beside nouns ending with –ost, there are also other nouns that fall into the 2.1. Feminine declension group. Such as:

jesen (autumn), kokoš (chicken), miš (mouse), nit (thread), obrv (eyebrow), pamet (intelligence), perut(wing), polnoč (midnight), pomlad (spring), smrt (death) zavest (consciousness), žival (animal)…


Due to exceptions, second Feminine declension can be quite challenging, but there’s no need to panic. I know some Slovenians who “have the grammar in the little finger” (Understanding Slovenian Idioms #002) that also find it difficult. If you have any comments, questions about the second feminine declension, just drop me a message or a comment!


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

Let’s learn,
Anna.

Nouns – First Feminine Declension

As we know, feminine Slovene nouns are usually identified by their -a ending, that group follows the six grammatical cases known as skloni. But some feminine nouns are known as exceptions: they have different endings and follow different declensions.

If you aren’t sure how to identify nouns gender, read: How to Determine the Gender of a Noun in Slovene.

First Female Declension, endings with –ev

Nouns that end with -ev, such as breskev (peach), cerkev (church), lestev (ladder) are feminine. They belong in the first feminine declension group known as prva ženska sklanjatev. Notice how the “e” is underlined, it means that when declined, the “e” is removed.

If you know you know the female declension of nouns ending with -a, learning the first feminine declension ending with -ev should be easy. Pay attention to the text in blue.

Here’s the table of Skloni with feminine noun ending with –a:

 “normal” Ednina/Singular Dvojina/Dual Množina/Plural
 SKLON 1 stara miza stari mizi stare mize
 SKLON 2 stare mize starih miz_ starih miz_
 SKLON 3 stari mizi starima mizama starim mizam
 SKLON 4 staro mizo stari mizi stare mize
 SKLON 5 stari mizi starih mizah starih mizah
 SKLON 6 staro mizo starima mizama starimi mizami

Here’s the table of Skloni with feminine noun ending with –e:

  1 ž. skl. Ednina/Singular Dvojina/Dual Množina/Plural
 SKLON 1 stara breskev stari breskvi stare breskve
 SKLON 2 stare breskve starih breskev starih lestev
 SKLON 3 stari breskvi starima breskvama starim breskvam
 SKLON 4 staro breskev stari breskvi stare breskve
 SKLON 5 stari breskvi starih breskvah starih breskvah
 SKLON 6 staro breskvijo starima breskvama starimi breskvami

As you can see, most of the endings in the first female declension are almost the same as the “normal” feminine declension – only four endings are different.

❤ A simplified version of the ending:

 “normal” Ednina/Singular Dvojina/Dual Množina/Plural
 SKLON 1 -A -A -I -I -E -E
 SKLON 2 -E -E  -IH –_ -IH –_
 SKLON 3  -I -I  -IMA -AMA -IM -AM
 SKLON 4 -O –O  -I -I -E -E
 SKLON 5 -I – I -IH -AH -IH -AH
 SKLON 6 -O –O -IMA – AMA -IMI – AMI

and

 1 ž. skl. Ednina/Singular Dvojina/Dual Množina/Plural
 SKLON 1 -A -EV -I -I -E -E
 SKLON 2 -E -E  -IH –EV -IH –EV
 SKLON 3  -I -I  -IMA -AMA -IM -AM
 SKLON 4 -O –EV  -I -I -E -E
 SKLON 5 -I – I -IH -AH -IH -AH
 SKLON 6 -O –IJO -IMA – AMA -IMI – AMI

If we compare the two tables:

  • the singular form in fourth case remains the same as its original form,
  • the singular form in sixth case, instead of being just –O, it becomes –IJO and
  • the dual and plural form in second case remains the same as its original form.

The declension of adjectives remain the same as in “normal” declension.


Also, an interesting fact: some feminine nouns ending with -ev derive from a verb. Such as:

  • rešitev (solution), which comes from rešiti (to solve),
  • ločitev (separation) ← ločiti (to separate),
  • prireditev (arrangement) ← prirediti (to arrange).

But please note that not all verbs have an –ev version!


Oh… since this is the first feminine declension, there is a second, third and fourth female declension – but those will be covered for another post! 🙂 If you have any comments, questions, just drop a comment or send me a message! I will try to reply as soon as I can!

On a side note, this was not even a super long or detailed post to write and it took me what seems like FOREVER! I guess with a baby that feeds on my attention, I can’t really be helped – especially now that she loves to practice her new skill: rolling!


Meanwhile… discover more Slovene “lessons” that might interest you: Slovene Numbers & NumeralsSlovene Nouns & PronounsSlovene VerbsSlovene AdjectivesSlovene SyntaxSlovenian Idioms.

Let’s learn,
Anna.

Word Family – Slovene Verbs

An interesting way to expand your vocabulary in any language is to learn by word family – besedna družina: a group of “new” words that are formed by adding a prefix and/or a suffix to a root word. I found that concept especially interesting when it comes to Slovene verbs.

One would think that Slovene verbs deriving from the same root verb would have some subtile “related” meaning but it is not always the case, even if they are connected at some point.

Prefixes

Same family verbs are mostly formed by adding a prefix to the root verb. And many of them are also prepositions.

Here’s a list of the most common ones: do- (till), iz- (from), na- (on), o- (about), ob- (at), od- (from), po- (around, after), pod- (under), pre- (too), pred- (before) pri- (next to),  raz- (from), s- (with), v- (in), za- (for)…

I tried to look for some kind of patterns prefix-meanings, unfortunately I couldn’t find any. Also, keep in mind that not all prefixes can be apply to root verbs.

Here’s a few examples to give you an idea:

Pisati (to write)

  • do + pisati = dopisati (to add in writing)
  • iz + pisati = izpisati (to copy out),
  • na + pisati = napisati (to write down)
  • o + pisati = opisati (to describe)
  • od + pisati = odpisati (to answer in writing)
  • po + pisati = popisati (to make an inventory)
  • pod + pisati = podpisati (to sign)
  • pre + pisati = prepisati (to copy)
  • pred + pisati = predpisati (to prescribe)
  • pri + pisati = pripisati (to make note)
  • raz + pisati = razpisati (to tender out)
  • v + pisati = vpisati (to enroll, to record)
  • za + pisati = zapisati (to write down)

Brati (to read)

  • iz + brati = izbrati (to choose)
  • na + brati = nabrati (to gather)
  • o + brati = obrati (to pick)
  • po + brati = pobrati (to pick up)
  • pre + brati = prebrati (to read through)
  • raz + brati = razbrati (to infer)

Govoriti (to talk)

  • do + govoriti = dogovoriti se (to agree on)
  • iz + govoriti = izgovoriti (to pronounce)
  • na + govoriti = nagovoriti (to address)
  • od + govoriti = odgovoriti (to answer)
  • po + govoriti = pogovoriti se (to talk)
  • pre + govoriti = pregovoriti (to persuade, to talk into)

Nesti (to carry)

  • na + nesti = nanesti (to apply)
  • ob + nesti = obnesti se (to be effective)
  • od + nesti = odnesti (to carry out)
  • pre + nesti = prenesti (to transmit)
  • pri + nesti = prinesti (to bring)
  • v + nesti = vnesti (to enter, to insert)
  • za + nesti = zanesti (to carry away)

Pustiti (to leave, to let)

  • do + pustiti = dopustiti (to allow)
  • iz + pustiti = izpustiti (to release, to let go)
  • o + pustiti = opustiti (to abandon)
  • od + pustiti = odpustiti (to forgive)
  • po + pustiti = popustiti (to slacken)
  • pre + pustiti = prepustiti (to leave, to let go)
  • raz + pustiti = razpustiti (to dissolve)
  • s + pustiti = spustiti (to let loose, to let go)
  • za + pustiti = zapustiti (to leave, to abandon)

As you’ve probably figured out, there are many many more. I’m sure that there’s are someroot verbs that interest you in particular, let me know and I will happily find the same family verbs.

And if you see some kind of patterns, please share it with me because it does make me wonder!

Shouts to Paul Steed, one of my readers, who has kindly created some quiz cards with these lists, free to use and share: Quizlet – Word families 01.

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

Let’s learn,
Anna.

Comparative and Superlative Adjectives in Slovene

Same as in English, adjectives in Slovene are comparable, known as stropnjevanje pridevnika, they are ranked by “level”.  Comparative and superlative adjectives are often used to answer questions starting by kakšen.

Learn more about Adjectives in General.

Not sure how to use kakšen? Read about Which Slovene Question Words to Use.

How to recognize them

In Slovene, comparative and superlative adjectives are easily recognizable.

For example, the adjective lep (pretty) is trostopenjsko stopnjevanje – three-level adjective.

  1. Its basic form– osnovnik is simply the adjective, lep (pretty).
  2. Its comparative formprimernik is lepši (prettier).
  3. Its superlative formpresežnik is najlepši (prettiest).

The comparative form is usually:  part of the basic form + the ending –ši / –ejši / – ji.
The superlative form is: naj + its comparative form.


Comparative form

As mentioned earlier, the comparative form is usually part of the basic form with different endings. The question is, how to remember which ending goes with which adjective. Here’s an easy way to guide you through.

Ending with -ši
Comparative form ending with -ši are usually used with short adjective, such as:

  • lep (lepši) – pretty,
  • grd (grši) – ugly,
  • slab (slabši) – bad,
  • hud (hujši) – mean,
  • dolg (daljši) – long,
  • mlad (mlajši) – young.

But there are some longer adjectives that also end with -ši. For example: dober (boljši) – good, majhen (manjši) – small, kratek (krajši) – short…

Ending with -ejši
Comparative form ending with –ejši are mostly used with adjectives that have lots of consonants at the end, such as:

  • čist (čistejši) – clean,
  • močen (močnejši) – strong,
  • hiter (hitrejši) – fast,
  • topel (toplejši) – warm,
  • hladen (hladnejši) – cold.
Notice how the e” in the basic adjective is underlined, it means that when declined, the “e” is removed ∴ it ends up with a lot of consonant together.

Some adjectives also take the -ejši ending, even if they don’t have many consonants together. For example: nov (novejši) – new, star (starejši) – old, poceni (cenejši) – cheap…

Ending with -ji
Comparative form ending with ji are irregular, meaning they don’t follow any pattern. They can be short adjectives, adjectives with many consonants…).

  • lahek (lažji) – easy / light,
  • težek (težji) – difficult / heavy,
  • drag (dražji) – expensive,
  • visok (višji) – tall / high,
  • nižek (nižji) – short / low,
  • ozek (ji) – narrow,
  • globok (globlji) – deep.

You have to learn them by ❤ , but the more you use and hear them, the easier it will be to remember them.

With bolj (more) or manj (less)
Comparative form with bolj (more) or manj (less) are used when endings -ši, -ejši or -ji don’t apply. Usually with longer adjectives, colors and status or conditions.

  • utrujen – tired,
  • svež – fresh,
  • zelen – green,
  • sončen – sunny,
  • suh – skinny / dry,
  • vroč – hot,
  • mrzel – cold.

Of course, sometimes you might forget or won’t know how to say a certain comparative adjective and as a last resort, you can use it with bolj or manj. For example, bolj lep (more pretty), manj lahek (less easy)…


Superlative Form

Once you know the comparative form, the superlative form is very easy. You simply put naj in front of its comparative form and you get its superlative form.

  • lep (pretty) → lepši najlepši,
  • čist (clean) → čistejši → najčistejši,
  • lahek (easy / light) → lažji najlažji,
  • utrujen (tired) → bolj / manj utrujen  → najbolj / najmanj utrujen.

Keep in mind that there are no “absolute” rules with comparative and superlative adjectives. Therefore, the more you practice, the more you will be familiar with them.

If you have any comments or questions, contact me and let me know! We’re all here to learn Slovene!


Discover more Slovene “lessons” that might interest you: Slovene Numbers & Numerals, Slovene Nouns & Pronouns, Slovene Verbs, Slovene AdjectivesSlovene SyntaxSlovenian Idioms.

Let’s learn,
Anna.

Order of Word in Slovene

While learning Slovene, a very intriguing concept to discover and understand  is the syntax or the structure of a sentence. It might seems confusing at first, but one thing that is reassuring is that it follows some rules.

Somehow, I find that sentence structure in Slovene offers a bit more flexibility than in English.

Order of Word

In Slovene syntax, there is a specific rule, known as besedni red – order of word, that concerns some short words in a sentence. Those short words have the 2nd position in a sentence.

The short words that are “targeted” with this rule are: najsem (present, past tense – except for singular third person), bi (conditional) | pronouns in Second (Z2), Third (Z3)and Fourth (Z4) Sklon, se / si (reflective verbs)| je (present, past tense for singular third person), bom (future tense).

Subject (osebek), predicate (povedek), object (predmet) and adverb clause (prislovno določilo). Learn more about Elements of a Sentence in Slovene.

Personal Pronouns – All Skloni (Zx)

For example, “Yesterday, I was doing my homework.” → Včeraj sem delala nalogo4. In English, there would only one version, but in Slovene, we could also say:

1st POSITION 2nd POSITION 3rd POSITION 4th POSITION
Delala SEM nalogo včeraj.
Nalogo SEM  delala včeraj.

As you can see, “sem“, which is one of the targeted short words, is in the 2nd position in all version of the sentence.


More than one targeted short words

If the sentence only has one targeted short word, it automatically takes the 2nd position, but what if the sentence has more than one targeted short words?

DON’T PANIC, there is a chart!

So, here is the besedni red priority chart for the 2nd position in a sentence:

1st PRIORITY 2nd PRIORITY 3rd PRIORITY
sem, bi se / si > Z3 Z4/2  je, bom

Here’s a few example:

1st POSITION 2nd POSITION 3rd POSITION 4th POSITION
Učila SEM SE slovenščino4.
Učila SE BOM slovenščino4.

If we replace “slovenščino4 for its pronoun in Fourth Sklon (Z4), it becomes “jo“, then the order of word changes in the sentence.

1st POSITION 2nd POSITION 3rd POSITION 4th POSITION
Učila SEM SE JO.
Učila SE JO BOM.

I hope I was able to clarify and demystify a bit the concept of sentence structure in Slovene. Just remember that if you happen to use any of the “targeted” short words in the sentence, simply apply the chart of besedni red.

If you have any questions, comments or other helpful tricks, don’t hesitate: contact me and let me know! We are all here to learn and share our knowledge 🙂


Discover more Slovene “lessons” that might interest you: Slovene Numbers & Numerals, Slovene Nouns & Pronouns, Slovene Verbs, Slovene AdjectivesSlovene SyntaxSlovenian Idioms.

Let’s learn,
Anna.

Personal Pronouns – All Skloni

As we know, nouns in Slovene are used in six different declensions, known as skloni. It is the same for personal pronoun. A little bit more complex than English, the main role of the Slovene pronoun is also to “replace” the noun by using a shorter version and avoiding the repetition of the noun.

All at once, the personal pronoun, osebni zaimek, can be quite difficult to remember. That’s why we will go step-by-step. Also, before applying personal pronouns for all skloni, I suggest that you be familiar with the use of each sklon (Learn more about Slovene Nouns & Pronouns).

Zx with the number of sklon in subscripts will be used to indicate the personal pronoun of that specific sklon.

Some personal pronouns has a long and short version.

First, Second and Fourth Sklon

By now, you should know very well what the Personal pronoun in the First Sklon – Nominative are, and I will use them in the table as a reference.

Table for Z1, Z2 and Z4:

Z1 Z2 Z4
jaz mene, me mene, me
ti tebe, te tebe, te
on / ono njega, ga njega, ga
ona nje, je njo, jo
midva / medve naju naju
vidva / vedve vaju vaju
onadva / onidve njiju, ju njiju, ju
mi / me nas nas
vi / ve vas vas
oni / one / ona njih, jih njih, jih

As you can see, most of the personal pronouns in  Second Sklon – Genitive and Fourth Sklon – Accusative are basically the same. The only difference is with ona.

Do you see the link: Ne gledam televizije2 → Ne gledam je2. VS Gledam televizijo4 → Gledam jo4.

Third, Fourth and Fifth Sklon

Z1 Z3 Z4 Z5
jaz meni, mi mene, me meni
ti tebi, ti tebe, te tebi
on / ono njemu, mu njega, ga njem
ona njej, ji njo, jo njej
midva /medve nama naju naju
vidva / vedve vama vaju vaju
onadva / onidve njima, jima njiju, ju njiju
mi / me nam nas nas
vi / ve vam vas vas
oni / one / ona njim, jim njih, jih njih

The personal pronouns in the Third Sklon – Dative, Fourth Sklon – Accusative and Fifth Sklon – Locative have a lot of similarities:

  • most of the singular person in Z3 and Z5 are the same and
  • most of the dual and plural  person in Z4 and Z5 are the same.

Third and Sixth Sklon

Z1 Z3 Z6
jaz meni, mi z menoj, z mano
ti tebi, ti s teboj, s tabo
on / ono njemu, mu z njim
ona njej, ji z njo
midva / medve nama z nama
vidva / vedve vama z vama
onidva / onidve njima, jima z njima
mi / me nam z nami
vi / ve vam z vami
oni / one / ona njim, jim z njimi

As you can see, personal pronouns in Third Sklon – Dative and Sixth Sklon – Instrumental have many in commons, but with a slight changes:

  • z / s is a preposition in the Sixth Sklon (careful with “s teboj, s tabo“) and
  • for the plural person in Zand Zare very similar, but in Zyou add an “i” at the end.

Here’s a table with the personal pronouns in all skloni:

Z1 Z2 Z3 Z4 Z5 Z6
jaz mene, me meni, mi mene, me meni z menoj, z mano
ti tebe, te tebi, ti tebe, te tebi s teboj, s tabo
on / ono njega, ga njemu, mu njega, ga njem z njim
ona nje, je njej, ji njo, jo njej z njo
midva / medve naju nama naju naju z nama
vidva / vedve vaju vama vaju vaju z vama
onadva / onidve njiju, ju njima, jima njiju, ju njiju z njima
mi / me nas nam nas nas z nami
vi / ve vas vam vas vas z vami
oni / one / ona njih, jih njim, jim njih, jih njih z njimi

I know it is a lot of material at once and I hope that I didn’t confuse you too much. But learning a new language, especially complex like Slovene, will take time and practice. Take one bite at the time 🙂

If you have any questions, comments or other tricks, please do share with me!


Discover more Slovene “lessons” that might interest you: Slovene Numbers & Numerals, Slovene Nouns & Pronouns, Slovene Verbs, Slovene AdjectivesSlovene SyntaxSlovenian Idioms.

Let’s learn,
Anna.

Elements of a Sentence in Slovene

A very interesting part of learning a new language, is to know how to make sentences that make sense. Sentence structure in Slovene follows a few guidelines, but I think that it might offer more freedom than English.

The concept of sentence syntax can be quite complex to explain, so we will go one thing at the time to avoid confusion. We will start by the elements of a sentence – stavčni člen.

Elements of a Phrase

In Slovene, there are mainly 4 elements in a sentence: subjectosebekpredicatepovedekobjectpredmet and adverb clauseprislovno določilo.

By themselves, the elements of a sentence don’t mean much, but once put together… TADAMM!! The magic of forming a sentence happens.

Subject
A subject, osebek, is a noun or phrase in the First Sklon (kdo1, kaj1)that controls the verb in the clause. In a more complex sentence, it can have more than one subject.

Predicate
A predicate, povedek, is the part of the sentence that contains a verb (glagol) that is controlled by a subject, describing what a subject is doing. It can be in present tense, past tense, future tense and more. (To learn more, check out the Slovene Verbs.)

Object
An object, predmet, is influenced by the subject and it can be direct (Fourth Sklon), indirect (Third Sklon) or introduced by a preposition (Check Slovene Nouns & Pronouns to learn more about the preposition related with skloni).

In Slovene, the object answers to different question words that are skloni related: koga2, česa2 | komu3, čemu3 | koga4, kaj| o kom5, o čem5 | s kom6, s čim6.

Adverb clause
An adverb clause, prislovno določilo, adds information to sentence by asking questions for time (kdaj), place (kje, kam, kod), cause (zakaj) or ways (kako). There are more situation, but learning those will be a good start.


Now that we have covered the main elements of a sentence, we can start playing around with them.

Please note: Subject (osebek), predicate (povedek), object (predmet) and adverb clause (prislovno določilo).

For example, “The cat plays with a mouse outside.” → Maček se igra z mišjo6 zunaj. In English, there would only one version, but in Slovene, we could also say:

  • Maček se zunaj igra z mišjo6.
  • Zunaj se maček igra z mišjo6.

Is there a rule? That would be another lesson.


The concept of phrase structure can sometimes be quite confusing and I hope that I didn’t confuse you even more. But I think that by going step-by-step and listening to Slovenians, we can learn a lot from it.

If you have any questions, comments or tricks, don’t forget to let me know!


Discover more Slovene “lessons” that might interest you: Slovene Numbers & Numerals, Slovene Nouns & Pronouns, Slovene Verbs, Slovene AdjectivesSlovene SyntaxSlovenian Idioms.

Let’s learn,
Anna.