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.

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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.

Slovene Modal Verbs

Modal verbs in Slovene are verbs used to express the ability, possibility or necessity of something, such as can, could, must or such. And like English, it is always the combination of two verbs.

Most of the Slovene modal verbs are used with an infinitive verbs, but some are also used with a conjugated verb.

Lahko and ne smeti, ne moči

(+) Lahko (to be able to) + conjugated verb
In Slovene, lahko means “can” or “could” and it remains the same.  It is usually used with the present tense. Also, it is always used with a conjugated verb | i.e. A lahko plavaš? → Are you able to swim?

(-) Ne smeti (to not be allowed) + infinitive verb
One opposite of lahko is ne smeti, which means”to not be allowed” or “to be forbidden“. It also has a suggestive notion such as “should not“. The verb ne smeti is conjugated and used with an infinitive verb | i.e. Ne smem jesti kruha2. → I am not allowed to eat bread ∴ I shouldn’t.

(-) Ne moči (to not be able) + infinitive verb
Another opposite of lahko is ne moči – “to not be able”, but it usually used to  indicate a physical incapacity. The verb ne moči is conjugated and used with an infinitive verb | i.e. Ne morem priti. → I (physically) cannot come.

Please note that the participle of ne moči. used in Past and Future Tense is mogel. For example: nisem mogel, ona ni mogla.

Želeti and ne želeti

(+) Želeti (to wish) + infinitive verb
In Slovene, “to wish” and “to want” are very similar and it is often expressed with the verb želeti | i.e. Želim imeti psa  → I wish/want to have a dog.

(-) Ne želiti (to not wish)+ infinitive verb
Nothing special, just the negative form of želeti.


Hoteti and ne hoteti

(+) Hoteti (to really want) + infinitive verb
The verb hoteti is used to express a very strong feeling of want. Its conjugation in the present tense is irregular | i.e. Hočem potovati na Japonsko → I really want to travel to Japan.

(-) Ne hoteti (to really not want)+ infinitive verb
The conjugation of the negative form of hoteti in the present tense is also irregular | i.e. Nočem iti na morje → I really don’t want to go to the sea.

Please note that the participle of ne hoteti. used in Past and Future Tense is also hotel. For example: nisem hotel, ona ni hotela.

Morati and ni mi treba

(+) Morati (to must, to have to) + infinitive verb
The verb morati is used to express a necessity | Vsak dan moram jesti  → Everyday I must / have to eat.

(-) Ni mi treba (It is not needed for me)+ infinitive verb
The opposite of morati is the phrase ni mijaz3 treba + infinitive verb | Ni mi treba vstati ob šestih vsak dan → It is not needed that I get up everyday at 6am.

Be careful with ni mi treba. If we analyse it a bit further:

  1. ni : negative form of biti
  2. mi : personal pronoun in Third Sklon for jaz
  3. treba : “need” and it always remains the same.

∴ the Past tense is ni mi bilo treba + infinitive verb and the Future Tense is ni bo mi treba + infinitive verb.


I hope I didn’t confused you too much with the modal verbs. As you can see, most of modal verbs are combined with an infinitive verb, except lahko. Don’t forget that ne hoteti becomes nočemAlso, do not confuse ne moči (negative form) and morati (positive form):

  • ne moči → ne morem → nisem mogel
  • morati → moram → sem moral.

If you manage to remember all those little tricks, you will be able to ace the modal verbs in no time, but of course, it takes lots of practice! If you have any questions, other tricks to share or comments, don’t hesitate and 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.

Slovene Adjectives in General

An important and interesting part of any language is indeed adjective – pridevnik. Knowing how to use correctly adjective will greatly expand your ability to describe and express words, things, but mainly nouns.

As we known, nouns in Slovene can be masculine, feminine or neutral and singular, dual or plural. They are also affected by grammatical cases, known as skloni. Adjective takes the same form as the noun that it describes.

Slovene Adjective in Masculine Form

In my opinion, it is best to first learn the masculine form of an adjective and noun, as it is the “original” form that you might find in the dictionary. And you might notice that it has different endings:

Endings with –ER, –EK, –EN, –EL
Adjectives that end with those particular endings such as hiter (fast), lahek (light/easy), močen (strong), topel (warm) can be tricky to learn. Notice how the “e” is underlined, it means that when declined, the “e” is removed. For example:

  • hiter avtom > hitra ladjaž  > hitro letalos
  • lahek stol> lahka mizaž  > lahko kolos
  • močen veter> močna kavaž  > močno sonces
  • topel čaj> topla vodaž  > toplo vremes

❗ BUT it is not always the case. There are some exceptions.

With exceptions, the “e” remains and only the appropriate ending is added:

  • utrujen (tired) | Davidm je utrujen, Anjaž je utrujena.
  • debel (fat/thick) | Slonm je debel, Kravaž je debela.
  • zelen (green) | Avtom je zelen, majicaž je zelena.

Other endings
For adjectives that have other endings, such as slab (bad), mlad (young), visok (tall), velik (big), vroč (hot) and much more, to decline, we simply add the appropriate ending. For example:

  • slab tedenm > slaba mizaž  > slabo vremes
  • visok avtom > visoka policaž  > visoko drevos
  • vroč čajm > vroča juhaž  > vroče vinos.
Reminder: (m) moški/masculine, (ž) ženski/feminine, (s) srednji/neutral. Learn more about How to Determine the Gender of a Noun in Slovene.

I hope I didn’t confused you too much. Keep in mind that adjectives in Slovene can be used in masculine, feminine, neutral, singular, dual and plural form as well as with any of the six grammatical cases.

If you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate and contact 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.

Different Uses of 1, 2, 3 in Slovene

As we know, numbers  can be used in an infinity of distinct situations. The simple numbers 1, 2, 3 in Slovene can also take many different and interesting forms as well.

Sometimes, it doesn’t follow the “logical” order, therefore, you need to remember by <3. It will be marked in red.

One, Two, Three

General Form
The general form of numbersštevilke, is the most basic and simple form: ena, dva, tri, štiri, pet. It is usually used for counting such as for age (koliko si star)or price (koliko stane).

Keep in mind that due to different genders, amounts and skloni, the nouns and adjectives might take a different forms.

There’s different way to count. To say “this is/these are…”, we say “to je/sta/so…1en stol(m), dva stola, trije/štirje stoli, pet stolov. To say I have…“, we say “imam4en stol, dva stola, tri/štiri stole, pet stolov.

One o’clock, Two o’clock, Three o’clock

Time
Depending on the question what time is itkolika je ura or whenkdaj, the answer will be different.  Keep in mind that prepositions in Slovene are very important.

For “kolika je ura“, the answer is “ura je…1ena, dve, tri.
For “kdaj“, the answer is “ob…5*enih, dveh, treh, štirih, petih.

For half hours, the adverb “pol” is used, and it’s with the second sklon – genitive.  And that, no matter of the question. For example, 12:30 is pol enih, 1:30 is pol dveh, 2:30 is pol treh, 3:30 is pol štirih and 4:30 is pol petih.

To indicate half past, quarter past and so on, the preposition “čez” is used and it’s with the fourth sklon – accusative. For example, 10:05 is pet (minut) čez deset.

On the other hand, to say “till” one, the preposition “do” is used and it’s with the second sklon – genitive. For example, 9:55 is pet (minut) do desetih.

Once, Twice, Three time

Frequency
In Slovene, frequency are easy to express. Simply by adding -krat at the end of the number will do the trick. For example, once, twice, three time is enkrat, dvakrat, trikrat. This “rules” also apply with adverb, such as večkrat (multiple time) or velikokrat (many times). And if you want to say “one more time“, it is še enkrat.

First, Second, Third

Order and Rank
Just like in English, ordeal numbers in Slovene takes a different form: prvi, drugi, tretji, četrti, peti.

Date
It is also used for dates. For example, January 1st is prvi januarJanuary 2nd is drugi januarJanuary 3rd is tretji januar.

 With dates, to say “today is…”, we say “danes je prvi januar1“. To say “today, we are…”, we say “danes, smo prvega januarja2.

How to say dates and times in Slovene

Ranked Frequency
Ordeal numbers can also be used for ranked frequency by adding a at the end. First time, second time, third time and last time is prvič, drugič, tretjič and zadnjič.


There are so many different and interesting ways to use 1, 2, 3 in Slovene. If you have any questions, comments or more ideas of use, don’t hesitate to share it 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.

Reflexive Verbs and Pronouns in Slovene

The general concept of reflexive verbs in grammar refers to a verb whose direct object is its subject. In Slovene, it is better to interpret it as a verb that “reflects” back to its subject (or part of its subject).

As we know, Slovene is a very precise language and skloni seems to be everywhere. with nouns, “direct object” is associated with the Fourth Sklon – Accusative, while “indirect object” is related to the Third Sklon – Dative. No need to say that reflexive pronouns are used with reflexive verbs. And reflexive pronouns are affected by skloni, but in a different way than with nouns.


Reflexive Pronouns: “Se” and “Si”

Reflexive verbs in Slovene can easily be recognized by the short word “se” or “si“, which are reflexive pronouns.

Seis in the fourth sklon.
Si is in the third sklon.

Bonus: In Slovene, some pronouns have a “short” and a “long” version.

Sebe” is the longer version of “se“.
Sebi” is the longer version of “si“.

In Slovene, not all verbs are reflexive. Some are always non-reflexive, some are always reflexive and some can be either. For example:

  • ukvarjati se4 z risanjem6– to occupy yourself with drawing
  • zapomniti si3 sklone4– to memorize declensions
  • bati se4 pajkov2  – to be afraid of spiders
  • učiti se4 slovenščino– to learn Slovene
    učiti slovenščino– to teach Slovene
  • obleči se– to dress myself up
    obleči Anno4 – to dress up Anna

As you can see, the sklon used for the reflexive pronouns is not always the same as the sklon used for the noun. PLEASE, DO NOT PANIC!!! If you understand when to use a certain sklon, then you shouldn’t have too much trouble figuring it out.

For example, the verb umiti (to wash) has few versions:  umiti, ne umiti, umiti se4and umiti si3.

  • umiti koga4/kaj4 – to wash
    The direct object is who/what ∴ the noun is in fourth sklon.
  • ne umiti (kom2/čim2) – to not wash
    The direct object is who/what, even if it’s negative ∴ the noun is in second sklon.
  • umiti se4– to wash myself
    The direct object of the verb is directly the subject ∴ 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 ∴ the reflexive pronoun is in third sklon.

    The direct object is part of the subject ∴ the noun is in fourth sklon.

It might seems a lot at once, but do not be discourage as learning Slovene takes time and practice. Also, I believe that the best way to learn Slovene is not by memorizing everything by heart (because those you will usually forget), but to understand how to use the skloni, verbs, nouns… and how they “work” together.

I hope I didn’t confused you too much :). If you have any questions or comments, please leave me a message!


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

Let’s learn,
Anna.

Slovene Irregular Verbs in Present Tense

In general, the conjugation of regular verbs in Slovene is quite simple to remember and apply, especially in the Present Tense, as it follows a straight forward pattern.

Irregular verbs on the other hand are a little bit more tricky and it needs some practice and memorizing.

An easy way to remember verbs conjugation in Slovene is to memorize the “jazform and simply change the ending accordingly.

Regular verbs ending with -ti, such as kuhati (to cook), -ti becomes -m, ∴ jaz kuham.

Irregular verbs, such as bati se (to be afraid), the ending is same as with regular verbs, but the first part differs from its infinitive form, ∴ jaz se bojim.

Biti (sem) and Imeti (imam)

Two of the most basics verbs that we usually learnt during the early stage of learning Slovene is biti (to be) and imeti (to have). And they are irregular.

Verbs ending with –ovati or –evati

Verbs ending with -ovati, the “ova” always becomes “uje“.

  • potrebovati (potrebujem) – to need
  • potovati (potujem) – to travel
  • svetovati (svetujem) – to advise

And 95% of the verbs ending with –evati, the “eva” also becomes “uje“.

  • končevati (končujem) – to finish
  • vključevati (vključujem) – to include

Verbs ending with –či

A common ending for irregular verbs is –či. Most frequently, the “č” of the “či” is kept and, the “i” is replaced by “e“.

  • reči (rečem) – to say
  • teči (tečem) – to run
  • vleči (vlečem) – to pull
  • obleči se (oblečem se) – to get dressed
  • peči (pečem) – to bake

Another possible ending, but less frequent is the “č” of the “či” becomes “ž” but the “i” is also replaced by “e“.

  • vreči (vržem) – to throw
  • preseči (presežem) – to exceed
  • leči (ležem) – to lie down

Verbs ending with -sati

With some verbs ending with –sati, the “sa” becomes “še“. (Notice how the s changes into š.)

  • pisati (pišem) – to write
  • plesati (plešem) – to dance
  • risati (rišem) – to draw

Irregular verbs are used everyday

Some of verbs that we frequently use everyday are also irregular, but fortunately, most of you should already be familiar with them:

  • iti (grem) – to go,
  • jesti (jem) – to eat,
  • piti (pijem) – to drink,
  • brati (berem) – to read and
  • vedeti (vem) – to know.

Some verbs you might not be as familiar with, but it would be a good idea to know about them:

  • najti (najdem) – to find
  • iskati (iščem) – to look for
  • živeti (živim) – to live
  • moči (morem) – to be able to
  • hoteti (hočem) – to want
  • pasti (padem) – to fall
  • spati (spim) – to sleep

The list of irregular verbs can go on for a while and it’s probably too much to learn everything at once. Although, with time, perseverance and practice, it will become easier.

As mentioned in previous post, one of my favorite reference for verbs is Slovenski Glagol by Rada Lečič and it also includes an nice list of irregular verbs in the Present Tense.


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

Let’s learn,
Anna.