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!

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.

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
dekleta
dekletidekleta
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.

Let’s learn,
Anna.

Nouns – Masculine Exceptions

Masculine Slovene nouns generally have a consonant ending, which follows the six grammatical cases known as skloni. Although, in some cases, the nouns don’t end with a consonant, but they are also masculine.

International Words

Nouns that you might recognized without knowing Slovene, often “borrowed” from another language and don’t end with a consonant.

When declined, nothing “extra” is added. 

  • avto (car) → Grem z avtom6  (I go with car).
  • kino (movie theater) → Sem v kinu5 (I’m at the movie theater).
  • radio (radio) → Sem brez radia (I’m without radio).
  • finale (final), disko (disco)

When declined, “-j” is added.

  • taksi (taxi) → Sem v taksiju5 (I’m in the taxi).
  • hobi (hobby) → Nimam hobija2 (I don’t have hobby).
  • kanu (canoe) → Grem z kanujem6 (I go with canoe).
  • iglu (igloo), abonma (subscription), bife (bar), nivo (level), kuli (ballpoint pen)

Ending with -R

In general, masculine nouns end with a consonant. Many masculine nouns end with the consonant “-r” are considered as exceptions.

When declined, “-j” is added.

  • papir (paper) → Nimam papirja2 (I don’t have paper).
  • denar (money) → Imam težave z denarjem6 (I have problems with money).
  • some people: kuhar (cook), kolesar (biker), gozdar (forester)

When the ending is “-er“, the “e” disappears.

  • veter (wind) → Danes je brez vetra2 (Today is without wind).
  • meter (meter) → To je dva metra1 visoko (This is two meters tall).
  • Peter, Koper, Alexander

Ending with -E, -I or -O

Some masculine nouns, mostly names, can be confused with neutral gender as the ending is not a consonant but  “-e”, “-i” or “-o”.

Masculine nouns ending with “-e”, when declined “-t” is added.

  • e (father) → Grem z očetom6 v trgovino (I go with father to the store).
  • Tone, Jože, Anže, Ažbe, Jure, Bine

Masculine nouns ending with “-i”, when declined “-j” is added. 

  • i (father) → Grem z očijem6 v trgovino (I go with father to the store).
  • Franci, Timi, Edi
Oče and oči both can mean father or grandfather, depending on the region.

And oči can also mean oko (eye) in plural, which has a different ending.

Masculine names ending with “-o”, when declined nothing “extra” is added. 

  • Marko → Poročila sem se z Markom6 (I’m married with Marko).
  • Branko, Zlatko, Teo, Stanko, Miro

Ending with -A

As we know, endings in “-a” is often used with feminine nouns, but some masculine names also end with “-a”.

When declined, it has two possible endings : no change or as a feminine noun.

  • Miha → Šla sem brez Miha / Mihe2 (I went without Miha).
  • Luka, Jaka, Grega

Bonus Endings

For some short masculine nouns, when declined (all skloni), an “-ov” is added in dual and plural forms.

  • grad (castle) → V Evropi so veliko gradov2(m) (There are a lot of castles in Europe).
(E) ednina (D) dvojina (M) množina
Sklon 1 grad gradova gradovi
Sklon 2 gradu*
grada
gradov gradov
Sklon 3 gradu gradovoma gradovom
Sklon 4 grad gradova gradove
Sklon 5 gradu gradovih gradovih
Sklon 6 gradom gradovoma gradovi
  • sok (juice) → Danes sem popila dva sokova4(d) (Today I drank two juices).
  • grob (grave), volk (wolf), most (bridge), glas (voice), gozd (forest)
*And if you want to be extra classy, some short words in Second Sklon, the singular form has two versions: one is as usual and the other, the ”-a” becomes ”-u”.

  • Some that adds ”-ov”: grad (castle), glas (voice), most (bridge).
  • Some that doesn’t add ”-ov”: led (ice), med (honey)

Some masculine nouns for ”people”, when declined in First Sklon, the plural form has two versions: one is as usual and the other, a ”-j” is added.

  • kmet (farmer) → Tam so trije kmeti / kmetje1(m) (There are three farmers).
  • študent (student), gost (guest), sosed (neighbor), gospod (mister).

Learning “exceptions” is never easy, but it’s like going the extra mile! Determination and practice! If you have any questions or other words that you would like to add-in, let me know!


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

Let’s learn,
Anna.

Nouns – Second Feminine Declension, Part 3

In general, feminine nouns in Slovene end with -a, but there are some exceptions. Feminine nouns ending with –ev use the first feminine declension. Second feminine declension – druga ženska sklanjatev, is divided into three sub-groups:

Second Feminine Declension, short nouns

Some short nouns, such as luč (light), noč (night), sol (salt), pot (path) are feminine. There are no pattern or specific endings, so you need to learn them.

If you know the “second-second” feminine declension with ending with -en/-em/el then learning the “third-second” should be fairly easy. Pay attention to the text in color.

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 lepa pesem lepi pesmi lepe pesmi
 SKLON 2 lepe pesmi lepih pesmi lepih pesmi
 SKLON 3 lepi pesmi lepima pesmima lepim pesmim
 SKLON 4 lepo pesem lepi pesmi lepe pesmi
 SKLON 5 lepi pesmi lepih pesmih lepih pesmih
 SKLON 6 lepo pesmijo lepima pesmima lepimi pesmimi

Here’s the table of Skloni with short feminine noun :

2.3  ž. skl. Ednina/Singular Dvojina/Dual Množina/Plural
 SKLON 1 hitra pot hitri poti hitre poti
 SKLON 2 hitre poti hitrih poti hitrih poti
 SKLON 3 hitri poti hitrima potema hitrim potem
 SKLON 4 hitro pot hitri poti hitre poti
 SKLON 5 hitri poti hitrih poteh hitrih poteh
 SKLON 6 hitro potjo hitrima potema hitrimi potmi

❤ A simplified version of the ending:

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

and

 2.3 ž. skl. Ednina/Singular Dvojina/Dual Množina/Plural
 SKLON 1 -A -Ø -I -I -E -I
 SKLON 2 -E -I -IH -I -IH -I
 SKLON 3  -I -I -IMA –EMA -IM –EM
 SKLON 4 -O -Ø -I -I -E -I
 SKLON 5 -I – I -IH -IH -IH –EH
 SKLON 6 -O –JO -IMA –EMA -IMI –MI

If we compare the two tables:

  • the dual and plural form in third and sixth case, the –I becomes –E and
  • the singular and plural form in sixth case, the –I is removed.

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


There is no specific ending for short feminine nouns that are declined by the “third-second” feminine declension, so here is a short list:

dlan (palm), jed (dish, meal), klet (cellar, basement), klop (bench), kost (bone), kri (blood), moč (strength), peč (stove), pomoč (help), prst (finger), skrb (care, worry), smer (direction), smet (garbage), stran (side, page), stvar (thing), utež (weigth), vas (village)…


Feminine declensions can be quite overwhelming at first, that’s why you need to learn them step by step and always start with what you already know. If you have any questions or comments – be sure to let me know – parenthood keeps me busy but I will try to reply as soon as possible 🙂

Update – here is my Cheat sheet “Table of First and Second Feminine Declension“. More can be found under Learning Materials.


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

Let’s learn,
Anna.

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.

Please note that I live near Tržič, which is close to the Austrian border, therefore, many of the words are inspired by German.


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

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. 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
Hotel 
-1. the building 2. masculine and singular participle for past and future tense.


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, Slovene Adverbs.

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-groups:

Second Feminine 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!

Update – here is my Cheat sheet “Table of First and Second Feminine Declension“. More can be found under Learning Materials.


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

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:

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!

Update – here is my Cheat sheet “Table of First and Second Feminine Declension“. More can be found under Learning Materials.


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

Let’s learn,
Anna.