Which Slovene Question Words to Use

If you’re already familiar with Slovene, you might have noticed that different Slovene question words have the same translation in English. However, in Slovene, they are not always interchangeable as they are used under specific situations.


Kje and kam (where)

Kje and kam both mean where, but in Slovene, they are used in different contexts: one indicates a position while the other points at direction and movement – which is not specified by the word where in English.

  • Kje is used for specific location, usually used with the fifth sklon.
    i.e. Where are you now Kje ste zdaj?
  • Kam is used for destination, usually used with fourth (destination is a place) and third sklon (destination is a person).
    i.e. Where are you going for holidaysKam greste na potovanje? 

Koliko, Kako and kakšen (how)

The word how in English is used for different question, such how much, how many (koliko), how to (kako), how is (kakšno) and so on. Koliko is used with amounts and quantities, so it shouldn’t be a problem.

Kako and kakšen are both used to describe or ask for description and they can easily be confused.

  • Kako is used to describe a feeling, a condition or how to do something.
    i.e. How are you → Kako ste? / How are you feeling today→ Kako počutite danes? / How to learn Slovene → Kako se učiti slovensčino?
  • Kakšen is used to describe things, person, places or objects.
    i.e. How is the dress → Kakšna je obleka? / How was the trip → Kakšen je bil izlet?

    The answer to kakšen is often with adjectives, that can go by level. For example, lep (pretty) < lepši (prettier) < najlepši (prettiest).

Kateri and Kakšen (which and what kind)

Kateri (which) and kakšen (what kind) don’t exactly have the same translation in English, but somehow, they can be quite confusing. To know which to use, the key is in what kind of answer are you expecting.

  • Kateri is usually used for multiple choice answer
    i.e. Which handbag is prettier? The blue one → Katera je najlepša torba? Modra.
    In this example, the answer could be have been red, black, brown or any color available.
  • Kakšen is usually used for a more detailed answer, to describe 
    i.e. What type of handbag are you looking for? Small and classic  Kakšna torba iščete? Mala in clasičšna.
    In this example, the answer could have been the description of any kind of possible handbag.

At first, it is not always obvious to decide which question word should be use, but the more you practice and listen how Slovenians speak, it will slowly become more clear!

If you have any question, be sure to contact me!


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

Let’s learn,
Anna.

General Question Words in Slovene

Whether you’re learning Slovene seriously or just for fun, knowing how to express questions, vprašanje, is essential. It also makes conversation a lot more interesting.

A or Ali

Using the short word Ali or A is an easy way to formulate a yes or no questions in Slovene | i.e.  Can you repeat, pleaseA lahko ponovite, prosim?  / Do you like to eat apple A radi jeste jabolko?

Question Words in General

Same as in English, Slovene uses different general and basic question words at the beginning of the sentence

  • kaj (what)| i.e. What are you doing here → Kaj delate tukaj?
  • kdo (who) | i.e. Who is your friend → Kdo je tvoj prijatelj?
  • kje (where)| i.e. Where do you live → Kje živite?
  • kako (how)| i.e. How are you today→ Kako ste danes?
  • kdaj (when)| i.e. When do you have your birthday → Kdaj imate rojstni dan?

    Kdaj is used to express dates and time.

    How to Say Dates and Times in Slovene
  • kateri (which) | i.e. Which bus is the right one → Kateri avtobus je pravilen?
  • čigav (whose) | i.e. Whose car is silver → Čigav avto je siv?
  • koliko (how much, how many) | i.e. How much time do you have → Koliko časa imate?

    Koliko is used to express amounts and quantities.

    How to Express Quantities in Slovene – Second Sklon
  • zakaj (why)| i.e. Why is the sky blue → Zakaj je nebo modro?

Of course, there are more ways to formulate questions, but being familiar with those will be a good start. 🙂


As you learn the language, you will start to notice that some question words have the same translation in English, but are differently used in Slovene, such as

  • kje and kam (where),
  • kako and kakšen (how) and
  • kateri and kakšen (which).
Slovene is a very precise language and some Slovene question words are used with specific situation.

Which Slovene Question Words to Use

While learning the Slovene grammar, you will realize that some question words will help you identify which of the six grammatical cases is used. Sometimes, you will notice that the questions words are written differently. I will cover that in a future post.


Once you know which question words to use, formulating a question in Slovene shouldn’t be too complicated! At some point, it can even become fun as you will be able to express yourself easier! 🙂

If you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to ask me and I will try my best to give you an answer!


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

Let’s learn,
Anna.