The future tense in the Croatian language, negative
...or how to say you WON’T do things

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If you thought that learning the affirmative form of the future tense was easy, the negative form will really be a piece of cake. All you need is to add ne- in front of the auxiliary verb htjeti (will) to make it negative – and the rest is the same as in the affirmative form! Yes, one more time – learning Croatian made easy! 🙂

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Here is how it goes:

NEGATIVE FUTURE TENSE = NEGATIVE HTJETI (WILL) + MAIN VERB IN INFINITIVE

Yes, this means that you need to combine one of the negative forms of the htjeti (will) from the table below with the main verb – which is still in , its basic form.

Glagol htjeti – niječni oblik
The verb will – negative form
Jednina
Singular
Množina
Plural
1. (ja) neću I will not (I won’t) 1. (mi) nećemo we will not (we won’t)
2. (ti) nećeš you will not (you won’t) 2. (vi) nećete you will not (you won’t)
3. (on) neće he (m.) will not (he won’t) 3. (oni) neće they (m.) will not (they won’t)
(ona) neće she (f.) will not (she won’t) (one) neće they (f.) will not (they won’t)
(ono) neće it (n.) will not (it won’t) (ona) neće they (n.) will not (they won’t)

So, let’s use again the verb učiti (to learn) and have a look at its negative future tense forms:

Futur prvi glagola učiti – niječni oblik
The future tense of the verb to learn – negative form
Jednina
Singular
Množina
Plural
1. (ja) neću učiti I won’t learn 1. (mi) nećemo učiti we won’t learn
2. (ti) nećeš učiti you won’t learn 2. (vi) nećete učiti you won’t learn
3. (on) neće učiti he (m.) won’t learn 3. (oni) neće učiti they (m.) won’t learn
(ona) neće učiti she (f.) won’t learn (one) neće učiti they (f.) won’t learn
(ono) neće učiti* it (n.) won’t learn (ona) neće učiti they (n.) won’t learn

*In Croatian, ono (it) does not refer to an object, but to any neuter noun, even if it means a person, like dijete (child). So, ono neće učiti can mean dijete neće učiti.

Some more examples:

(Ja) neću plivati u bazenu.I won’t swim in the pool.
(Ti) nećeš jesti rafiole.You won’t eat rafioli cakes.
(Mi) nećemo kuhati danas.We won’t cook today.
(Oni) neće gledati novu predstavu.They won’t watch the new show.
(On) neće doći prije sljedećeg ljeta.He won’t come before next summer.
(Vi) nećete ići s njima. – You won’t go with them. 
(Ona) neće spavati u hotelu.She won’t sleep in a hotel.

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Can we drop the personal pronoun (ja, ti, on…) from the sentence here, too?

As you are probably guessing from the fact that the (ja, ti, on…) are in brackets, you can use them, but you can also make the sentence without them, without changing the word order. What is more common? If it’s obvious from the context who you are talking about, it’s better to skip it

If you read our previous post on the future tense (affirmative form), you might remember that the Croatian language makes no difference between will, shall and going to future constructions. So:

Neću plivati. = I will not / shall not / am not going to swim.

Exercise:  Put the verbs in brackets into their negative future tense form.

Was this easy or what? Any questions? What else would you like us to write about? 

Learning Croatian continues… Next Tuesday we are learning about the interrogative form of the future tense. If you want us to send you an email with the next Croatian grammar lesson, put your email address here.

If you want to learn Croatian online with a teacher one-on-one, don’t hesitate to book your free trial lesson here.

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