In the Croatian language, some types of words change their form within a sentence depending on their role or, put simply, the context within a sentence. Some other types never change, no matter what. So, we differentiate between changeable and unchangeable types of words.
Types of words are formally called ‘parts of speech’. We decided to simply refer to them as types of words as we are trying to make our posts as little technical and as more understandable to the non-linguist audience as possible.
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Types of change that can happen with changeable words
For example, if you have ever heard Croatian people doing weird things to your name, this is because your name – being a noun – changes in cases. So, if you are, say, John, Croats would also say Johnu, Johna, Johnom… Don’t worry – they are not out of their minds, they are just using different “versions” of your name, based on the context within a sentence.
For example (click on the play button to hear the audio):John je moj brat. – John is my brother. (the nominative case)
Vidim Johna. – I see John. (the accusative case)
Razgovaramo o Johnu. – We are talking about John. (the locative case)
Idem na plažu s Johnom. – I’m going to the beach with John. (the instrumental case)
If this looks quite confusing, don’t worry – it’s normal. To cheer you up, we have prepared a series of posts where Croatian language and grammar are explained in detail, step by step. Please leave your email here if you want to receive them every week.
nov – new
noviji – newer
najnoviji – the newest
In the given example,
Ja radim. – I work.
Ti radiš. – You work.
On radi. – He works.
Learning Croatian continues… Next Tuesday we are learning about the genders in the Croatian language. If you want us to send you an email with the next Croatian grammar lesson, put your email address here.
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