You are on page 1of 2

Learn Croatian without problems Author: Grgo Petrov E-mail: grgo.petrov@gmail.

com Skype: grgocroatia

ABOUT GRAMMATICAL CASES | NOMINATIV
Nominativ (lat. nominare = to name) is a case which in many languages, including Croatian, signifies performer of some action, bearer of doing, condition or characteristics, in contrary to other cases.padežima. Nominativ is called as well as ‘first’ case. Terms in dictionaries are written in nominativ. In Croatian nominativ answers question ‘Who?’ or ‘What?’ (Tko? ili što?). Nominativ is along with vokativ (vocative) independent case. It’s mostly subject of a sentence or part of predicate. To understand following example you need to know what is subject of a sentence, what is predicate, adverbial and other parts of sentence structure (syntax). Problem with English language is that practically all nouns/adjectives/numbers are in nominative - always. In the following examples you will see many categories where nominative is. Note that only nouns/adjective/numbers in nominative that fit the category will be bold, although there could be more of them. PLACE IN SENTENCES mostly as subject Marko je došao. Ti piješ vodu. Marko arrived. You drink water. Who arrived? Who drinks? Marko You

as part of nominal predicate On je mudar. To nije moj konj. Vrata su otvorena. He is wise. Who is wise? That is not my horse. It is not what? Doors are opened. What is opened? wise my horse doors

with some verbs (postati, zvati se, ostati, činiti se, biti i dr. / to become, to be called, to remain/stay, to do, to be etc) Postao je liječnik. He became a doctor. Zovem se Bond.James Bond. I call myself Bond. James Bond. (lit. translation) Bio je učitelj. He was a teacher. with conjuctions kao and nego nominative can be adverbial Trčiš kao pas. To nije Marko, nego Ana! Izgleda kao vila. You run like a dog. It’s not Marko, but Ana! She looks like a fairy. How do you run? Who is it? She looks like what? like a dog not Marko,but Ana like a fairy What did he become? How do you call yourself? What was he? a doctor Bond... a teacher

as attribute and apposition referring to noun in nominative Tu je Marija, Ivanova žena, vrlo ozbiljna osoba. Here’s Marija, Ivan’s wife, very serious person. Both Ivan’s wife and serious person reffer to Marija. And the question would be “Who is here?”. Marija. Outside sentences nominatives is used for naming beings, things and phenomena Hrvatska, mliječna čokolada, Hrvoje Horvat, Jadransko more... Croatia, milk/dairy chocolate, Hrvoje Horvat, Adriatic sea... If your native language doesn’t need to distungish direct object, predicate, subject, etc from each other, just remember that subject of sentence (who or what is doing something or being something) is always in nominative and in nominative can be nouns/adjectives/numbers as part of predicate (He is wise -→ he + is wise-→he=subject, Is wise = predicate)

SOUND CHANGES IN NOMINATIVE Sound changes are main reason (along with few other things, but this is most important) why I will write you three forms of noun,adjective or number when learning vocabulary! As you would have problems to get the rules. Once you develop feeling for it, you won’t need to look for the rules every time. So, nominative plural of some nouns of masculine gender can change. To get idea of what this should look like, try to imagine in some examples in English (carry-carries, Dutch (stenen - steen), German (Haus - Häuser..), Italian (la mucca - le mucche) and other languages. Generally, the plural suffix for masculine is -i. Sibilarizacija is sound change where consonants k,g,h are changed to c,z,s. k→c g→z h→s junak - junaci prilog - prilozi kruh - krusi

Some nouns in nominative plural of masculine gender have different plural (just two letters more). These endings are -ovi, -evi. vuk-vukovi duh-duhovi and some have short duh-dusi vuk-vuci and some have both short and long which means they can be both duhovi and dusi, vukovi and vuci. By insertion of -ov we extend the basis of plural of one-syllable nouns, and by insertion of -ev nouns that end with sounds č, ć, ž , dž, đ, j, lj or nj (shortly, ‘unusual letters’). This is general rule though of course there are words from both groups that don’t follow the rule. Following rules -ov Following rules for -ev However, these examples don’t follow the rules. brod - brodovi grob - grobovi stol - stolovi hram - hramovi slon - slonovi most - mostovi miš - miševi nož - noževi puž - puževi čaj - čajevi noj - nojevi muž - muževi konj - konji zub - zubi

Vowel-zero alternation or ‘Invisible a’ as I named it as it sometimes ‘disappears’. It exists in some forms/cases of some masculine nouns,adjectives and numbers. In my opinion, all cases of use of ‘invisible a’ are to avoid the same singular and plural form and ambiguity in declension. More of it when we get to declension of masculine gender words as you will see ‘template’ how to use it. Until then, here are some examples that have it. pas - psi konac - konci kukac - kukci stolac - stolci borac - borci momak - momci dobar - dobri sitan - sitni This change doesn’t apply to loanwords/words imported from foreign languages. manijak - manijaci