Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Conjugations in Serbian - to Shave

Why Conjugations of Brijati - To Shave

While I was watching RTS1 today I saw a very interesting and insightful story about a very old "brica", a barber who works in  "berbernica". I looked it up on Youtube, but couldn't find it on RTS1 Channel. However, there was a similar story which can be turned in another interesting lesson at an upper-intermediate or advanced level.



How to use this video and introduce relevant verb conjugations?


  • As usual, it's always great to elicit the vocabulary based on watching the video, without the audio:
  1. BRICA - barber
  2. BRIJATI Present (brijem / brijes/ brije // brijemo / brijete/ briju) -to shave (impf)
  3. BRIJATI Past (brijao / brijala / brijalo // brijali/ brijale/ brijala) - shaved (past)
  4. BRIJANJE - shaving
  5. OBRIJAN - shaved
  6. OBRIJATI - to shave (perf)
  7. IZBRIJATI/IZBRIJVATI/IZBRIJAVANJE - to clean shave
  8. BERBERNICA
  9. Collocations: brijati + bradu/glavu, savladati brijanje, brijanje glave/brade, ucenje brijanja, vezbanje brijanja, oblikovanje brade
  • Now, let's watch the video with audio this time and simply encircle the words, conjugations and collocations as you hear them. 
  • The last step is vocabulary practice, which is soon to be uploaded onto Serbian School website with videos and exercises.



Monday, November 24, 2014

Short Serbian History - Part One

This year I have discovered three real gems for learning Serbian at higher levels:
As I have already written about Naša Snajka and Državni Posao, let me introduce you to  "Mala istorija Srbije" series which present Serbian tradition and history in a didactic and lively manner. For example, while watching the first episode you can learn:



  • until what time it is safe to greet someone saying "dobro jutro"
  • what "stalni gosti" usually drink
  • what "srpski političar" looks like
  • the connotation of the word "stoka"
  • who can save you on February 24th



Now, how can you learn Serbian while watching these videos?




  1. At first turn off the audio and describe what's going on
  2. When watching the video for the second time, do listen to it and ask as many questions as possible (of course, press pause in order to manage this!). So, the aim is to understand what's going on!
  3. Retell the story using the phrases and vocabulary used by Milena, Lane, Vlasta, Vasić and Žika
Have fun! 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Passive Participle Verb Form Exercises

Passive Participle Verb Forms

The Passive Voice in Serbian is not that hard, but the main problem is the verb form called "trpni glagolski pridev", or passive participle in English. Although I have already written about it, it can be useful to mention how to form it:
*VERB STEM + -N/-NA/-NO // -NI/-NE/-NA
Example: NAPISA+TI --- napisaN, napisaNA, napisaNO // napisaNI, napisaNE, napisaNA (to write --- written)

*VERB STEM + -N/-NA/-NO // -NI/-NE/-NA
Example: NAPISA+TI --- napisaN, napisaNA, napisaNO // napisaNI, napisaNE, napisaNA (to write --- written)

*VERB STEM + -T/-TA/-TO // -TI/-TE/-TA
Example: PRODA+TI --- prodaT, prodaTA, prodaTO // prodaTI, prodaTE, prodaTA (to sell --- sold)

*VOICE CHANGES: in some cases with the verb stem ending in  -e or -i:
  • NOSITI - NOŠEN
  • VIDETI - VIĐEN
  • RANITI - RANJEN
*ADDING an infix - V or -J between the stem and the passive suffix:
  • OBUTI - OBUVEN
  • ČUTI - ČUVEN
  • UBITI - UBIJEN
  • ISPITI - ISPIJEN
To exemplify all these changes and forms with real life examples, I am in constant search of good videos. Today I came across a very useful one which I want to share with you! 

Video with Passive Participle 

Passive Participle Verb Practice

You'll be able to practise the passive participle verb forms with the following exercises which are based on the verbs in the first four minutes of the video:


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Past Tense Practice in Serbian

Past Tense Practice in Serbian

You can find lots of useful info on the Simple Past tense in Serbian in some of the previous posts on this blog. Today I'd like to share a cute song I found on Youtube - all you have to do is to listen to it carefully and add the past tense suffixes to the past tense and present tense verbs and a few suffixes with the nouns in plural. 



Dlan_ _ _ ti puni snova
Osmeh boje izazova
Reci, kud si krenu_ _?
U srcu ti ceo svemir
U oč_ _ _ kriješ nemir
Snove si sakri_ _

Zvezd_  su u tvojoj kosi
Kao da te jesen pros_
Nikom neće da te da
Hoda_ lako kao vila
Gde si se do sada kri_ _
To me baš zanima

Samoj sebi već sam čudna
Svake noći ja sam budna
Šta se sa mnom desi_ _
Tvoji prst_ na gitari
I sve te lagane stvar_
Sviraj mi ponovo

Malo čežnje na tvom licu
Leptir slete_ na žicu
Nebo se osmehu_ _
Probaj sa mnom sne da deli_
Šapući mi sve što želiš
Niko nas ne čuje

Hajde da malo proba_ _
Baš to x3
Jagod_ s puno šlaga
Ti si mi tako draga
Pa nek ide sve
Do vraga

Hajde da malo krade_ _
Baš to x3
Osmeh od sladoleda
Noć ima ukus meda
Šta je iza tvog pogleda

Source and download via Youtube channel Vanja Grastić



If you are not sure about the meaning, I prepared a quiz with which you can learn the words, and later on you can try to sing the song :)

Let's learn the vocabulary:
Let's listen:
Let's play:

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Serbian Language Tests - Accusative Plural

There are so many different online tools for making tests, quizzes and fun video exercises and I think you noticed I like experimenting with them while creating various tasks for learning Serbian. Funnily enough, it takes time for some tools to develop and in the meantime, I completely forget about them. One of these is certainly Quizlet, which I joined three years ago, but haven't realized its potential until recently, thanks to my student, Paul! Hvala, Pavle :)

If you flicked through Serbian School website, you probably noticed that I started adding videos and Serbian language tests made with this tool. I even started making classes at different levels, to group the tests, so feel free to join in!

Let me see if I can share some of the tests on this blog as well! This particular exercise is a follow up of a video lesson explaining which phrases to use when shopping:

  • želeti = to want to
  • kupiti = to buy
  • videti = to see
  • želim da kupim = I want to buy
  • želim da vidim = I want to see
Kupiti/videti is followed by the Accusative (čaša - želim da vidim čašu), but in this exercise we practise asking general questions with the Plural noun form, in the Accusative. That's why the idea behind this exercise is for you to turn : I + want + buy + a glass into I want to buy glassES or in Serbian: JA + ŽELETI + KUPITI + ČAŠA into ŽELIM DA KUPIM ČAŠE

Sooooooo, let's give it a try! How well did you do it?

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