Skip to main content

Past tense in Serbian

Prošlo vreme, or Perfekt, as we call it in Serbian, is the past tense which covers all the English past tenses (the Past Simple, Past Continuous, Present and Past perfect). It is most commonly used tense for expressing past time events. The Aorist tense is also used, though not that often.

Formation of PERFECT in Serbian

Here is the formula for the Past Tense in Serbian:

LONG FORM:
Subject + present of TO BE + Past Participle (or literally: ' past participle adjective ' = glagolski pridev radni) For a very thorough explanation check this link.

Ti si plesala. (You were dancing.)

SHORT FORM:

Past Participle + present of TO BE


Plesala si.


It is formed by replacing the 'i/e/ati' or 'ći' infinitive ending of the verb with the past participle endings as follows:

Masc. Sg -o
Fem. Sg - la
N. Sg -lo
Masc. Pl -li
Fem. Pl - le
N. Pl -la

I will use the opportunity of this excellent video to introduce past tense verbs:

Novak je pobedio Federera.

Novakova devojka je skakala od sreće, a njegovi prijatelji su se radovali.

Federer je polomio reket, a posle je bacao flaše, što možete videti na snimku.



* With reflexive form of the word, the auxilliary "to be" is dropped in the third person singular, so :
"She woke up" = Ona se probudila. or Probudila se.  (instead of ona je se probudila, or probudila je se)

For more Serbian video lessons check this page.

Comments

Zim said…
Hvala ti! Thank You very much - it really helped me to understand Serbian past tense. It looks easier than English. Greetings from Poland.
Marina Petrovic said…
Nema na čemu, i drugi put :) Javi kako napreduje učenje srpskog ! puno pozdrava, Marina

Popular posts from this blog

Idiot's guide to the Cyrillic alphabet

During my sojourn in Montenegro, I encountered both the use of Latin and Cyrillic versions of the alphabet. This was a great opportunity to pick up and understand more of the Cyrillic alphabet.
Signs for streets & squares were in the Cyrillic alphabet, which is based on the one sound, one letter system. I had a steep learning curve in reading Cyrillic, particularly when I was trying to read the inscriptions on the Partizan memorials for my English compatriots!



Now I am sharing with you, dear blog readers, on how I started to learn the Cyrillic alphabet. I found it easier by breaking down the alphabet into sections. All in all, it took me just over 1 hour to get myself acquainted with the alphabet.
Click here to hear the audio


ћирилица
.................................................................................. THE FRIENDLY LETTERS (As they are exactly the same as in the latin alphabet) K M T O A E J
Examples words: ATOM, MAJKA
THE FALSE FRIENDS (Be aware - although they look the…

Verb Conjugations in Serbian

Serbian belongs to a group of (highly) flective languages, and as such its verbs have conjugations. This means that you have to pay attention to the suffixes which are added to the stem of the verbs. If you have a dictionary of Serbian, you will notice that infinitive endings are -iti, -ati, -eti, -ti and sometimes -ći. In order to learn conjugations, it is wise to know that the suffixes for each person singular or plural are added to the verb stem (base verb without infinitive endings). For example:
infinitive of the verb 'to love': voleti
verb stem: vol (so, in the photo, you can se 'VOLim' not 'volEm' (which is wrong, but not in all parts of Serbia ... I think if you LOVE someone, whichever language you are using, you cannot be wrong ;)

If you are interested in learning how to conjugate a specific verb, visit this extraordinary site with verb conjugations in Serbian.

The conjugation system of Serbian verbs is rather complex. There are several classes of regul…