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Verb Prefixes in Serbian

I'm sure that many eager learners of Serbian are often puzzled by the meaning of prefixes and suffixes which are added to verbs in our language. While English uses different tense aspects (progressive, perfective) and phrasal verbs to express the same meaning, we tend to express aspect at the lexical level - that's why numerous prefixes and suffixes!

I think it's useless to puzzle students by bombarding them with numerous prefixes with one verb stem e.g. izaći, ući, otići, prići, doći etc. especially in one lesson. I think it's more effective to introduce one prefix, with common meaning, applied to the verbs with which students are already familiar with.

That's why I'll introduce the prefix "do-" = similar to English 'to'

1. meaning towards someone or something, or some finishing phase

trčati (run) - dotrčati (run to)
Sima trči (Sima is running)
Sima je trčao (Sima was running)
Sima je dotrčao (Sima has run (to me or some place))

šetati (walk) - došetati (walk to)
Ja šetam (I am walking/I walk)
Ja sam šetala (I was walking)
Došetala sam se do parka (I've walked to the park)
Došetaću se do tebe. (I'll walk to your place)

2. meaning 'additional'

pisati (write) - dopisati (add to what you've written)
Pišem knjigu (I'm writing a book)
Pisao sam pismo. (I was writing a letter)
Dopisao sam komentar (I added a comment)
Dopisao sam još jednu rečenicu (I've written one more sentence)

zidati (build) - dozidati (build some more/build up)
Zidali smo kuću pet godina (we were/have been building the house for five years)
Dozidali smo jednu sobu (we built up one more room)

dati (give) - dodati (add)
Dali su nam tortu (they gave us a cake)
Dodali smo malo šećera(we added a little sugar)

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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:
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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…