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Sunday, November 02, 2008

Case suffixes in Serbian

One of the most difficult features of the Serbian language are declensions, i.e. different suffixes which words such as nouns, pronouns, adjectives take in different cases. Let me add all of them in one place, while in the following posts you will be able to focus on practicing these cases, one by one and in a more fun way!

Singular Cases Suffixes in Serbian 

Case name:Answers question:Used to describe:Suffixes (I tried describing just the majority of case endings, general rule, not the exceptions and specific ones)
NominativeKO?
ŠTA?

Who? What?
Usually the subject of a sentence and predicative- Masc. most often ends in a consonant
- Fem. most often ends in A
- Neut. most often ends in -E or -O
Genitive KOGA?ČEGA?

Of who? Of what?
Possession, belonging, a part of something- Masc. nouns take an - A ending
- Fem. nouns drop the final -a and take an -E ending
- Neut. nouns drop the final -e or -o and take an - A ending (while some nouns in animate category add an infix T, so you get deteTA, pileTA)
DativeKOME?ČEMU?

To whom? To what?
The noun to which/ whom something is given, shown, etc.- Masc. nouns take an - U ending
- Fem. nouns drop the final -a and take an -i ending
- Neut. nouns drop the final -e or -o and take an - U ending
AccusativeKOGA? ŠTA?

Whom? What?
Usually the object of a sentence- Masc. nouns describing inanimate concepts don't change while nouns in animate category (person / animal / plant) take an - A ending, the same as the genitive case
- Fem. nouns drop the final -a and take an -U ending
- Neut.  nouns describing inanimate concepts don't change, regardless of the category (animate/inanimate) 
VocativeHEJ! Calling someone or in poems referring to something or some placeUsed to address somebody or something- Masc. nouns ending in a consonant take an - E ending, the ones ending in an -a drop the final -a and take an -O suffix, otherwise they don't change (examples: Dejvid - Dejvide! Pera - Pero! Mirko - Mirko! )
- Fem. nouns  of the foreign origin don't change in the locative, while the two and more syllable ones drop the final -a and take an -O ending, while names ending in -CA drop the final A and take an -E  (Marina! Kim! Nada - Nado! Ljubica - Ljubice!)
- Neut. nouns don't change 
InstrumentalS KIM?
ČIM?

Using, with, whom? Using, with, what?
Company (with preposition s) or utilization of something or someone to accomplish an action- Masc. nouns take an - OM ending
- Fem. nouns drop the final -a and take an -OM ending
- Neut. nouns drop the final -e or -o and take an - OM ending
>>> for all genders, after some "soft" sounds you will have an ending -EM (mužEM, tušEM...)
LocativeGDE?
O KOME? O ČEMU?

Where? About whom?
Location, Relation(It's good to know that the locative = dative in form)
- Masc. nouns take an - U ending
- Fem. nouns drop the final -a and take an -i ending
- Neut. nouns drop the final -e or -o and take an - U ending

Plural Cases Suffixes in Serbian ... coming soon

Exercise with Case Suffixes in Serbian


Draga Anna,

Hvala ti za predivnu idej__ kako da vodim ovaj blog. Trudiću se da redovno objavljujem kratke prič__ ili postov__ , bez nastavak__ za padež___, a rešenj___ ćeš moći da pročitaš u audio fajl__ na vrhu___ svak___ post___. U početk___ ću pisati lakše tekst___ , pa sve teže i teže. Možeš mi i dojaviti šta ti se sviđa, a šta ne u komentar___.
Pošto svakodnevno izmišljam test____ za učenik___ englesk___, neće mi biti teško da to radim i za srpsk___ . Nadam se da ćeš uživati, kao i ostali vredni učenic__ koji nalete na ovaj blog.
Do sledećeg javljanj___ sve najbolje i puno pozdrav___
od Marin___

 ps. the answer key is in comments

6 comments:

Sava Petrovic said...

translation:

Dear Anna,

Thank you for the wonderful idea how to organize this blog. I will do my best to publish short stories and posts regularly, without endings/suffixes for cases, while the key will be provided in the audio file at the top of each post. At the beginning I am going to write easier texts, and then gradually, more and more difficult ones.
You can tell me what you like, and what you don't like in the comments. Since I regularly make tests for my students of English, it won't be difficult for me to make them for Serbian too. I hope you will enjoy doing them (the tests), and hopefully the other hard working students who come across this blog. Until my next post, I wish you all the best and I am sending you lots of regards
from MArina.

Anna said...

Thank you very much for your commitment and the exercise which was very useful.

Anna

Marina Petrovic said...

one correction>
"... while the key will be provided in the audio fileS *(I used plural in the audio)"

Marina Petrovic said...

@Anna - nema na čemu, i drugi put :o)
Nadam se da si dobro uradila, i da nisam prebrzo čitala - jer za ove audio fajlove imam samo 60 sekundi, pa stalno imam strah da neće sve stati.

Paulo Fabiano Langer said...

Hi Marina, how are you doing?
Congratulations for this blog.
I have some doubts about this post. I didn't get the general idea.
Theses words without the last letter, what kind are they? Adjetives, Substantives, Adverbs ?
I don't know in Serbian but I study modern greek and I can, in most cases, identify the word's kind by its ending.

Marina Petrovic said...

Zdravo Fabiano,
Thanks for your endorsement!
The idea of this post was to write the case suffixes at the end of each noun. If you would like to hear the answer, there is the audio file which can be heard either by foxy tunes (if you use mozzila), directly on the site, or by downloading the mp3 file from rapidshare.