Learn Serbian

Learning Serbian with exercises, video lessons and online courses

Showing posts with label common phrases. Show all posts
Showing posts with label common phrases. Show all posts

Friday, June 09, 2017

Common Phrases in Serbian - Destinacija broj jedan

Today we are learning two simple phrases in Serbian:


For the pronunciation and additional exercises, check out my Patreon blog :)

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Hteti - Will or Want?

One of the frequent questions is how to translate Serbian "hteti" into English?

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Hteti - Will or Want?

The simple truth is that the verb "hteti" can be translated into English in both ways, either will or want to, or even wish. The best way is to learn through some examples.

Želeti vs. Hteti

  1. Hoćeš li mi  pomoći? Will you help me? (pure future ) - Hoću! Pomoći ću ti (Yes, I'll help you)
  2. Hoćeš li prestati već jednom? Will you stop it once and for all? - Neću! (I won't)
  3. Hoćeš li da mi pomogneš? Do you want to help me? (a bit stronger than "want") - Naravno! Of course! Svakako! Sure! 
  4. Da li hoćeš da idemo u Beograd? Do you want us to go to Belgrade?
  5. Želiš li da mi pomogneš? Do you wish/want to help me? (a bit more like "wish" than "want") - Kako da ne! Sure!
  6. Šta želiš da ti kupim u Beogradu? What do you want me to buy you in Belgrade?

Accepting and Declining 


The other set of useful phrases which we can learn from is how to best respond to questions starting with "Will you?" or "Do you want to....?"

Prihvatanje/potvrđivanje = Accepting
  • Naravno
  • Svakako
  • Nema problema
  • Kako da ne
  • Hoću (if the question starts with Hoćeš li...?)
  • Želim (if the question starts with Želiš li...?)
  • Da
  • Jašta (colloquial + archaic, but fun)
Odbijanje = Declining

  • Nema šanse (no way)
  • Nikako (no way)
  • Neću / Ne želim
  • Ne, hvala (no, thanks)
  • Jok (colloquial + archaic, but fun)


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Serbian Phrases: Don't Argue with Me

Would it be funny for you to hear a phrase "Don't argue with mine!", whatever that might mean?

Here comes a short clip with a similar phrase, which is obviously wrong and make people laugh (together with a specific pronunciation of  Mr. Šojić's "ć" in "ćao" :)



- Nemaš! Šta moliš? Imaš (li) kod sebe 350 Evra?
- Ma gospodine Šojiću...
- Ma, ćao! Nemaš! Ćao! Ne raspravljaj se sa mene! Ne raspravljaj se!

Don't argue with me!

The correct Serbian phrase: "Don't argue with me" would be as follows:

- Ne raspravljaj se sa mnom! (not "sa mene"=)

The verb "to argue" is always used with "se" form: raspravljati se. A few synonyms would be:
svađati se and prepirati se. (Ne svađaj se sa mnom / Ne prepiri se sa mnom). 

 Instrumental of Serbian Pronouns

The preposition "with" requires the Instrumental  form of the pronoun so you can use the mentioned verbs with the following pronouns as well:
  • with me = sa mnom
  • with you = sa tobom
  • with him/it = sa njim
  • with her = sa njom
  • with us = sa nama
  • with you = sa vama / Vama
  • with them = sa njima
If you would like to get all my video lessons with explanations in English, translations and additional exercises like the ones above, in the meaningful order, consider joining me on Patreon. HVALA!

Monday, January 09, 2017

Most Frequent Phrases in Serbian - I Need

I need = Treba mi


I guess one of the most needed verbs in a language must be the verb to need = trebati :) It is a really handy word in Serbian, because of the two following reasons:

Firstly, this verb doesn't conjugate, because in its simplest meaning "I need (something)" we actually use "Treba mi" where "mi" means "to me". If you want to say "You need", it will be "Treba Vam" (formal version) or "Treba ti" (informal version). Therefore, you'll simply change the pronoun as follows:

  • TREBA mi hamburger
  • TREBA ti pica 
  • TREBA mu vino (to him / it = mu)
  • TREBA joj muzika (to her = joj)
  • TREBA  nam restoran (to us =nam)
  • TREBA vam /Vam burek (to you - You = vam/Vam)
  • TREBA im mleko (to them = im)


Secondly, because in Serbian this phrase sounds like the passive in deep structure, the noun always takes a subject case, which is Nominative. (A hamburger is needed to/by me = Treba mi hamburger). Therefore, you don't need to change its form, i.e. no declension :) Lovely! Take a look at the previous examples and the words which follow "Treba ... " phrase. No cases, at all:


  1. hamburger - a hamburger
  2. pica - a pizza
  3. vino - a wine
  4. muzika - music
  5. restoran - a restaurant
  6. burek - burek (a special kind of pie)
  7. mleko - milk
Now, let's practice the pronunciation of this useful phrase together:



1. Šta ti treba? = What do you need?
2. Šta Vam treba? = What do You need? (formal one)
3. Treba mi = I need
4. Ne treba mi = I don't need


Tomorrow, we'll be doing some exercises connected with this video lesson and recording our own XO game :D



Sunday, April 10, 2016

Learn Common Serbian Phrases with Mikela

If you liked the previous post about the common Serbian phrases, I am sure you will like the following set of phrases people tend to use in  daily conversations when they meet the friends they haven't seen for quite a while.

I will add a translation next to the each phrase, so you can see what is only natural to ask if you have a friend who is from Serbia, Bosnia, Montenegro or Croatia :) You will see that there are no "safe" topics about the weather though, lol:)


Đesi ba?* = Where are you? =what's up?
šta ima? = what's up?
kako si? = how are you?
šta radiš? = what are you doing?
ima li šta novo da me iznenadiš? 
= is there anything new to surprise me?

Kad si doš'o? = When did you come back?
kad se vraćaš? = when are you coming back?
vidiš li ti ovo? = can you see what's happening?
i kako ti to shvaćaš? = and what's your take on that?

Šta planiraš danas? = What are your plans for today? (what are you gonna do?)
jesi l' sutra šta planiro? = have you planned anything for tomorrow?
što si neraspoložen? = why are you in a bad mood?
ko te iznerviro? = who bothered you? 
Jes' ti diplomiro ono što si studir'o? = finished what you've been studying?
Nešto s' ti to čini mi se malo pauziro? = it seems you didn't finish it in time?

Jes' to novi telefon kupio? = Have you bought a new (cell) phone?
pošto?  = how much?
ako bi ga prodavo koliko bi košto? = if you were to sell it, how much would it be?
Kol'ko mu prostora u memoriju staje? = how much memory (space=prostor) is there?
kol'ko mu dugo baterija traje?  = how long does the battery last?
Jesu l' to tvoja kola? = is this your car? (The word "kola" in Serbian is always in plural)
il je rent a car? = or is it a rent-a-car?
Je l' to dizel il' benzinac? = is it using diesel fuel or gasoline?
kol'ko je star? = how old is it?

Je l' to na lizing? =Is it on lease?
il je gotovina? = or in cash?
je l' to vuče prednja ili zadnja osovina? = is it front or rear traction?

Refren 2x (* kaš = Kad ćeš)
Kaš* se žent? = When are you gonna get married (ženiti = to get married for men)?
kaš se udavat? when are you gonna get married (udavati = to get married for women)?
De mi reci pa da mogu mirno spavat! = do tell me, so I can sleep peacefully!
imaš li djece? = have any kids?
e nemaš pa što? = no? so why not?
šta čekaš više? = what are you waiting for? 
što ne rješavaš to? = why aren't you working on that?


Kako ti je mama? = How's your ma?
kako ti je tata? = how's your pa?
je l' ti ono imaš sestru ili brata? = have you got a sister or brother? 
(The word "ono"implies that he has forgotten about it)
Radiš li šta? = working?
i kol'ka ti je plata? = how much is your salary?
jesi l' u kreditu?  = having a (bank) loan?
kol'ka ti je rata? = how much is your (monthly) installment?


Đe budeš? = Where are you staying?
đe živiš?= where do you live?
đe stanuješ sada? =where are you living now?
je l' to periferija? = is it in the suburbs? 
za kolko si do grada? = how far is it from the city center?
jesi to na fejsu? = are you on Facebook?
koja ti je slika na profilu? = which is your profile photo?
je l' de da to i ti imaš viška koju kilu? = do admit it that you have put on weight! 
(some (extra) kilos = koju kilu viška)

Refren 3x



 *Đes ba or Gde si? here means "what's up", and is often used along with that phrase "Đes ba? Šta ima?

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