Learn Serbian

Learning Serbian with exercises, video lessons and online courses

Google Tag Head

Showing posts sorted by relevance for query IMPERFECTIVE. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query IMPERFECTIVE. Sort by date Show all posts

Monday, November 08, 2021

Serbian 401 - Aspect in Serbian

Since there aren't many exercises on perfective and imperfective aspect in Serbian, I'll share all my video lessons and exercises for you to practice. 

Aspect in Serbian - Short Explanation

The easiest way to see the difference and the most frequent forms are to contrast present and past tense in Serbian. 

Aspect in Serbian - Trošiti vs Potrošiti  

  1. The Perfective Aspect of the verbs in Serbian shows most naturally in the past tense, denoting the finished action: Potrošila sam puno novca na kompjuter (I have spent /I spent a lot of money on the computer)
  2. The Imperfective Aspect shows clearly in the present tense, showing duration: Dok ti štediš novac, ja ga trošim (While you are saving money, I am spending it) - HOWEVER, it can be used for regular actions and habits as well: koliko novca trošiš svakog mesec? (how much money do you spend each month) 

Aspect in Serbian - Video Exercise

Therefore, this word order exercise is dedicated only to this clear PRESENT/PAST distinction 

For more, make sure you follow Serbian 301 and 401 posts!

Aspect in Serbian - Word order Exercise

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Intermediate Serbian - Verb Aspect, lesson 3

Before we continue with the video lessons focusing on aspect differences, let's be impratctical and  talk only about the grammar today:

As you probably noticed in the previous post for the intermediate level, one can turn an imperfective verb into a perfective one by adding a prefix (buditi - probuditi ,  razbuditi ). But this is not the only way to change an aspect of a verb. You can also:

  • add a prefix to the verb and it becomes perfective 
  • add a suffix to the verb and it becomes perfective (dremati - dremNUti)
  • alter the stem (odmoriti - odmarati, which I explained in the previous post)
But, we have to be cautious with the process of prefixation ! Quite often the meaning of the verb does not bear only the difference in aspect ( whether the action is complete or incomplete: "I wrote" - "I was writing" : Napisao sam = Pisao sam). It more frequently bears a new layer of meaning,  like the ones mentioned in "buditi" becoming perfective in "probuditi" or "razbuditi", so we need to  use phrasal verbs in English to accurately convey the additional meaning.

Let me give you a few examples of:
  • clear-cut distinction pefective-imperfective (without any additonal meanings):
  1. pisati - napisati (to be writing - to have written/wrote)
  2. čitati - pročitati (to be reading - to have read/ read )
  • the prefix adding new meanings :
  1. igrati - odigrati / izigrati / zaigrati  (to be playing - to have played / to play up / to play upon* these translations are incomplete and need to be read in  the sentences, which will be the aim of our future lessons at this level )
  2. pisati -  prepisati (to copy) / zapisati (to jot down) / upisati (to enroll)
Until the next lesson, do practise the aspect in Serbian by doing some fun exercises published in the previous posts:

Friday, January 13, 2023

Practicing Serbian Aspect

Perfective and Imperfective Aspect in Serbian through Tenses

I guess you will like the following exercises focusing only on the verbs TO BUY and TO VISIT, both in the perfective and imperfective aspect & through different tenses. Let me know in the comment if you would like more exercises like these two?




Zadatak: uzdahnula OR uzdisala?


Njuz: šala na temu crnog pantera

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Perfective and Imperfective Aspect in Serbian

In today's lesson we will learn the following verbs

Perfective Aspect = Svršeni glagolski vid 

1. šutnuti = to kick
2. skočiti = to jump
3. potrčati / trčati = to run
4. povući = to pull
5. otvoriti = to open
6. gurnuti = to push
7. zatvoriti = to close
8. uhvatiti = to catch

Imperfective Aspect = Nesvršeni glagolski vid 

1. šutirati = to be kicking
2. skakati = to be jumping
3. trčati = to be running
4. povlačiti / vući = to be pulling
5. otvArati= to be opening
6. zatvAriti = to be closing
7. zatvArati= to be closing
8. hvatA = to be catching

We'll use them in the past tense.

Prošlo vreme, perfektni oblik = Past Simple Tense 

He kickED the ball - on je šutnuo loptu
he jumpED - on je skočio
he ran - on je potrčao
he pullED the box - on je povukao kutiju
he openED the door - on je otvorio vrata
he pushED the box - on je gurnuo kutiju
he closeD the door - on je zatvorio vrata
he caught the ball - on je uhvatio loptu

Click here for the full version.

As you can see each aspect has a different or slightly different form. That's why I am making the short videos with conjugations so you can hear and see the conjugations clearly. Let's focus on the fun task in front of us today, and in the following days you can expect me to focus more on the conjugations of the each verbs with fun exercises. Looking forward to getting your vocaroo.com stories in both aspects :)

Saturday, December 01, 2018

Serbian Aspect with Games - What were you doing?

In this video lessons you can simply practice translating sample sentences with the verbs in the imperfective aspect from English into Serbian.

Once you feel more confident, you can do the tasks yourself!

Imperfective - Perfective pairs of Verbs mentioned in this video

  • ČITATI - proČITATI >>> to be reading - to read
  • SLUŠATI - odSLUŠATI / poSLUŠATI >>> to be listening - to listen to
  • SPAVATI - odSPAVATI >>> to be sleeping - to sleep
  • PLESATI - odPLESATI / zaPLESATI >>> to be dancing - to dance
  • RADITI - uRADITI >>> to be working - to work
  • GLEDATI - odGLEDATI >>> to be watching - to watch

For more similar videos with explanations and exercises, check out my Patreon page!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Meaning of the Verb "slagati se " in Serbian

Slažu se kao pas i mačka :)
The verb "slagati se" imperf.(with first "a" being long) /"složiti se" perf.  = to agree * can have a range of different meanings in Serbian and we're going to discuss them today, because I'll need it for my next lesson about Serbian history.

  • If two colours match, we say "slažu se". For example: Plava se slaže sa žutom, ali se ne slaže sa crvenom (slagati se = to match)
  • If a brother and sister get on/along with each other, we say "oni se slažu". For example: Baš imaš sreće, tvoj  brat i ti se dobro slažete. (You are rally lucky, your brother and you get along very well)
  • If you agree to go out with your friend, you will say: "slažem se". For example: Hoćeš li da idemo u restoran večeras ? Važi, slažem se! (Would you like to go to a restaurant tonight ? OK, I agree!)
  • If two people are at each other's throats, i.e." fight like cat(s) and dog(s)" you can similarly describe it in Serbian as "slažu se kao pas i mačka"!
The simple present tense conjugations of the verb SLAGATI:
(Sg) Slažem se - slažeš se - slaže se  (Pl) Slažemo se - slažete se - slažu se 

The past tense verb forms 
- Imperfective aspect
( _ denotes the auxiliary "to be" which shows which person is the sentence referring to)
(Sg) M slagao _ se, F slagala _ se, N slagalo _  se
(Pl) M slagali _ se , F slagale _ se, N slagala _ se
- Perfective aspect:

( _ denotes the auxiliary "to be" which shows which person is the sentence referring to)
(Sg) M složio _ se, F složila _ se, N složilo _  se
(Pl) M složili _ se , F složile _ se, N složila _ se

The simple future forms:
- Imperfective aspect
(Sg) Slagaću se - slagaćeš se - slagaće se
(Pl) Slagaćemo se - slagaćete se - slagaće se
Perfective aspect:
(Sg) Složiću se - složićeš se - složiće se
(Pl) Složićemo se - složićeš se - složiće se

* You might also find the word "slagati" which means "to lie", but the stress pattern is different (with the first  "a" being short) and there is no reflexive " se".
** You might also find the word "slagati" with the same  stress pattern as "slagati se" (to agree), but without the reflexive "se". In that case, the verb "slagati" means "to stack things" or " to put things in order" 

Friday, October 11, 2019

PO- Prefix with Verbs - Serbian 701

One of the common and very productive ways of expanding a verb meaning is the process of "prefixation" in Serbian. While in English this additional meaning is conveyed through use of different tenses or prepositions in phrasal verbs, at a sentence level, in Serbian it is achieved through only one word, at the lexicology level.

Today we are talking about PO- prefix and its meanings.

Meaning of Po- Prefix in Serbian

There are five main meanings of PO- prefix when added to a verb. These are as follows:
  1. making a perfective verb out of an imperfective one: jesti - pojesti
  2. adding up "distributive meaning", often combined with the word "sve": krasti - pokrasti (there will be a special post dedicated to this)
  3. beginning of the action: leteti -  poleteti
  4. spatial meaning (additional meaning "over") : bacati -  pobacati
  5. action which lasts for a long time: živeti - poživeti

Exercise with Po- Prefix in Serbian

Let me add five lists of verbs for which you have to decide which group they belong to:

Can you think of any other examples?

Here are some of my ideas:

  1. pokisnuti
  2. poleteti
  3. pozlatiti
  4. pokrenuti 
  5. polupati
  6. posvađati 
  7. porazbijati
  8. pokrasti

Examples with Po- Prefix in Serbian Literature

Here comes the famous story Sve će to narod pozlatiti by Laza Lazarević, written back in 1881. 

- What is the meaning of the noun ZLATO and verb POzlatiTI?
- What meaning(s) does this prefix add?
- What is the gist of the story?

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Serbian Verb to Go to with Places

The topic of today's lesson is the verb IĆI U/NA(to go to) followed by different places. Because of the preposition U/NA, which mean in/at/on in English, students tend to make a mistake and use the Locative case of a noun instead of the Accusative. However, since IĆI U is the verb which denotes movement, we can translate it with GO TO and then it is followed by the Accusative.

So, with today's Quizlet set we will be  practicing:

  • different conjugations of the verb IĆI in its imperfective form: idem (sada)  = I am going to (now). 
  • prepositions U vs. NA
  • Accusative Singular nouns (there is a change only with the Feminine nouns, which drop the final A and add U)

Learning Serbian Verb to Go to with Places

Practicing Serbian Verb to Go to with Places

Test with Serbian Verb to Go to with Places

Monday, February 17, 2020

Serbian 501 - Money Collocations

Common Money Collocations in Serbian

In this lesson we are expanding our vocabulary by learning the collocations about money. Let me list the verbs in both imperfective and perfective aspect, which commonly collocate with the word money (novac or pare)

  • Trošiti - potrošiti novac: to spend money
  • Pozajmljivati - pozajmiti  novac: to borrow/lend money
  • Davati - dati  novac: to give money
  • Štedeti - uštedeti  novac: to save money
  • Bacati - baciti  novac: to throw money away
  • Zarađivati - zaraditi  novac: to earn money
  • Dobijati - dobiti  novac: to get money
  • Skupljati - skupiti  novac: to raise money 

Practicing Money Collocations in Serbian

The common examples are in the following exercise: 

For more video lessons and exercises, check out my Patreon page. Thanks for supporting me!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Learn about Serbian Verbs with Children's Songs

Another great song which all the devojčice i dečaci sing is "Ivin voz" by Dragan Laković . It's also perfect to introduce a complex lexical system of the Serbian verb (which mirrors English phrasal verbs as well as perfectve /imperfective aspects ) :

The Cyrillic script version:
Ћиху, Ћиху, ћиху-ху...

Из куће је излетео на улицу Ива
сав задихан захуктао к'о локомотива.

Видели га другови, па за њим и они
потрчали, захуктали к'о прави вагони.

Ћиху, Ћиху, ћиху-ху...

Сад улицом тако јури та чудна колона
то воз Ивин путује са седам вагона.

The Latin script version:
Ćihu, Ćihu, ćihu-hu...

Iz kuće je izleteo na ulicu Iva
sav zadihan zahuktao k'o lokomotiva.

Videli ga drugovi, pa za njim i oni
potrčali, zahuktali k'o pravi vagoni.

Ćihu, Ćihu, ćihu-hu...

Sad ulicom tako juri ta čudna kolona
to voz Ivin putuje sa sedam vagona.

Interesting verb lexicology:

  • leteti = to fly, IZleteti = to fly out of 
  • huktati = to make a sound like a to train (figuratively: to complain) , ZAhuktati se  = to gather speed (for a train, or when doing something)
  • trčati = to run, POtrčati = to start running
An exercise covering this topic can be found on this SerbianLesson.com page.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Serbian 401 - Mala istorija Srbije, drugi deo

Serbian 401 - Mala istorija Srbije, drugi deo

Sigurna sam da ste uživali vežbajući srpski uz Malu istoriju Srbije, prvi deo. Danas stiže drugi deo da vidim koliko se sećate i šta ste naučili do sada ;)

Mala istorija Srbije - vežba, Serbian 401

Perfective and imperfective "se" verbs in  Serbian 401 - Mala istorija Srbije, drugi deo

  1. SMEJATI SE = to laugh (nasmejem se/nasmejao sam se - smejem se/smejao sam se)
  2. UDARATI SE = to hit oneself (udarim se/udario sam se - udaram se/udarao sam se)
  3. ZAGRCNUTI SE /zadaviti se = to choke oneself with food (zagrcnem se/zagrncuo sam se - zadavim se/zadavio sam se)
  4. DEŠAVATI SE = to happen (desi se/ desilo se - dešava se / dešavalo se)
  5. ZVATI SE = to be called (this is used both as a perf. and imperf. verb, but I can add a similar perf. form with a slight change in meaning (give oneself a name): prozovem se/prozvao sam se - zovem se / zvao sam se)... this reminded me of two-aspect verbs, which we could cover in the future!
Nadam se da ste uživali gledajući seriju Mala istorija Srbije i radeći vežbe!

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Expanding Serbian Vocabulary - Money Matters

Here comes a  set of commonly used phrases when talking about money and banks:

  1. Trošiti novac (imperfective) // potrošiti (perfective) = to spend (money)
  2. Dobijati (imp) // dobiti (perf) = to get 
  3. Skupljati (imp) // skupiti (perf) = to collect
  4. Bacati (imp) // baciti (perf)= to throw
  5. Štedeti (imp) // uštedeti  (perf)= to save (money)
  6. Davati (imp)// dati (perf) = to give
  7. Pozajmljivati (imp) // pozajmiti  (perf)= to borrow/lend
  8. Zarađivati (imp) // zaraditi (perf) = to earn

To see how to use these verbs and common collocations, read this sad story about Mića and his best man Todor:

Rešenje i prevod:

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Aspect in Serbian with Verbs Describing House Chores

How to Practice Aspect in Serbian?

When talking about aspect in Serbian, I must admit it is best learnt by using the phrases in everyday situations. A good example is a set of the most frequently used verbs when talking about house chores:

Imperfective vs. Perfective Aspect in Serbian  

  • Prati / oprati sudove = to be washing / to wash the dishes
  • Raspremati / raspremiti = to be tidying up / to tidy up
  • Usisati / usisavati = to be hoovering / to hoover
  • Čistiti / (p)očistiti = to be cleaning / to clean
  • Brisati / obrisati = to be wiping / to wipe
  • Kuvati / skuvati = to be cooking / to cook
  • Pržiti / ispržiti = to be frying / to fry
  • Peći / ispeći = to be baking / to bake
  • Peglati / opeglati = to be ironing / to iron

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Aspect in Serbian - Odmoriti or Odmarati?

Do you know the difference between odmoriti and odmArAti (to have a rest)? Which one shows a finished action (perfective aspect), which one shows an action in progress (imperfective aspect)?

If you know the word trAjAti, which means to lAst, it will help you connect the form with double A with the action in progress, which shows that odmArAti is obviously used to show that you are or were "having a  rest / resting".

On the other hand, the form with odmORIti, shows that you have had a rest and that's it, the result is more important than duration, so this form shows the perfective aspect.

Their various forms and differences in present and past tenses are so subtle, so I created a set of exercises for you to learn more about this weird odmoriti-odmarati duo by actually using them:) Before you see all the forms below, try to do this Micromatch exercise:

How much time did you need? Guess it wasn't that hard, once you were able to see the possible answers. For some more difficult tests, you might need all the verb forms in one place! Now, let me reveal them to you:

Present tense

- odmoriti se: odmorim - odmoriš - odmori // odmorimo - odmorite - odmore
- odmArAti se : odmaram - odmaraš - odmara // odmaramo - odmarate -odmaraju

Past tense

- odmorio - odmorila - odmorilo // odmorili - odmorile - odmorila
- odmarao - odmarala - odmaralo // odmarali - odmarale - odmarala

Have fun!

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Verbal Aspect in Serbian

Listen to the song and decide which phrases you hear.

Finished/Completed (Perfective) - In progress or repetitive (Imperfective)
Sunce me probudi - Sunce me budi
Žurno se obučem - Žurno se oblačim
Popijem kafu = Pijem kafu
Oči protrljam = Oči trljam
Zaspao sam = Spavam
Gurnem vrata = Guram vrata
Pogledam ptice = Gledam ptice
Odem brzo = Odlazim brzo
Osvrnem se = Osvrćem se
Otplovim = Plovim

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Serbian Language Day 10 - Aspect in Serbian

I hope you enjoyed revising the Simple Past in Serbian and wondering why the last lesson was so easy for someone at an intermediate level. The obvious reason is the introduction into this tense, because it'll lead us to the trickiest aspect of the Serbian language:

While in the English language there's an elaborate system of tenses (level of syntax) in order to express whether an action took place, was talking place or has been talking place, in the Serbian language, these distinctions are inferred mainly from the verb, at the lexical level. For example:
  • odmorio (had a rest) or odmarao (was having a rest)
That's why I prepared quite a lot video lessons about Jeremija and Spomenka, and the follow-up exercises, hoping that it'll help you clarify the aspect in Serbian. Let me start with this  difficult one, but if it's too easy, check this one out :)

  • PROBUDITI = to wake up (perfective)
  • BUDITI = to wake up (imperfective)
  • RAZBUDITI = to wake up (perfective)
Kada se obično budiš ? = When do you usually wake up ?
Koliko ti treba vremena da se probudiš ? = How much time does it take for you to wake up ?
Kada si se jutros probudio ? When did you wake up yesterday ?
Jutros sam se probudio u pola šest (5.30) = This morning I woke up at 5.30

In the "she-version", Jeremija made a few mistakes. Here're the correct text:

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Serbian Conjugations - Speaking Exercise with To Have a Rest

In this exercise we are going to practice only the imperfective form of the verb ODMARATI SE = to be having a rest.

Take a look at these photos and make the following sentences:

Present Tense Conjugations of Odmarati


  1. Na prvoj slici vidim mladića u odelu koji SE ODMARA na poslu. 

Past Tense Conjugations of To have a rest

Odmarao - odmarala - odmaralo /// odmarali - odmarale - odmarala


  1. Na prvoj slici vidim mladića u odelu koji SE ODMARAO dok je bio na poslu.

Future Tense Conjugations of To have a rest

Odmaraću se - Odmaraćeš se - Odmaraće se /// Odmaraćemo se - Odmaraćete se - Odmaraće se


  1. Na prvoj slici vidim mladića u odelu koji ĆE SE ODMARATI kada bude na poslu.

Advanced Serbian - Srpski kao drugi jezik

Gde je ključ? Где је кључ? - Učimo srpski sa Marinom
Gde je ključ? ...
Where is the Key?-...
By Marina Petrović
Photo book