Nominative for Beginners in Slovenian

Nominative for Beginners in Slovenian

SlovenianSlovenian A1

Welcome to the next lesson of our brief course on Slovenian for beginners! In this lesson we will focus on nouns, adjectives, declensions and cases. It is important to note that the purpose of the lesson is to understand the difference between English and Slovenian languages. This understanding will greatly expedite the learning process as much as possible. Therefore, this lesson will be the longest and most challenging.

Cases exist in all languages; however, in some languages (like English), case endings are the same. In Slavic languages, cases usually number around 6 or 7. Similarly, Slovenian has three genders for nouns and adjectives: masculine, feminine, and neuter. These genders apply in singular, plural, and dual forms. Naturally, nouns will have different endings in different cases.

Cases differ based on the questions we can ask about nouns within the context of a phrase or sentence.
To sum up: Slovenian has 3 genders and 6 cases. In this and the following articles, we will consider all cases. Let's now briefly and concisely examine the Nominative.

Nominative Case - Imenovalnik

This case is fundamental for all nouns and adjectives. Words answer the questions kdo? (who?) and kaj? (what?). In this case, nouns are always used without prepositions.

Noun gender varies according to endings. In Slovenian, nouns can be masculine, feminine, or neuter.
Masculine nouns in the singular lack vowel letters in their endings.
For example:
hotel (a hotel), dom (a house), prijatelj (a friend).

However, there are exceptions that have endings, such as:
taksi (a taxi), oče (father), avto (a car).

Feminine nouns in the singular end with "a," or in some cases, have no ending at all.
Examples include:
ženska (woman), šola (school), gospa (lady), noč (night), miš (mouse).

Neuter nouns in the singular end with "o" or "e."
Examples are:
mesto (a city), sonce (the sun), ime (name), kolo (a bicycle).


Examples of masculine, feminine, and neuter nouns and adjectives in the nominative case in the singular:
Velik pes - A big dog (masculine);
Dober film - A good movie (masculine);
Moja prijateljica - My friend (feminine);
Zanimiva stvar * - An interesting thing (feminine, exception);
Nedeljsko kosilo - Sunday lunch (neuter);
Športno igrišče - Sports field (neuter).
* Despite lacking an ending, the word "stvar" is feminine gender. There are many such words in Slovenian and you need to remember them.


Dual forms slightly differ in endings:
Velika psa - Two big dogs (masculine);
Dobra filma - Two good movies (masculine);
Moji prijateljici - Two of my friends (feminine);
Zanimivi stvari - Two interesting things (feminine);
Nedeljski kosili - Two Sunday lunches (neuter);
Športni igrišči - Two sports fields (neuter).

As you can see, masculine nouns end in "-a," while feminine and neuter nouns share the same ending "-i" in the dual form. This means that learners might find some forms in the dual quite unfamiliar, such as mesto (city) - dve mesti (two cities); leto (year) - dve leti (two years).


Finally, let's explore how these same words look in the plural form in the nominative case:
Veliki psi - Big dogs (masculine);
Dobri filmi - Good movies (masculine);
Moje prijateljice - My friends (feminine);
Zanimive stvari * - Interesting things (feminine, exception);
Nedeljska kosila - Sunday lunches (neuter);
Športna igrišča - Sports fields (neuter).
In accordance with the examples, it is clear that masculine plural nouns and adjectives have the ending -i, feminine -e, neuter -a.


We hope that you understand everything that is written about Nominative in the article.
We are waiting you in the next lesson, where we will talk about Genitive in Slovenian. Good luck!