Table of contents
1 Classification and spoken areas
2 Origin of the language and writing, borrowings, orthography, modern writing, computer writing
3 Dialect (Narečje)
4 Grammatical number (Slovnično število)
5 Verbal genera (Glagolnik)
6 Noun (Samostalnik)
7 Verb (Glagol)
8 Verb Tense (Glagolski Čas)
9 Gerund, Verbal noun (Glagolnik)
10 Participle (Deležnik)
11 Imperative (Velelnik)
12 Supine (Namenilnik)
13 Adjective (Pridevnik)
14 Comparative (Primernik)
15 Superlative (Presežnik)
16 Adverb (Prislov)
17 Pronoun (Zaimek)
18 Personal (Subjective) pronoun (Osebni zaimek)
19 Possessive pronoun (Svojilni zaimek)
20 Interrogative pronoun (Vprašalni zaimek)
21 Demonstrative pronoun (Kazalni zaimek)
22 Relative pronoun (Oziralni zaimek)
23 Indefinite pronoun
24 Reflexive pronoun (Povratni zaimek)
25 Numeral (Števnik)
26 Cardinal numeral (Glavni števnik)
27 Ordinal numeral (Vrstilni števnik)
28 Interjection (Medmet)
29 Sentence (Stavek)
30 Clause (Stavčni člen)
31 External links

Classification and spoken areas

Slovenian, or Slovene, language (= slovenski) jezik (Slovenian (slovenščina)) is the westernmost language in the South Slav branch of the Slavic languages group.

slovenščina nf
slovenski jezik nm
Language codes
SIL Code,
SLV
ISO 639-1,
sl
ISO 639-2,
slv
Preferred Character encodings / Writing codes
UTF-8 ISO 8859-2
(Latin-2)
Unicode
Letters
Statistics
# of letters 25
# of vowels 5 in writing, 8 in speech
# of consonants 20
# of grammatical numbers 3
# of cases 6
# of noun classes 3+plural form

The language is spoken by about 2.2 million people, the Slovenians living mostly in Central Europe in their native independent land Slovenia (1,727,360), plus the Slovenians in Venetian Slovenia (Beneška Slovenija) in Italy (100,000), in Austrian Carinthia (avstrijska Koroška) in Austria (50,000), in Croatian Istria (hrvaška Istra) in Croatia (25,000), in some southern parts of Hungary (6,000) and the Slovenians dispersed across Europe and all over the world (specially German Slovenians, American Slovenians, or even Kansas' Slovenians, Canadian Slovenians, Argentinian Slovenians, Australian Slovenians, South African Slovenians) (300,000). It is one of the rare Slavic languages that have preserved the dual grammatical number (like the Upper and Lower Sorbian language) and it has a very difficult noun case system.

English philologist David Crystal said in an interview in the summer of 2003 for the newspaper Delo the following about Slovenian: No, Slovenian is not condemned to death. At least not in the foreseeable future. The number of speakers, 2 million, is big. Welsh has merely 500,000 speakers. Statistically, spoken Slovenian with 2 million speakers comes into the upper 10 % of the world's languages. Most languages of the world have very few speakers. Two million is a nice number: magnificent, brilliant. One probably would think this number is not much. But from the point of view of the whole world, this number has its weight. On the other hand, a language is never self-sufficient. It can disappear even in just one generation ...

There has been a controversy as per the use of the correct English adjective out of Slovenia. Slovene on the whole seems to be the preferred British, and Slovenian the American term. While in the past, these two had distinct meanings, they are nowadays used interchangeably without regard to their former usage.

Origin of the language and writing, borrowings, orthography, modern writing, computer writing

The earliest manuscripts written in Slovene are the Brižinski spomeniki (Freising manuscripts or Freising monuments, German Freisinger Denkmler) found in the parchment manuscript miscellany, which in 1803 came from the Bavarian city of Freising (translated to Slovene in 1854 by Slovenian Slavist and grammarian Anton Janežič as Brizno, Brižnik or later adopted Brižinje, Brižine or Brižinj), where there was once a diocese, to the State Library in Munich. In this manuscript with a liturgic - homiletic content, three Slovene records were found 1807. This miscellany was probably an episcopal manual (pontificals) and Brižinski spomeniki in it were created between 972 and 1093, but most probably before 1000. The main support for this dating is the writing which was used in the centuries after Charlemagne and is named Caroline minuscule or Carolingian minuscule. ([1] [1] [1]).

This language was for a very long time a secondary language, the language of the masses in Slovenia during the period of the Austro-Hungarian empire until 1918, when the German language had primacy and for a short period during the World War II, when Slovenia was divided between the Fascist Italian and the Nazi German hegemony. Because of a strong germanization, the Slovenian language retains a lot of Germanisms, which are preserved in a special way for example: German das Polster (pillow (blazina)) in Slovenian colloquial language is spoken poušter and German der Schraubenzieher (screwdriver (izvijač)) in technical colloquial jargon is šrauf'ncigr or šrauf'nciger.

Slovenian uses a modified Latin alphabet and its modern alphabet consists of 25 unique small and unique 25 capital letters and thus one-letter characters:

a, b, c, č, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, o, p, r, s, š, t, u, v, z, ž,

A, B, C, Č, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, R, S, Š, T, U, V, Z, Ž.

This alphabet (abeceda) was derived in the mid 1840s from an arrangement of Croatian national regenerator and leader Ljudevit Gaj (1809 - 1872) for Croatians (alphabet called gajica or Croatian gajica, patterned on the Czech pattern of the 1830s). Before that Š was, for example, written as , ∫∫ or ſ, Č as T∫CH, CZ, T∫CZ or TCZ, I sometimes as Y as a relict from now modern Russian 'yeri' Ы, J as Y, L as LL, V as W, Ž as , ∫∫ or ∫z.

In the old alphabet used by most distinguished writers, "bohoričica", developed by Adam Bohorič, the characters č, š and ž would be spelt as zh, ∫h and sh respectively, whereas c, s and z would be spelt as z, and s. To remedy this, so that each vocal sound would have a written equivalent, Jernej Kopitar urged development of new alphabets.
In 1825, Franc Serafin Metelko proposed his version of the Slovenian alphabet, called "metelčica". However, it was banned in 1833 in favour of the bohoričica after the so-called Suit of the Letters (Črkarska pravda) (1830 - 1833), won by France Prešeren and Matija Čop. Another alphabet, "dajnčica", was developed by Peter Dajnko in 1824, which did not catch on as much as metelčica; it was banned in 1838. The reason for them being banned is because they mix Latin and Cyrillic characters, which was seen as a bad way to handle missing characters.
The gajica was adopted afterwards, however it still does not feature all characters the language has. In speech, there are 8 distinct vowels (a, wide e, narrow e, i, wide o, narrow o, u, schwa (e)), whereas in writing, there are only 5. Also, many consonants are pronounced differently depending on their position in between other characters (thus, the letter v has 3 different pronunciations), when there is only one written character.

There are 5 letters for vowels (A, E, I, O, U) and 20 for consonants. The Western Q, W, X, Y are excluded from the pure language, as are some Southern Slavic characters, Ć, , Đ, LJ, NJ, but in encyclopedia's and dictionary's listings they are used, because foreign Western proper nouns or toponyms are not translated in full, as they are in some other Slavic languages, such as partly in Russian or entirely in Serbian. Such an encyclopedic listing would have this modified Latin alphabet:

a, b, c, č, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, o, p, q, r, s, š, t, u, v, w, x, y, z, ž.
So Newton or Massachusetts remain the same and are not transformed in, for this language strange, Njutn or in Mesečusets. Other names from non-Latin languages are transcribed in similar fashion to that used by other European languages with some adaptations and unwritten rules. Japanese, Indian and Arabic names such as Kajibumi, Djacarta (Djakarta) and Jabar are transcribed as Kadžibumi, Džakarta and Džabar, where j is exchanged with ž. Diacritical marks from other foreign alphabets (e.g. , Å, Æ, , , Ï, Ń, , , Ş, ) do not have influence on the alphabetical order either.

In the original ASCII frame of 1 to 126 characters we can find these examples of writing Slovenian text:

a, b, c, *c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, o, p, r, s, *s, t, u, v, z, *z
a, b, c, "c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, o, p'\, r, s, "s, t, u, v, z, "z'
a, b, c, c(, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, o, p, r, s, s(, t, u, v, z, z(
a, b, c, c^, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k, l, m, n, o, p, r, s, s^, t, u, v, z, z^

In TeX notation č, š, ž become \\v c, \\v s, \\v z, \\v{c}, \\v{s}, \\v{z} or in its macro versions also as above in ASCII frame "c, "s, "z or in other representations as \\~, \\{, \\' for lower-case and \\^, \\[, \\@ for upper-case, where a Slovenian hyphenization is rather different as within the plainTeX.

Many well known global placenames have their own special Slovenian names:

Countries (države)

Cities (mesta)
Oceans (oceani)
Seas (morja)
Lakes (jezera)
Rivers (reke)

So some names are quite different for sorting from what they are in English.

The writing itself in its pure form does not use any other signs, except, for instance, additional accentual marks, when it is necessary to distinguish between similar words with a different meanings (e.g.:

  • gl (naked) | gl (goal),
  • jsen (ash (tree)) | jesn (autumn),
  • kt (angle, corner) | kot (as, like),
  • kzjak (goat's dung) | kozjk (goat-shed),
  • md (between) | md (brass) | md (honey),
  • pl (pole) | pl (half (of)) | pl (half past (the previous hour)),
  • prcej (at once) | precj (a great deal (of))),
  • rem (draw) | rmi (rummy (- a card game))).

Basically there are no definite or indefinite articles as in English are (a, the, to (with a verb)) or in German (der, die, das, ein, eine, ein). A whole verb or a noun is described without articles and the grammatical gender is found from the word's ending. It is enough to say barka (a /or the barge) (der Kahn), Noetova barka (a/ the Noah's ark) (die Arche Noahs) and the gender is known in this case to be feminine. In declensions, endings are normally changed. 2nd case: barke, 3rd case: barki, barko, pri barki and z barko for 6th case. If one would like, somehow, to distinguish between definiteness or indefiniteness of the article, one would say for the barge as (prav) tista barka (that (exact) barge) or for a barge as ena barka (one's barge). A gender can differ from ones of the other languages in many cases of course as in:

  • miza (a table) - feminine)(стол - masculine) (der Tisch- masculine),
  • stol (a chair) - masculine (стул - masculine) (der Stuhl- masculine).

The gender is very often the neuter:

  • gabrje (beech-forest) (or better hornbeam-forest) + singular noun ( грубовый лес - masculine) (der Weibuchenbestand - masculine),
  • vrata (doors) + plural noun (дверь - feminine + plural noun) (die Tr - feminine).

Dialect (Narečje)

If you don't have a dialect, you don't have a language [An old saying]

There are at least 32 main dialects (narečje) dI and speeches (govor) sP of spoken Slovenian language. Main regional groups are:

  1. koroško (Carinthian),
  2. vzhodno (Eastern),
  3. severovzhodno (Northeastern),
  4. zahodno (Western),
  5. osrednje (Central),
  6. gorenjsko (of Upper Carniola),
  7. belokranjsko (of White Carniola),
  8. dolenjsko (of Lower Carniola),
  9. primorsko (Maritime).

There are also local groups and sub-groups sG as:
  1. banjško (sP),
  2. baško (sP),
  3. borjansko,
  4. bovško,
  5. briško,
  6. brkinsko (in Brkini)
  7. bržansko (in Bržanija in Trieste vicinity),
  8. celjsko (in Celje),
  9. cerkljansko (in Cerkljansko),
  10. činžaško,
  11. čiško,
  12. črnovrško,
  13. goričansko,
  14. gradiščansko,
  15. haloško (in Haloze),
  16. horjulsko (in Horjul),
  17. idrijsko (in Idrija),
  18. istrsko, (in Slovenian Istria),
  19. južno belokranjsko (sG)
  20. južno notranjsko (in south of Notranjsko),
  21. južno pohorsko (sG),
  22. kapleško,
  23. kobariško,
  24. kostelsko,
  25. kozjansko - bizeljsko,
  26. kozjaško (sP),
  27. kranjskogorsko (in Kranjska Gora) (sP),
  28. kraško (on Kras (the Karst)),
  29. laško (in Laško) (sP),
  30. logaško,
  31. lovrenško,
  32. ljubljansko (in Ljubljana),
  33. mariborsko (in Maribor),
  34. medijsko,
  35. mešano kočevsko (sP),
  36. mežiško (in Mežica),
  37. nadiško,
  38. notranjsko (in Notranjsko)
  39. obirsko,
  40. obsoško, (along river Soča)
  41. podjunsko (in Podjuna),
  42. pohorsko (on Pohorje),
  43. poljansko,
  44. posavsko,
  45. prekmursko (sG),
  46. prleško (in Prlekija),
  47. puščavsko,
  48. remšniško,
  49. rezijansko (in Rezija), Resianica,
  50. ribniško,
  51. rižansko (in Rižana) (sP),
  52. rožansko,
  53. savinjsko (in the valley of Savinja),
  54. sevniško - krško (sP),
  55. solčavsko (in Solčava) (sP),
  56. selško,
  57. severno belokranjsko (sG),
  58. severno pohorsko - remšniško,
  59. srednje beloknjanjsko (sG),
  60. srednje savinjsko (sG),
  61. srednje štajersko (sG),
  62. šavrinsko (sP),
  63. škofjeloško (in Škofja Loka),
  64. šokarsko,
  65. tersko,
  66. trbonsko,
  67. tolminsko (in Tolmin),
  68. trboveljsko (in Trbovlje),
  69. vrtojbensko (in Vrtojba),
  70. vzhodno dolenjsko (sG),
  71. vzhodno gorenjsko (sG),
  72. vzhodno prleško (sG),
  73. zagorsko - trboveljsko (sP),
  74. zasavsko,
  75. ziljsko,
  76. zgornje savinjsko (sG),

We can also talk about spoken American Slovenian, spoken by Slovenian emigrants in the USA (mostly in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Illinois). For example they would usually say in broken Slovenian: Jez prihajam z-Amerik-e (I come from America). For the dialects from the Carinthian region it is known that they, more than in their deep structure, differ from each other in their vocal and lexical image; from literary language, however, they differ no more than the other marginal Slovenian dialects. That is why the dialects in elementary school can be some kind of natural transition towards literary language and written word. We can see the borders of Slovenian dialects on Fran Ramovš's Dialect Map ([1]).

Slovenians gained a national consciousness at the beginning of the 17th century and especially in the 19th century.

France Prešeren is one of the first modern poets of Slovenian literature.

Grammatical number (Slovnično število)

The Future Tense (Prihodnjik)

We shall use the Future Tense to demonstrate the usage of the Grammatical number in Slovene.

In the Slovenian language, the future tense is made by the verb to be in the future tense plus the past participle of the verb.

For example: the English table of I will see (Jaz bom videl), including gender for he (= on) and she (= ona) without it (= ono) can be transformed as:

Singular Plural Dual (Semi)
I will see We (all) will see We (both) will see
You will see You (all) will see You (both) will see
He will see/She will see They (all) will see They (both) will see

from the Slovenian table:

Singular +M/F gender Plural +M/F gender Dual +M/F gender
Jaz bom videl/Jaz bom videla Mi bomo videli/Me bomo videle Midva bova videla/Midve bova videli
Ti boš videl/Ti boš videla Vi boste videli/Ve boste videle Vidva bosta videla/Vidve bosta videli
On bo videl/Ona bo videla Oni bodo videli/One bodo videle Ona (or onadva) bosta bosta videla/Oni (or onidve) bosta videli

Not only does the language have singular and plural but also dual, which is rendered in English using the word both.

Dual is a feature of the Old Slavic language and from the Old Slavic language the dual has been transmitted to Slovenian. It is a number like singular and plural but it is only used for two subjects and objects. We have:

Ona sta (Both of them are -- two objects or subjects) [masculine gender]
Oni sta (Both of them are -- two objects or subjects) [feminine gender]

Oni so (All of them are -- more than two objects or subjects) [masculine gender]
One so (All of them are -- more than two objects or subjects) [feminine gender]

Dual is also preserved in gender, as the above example clearly shows.

Verbal genera (Glagolnik)

Noun (Samostalnik)

The Noun can serve in terms of syntax as the subject or the object of a sentence. In Slovene, this is shown by cases. There are 6 cases in Slovene:

  1. the Nominative case (imenovalnik)
  2. the Genitive case (rodilnik)
  3. the Dative case (dajalnik)
  4. the Accusative case (tožilnik)
  5. the Locative case (mestnik)
  6. the Instrumental case (orodnik)

By the way a noun is inflected (its ending changes in all these cases, and endings are different for singular, dual and plural), we distinguish between 11 declensions in Slovene. These are the following, with their model noun inflected. Please note that there are many exceptions for each of the declensions. In the following tables, B shall mean "Base", E shall mean "Ending".

The First Feminine Declension (prva ženska sklanjatev) (model is lipa, lime (or linden) tree)
CASE Singular Dual Plural
  B E B E B E
1 lip a lip i lip e
2 lip e lip - lip -
3 lip i lip ama lip am
4 lip o lip i lip e
5 (pri/o) lip i lip ah lip ah
6 (z) lip o lip ama lip ami

The notable exceptions to this model are nouns ending in -ev instead of -a in nominative singular (breskev (peach), lestev (ladder), žetev (harvest)), and the nouns gospa (lady, madam), hči (daughter) and mati (mother).

Some nouns, in addition to those ending in -ev, change their base in the genitive of dual and plural. Namely, the schwa (-e-) (or -i- in front of -j-) is inserted. For example: vožnja (fare) - voženj, igra (game) - iger, ladja (ship) - ladij.

The Second Feminine Declension (druga ženska sklanjatev) (model is perut, wing (of a bird))

The Third Feminine Declension (četrta ženska sklanjatev) (model is mami, mummy (an alias for 'mother'))

The Fourth Feminine Declension (tretja ženska sklanjatev) (model is dežurna, a person on-duty (this is an adjectival noun (posamostaljeni pridevnik)))

The First Masculine Declension (prva moška sklanjatev) (model is korak, step)

The Second Masculine Declension (druga moška sklanjatev) (model is vojvoda, duke)

The Third Masculine Declension (tretja moška sklanjatev) (model is H2O, or any other acronym and symbol)

The Fourth Masculine Declension (četrta moška sklanjatev) (model is dežurni, a person on-duty (this is an adjectival noun (posamostaljeni pridevnik)))

The First Neuter Declension (prva srednja sklanjatev) (model is mesto, city, and polje, field)

The Special Neuter Declension (posebna srednja sklanjatev) (model is Krško)

The Fourth Neuter Declension (četrta srednja sklanjatev) (model is dežurno, a thing on-duty (this is an adjectival noun (posamostaljeni pridevnik)))

Count noun

Collective noun

Mass noun (Množinski samostalnik)

In Slovene, mass nouns can be seen similarly to English mass nouns, with some exceptions, as shown below:

  • voda (water),
  • pohištvo (furniture),
  • pesek, (sand),
  • perilo, (laundry),
  • znanje (knowledge) (singular), znanji (two 'knowledge(s)') (dual), znanja (three and more 'knowledge(s)') (plural).

Verb (Glagol)

Imperfectness and perfectness (Dovršnost in nedovršnost)

Verbs have, as in many languages, two main continuance forms. In English, however, the perfective and imperfective verb forms are substituted by different tense aspects (simple versus continuous).

skakati (to jump (habitually or continuously) (to be jumping)) [imperfective verb (infinitive)]
skočiti (to jump (once)) [perfective verb (infinitive)]

Continuance is preserved in almost all 'tenses':

(Jaz) skačem (I am jumping) [imperfective verb in present (continuous) tense]
(Jaz) skočim (I jump (once)) [perfective verb in present (simple) tense]

Note: The personal pronoun can be, or rather, should be, particularly for the first person singular (I (Jaz)), omitted, for it is not used as frequently as in the English language. It is a regular form, however, it does not sound right if actually used, peculiarly so in speech. This is likely because, unlike in English, the form of the verb gives all information, such as the gender, grammatical number and person, by itself.

skakal sem (I was jumping) [imperfective verb in past (simple) tense, masculine]
skakala sem (I was jumping) [imperfective verb of past (continuous) tense, feminine]
--
skočil sem (I jumped) [perfective verb of past (simple) tense, masculine]
skočila sem (I jumped) [perfective verb of past (continuous) tense, feminine]

Note: Gender is expressed by verb endings.

skakal bom (I will be jumping)[imperfective verb of future (continuous) tense, masculine]
skakala bom (I will be jumping) [imperfective verb of future (continuous) tense, feminine]
--
skočil bom (I will jump) [perfective verb of future (simple) tense, masculine]
skočila bom (I will jump) [perfective verb of future (simple) tense, feminine]

Active and passive voice (Tvornik in trpnik)

The Slovenian language mostly uses the active voice. Hence, a typical English sentence, such as he was elected as a fellow of the Royal Society (izvoljen je bil za člana Kraljeve družbe), would more likely be seen in Slovenian in the form they elected him a fellow of the Royal Society (izvolili so ga za člana Kraljeve družbe). This is usually the main error in style when translating English text to Slovenian and vice versa, for while uncommon, the passive is a valid form in Slovenian.

Verb Tense (Glagolski Čas)

In Slovene, there are 4 tenses:

  1. the Pluperfect (Past Perfect) tense (predpreteklik)
  2. the Preterite (Past Simple) tense (preteklik)
  3. the Present tense (sedanjik)
  4. the Future tense (prihodnjik)

Unlike in English, choosing the correct tense is trivial.

Formation

The Pluperfect

The Pluperfect tense is formed the following way: the present tense of the auxiliary verb biti (to be) + the past tense of the auxiliary verb biti (to be) + the past tense of the full lexical verb

For example:

  • sem bil videl (I had seen)
  • je bila odšla (she had gone)
  • so bili odkrili (they had discovered)

The Pluperfect tense is not used in modern language. It should be confined to literature.

It describes an action taking place before another action in the past, much the same as the Pluperfect (also known as the Past Perfect) tense in English, or the Plusquamperfekt in German.

The Preterite

The Preterite tense is formed in the following way: the present tense of the auxiliary verb biti (to be) + the past tense of the full lexical verb

For example:

  • sem videl (I saw)
  • je odšla (she went)
  • so odkrili (they discovered)

The Preterite tense is used to describe an action or state in the past. It corresponds to the English Preterite (also known as Past Simple Tense), and also the Present Perfect tense, and to the German Perfekt and Prteritum.

The Present Tense

The Present tense is formed in the following way: the present tense of the full lexical verb

For example:

  • vidim (I see)
  • odhaja (she is going)
  • odkrivajo (they are discovering)

The Present tense is used to describe actions and states happening at this moment or generally. It corresponds to the English Present (Simple & Continuous) Tense, and the German Prsens.

The Future Tense

The Future tense is formed in the following way: the future tense of the auxiliary verb biti (to be) + the past tense of the full lexical verb

For example:

  • videl bom (I shall see)
  • odšla bo (she will go)
  • bodo odkrili (they will discover)

The Future tense describes future actions or states, and corresponds to Will-Future, Going-to-Future, Future Perfect and Present Continuous (when used for the future) in English, or Futur I (with certain exceptions) in German.

Gerund, Verbal noun (Glagolnik)

Participle (Deležnik)

Present participle

Past participle

Imperative (Velelnik)

The Imperative mood is formed using a different ending to verbs for each person, but more often than not, there is a change in the base as well (for instance: plesati (to dance) - pleši (Dance!), or peti (to sing) - poj (Sing!)).

The following table lists forms for the verbs to be (biti), to go (iti), and a regular verb, to walk (hoditi).

Singular Plural Dual
-- bodimo - pojdimo - hodimo bodiva - pojdiva - hodiva
bodi - pojdi - hodi bodite - pojdite - hodite bodita - pojdita - hodita

The idea expressed by the Imperative, this is, a command, may also be expressed by the modal verb should (naj). For instance: "naj bom" (Let me be.), "naj gredo" (or even "naj pojdejo") (They must go; I order them that they should go.), "naj bo (luč)" (Let there be (light).).

Supine (Namenilnik)

Adjective (Pridevnik)

Comparative (Primernik)

The Comparative is formed by adding the ending ši (ša, še), ejši (ejša, ejše) or ji (ja, je) to an adjective, or using the word bolj (more) in front of an adjective in case of stressing, and also when the adjective in question cannot be formed by adding an ending, such as when dealing with colours, or when the adjective ends in such a sound that it would be difficult to add the appropriate ending.

For instance:

Superlative (Presežnik)

The Superlative is formed by prepending the word naj directly in front of the Comparative, regardless if it is of one or two words.

  • lep - lepši - najlepši
  • trd - trši - najtrši
  • zelen - bolj zelen - najbolj zelen
  • zanimiv - zanimivejši - najzanimivejši (but najbolj zanimiv is more common)
  • transparenten - transparentnejši - najtransparentnejši
  • globok - globlji - najgloblji
  • otročji - bolj otročji - najbolj otročji

Adverb (Prislov)

The Adverb in Slovene is always the same as the neuter form of any given adjective.

  1. "Dan je bil lep." (The day was nice.) - masculine adjective
  2. "Bilo je lepo." (It was nice.) - neuter adjective

--> "Imeli smo se lepo." (literally, "We had ourselves nicely.", the meaning is 'We had a nice time.')

--> "Govorili so lepo." (They spoke nicely.)

Pronoun (Zaimek)

Personal (Subjective) pronoun (Osebni zaimek)

Possessive pronoun (Svojilni zaimek)

Interrogative pronoun (Vprašalni zaimek)

Demonstrative pronoun (Kazalni zaimek)

Relative pronoun (Oziralni zaimek)

Indefinite pronoun

Reflexive pronoun (Povratni zaimek)

The Reflexive pronoun in Slovene is se or sebe, the former being the stylistically neutral, the latter emphasised. It is used following a verb either in the Dative or the Accusative, similarly to the German sich. It is, however, the same for all persons and grammatical numbers. Se (sebe) is the Accusative form of the Reflexive pronoun. Its Dative form is si (or sebi).

For example:

Similarly as in German and English, the Reflexive pronoun can sometimes be replaced by the reciprocal phrase drug drugega (each other, one another, in German, einander). Thus: "Drug drugemu umivata roke." (They (or better, The two of them) are washing each other's hands, or in German, Sie waschen einander die Hnde) or "Umivata drug drugega." (They (or better, The two of them) are washing each other, or in German, Sie waschen einander)

Numeral (Števnik)

Cardinal numeral (Glavni števnik)

Ordinal numeral (Vrstilni števnik)

Interjection (Medmet)

Sentence (Stavek)

Free sentence (Prosti stavek)

Včeraj sem šel domov. (I went home last night.) (or: Last night (I) went home.)
Danes prihajam domov. (I am coming home today.)
Jutri bom šel od doma. (I shall leave home tomorrow.)

Compound sentence (Zložena poved)

Res me veseli, da si prišel. (I am really glad you came.)
Da - tako je bilo, kakor praviš! (Yes - it was as you say!)

Another beautiful example is first Prešeren's verse from his poem "Zdravljica" ("A toast") now Slovenian national anthem.

Incomplete sentence (Nepopolna poved)

This is a sentence which does not have a predicate.

Rana ura, zlata ura. (Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise; The early bird catches the worm (literary Early hour, golden hour))

Inserted sentence (Vloženi stavek)

V tistih časih - bil sem še mlad in sem od sveta veliko pričakoval - sem lepega večera srečal starega berača in ... (In those times - I was still young and I expected a lot from the world - I met an old beggar one fair evening and ...)

Accompanying sentence and direct speech (Spremni stavek in dobesedni govor)

"Dobro jutro," je rekla Lojza. ("Good morning," said Aloysine.")
"Lojza je rekla: "Dobro jutro." ("Aloysine said, "Good morning.")

Clause (Stavčni člen)

In a sentence, there can only be four main clauses, the order of which is seldom crucial:

subject (osebek) + predicate (povedek) + object (predmet) + adverbial phrase (prislovno določilo).

By changing the order, the stressed part changes. It may also serve to create a poetic sentiment, for inversion is common in poetry.

External links

Language History

Standard Slovenian language links