Definitions

norice

Slovene nouns

In Slovene, nouns, which are used to define a person, place, or a thing, as well as adjectives, which describe the attributes of a noun, are declined for 6 cases and 3 numbers (singular, dual, and plural). This section presents an overview of the declension of nouns in Slovene. Further information about the grammar of the Slovene language should be sought in the article Slovene grammar.

Introduction

Case

In Slovene, the function of a noun in a sentence is marked using different cases, and hence endings. There are a total of 6 different cases (The Slovene names are given in brackets):

  1. Nominative (imenovalnik or nominativ)
  2. Genitive (rodilnik or genitiv)
  3. Dative (dajalnik or dativ)
  4. Accusative (tožilnik or akuzativ)
  5. Locative (mestnik or lokativ)
  6. Instrumental (orodnik or instrumental)

In Slovene it is traditional to refer to the cases by the numbered location in the above list. Thus, the nominative case is referred to as 1, while the locative case is referred to as 5.

Number

Slovene possesses 3 numbers:

  1. Singular, which refers to one of an object
  2. Dual, which refers to a pair of objects
  3. Plural, which refers to more than 2 objects.

Most nouns contain distinct forms for each of the cases.

Gender

A noun in Slovene can have one of the following three genders:

  1. Masculine
  2. Feminine
  3. Neuter

An adjective on the other hand has different forms for each gender.

Common phonological changes

In the declension of nouns and adjectives, certain predictable sound changes occur in the base form (root).

  • Fill Vowel: Under certain circumstances, an -e-, which is pronounced as a schwa-sound, may be inserted between two consonants that occur at the end of a word. This occurs commonly in many nouns in the nominative singular case and in feminine and neuter nouns in the genitive plural and dual cases. For example, the nominative case igra (game) has a genitive plural form of iger. In the combination, -consonant + j, the fill vowel is an -i-. For example, ladja (boat) has a genitive plural of ladij.
  • Preglas: Nouns whose roots end in C, Č, Ž, Š, or J change the following -o- of the ending into an -e-. Thus, for example, the ending -ov becomes -ev for nouns whose roots end in the above letters. The following 2 sets of words can be compared: korak/korakom (step) and stric/stricem (uncle).

Declensions

There are 4 basic declension patterns for nouns, with a single pattern for the declension of adjectives. An example of each with a model noun is given below. It should be noted that there are many exceptions, not all of which have been given. The endings in the following tables are marked in bold.

Feminine declension

First declension

This declension consists of nouns that end in -a. Most of the nouns are feminine with the exception of a few masculine nouns such as vojvoda (duke), which can be declined either as an -a noun or as a regular masculine noun. The model noun for this declension is lipa, lime (or linden) tree.

Feminine First (-a) Declension
Number
Case Singular Dual Plural
Nominative (1) lipa lipi lipe
Genitive (2) lipe lip lip
Dative (3) lipi lipama lipam
Accusative (4) lipo lipi lipe
Locative (5) (pri/o) lipi lipah lipah
Instrumental (6) (z) lipo lipama lipami

A fill vowel may be added in the genitive plural and dual cases. For example, vožnja (fare) - voženj, igra (game) - iger, ladja (ship) - ladij.

Second

This declension consists of feminine nouns that end in a consonant. The model noun for this declension is perut, the wing of a bird.

Feminine Second Declension
Number
Case Singular Dual Plural
Nominative (1) perut peruti peruti
Genitive (2) peruti peruti peruti
Dative (3) peruti perutma perutim
Accusative (4) perut peruti peruti
Locative (5) (pri/o) peruti perutih perutih
Instrumental (6) (z) perutjo perutma perutmi

The following exceptions should be noted:

  • In the instrumental singular case, nouns, which have a fill vowel in the nominative singular form, have an ending in -ijo. Likewise, these same nouns insert an -i- in the instrumental plural and dual, as well as the instrumental plural. For example, pesem (a song) has an instrumental singular form of pesmijo, a dative/instrumental dual form of pesmima, and an instrumental plural of pesmimi.
  • In the dative and locative dual and plural, monosyllabic nouns, whose stress falls on the ending, have an -e- inserted between the root and the ending. For example, stvar (a thing) has the following endings: dative dual: stvarema; dative plural: stvarem; locative dual and plural: stvareh.
  • Some nouns drop the schwa (-e-) that occurs in the nominative case (fill vowel). For example, nominative singular bolezen (illness) has the genitive singular bolezni.
  • The noun, kri (blood), has a different stem (krv-) for all but the nominative and accusative singular. Thus, kri, krvi, krvi, kri, krvi, krvjo.
  • Feminine nouns, that end in -ev in the nominative singular, such as breskev (peach), lestev (ladder), žetev (harvest) have the following peculiarities in their declension:
    • The root drops the -e- of -ev in all other cases.
    • In the instrumental singular, the ending is -ijo.
    • In the genitive singular the ending is -e.
    • In the dual and plural, these nouns follow the declension of the feminine -a nouns.
    • These nouns could also be declined as -a with the above changes.

Third

This declension consists of all indeclinable feminine nouns. The form in all cases is the same. The model noun for this declension is mami, or mummy (a nickname for mother).

Feminine Third Declension
Number
Case Singular Dual Plural
Nominative (1) mami mami mami
Genitive (2) mami mami mami
Dative (3) mami mami mami
Accusative (4) mami mami mami
Locative (5) (pri/o) mami mami mami
Instrumental (6) (z) mami mami mami

Fourth

This declension pattern consists of feminine adjectival noun (posamostaljeni pridevnik). These nouns are declined as a regular feminine adjective.

Irregular Feminine Nouns

The following nouns have an irregular declension pattern: gospa (lady, madam), hči (daughter), and mati (mother) in the singular. In the plural and dual mati and hči follow, the -a stem pattern.

Irregular Feminine Nouns
Case mati hči
Nominative (1) mati hči
Genitive (2) matere hčere
Dative (3) materi hčeri
Accusative (4) mater hčer
Locative (5) (pri) materi hčeri
Instrumental (6) (s/z) materjo hčerjo

Gospa
Case Singular Dual Plural
Nominative (1) gospa gospe gospe
Genitive (2) gospe gospe gospe, gospa
Dative (3) gospe gospema gospem
Accusative (4) gospo gospe gospe
Locative (5) (pri) gospe gospeh gospeh
Instrumental (6) (z) gospo gospema gospemi

Masculine declensions

First

The model noun for this declension is korak, (a step).

Masculine First Declension
Number
Case Singular Dual Plural
Nominative (1) korak koraka koraki
Genitive (2) koraka korakov korakov
Dative (3) koraku korakoma korakom
Accusative (4) korak koraka korake
Locative (5) (pri/o) koraku korakih korakih
Instrumental (6) (s) korakom korakoma koraki

The following points should be born in mind:

  1. Animate nouns, that is nouns representing living things take the genitive ending in the accusative case. Some other inanimate nouns also obey this rule. Thus, fant (a boy) has an accusative of fanta
  2. Nouns whose roots end in C, Č, Ž, Š, J are subject to preglas. The letter -o- of the endings is replaced by an -e-. Thus, stric (an uncle) has the instrumental form stricem. .
  3. Some monsyllabic nouns have the ending -u instead of -a in genitive singular. For example, grad (a castle) has a genitive singular of gradu.
  4. In the plural and dual forms, monosyllabic nouns, often have an -ov- added before the endings. Thus, zid (wall) - zidova - zidovi.
  5. Nouns taken from other languages may have the ending -o or -e in nominative singular. For example, avto (car) or finale.
  6. The nouns mož (husband or man), zob (tooth) and las (hair) have the ending -je in nominative plural instead of -i: možje, zobje, lasje. Some allow either form. For example, fant (boy), gost (guest), škof (bishop). These same nouns also have a genitive plural and dual without any endings.
  7. For masculine nouns with the fill vowel, -e-, in the nominative singular case, drop this letter in all other cases. Thus, vrelec (thermal spring) has genitive singular vrelca.
  8. Some nouns add to their stem -j- (if the nominative ends in -r), -t- (if for proper nouns ending in -e) or -n- (if the nominative ends in -lj) in all other cases. Thus, redar (security guard at a public event) - redarja; Zvone - Zvoneta; nagelj (carnation) - nageljna.
  9. The noun otrok (child) has a nominative plural of otroci and a locative dual of octrocih.
  10. The noun človek (human) has a different stem in the plural and in the genitive and locative dual. ljud-. Thus: in the plural, ljudje - ljudi - ljudem - ljudi - pri ljudeh - z ljudmi; in the dual: človeka - ljudi - človekoma - človeka - pri ljudeh - s človekoma (dual).

Second

This declension pattern is identical to the feminine first declension. Most nouns in this group can also be declined as a masculine first declension noun. The model noun for this declension is vojvoda, duke.

Masculine Second Declension
Number
Case Singular Dual Plural
Nominative (1) vojvoda vojvodi vojvode
Genitive (2) vojvode vojvod vojvod
Dative (3) vojvodi vojvodama vojvodam
Accusative (4) vojvodo vojvodi vojvode
Locative (5) (pri/o) vojvodi vojvodah vojvodah
Instrumental (6) (z) vojvodo vojvodama vojvodami

The 2 possible forms for the nouns Luka (Luke, a name) are:

  1. Nominative: Luka
  2. Genitive: Luke or Luka
  3. Dative: Luki or Luku
  4. Accusative: Luko or Luka
  5. Locative: pri Luki or pri Luku
  6. Instrumental: z Luko or z Lukom

Third

The model noun for this declension is H2O, or any other acronym or symbol.

Masculine Third Declension
Number
Case Singular Dual Plural
Nominative (1) H2O H2O H2O
Genitive (2) H2O H2O H2O
Dative (3) H2O H2O H2O
Accusative (4) H2O H2O H2O
Locative (5) (pri/o) H2O H2O H2O
Instrumental (6) (z) H2O H2O H2O

All acronyms and symbols belong to this declension, but they may also be declined as per the first masculine declension, with an obligatory hyphen (-).

Thus, for the noun ATP (meaning adenozin trifosfat, adenosine triphosphate):

  1. Nominative: ATP
  2. Genitive: ATP or ATP-ja
  3. Dative: ATP or ATP-ju
  4. Accusative: ATP or ATP
  5. Locative: pri ATP or pri ATP-ju
  6. Instrumental: z ATP or z ATP-jem

Fourth

This declension pattern consists of masculine adjectival noun (posamostaljeni pridevnik). These nouns are declined as a regular masculine adjective.

Irregular masculine nouns

The most common irregular masculine noun is dan (day). Its declension pattern is given below.

Declension of dan
Number
Case Singular Dual Plural
Nominative (1) dan dni, dneva dnevi
Genitive (2) dne, dneva dni dni
Dative (3) dne, dnevu dnema, dnevoma dnem, dnevom
Accusative (4) dan dni, dneva dni, dneve
Locative (5) (pri/o) dne, dnevu dneh, dnevih dneh, dnevih
Instrumental (6) (z) dnem, dnevom dnema, dnevoma dnemi, dnevi

Neuter declensions

First

The model noun for this declension is mesto, city.

Neuter First Declension
Number
Case Singular Dual Plural
Nominative (1) mesto mesti mesta
Genitive (2) mesta mest mest
Dative (3) mestu mestoma mestom
Accusative (4) mesto mesti mesta
Locative (5) (pri/o) mestu mestih mestih
Instrumental (6) (z) mestom mestoma mesti

The following points should be born in mind:

  • Nouns whose roots end in C, Č, Ž, Š, J are subject to preglas. The letter -o- of the endings is replaced by an -e-. Thus, sonce (sun) has the instrumental form soncem. .
  • Some nouns have no ending in nominative singular, such as kolo (bicycle), ime (name), telo (body), and dekle (girl). These nouns extend their stem by -n-, -s- or -t- in all other cases and numbers (ime - imena, kolo - kolesa, dekle - dekleta).
  • Nouns may insert a fill vowel (-e-/schwa or -i- before j) in the genitive dual and plural cases. For example: okno (window) - oken, veselje (happiness) - veselij.
  • The nouns, oko (eyes) has a different plural forms when referring to human eyes. This form is oči, the dual form, which in the plural is declined as a second feminine declension plural noun. Furthermore, its stem is očes- for most of the nouns.

Fourth

This declension pattern consists of neuter adjectival noun (posamostaljeni pridevnik). These nouns are declined as a regular neuter adjectives. Certain town names also fall in this category.

Mass noun

In Slovene, mass nouns are either singular or plural.

Uncountable nouns used in the singular only can be split into three groups, denoting the following:

  • matter (voda (water) (though plural when talking about rivers, lakes and seas), kri (blood), pesek (sand))
  • groups (drevje (trees), mladina (youth), pohištvo (furniture))
  • concepts (ljubezen (love), zdravje (health), mir (peace), znanje (knowledge))

Plural nouns are, for example, the following: pljuča (lungs), sani (sleigh), norice (smallpox), možgani (brain). In addition, normally the plural is used instead of the dual for body parts (roke (arms), ušesa (ears)), clothes (nogavice (socks)), devices (rolerji (rollerblades), and for biological pairs (starši (parents)), except when stressing that there are only two (or one).

It is permissible to use plural or dual forms for uncountable singular nouns when stressing the diversity or the number. (Obstaja več ljubezni. (Literally: 'There are more loves.') -- but this is better said "Obstaja več vrst ljubezni. (There are more types of love.))

Adjectives

The declension of adjectives is as follows:

Feminine Adjectival Declension
Number
Case Singular Dual Plural
Nominative (1) dežurna dežurni dežurne
Genitive (2) dežurne dežurnih dežurnih
Dative (3) dežurni dežurnima dežurnim
Accusative (4) dežurno dežurni dežurne
Locative (5) (pri/o) dežurni dežurnih dežurnih
Instrumental (6) (z) dežurno dežurnima dežurnimi

Masculine Adjectival Declension
Number
Case Singular Dual Plural
Nominative (1) dežurni dežurna dežurni
Genitive (2) dežurnega dežurnih dežurnih
Dative (3) dežurnemu dežurnima dežurnim
Accusative (4) dežurnega dežurna dežurni
Locative (5) (pri/o) dežurnem dežurnih dežurnih
Instrumental (6) (z) dežurnim dežurnima dežurnimi

For adjective, the ending given above for the accusative case is only used for nouns modifying animate nouns or for adjectival nouns. Otherwise, the nominative singular form is used. In order to form the indefinite adjective, no ending is used instead.

Neuter Adjectival Declension
Number
Caseourth Singular Dual Plural
Nominative (1) dežurno dežurni dežurna
Genitive (2) dežurnega dežurnih dežurnih
Dative (3) dežurnemu dežurnima dežurnim
Accusative (4) dežurno dežurni dežurna
Locative (5) (pri/o) dežurnem dežurnih dežurnih
Instrumental (6) (z) dežurnim dežurnima dežurnimi

In nominative and accusative singular, the ending is -e instead of -o for adjectives ending in c, č, ž, š and j ("preglas").

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