Joj meni! When I am talking pidgin Croatian during our classes, my teacher Mateja (SpeakCro Learning Centre) often needs to correct my use of the words svi, sve, svima, svih, svega, and so on.
So I correct myself, using the version that she has told me, but usually feeling a bit sheepish that I don’t understand why. It all just seemed so random to me.
But I have just stumbled upon a table that Mateja probably gave to me long ago. I must have stored it in some dark recess of my mind from which all things (sve stvari) are irretrievable. Perhaps in the same place as the names of people?
Well this table shows me that all of these words (sve ove riječi) are declinations of the pronoun sav – the nominative singular word for “all", "whole", "everyone", "everything", or "completely".
In all of my time learning Croatian, I swear that I have never heard of the word sav before!
Here is how we decline it – and forgive me if this is bread and butter for you.
An entry such as sveg(a) means that either of the versions svega or sveg may be used to give the easiest flow onto following words.
So (of course) ....
Sva polja su pod snijegom.
All the fields are under snow. [Nominativ, srednji rod, množina]
Bojim se svih pasa.
I am afraid of all dogs. [Genitiv, muški rod, množina]
Hvala svima na svim poklonima.
Thanks to you all for all the gifts
Literally, “Thanks to all of you for all of the gifts.” [Dative, muški rod, množina (dva puta)]
Sav sam mokar.
I am completely wet. [Nominativ, muški rod, jednina]
Ne mogu vidjeti svu tortu.
I cannot see all of the cake. [Akuzativ, ženski rod, jednina]
Just one more ….
I can see all of the parents of all of the children. They are sitting on all the chairs with all of their dogs.
Easy peasy: Mogu vidjeti sve roditelje …….. er …… er ……. Why don’t you finish it off for practice? :-)
To je sve. Sve najbolje …
Prije svega, I hope that you are getting as much fun and challenge from learning Croatian as I am?
Click here to go to Aha! Croatian: A ROAD MAP