Aorist in Croatian

When to use the aorist tense in Croatian?

The aorist is a grammatical tense that we use to talk about:

1. An action that happened in the past recently after another past action

Upravo pročitah vrlo smiješan novinski članak. - I just read a very funny newspaper article.

2. Short, fast and dynamic actions (mostly in literature)

Oni dođoše i otjeraše druge. - They came and chased away others.

enlightenedIn daily conversations is replaced by perfect tense. It's use is common in literature.

Signal words

Here are some time markers that will help you to use it properly.

Croatian English
upravo just
nema što right after



Upravo dođoh kući. - I just came home.

Nema što upalih televiziju, telefon je zazvonio. - Right after I turned on TV, the phone rang.

Verb conjugation

The aorist tense in Croatian language is formed by adding corresponding endings to the verb's base infinitive form. There are two groups of endings;

Person 1st group 2nd group
Ja -h -oh
Ti - -e
On/Ona - -e
Mi -smo -osmo
Vi -ste -oste
Oni/One -še -oše

For ex. bi (verb's base infinitive form) + h (ending) = bih (aorist 1st person singular)

Conjugation of auxiliary verbs "Biti" and "Htjeti"

Person Biti Htjeti
Ja bih htjedoh
Ti bi htjedoše
On/Ona bi htjedoše
Mi bismo htjedosmo
Vi biste htjedoste
Oni bi htjedoše


Conjugation example of the 1st group in -h

enlightenedVerbs with the ending in -ti make part of the 1st conjugation group.

As an example is chosen the verb "učiniti" (to do)

Person 1st group in -h 
Ja učinih
Ti učini
On/Ona učini
Mi učinismo
Vi učiniste
Oni/One učiniše


Conjugation example of the 2nd group in -oh

enlightenedVerbs with the ending in -ći make part of the 2nd conjugation group.

As an example is chosen the verb "reći" (to say)

Person 2nd group in -oh
Ja rekoh
Ti reče
On/Ona reče
Mi rekosmo
Vi rekoste
Oni/One rekoše


Remember this tense is mostly used in literature and endings is necessary to learn by heart!smiley