When speaking about nouns, it's time to learn about grammatical cases = gramatički padeži. Together with genders and plural and singular form, cases are very important for formulation of nouns. First we will explain what is declention and after you will have more deep insights into the subject with examples of case declention of nouns.
In Croatian there are 7 cases. For every grammatical case there is a corresponding question that should be pose in order to have a correct declention.
|Nominativ (Nominative)||Tko? Što? (Who? What?)|
|Genitiv (Genitive)||Koga? Čega? (Who? Who's?)|
|Dativ (Dative)||Komu? Čemu? (Whom or what am I going toward?)|
|Akuzativ (Accusative)||Koga? Što? (Whom? What?)|
|Vocativ (Vocative)||Oj! Ej! (Oi! Hey!)|
|Lokativ (Locative)||O komu? O čemu? (About who or about what?)|
|Instrumental ( - )||S kime? S čime? (With whom or with what?)|
The nominative case marks the subject of a verb (the predicate). Nouns, adjectives, etc. in the nominative form stay unchanged.
Fakultet je uvijek otvoren. = Faculty is always open.
The genitive case marks a characteristic (trait), substance, belonging, property or origin.
Luka nosi kantu vode. = Luka is carrying a bucket of water.
The dative case is most easily pictured as a case of giving, selling, donating something to someone. Dative is used in expressing goal or intention.
Ivan je dao svoju bilježnicu Mariji. = Ivan gave his notebook to Marija.
The accusative case is used for nouns that are objects in a sentence. In some cases the noun in the accusative case remains unchanged, like the in nominative form.
On je pao niz stepenice. = He felt down the stairs.
The vocative case is used when you are addressing or calling someone.
Ivana, stani! = Ivana stop!
The locative case is the case which determines the place and the surroundings of the action taking place.
Auto je parkiran u garaži. = The car is parked in the garage.
The instrumental case is the case of companionship and instrumentality.
Idem vani s prijateljima. = I am going out with friends.
In Croatian nouns change form depending on the composition of the sentence. This process is called declention. We can define declention as a modification of a word to express different grammatical categories, such as gender, number, case, person or voice. Here we will speak about declention of nouns by grammatical cases or in Croatian "Deklinacija imenica po padežima".
To explain case declention in masculine gender we will take the example word: "fakultet" (faculty)
To explain case declention in feminine gender we will take the example word: kći (daughter)
To explain case declention in neuter gender we will take the example word: selo (village)
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