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.

Types of grammar cases

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.

Case Question
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?)

 

Nominative

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.

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Genitive

The genitive case marks a characteristic (trait), substance, belonging, property or origin.

Luka nosi kantu vode. = Luka is carrying a bucket of water.

Dative

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. 

Accusative

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.

Vocative

The vocative case is used when you are addressing or calling someone.

Ivana, stani! = Ivana stop!

Locative

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.

Instrumental

The instrumental case is the case of companionship and instrumentality.

Idem vani s prijateljima. = I am going out with friends.

Declention of nouns

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". 

Declention of masculine gender noun

To explain case declention in masculine gender we will take the example word: "fakultet" (faculty) 

Noun in singular

Case Noun
Nominativ fakultet
Genitiv fakulteta
Dativ fakultetu
Akuzativ fakultet
Vokativ fakultete
Lokativ fakultetu
Instrumental fakultetom

 

Noun in plural

Case Noun
Nominativ fakulteti
Genitiv fakulteta
Dativ fakultetima
Akuzativ fakultete
Vokativ fakulteti
Lokativ fakultetima
Instrumental fakultetima

 

Declention of feminine gender noun

To explain case declention in feminine gender we will take the example word: kći (daughter)

Noun in singular

Case Noun
Nominativ kći
Genitiv kćeri
Dativ kćeri
Akuzativ kćer
Vokativ kćeri
Lokativ kćeri
Instrumental kćerima

 

Noun in plural

Case Noun
Nominativ kćeri
Genitiv kćeri
Dativ kćerima
Akuzativ kćeri
Vokativ kćeri
Lokativ kćerima
Instrumental kćerima

 

Declention of neuter gender noun

To explain case declention in neuter gender we will take the example word: selo (village)

Noun in singular

Case Noun
Nominativ selo
Genitiv sela
Dativ selu
Akuzativ selo
Vokativ selo
Lokativ selu
Instrumental selom

 

Noun in plural

Case Noun
Nominativ sela
Genitiv sela
Dativ selima
Akuzativ sela
Vokativ sela
Lokativ selima
Instrumental selima

 

Now to master these grammar rules, we suggest you to practice your skills with our exercises!