Croatian present tense

When to use present simple tense?

The present tense or prezent is a grammatical tense that we use to talk about: 

1. The action in present situation

Sada čitam novine. - Now I read the newspapers.

Na poslu sam. - I am at work.

2. Narrative present (Used to talk about an action that started in a specific time in past and continues into the present)

Moj prijatelj živi u Engleskoj već pet godina. - My friend has been living in England for 5 years now.

3. A habit or repeated action

Često igram tenis. - I play tennis often.

Inače idem na more. - Usually I go to the sea. 

4. A wish or command

Želim kupiti auto. - I would like to buy a car.

Prestani pričati! - Stop to talk!

5. In proverbs or to express near future

Idem kući za pet minuta. - I am going home in five minutes.

Bez muke, nema nauke. - Hard work brings rewards. 

Signal words

Present simple tense is used with adverbs of frequency.

Croatian English
uvijek always
obično usually
često often
ponekad sometimes
rijetko rarely
nikada never


Verb conjugation

The present tense in Croatian language is formed by adding corresponding endings to the verb's base form in 1st person singular. There are four groups of endings -em, -jem, -am, -im.

For ex. pisati; piš (verb's base form in present, 1st person sing.) + em (ending) = pišem

enlightenedIt's necessary to learn endings by heart!

Person / Number -em / pisati (to write) -jem / ratovati (to war) -am / pjevati (to sing) -im / raditi (to work)
Ja pišem ratujem pjevam radim
Ti piš ratuješ pjev rad
On/Ona piše ratuje pjeva radi
Mi pišemo ratujemo pjevamo radimo
Vi pišete ratujete pjevate radite
Oni pišu ratuju pjevaju rade


Present of auxiliary verbs

Croatian language has two auxiliary verbs: biti (to be) and htjeti (to want). These verbs have different atonic, tonic and negative form, and the verb "biti" has also a perfective aspect form that is used in formation of the futur II.

The verb "biti" 

Person Atonic form Tonic form Negative form Pefective aspect form
Ja sam jesam nisam  budem
Ti si  jesi nisi budeš
On/Ona je  jest nije bude
Mi smo  jesmo nismo budemo
Vi ste jeste niste budete
Oni/One su jesu nisu budu


The verb "htjeti" 

Person Atonic form Tonic form Negative form
Ja ću hoću neću
Ti ćeš hoćeš nećeš
On/Ona će hoće neće
Mi ćemo hoćemo nećemo
Vi ćete hoćete nećete
Oni/One će hoće neće


enlightenedRemember irregular verbs are biti and htjeti. And there are four groups of endings to form the present tense in Croatian.