Croatian tenses

Croatian language has seven different tenses or glagolskih vremena, expressing past, present and future. Each one of them is formed with corresponding endings and signal words.

Present tense

Present tense in Croatian is used to express the action in present situation or in the near future, a habit or repeated action, and a wish or command. 

enlightenedThere are four groups of endings in -em, -jem, -am, -im.

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

Future I. tense

The future I. tense is used to express actions that will be performed after the moment of speaking, used to express the future in the past, for an action that will happen after another action in the past.

enlightenedThe future I. is formed by: atonic present form of the auxiliary verb "htjeti" + infinitive

Večeras ću ići u kino. - Tonight I am going to the cinema.

Future II. in Croatian

The future II. express the action that happens before another future action and the action that will happen at the same time as another future action.

enlightenedThe future II. is formed by: perfect aspect form in present of the auxiliary verb "biti" + endings of the verbal adjective

Prije nego budeš išao doma, pokaži mi sliku. - Before you go home, show me the photo.

Perfect tense

The perfect tense is used to express an action performed in a specific time in the past, an action that lasted in the past.

enlightenedThe perfect tense is formed by: atonic form of the auxiliary verb "biti"  + endings of the verbal adjective

Radila sam za tu agenciju pet godina. - I worked for that agency for five years.

Imperfect tense

The imperfect tense is used to express habits or repeated action in the past, or to express an action that took place simultaneously with another one.

enlightenedThe imperfect tense in Croatian is formed by adding corresponding endings to the verb's present base form. There are three groups of endings in -ah, -jah, -ijah.

Zvaše je često. - He used to call her very often. 

Pluperfect tense

The pluperfect tense is used to express an action that happened before another action in the past.

enlightenedThe pluperfect tense is formed by: perfect or imperfect form of the auxiliary verb "Biti" + endings for the verbal adjective

Kada je on došao kući, ja sam već bio otišao. - When he came at home, I had already gone.

Aorist tense

The aorist tense is used to express an action that happened in the past recently after another past action, and to express short, fast and dynamic actions (in literature).

enlightenedThe aorist tense in Croatian language is formed by adding one of the two groups of endings in -h or -oh to the verb's base infinitive form. 

Upravo dođoh kući. - I just came home.

For the deeper insight in each of these tenses check the following lessons!smiley

Next lessons

1 Croatian present tense Learn about Croatian present tense
2 Future I. in Croatian Learn about Croatian future tense
3 Future II. in Croatian Learn about Futur II. in Croatian
4 Perfect tense in Croatian Learn about perfect tense in Croatian
5 Imperfect tense in Croatian Learn about Croatian imperfect tense
6 Pluperfect in Croatian Learn about pluperfect in Croatian
7 Aorist in Croatian Learn about aorist tense in Croatian language