Perfect tense in Croatian

When to use the perfect tense in Croatian?

The perfect tense or in Croatian perfekt is a grammatical tense that we use to talk about:

1. An action performed in a specific time in the past

Jučer sam išla u shopping. - Yesterday I went to the shopping.

Maloprije sam skuhala večeru. - Recently I prepared the dinner.

2. An action that lasted in the past

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

3. Future perfect (an action in the past expressing future)

Ako ne odgovoriš, stradao si. - If you don't respond, you are guilty.

Signal words

Usually it's very easy to understand when and how to use the perfect tense. Here are some time markers that will help you to use it properly.

Croatian English
jučer yesterday
prekjučer the day before yesterday
prošli tjedan last week
prošli mjesec last month
prošle godine last year
maloprije, nedavno recently
upravo just


Verb conjugation

The perfect tense is formed by: atonic form of the auxiliary verb "biti"  + endings of the verbal adjective (endings in the singular: -o, -la,  -lo and for the plural -li, -le, -la)

enlightenedThe auxiliary verb changes its ending in gender.

Conjugation of the auxiliary verb "Biti"

Person Masculine Feminine
Ja sam bio sam bila
Ti si bio si bila
On/Ona je bio je bila
Mi  smo bili  smo bile
Vi ste bili ste bile
Oni/One su bili su bile


Conjugation of the auxiliary verb "Htjeti"

Person Masculine  Feminine
Ja sam htio sam htjela
Ti  si htio si htjela
On/Ona je htio je htjela
Mi smo htjeli smo htjele
Vi ste htjeli ste htjele
Oni/One su htjeli su htjele


Example of a regular verb conjugation

As an example for the perfect tense conjugation is chosen the verb "raditi" (to work).

Person Masculine Feminine
Ja  sam radio sam radila
Ti  si radio si radila
On/Ona je radio je radila
Mi smo radili smo radile
Vi ste radili ste radile
Oni/One su radili su radile


Remember the formation of the perfect tense, and pay attention to the gender! smiley