48 Everybody, Everything and Everywhere


This chapter is dedicated to a single adjective: a rather interesting adjective sav (sv- +) all. It has a bit specific endings in singular – as if it ends in a Croatian-specific consonant; it also has obligatory final vowels in endings for masc./neut. singular (normally optional for most adjectives):

gender  N  A  DL  G  I
feminine sva svu svoj sve svom
neuter sve = N svemu svega svim
m. (not p/a) sav = N
m. (p/a) = G

As with other adjectives or pronouns having specific forms, the forms for fem. gender are just plain forms, listed just for completeness sake. Also, like most other adjectives with special uses, it has never the optional -i in masc. N.

The adjective can be used as any other adjective, mostly in plural, due to its meaning:

Zovemzvati sve moje prijatelje. I’m calling all my friends.

However, the main use of this adjective is as a pronoun, and specific forms have specific uses.

The simplest are neuter singular forms (NA sve, DL svemu...) – they mean everything, all:

Vidio sam sve. (A) I saw everything.

Dosta mi1 DL je° svega. (G) I had enough of everything.

To je sve. (A) That’s all.

The second sentence is a frequent Croatian phrase (type it into Google™).

Masculine plural forms (N svi, A sve...) are used in generic sense everybody:

Svi su kod Ane. Everybody is at Ana’s place.

You have to be careful that svi is plural, so when used as the subject, verbs come in plural too, unlike English:

Svi spavaju. Everybody is sleeping.

Bear in mind that adjectives – sav (sv-) is essentially an adjective – get an additional -a in DLI-pl when used on their own, as nouns or pronouns. Therefore:

Hvala svima. Thanks to everyone.

Razgovarao sam sa svima. I talked to everyone.

The first phrase, hvala svima, is the preferred way to thank a group of people.

Of course, when sav (sv-) is used as an adjective, it gets ordinary endings in DLI-pl:

Hvala svim mojim prijateljima. Thanks to all my friends.

Sometimes, feminine plural forms (N sve, A sve...) are used if you refer to women only. You will sometimes hear (and read) forms with regular endings (svo, etc.) – however, only when it’s used as an adjective – such forms are not standard, but frequent in some regions, especially outside Croatia.

You will from time to time hear additional version of masc. A-pl: svih (like personal pronouns, oninjih). It’s widespread in parts of Croatia, but it’s not standard.

Of course, you can use svi drugi everybody else, etc.

There are more adjectives that are used as pronouns in this way: masc. pl. for people, neut. sing. for things.

The words svi, nitko are similar to total adverbs (e.g. nikad). As will other such words, you can loosen them a bit with the help of the adverb skoro almost:

Nemam skoro ništa. I have almost nothing.

Skoro svi spavaju. Almost everyone is sleeping.

Another type of indefinite pronouns is obtained by prefixing sva- (svu- for some words), usually in meaning every. Again sva- + što = svašta:

svatko everyone
svašta things of all kinds

The pronoun svašta doesn’t mean everything! For example:

Vidjeli smo svašta. We saw many different things.

The word svašta can also have negative implications, as all kind of (bad, strange) things, depending on the context. It can also be used as a short comment, when something is unexpected, illogical or meaningless.

Adverbs of this type are:

svakako in any case
svugdje everywhere

The adjectives is:

svaki every, each

The adjective svaki is quite often used. For instance:

Svaka soba ima dva kreveta. Each room has two beds.

Držimdržati čašu u svakoj ruci. I’m holding a glass in each hand.

↓ Examples (click to show)

5 Easy Croatian: 48 Everybody, Everything and Everywhere N A  DL  G 24 I This chapter is dedicated to a single adjective : a rather interesting adjective sav ( sv- +) all . It has a bi...

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