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93 Fine Points of Verb Aspect

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I’ve introduced the verb aspect many chapters ago, and explained some details in later chapters. This chapter will wrap up all the missing parts.

First, some impf. verbs have special perf. verbs that are sometimes called ‘delimitative’. They are hard to exactly translate to English, but the idea is there was some action or state for some time, or space, not less.

For example, you have to go to work and work there for 8 hours. You can simply say:

Radio sam osam sati. I worked for eight hours.

However, you call also stress that you’ve fulfilled your duty for that day, by using a derived perfective verb odraditi («); nothing else is changed:

Odradio sam osam sati. I worked for eight hours. (focus on the time)

This verb sometimes corresponds to English work off or put in (hours), but there’s no single English construction which has the exact meaning.

Such verbs always start with od- or ot- and are especially used when you fulfill a duty, or what you did is taken off from a bigger requirement (e.g. you have to work 40 hours a week, you did 8 today, 32 to go).

Such verbs are an exception from the general rule that you can’t specify how long with a perfective verb. In fact, with many such verbs, you have to specify the duration, because this is the whole point of such verbs.

Another common such verb is:

odspavati («) perf. sleep for a time

For example, you can say:

Odspavala sam deset sati. I slept for ten hours. (focus on the time)

The time doesn’t have to be precise, you can say that you slept for a few hours.

(The rest is coming soon.)

5 Easy Croatian: 93 Fine Points of Verb Aspect N A  DL  G 24 I I’ve introduced the verb aspect many chapters ago, and explained some details in later chapters. This chapter wil...

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