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94 One Another: Reciprocals

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This chapter will explain various constructions which mostly correspond to English one another.

In such constructions, two adjectives-used-as-pronouns are frequently used together:

jedan (jedn-) one drugi other, another

The simplest examples are when they fill subject and object (or indirect object) roles in a sentence. For example:

Jedan čeka drugog. One is waiting for another.

Jedan pomaže drugom. One is helping another.

Jedan se igra s drugim. One is playing with another.

This simply means: one person does something to another person (or animal, actually anything). Who these person are is not said, it must be known from the context.

However, unlike in English, these adjectives-used-as-pronouns are used in plural too, where they stand for groups:

Jedni čekaju druge. One group is waiting for another group.

Jedni pomažu drugima. One group is helping another group.

Jedni se igraju s drugima. One group is playing with another group.

Now, in all examples above, we have used only masculine animate gender; when we have mixed-sex sets, or sets of neuter things (trees, eggs) you can use the neuter gender, and in all-female sets, feminine is used:

Jedna pomaže drugoj. One is helping another. (all-female set)

For example, the last sentence would be used in a group of girls that do some task together.

Now, it's also possible to say they help one another, but that one another part is much more specific in Croatian. For example, two people, Marko and Ivan help each other. We would say:

Ivan i Marko pomažu [jedan drugom]. Ivan and Marko help each other.

Now, the words jedan (jedn-) and drugi are still in singular: they describe what is going on in detail. One person helps another.

Of course, if we had two women or girls, we would use the feminine forms:

Ana i Ivana pomažu [jedna drugoj]. Ana and Ivana help each other.

If we have a mixed-sex pair, it's common to use neuter forms:

Ana i Goran pomažu [jedno drugom]. Ana and Goran help each other.

But you'll sometimes see masculine animate used for mixed-sex pairs too (this is likely non-standard):

Ana i Goran pomažu [jedan drugom]. Ana and Goran help each other.

When you have a situation where individuals and groups help each other, it's not strictly person-to-person, it's common to use plural:

Građani pomažu [jedni drugima]. Citizens help each other.

(the rest is coming soon)

5 Easy Croatian: 94 One Another: Reciprocals N A  DL  G 24 I This chapter will explain various constructions which mostly correspond to English one another . In such constr...

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