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Merita’s & Massimo: Odjednom ti

Merita’s are a Croatian pop duo, consisting of Split-born Meri Jaman and Anita Valo, from Munich. This is their collaboration with Massimo Savić. Lyrics were written by Ines Prajo and Arijana Kunštek.

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This song contains a fairly simple grammar.

MoguI can rećisay šutnjomwith silence I can say with silence
MoguI can prstimawith fingers I can with my fingers
Iand, too uin pijeskusand stopamawith footprints in sand, too, with footprints
Iand, too uin mrakudark usnamawith lips in dark, too, with my lips

The construction mogu reći is described in 31 Needs, Wishes and Intentions. Each verse contains a noun in the instrumental case, used as 'tool'. For more information on the instrumental case, check 35 Tools and Means, With and Without.

Note that body parts don't need possessors, unlike in English: it's enough to say fingers, not my fingers (but the latter is possible, of course, if we want to emphasize whose fingers).

The following verses are very similar:

MoguI can čutihear srcemwith heart I can hear with my heart
moguI can očimawith eyes I can with my eyes
nekimsome novimnew mirisomscent with a new scent
nekimsome novimnew okusomtaste with a new taste

The following verses contain reflexive/mediopassive se²: something has changed (on its own, or by an unknown cause). While English doesn’t need an object in such use, Croatian must use a se²; for more details, check 64 The Door Opens: Fun with se².

The adjective/pronoun sve is the subject: for more information, check 41 Somewhere, Nobody, Everything...

ZauvijekForever Forever
promijenilohas changed se
mediopassive
particle
sveeverything
everything has changed

The following verses are quite different. The clause [što kraj mene drijema] is a relative clause using što instead of koji (for more information, check 62 The Friend I Saw: Relative Clauses):

OdjednomSuddenly tiyou Suddenly you
uin jutrumorning [štoconjuction krajbeside mene1 G (me) drijemaslumbers] in the morning [that slumbers besides me]
tiyou you
aand, but činiloseem se
mediopassive
particle
nikognoone nemathere's no
and it seemed there's noone

The verb činiti² with se² means seem, appear, it's here in past, neuter: it seemed.

The part nikog nema is a negative existential phrase; since Croatian has mandatory multiple negations, you can't say there isn't anyone - only literally there isn't noone.

The following verses are similar:

OdjednomSuddenly tiyou uin kapidrop kišerain Suddenly you in a drop of rain
tiyou you
aand, but činiloseem se
mediopassive
particle
nikadnever višeagain, more
and it seemed never again

The noun kap drop (of liquid) is a feminine noun not ending in -a.

The following verses again repeat the structure from the beginning; the infinitive vidjet is colloquially without the final -i (here for rhythmic reasons):

MoguI can vidjetsee kožomwith skin I can see with my skin
moguI can mislimawith thoughts I can with my thoughts
tothat separticle samoonly, just dogodihappens it just happens
iand bezwithout riječiwords pogodicoincides, matches and coincides without words.

The verbs dogoditi se² and pogoditi are both perfective; they are here used in the present tense, but they don't refer to the present, ongoing action, rather to something that happens in some imagined time.

Then the verses above repeat. The next verses are different:

Skupiloshrink se
mediopassive
particle
vrijemetime, weather
The time has shrunk
uin, into jedanone, a danday to a day
danday [uin, into komwhich/that se
mediopassive
particle
budimI wake up
the day [I wake up
iand osjećamI feel] and feel]

We again have mediopassive with se²: the time has shrunk (on its own); without a se², an object would be needed: someone has shrunk something. The noun vrijeme is the subject: consequently, the past form is in neuter. The phrase u jedan dan is u¨ + A, i.e. a destination.

The part starting with u kom, literally in which, is a relative clause: the adjective/pronoun koji is here in a shortened form: for more information, refer to 36 Whose, What Thing and What Like.

The se² with buditi is yet another mediopassive construction (for examples how the verb is used, see 07 Verbs with Obligatory Objects).

5 Easy Croatian: Merita’s & Massimo: Odjednom ti Merita’s are a Croatian pop duo, consisting of Split-born Meri Jaman and Anita Valo , from Munich. This is their collaboration with Massim...

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