Essential Verbs (N-P)

This is the second part of a list of the most useful Croatian verbs, containing 153 verbs. They are either listed individually, in verb pairs, and occasionally in triplets; this part contains 86 such entries.

I've listed the 10 most important forms for each verb. For a great majority of verbs, all those forms follow regularly from the infinitive (inf) or 3rd pers. present (pres-3).

Abbreviations and stress marks follow the rest of Easy Croatian, i.e. only the place of stress is marked.

With each verb (or pair) various ways to use it are listed, and each way has at least one example.

Click on any item to show detailed information:

nadati se² ~¹ po- («) hope

(a)
impf.smlf.
pres-1 nadam ponadam
pres-3 nada ponada
pres-3pl nadaju ponadaju
pres. adv. nadajući
imper-2 nadaj ponadaj
impf.smlf.
inf nadati ponadati
past-m nadao ponadao
past-f nadala ponadala
pass. adj.
gerund nadanje

This verb pair is always used with se².

[...]

The pair is most often used with content clauses i.e. clauses using any tense, but no perf. verbs in present:

Ana se nada [da će vrijeme biti lijepo].
lit. Ana hopes [the weather is going to be nice].

DL

It’s sometimes used with objects in DL, what somebody hopes for:

Nadamo se najboljem. We hope for the best.

The phrase hope not translates as:

Nadam se da ne. I hope not.

The verb ponadati («) se² is ‘semelfactive’: it stands for a brief hope, i.e. hope for a while.

nalaziti ~¹/~ naći (nađe,...) find

(i) (irr.)
impf.perf.
pres-1 nalazim nađem
pres-3 nalazi nađe
pres-3pl nalaze nađu
pres. adv. nalazeći
imper-2 nalazi nađi
impf.perf.
inf nalaziti naći
past-m nalazio našao
past-f nalazila našla
pass. adj. nađen
gerund nalaženje *

* There’s no regular perf. verbal noun, nouns nalazak (nalask-) and nalaz are used when needed.

A

The verbs are used with objects in A, mostly the perf. verb:

Ana je našla ključ. Ana has found the key.

se²

The impf. verb is usually used mediopassively, with se², meaning can be found, i.e. where something is located:

Kupaonica se nalazi na katu. The bathroom is (found) on the upper floor.

However, in everyday communication, simply using biti (je² +) ‘~’ (bude) be is more common.

!

Colloquially, with se², it’s used to express meeting someone (intentionally). Subjects can meet:

Naći ćemo se sutra. (colloq.) We’ll meet tomorrow.

The subject can meet someone else (expressed with s / sa¨ + I):

Našao sam se s njom. (colloq.) I met her. {m}

Another way to express the same thing is sastajati (sastaje) se² ~¹ sastati (sastane) se² meet (longer meeting, planned).

namjeravati («) intend

(a)
pres-1 namjeravam
pres-3 namjerava
pres-3pl namjeravaju
pres. adv. namjeravajući
imper-2 namjeravaj
inf namjeravati
past-m namjeravao
past-f namjeravala
pass. adj.
gerund *

* There’s no regular verbal noun, the noun namjera intention is used when needed.

inf

The verb is used with another verb in infinitive, which can have additional objects and so on:

Ana namjerava kupiti auto. Ana intends to buy a car.

Another, but quite colloquial way to express the same is using the verb misliti think.

napadati ~ napasti (napadne, napao) attack

(a) (irr.)
impf.perf.
pres-1 napadam napadne
pres-3 napada napadne
pres-3pl napadaju napadnu
pres. adv. napadajući
imper-2 napadaj napadni
impf.perf.
inf napadati napasti
past-m napadao napao
past-f napadala napala
pass. adj. napadan napadnut
gerund napadanje *

* There’s no regular perf. verbal noun, the noun napad attack is used when needed.

A

This pair is used with objects in A:

Napoleon je napao Rusiju. Napoleon attacked Russia.

napuštati («) ~ napustiti («) abandon, leave

(a) (i)
impf.perf.
pres-1 napuštam napustim
pres-3 napušta napusti
pres-3pl napuštaju napuste
pres. adv. napuštajući
imper-2 napuštaj napusti
impf.perf.
inf napuštati napustiti
past-m napuštao napustio
past-f napuštala napustila
pass. adj. napušten
gerund napuštanje
A

The pair is used with objects in A:

Vlasnici su napustili kuću. The owners have abandoned the house.

This verb pair is not used to leave things or people somewhere (e.g. I left him on a bus stop, I left my wallet in the restaurant.).

For that purpose, the verb pair ostavljati ~ ostaviti is used.

naručivati (naručuje) ~ naručiti («) order (food, drink, things)

(iva) (i)
impf.perf.
pres-1 naručujem naručim
pres-3 naručuje naruči
pres-3pl naručuju naruče
pres. adv. naručujući
imper-2 naručuj naruči
impf.perf.
inf naručivati naručiti
past-m naručivao naručiio
past-f naručivala naručila
pass. adj. naručivan naručen
gerund naručivanje *

There’s no regular perf. verbal noun; narudžba order can be used when needed.

A (orig)

One use of this verb is to order something (an object in A) in a bar or restaurant, with an optional origin (od¨ + G for people):

Ana je naručila pizzu. Ana has ordered a pizza.

Another is to order something that will be sent to you (by mail or otherwise):

Ana je naručila knjigu s Interneta. Ana has ordered the book from the Internet.

nastavljati ~ nastaviti continue

(a) (i)
impf.perf.
pres-1 nastavljam nastavim
pres-3 nastavlja nastavi
pres-3pl nastavljaju nastave
pres. adv. nastavljajući
imper-2 nastavljaj nastavi
impf.perf.
inf nastavljati nastaviti
past-m nastavljao nastavio
past-f nastavljala nastavila
pass. adj. nastavljan nastavljen
gerund nastavljanje *

* There’s no regular perf. verbal noun, but nastavak (nastavk-) continuation, sequel can be used.

inf

These verbs are usually with another verb in infinitive, which can have additional objects, etc.:

Ana je nastavila čitati knjigu. Ana has continued reading the book.

se²

If an event, expressed by a noun, is continuing, it can be expressed by mediopassive, by making it a subject and adding a se²:

Priča se nastavlja. The story goes on.

nedostajati (nedostaje) lack, miss

(a/e)
pres-1 nedostajem
pres-3 nedostaje
pres-3pl nedostaju
pres. adv. nedostajući
imper-2
inf nedostajati
past-m nedostajao
past-f nedostajala
pass. adj.
gerund nedostajanje
!

This verb is used in a different way than the English miss. What is missing is the subject:

Jedan dio nedostaje. One part is missing.

!

If somebody is missing something, what’s missing is still the subject, and the person affected is in DL, and then it usually comes first:

Ani nedostaje jedan dio. Ana is missing one part.

As usual, the subject (what/who is missing) is often implied by the verb form:

Nedostaješ mi. I miss you.

Nedostajala si mi. I missed you. {to a female}

Note that this verb is not used to express miss a bus, miss a chance or miss a shot – specific verbs are used instead.

There’s a frequent colloquial version of this verb: faliti, which is used in the same way.

nestajati (nestaje) ~ nestati (nestane) disappear

(a/e) (0/n)
impf.perf.
pres-1 nestajem nestanem *
pres-3 nestaje nestane *
pres-3pl nestaju nestanu *
pres. adv. nestajući
imper-2 nestani
impf.perf.
inf nestajati nestati
past-m nestajao nestao
past-f nestajala nestala
pass. adj.
gerund nestajanje **

* The present forms of the perf. verb are also stresed as nestane, etc.

** There’s no regular perf. verbal noun; the noun nestanak (nestank-) is used when needed.

These verbs are used with subjects only:

Knjiga je nestala. The book has disappeared.

nositi carry, wear

(i)
pres-1 nosim
pres-3 nosi
pres-3pl nose
pres. adv. noseći
imper-2 nosi
inf nositi
past-m nosio
past-f nosila
pass. adj. nošen
gerund nošenje
A (dest)

This verb is used with objects in A and optional destinations:

Ana nosi kutiju. Ana is carrying a box.

Ana nosi kutiju u sobu. Ana is carrying a box to the room.

A DL

Another person in DL can be added as a recipient:

Ana nosi kutiju Goranu. Ana is carrying a box to Goran.

When subjects are people, and objects are clothing items or jewellery, the assumed meaning is wear:

Ana je nosila plavu majicu. Ana was wearing a blue T-shirt.

There’s a potential adjective nosiv, usually meaning wearable, but it’s also unexpectedly used in the phrase nosivi zid load bearing wall.

The agent nouns are nosač m / nosačica f carrier. These nouns are used for people who literally carry things; the masc. noun also covers various devices and abstract carriers.

There are also agent nouns nositelj m / nositeljica f, used metaphorically, for people who hold some title or medal. The noun nosilac (nosioc-) is used as well.

nuditi ~~ po- offer

(i)
impf.perf.
pres-1 nudim ponudim
pres-3 nudi ponudi
pres-3pl nude ponude
pres. adv. nudeći
imper-2 nudi ponudi
impf.perf.
inf nuditi ponuditi
past-m nudio ponudio
past-f nudila ponudila
pass. adj. nuđen ponuđen
gerund nuđenje
(DL) A

This pair is usually used with an optional person in DL (recipient of the offer) and two possible ways to express what was offered. One possibility are objects in A:

Ana nudi Goranu jabuku. Ana is offering Goran an apple.

DL [...]

Another is a atemporal clauses, starting with da.

obavljati ~ obaviti do (a task), get something done

(a) (i)
impf.perf.
pres-1 obavljam obavim
pres-3 obavlja obavi
pres-3pl obavljaju obave
pres. adv. obavljajući
imper-2 obavljaj obavi
impf.perf.
inf obavljati obaviti
past-m obavljao obavio
past-f obavljala obavila
pass. adj. obavljen
gerund obavljanje

The main idea of this pair s performing a planned task, fufilling a duty, doing a chore: getting it done; what is done is often not really fun.

A

The pair is used with objects in A:

Ivan je obavio pregled. Ivan went to have a medical exam.

Objects are often generic:

Obavila sam neke stvari. I got some things done. {f}

Ana je obavila sve. Ana got everything done.

Danas moram obaviti mnogo stvari. I have to get a lot of things done today.

Unlike napraviti perf. do, make, this verb pair is rather about chores, visits and well-defined tasks which are done in a certain time, such as:

  • shopping
  • doing laundry
  • medical exams
  • hairdresser
  • dentist
  • paperwork
  • defined tasks at work
  • visits to public services
  • job interviews

Conversely, the verb napraviti perf. do, make is rather about creative things, making something. For example:

Napravio sam ručak. I made lunch. (i.e. prepared it) {m}

Obavio sam ručak. = The lunch was a task, I did it. {m}

The last example would be also used when you weren’t involved in making the lunch, but you simply had a lunch with someone as something to do, e.g. a business lunch.

There is an overlap: napraviti perf. do, make can be used with shopping and medical exams as well; however, it can’t be used for job interviews.

obećavati (obećava / obećaje) ~ obećati promise

(a)
impf.impf. *perf.
pres-1 obećavam obećajem obećam
pres-3 obećava obećaje obeća
pres-3pl obećavaju obećaju obećaju
pres. adv. obećavajući obećajući
imper-2 obećavaj obećaj obećaj
impf.perf.
inf obećavati obećati
past-m obećavao obećao
past-f obećavala obećala
pass. adj. obećavan obećan
gerund obećavanje obećanje **

* The alternative and quite common forms of the present tense: obećaje, etc. have been used for centuries in speech and writing, but are nevertheless considered non-standard by some.

** The perfective verbal noun obećanje is used as a common noun, meaning promise.

(DL) A

This pair is usually used with an optional person in DL (recipient of the promise) and three possible ways to express what was promised. One possibility are objects in A:

Ana je obećala Goranu novi bicikl. Ana promised a new bicycle to Goran.

(DL) inf

Another option is another verb in inf, possibly with its objects, etc.:

Ana je obećala kupiti Goranu novi bicikl.
Ana promised to buy Goran a new bicycle.

(In the last example, DL of Goran is attached to the verb kupiti perf. buy.)

(DL) [...]

The third option are content clauses, starting with da (usually in the future tense; no perf. verbs in the present tense are allowed):

Ana je obećala Goranu [da će mu kupiti novi bicikl].
Ana promised Goran [(that) she’ll buy him a new bicycle].

objašnjavati («) ~ objasniti («) explain

(a) (i)
impf.perf.
pres-1 objašnjavam objasnim
pres-3 objašnjava objasni
pres-3pl objašnjavaju objasne
pres. adv. objašnjavajući
imper-2 objašnjavaj objasni
impf.perf.
inf objašnjavati objasniti
past-m objašnjavao objasnio
past-f objašnjavala objasnila
pass. adj. objašnjavan objašnjen
gerund objašnjavanje objašnjenje *

* The perfective verbal noun objašnjenje is used as a common noun, meaning explanation.

This pair is usually used with an optional person in DL (recipient of speech) and several possible ways to express what was explained.

(DL) [...]

One common option are content clauses, starting with da or a question-word (all tenses can be used, but not perf. verbs in the present tense):

Objasnio sam Ani [da je Goran na igralištu].
I explained to Ana [that Goran was on the playground]. {m}

Objasnio sam joj [gdje je Goran]. I explained to her [where Goran was]. {m}

Observe that there’s no tense shift in Croatian.

(DL) A

It can be used with simple objects in A, standing for what is said:

Objasnio sam joj sve. I’ve explained everything to her. {m}

Objasnio sam im situaciju. I’ve explained the situation to them. {m}

There’s a potential adjective objašnjiv explainable.

oblačiti («) ~ obući (obuče,...) put on (clothes)

(i) (irr.)
impf.perf.
pres-1 oblačim obučem
pres-3 oblači obuče
pres-3pl oblače obuku
pres. adv. oblačeći
imper-2 oblači obuci
impf.perf.
inf oblačiti obući
past-m oblačio obukao
past-f oblačila obukla
pass. adj. oblačen obučen
gerund oblačenje
A

Clothes put on are expressed in A:

Goran je obukao majicu. Goran has put his T-shirt on.

A DL

You can express that somebody is putting clothes on someone else. The person putting the clothes on is the subject (in N), and the person getting dressed is in DL:

Ana je obukla Goranu majicu. Ana has put a T-shirt on Goran.

se²

With a se², the meaning is reflexive; it’s assumed someone is putting his or her clothes on:

Goran se obukao. Goran has put his clothes on.

očekivati (ekuje) expect

(iva)
pres-1 ekujem
pres-3 ekuje
pres-3pl ekuju
pres. adv. ekujući
imper-2 ekuj
inf očekivati
past-m očekivao
past-f očekivala
pass. adj. ekivan
gerund očekivanje *

* The verbal noun očekivanje is also used as a common noun, meaning expectation.

A

This verb can be used with an object in A:

Anaekuje Ivanu. Ana is expecting Ivana.

ekujemo vas. We’re expecting you. (to a group, or someone you respect)

[...]

The verb is often used with unrestricted clauses; present of both impf. and perf. verbs can be used in them, present of perf. verbs usually expressing relative future (this is a special behavior):

Anaekuje [da Ivana dođe]. Ana expects [Ivana to come].

ekujemo [da Ivana dođe]. We expect [Ivana to come].

Clauses with this verb are often in the future tense:

Anaekuje [da će Ivana doći]. Ana expects [that Ivana is going to come].

se²

With a se², the meaning is mediopassive (i.e. is expected); it’s usually used with general expectations. There’s no object, and the subject can be a noun:

Sutra seekuje kiša. Rain is expected tomorrow.

se² [...]

The subject can also be an unrestricted clause of the same type as above (this is mediopassive, so objects become subjects):

ekuje se [da će doći mnogo turista].
It’s expected [that many tourists will come].

Očekivalo se [da će doći mnogo turista].
It was expected [that many tourists would come].

The last Croatian sentence has only the future tense in the content clause: there’s no time-shift, i.e. adjustment of tenses in Croatian!

odbijati («) ~ odbiti (odbije) refuse, reject

(a) (0/j)
impf.perf.
pres-1 odbijam odbijem
pres-3 odbija odbije
pres-3pl odbijaju odbiju
pres. adv. odbijajući
imper-2 odbijaj odbij
impf.perf.
inf odbijati odbiti
past-m odbijao odbio
past-f odbijala odbila
pass. adj. odbijan odbijen
gerund odbijanje
A

This verb pair can be used with objects in A, what someone is refuses:

Ana je odbila prijedlog. Ana refused the proposal.

inf

It can be used with another verb in inf, which can have its objects and so on, when someone refuses to do something:

Ana je odbila platiti račun. Ana refused to pay the bill.

[...]

It can be also used with a clause.

odgovarati («) ~ odgovoriti («) answer, reply; suit

(a) (i)
impf.perf.
pres-1 odgovaram odgovorim
pres-3 odgovara odgovori
pres-3pl odgovaraju odgovore
pres. adv. odgovarajući
imper-2 odgovaraj odgovori
impf.perf.
inf odgovarati odgovoriti
past-m odgovarao odgovorio
past-f odgovarala odgovorila
pass. adj. odgovaran odgovoren
gerund odgovaranje *

* There’s no regular perf. verbal noun, the noun odgovor answer is used when needed.

(DL) [...]

This verb is usually used with an optional person in DL (recipient of speech); what is replied is expressed as a content clause clause, starting with da or occasionally with a question-word (all tenses can be used):

Odgovorila sam Ani [da nemam vremena].
I’ve answered Ana [that I had no time]. {f}

Observe that there’s no tense shift in Croatian.

na A

If somebody answers to something (e.g. a letter, message) it’s expressed with na¨ + A:

Ana ne odgovara na moje poruke. Ana doesn’t answer my messages.

impf. !

The imperfective verb has another, quite frequent meaning: suit, fit, be OK. What does fit (or not) is the subject (in N), and the person (or persons) involved is in DL:

Petak nam ne odgovara. The Friday doesn’t suit us.

† The present adverb odgovarajući is also used as a true adjective, meaning suitable, matching.

!

There’s a related adjective odgovoran (odgovorn-), meaning responsible; what someone is responsible for is expressed with za¨ + A:

Mi smo odgovorni za to. We’re responsible for that.

The additional meaning suit, fit, be OK of the impf. verb is a literal translation of German entsprechen.

odlaziti ~ otići (ode,...) leave (places)

(i) (irr.)
impf.perf.
pres-1 odlazim odem
pres-3 odlazi ode
pres-3pl odlaze odu
pres. adv. odlazeći
imper-2 odlazi odi
impf.perf.
inf odlaziti otići
past-m odlazio otišao
past-f odlazila otišla
pass. adj.
gerund odlaženje *

* There’s no regular perf. verbal noun, the noun odlazak (odlask-) departure is used when needed.

(dest) (orig)

This verb pair is used with optional destinations and origins (unlike the English for, no specific prepositions are used). It also often corresponds to English go:

Goran je otišao u sobu. Goran has gone to the room.

Goran odlazi s igrališta. Goran is leaving the playground. (Croatian: an origin!)

Unlike English, this pair cannot be used with simple objects: you have to use origins.

!

As with other verbs of motion, if someone left to pick up something or someone, it can be expressed with po¨ + A:

Goran je otišao po čistu majicu. Goran has gone to get a clean T-shirt.

Ana je otišla po Gorana. Ana left to get Goran.

The idea is: you went somewhere, and when you got there, you took something or someone with you.

inf

Also, as with other verbs of motion, if someone left to do something, it can be expressed with an inf, and objects etc. can be added to it:

Goran je otišao oprati ruke. Goran has gone to wash his hands.

I used gone in English translations, and the perf verb. otići often expresses just perfective meaning of go.

This verb pair is not used for leaving things (intentionally or accidentally, e.g. I left my jacket in the car).

For that purpose, the verb pair ostavljati ~ ostaviti is used.

odlučivati (odlučuje) ~ odlučiti («) decide

(iva) (i)
impf.perf.
pres-1 odlučujem odlučim
pres-3 odlučuje odluči
pres-3pl odlučuju odluče
pres. adv. odlučujući
imper-2 odluči
impf.perf.
inf odlučivati odlučiti
past-m odlučivao odlučio
past-f odlučivala odlučila
pass. adj. odlučen
gerund odlučivanje *

* There’s no regular perf. verbal noun, the noun odluka decision is used instead.

inf

This verb pair can be used with another verb in infinitive (impf. or perf.), which can have additional objects and so on:

Ana je odlučila kupiti majicu. Ana has decided to buy a T-shirt.

[...]

It can be also used with a da-clause in the future tense; there’s virtually no difference in meaning:

Ana je odlučila [da će kupiti auto]. Ana has decided [to buy a car].

It can be also used with a da-clause in the present tense, usually containing a ‘modal’ verb in the present, and another verb in inf:

Ana je odlučila [da mora vježbati]. Ana decided [she had to exercise].

† The present adverb odlučujući is also used as a true adjective, meaning decisive, crucial:

Ovo je bila odlučujuća utakmica. This was the decisive game.

odmarati («) ~ odmoriti («) rest, take it easy

(a) (i)
impf.perf.
pres-1 odmaram odmorim
pres-3 odmara odmori
pres-3pl odmaraju odmore
pres. adv. odmarajući
imper-2 odmaraj odmori
impf.perf.
inf odmarati odmoriti
past-m odmorao odmorio
past-f odmarala odmorila
pass. adj. odmaran odmoren
gerund odmaranje *

* Besides the regular verbal noun, the noun odmor rest, break, vacation is also used.

se²

This pair is mostly used with se², when somebody is resting:

Goran se odmara. Goran is resting.

A

It can be used with objects in A, normally body parts someone is resting:

Ana odmara oči. Ana is resting her eyes.

Colloquially, it’s often used without se² and without any object, meaning simply rest:

Goran odmara. (colloq.) Goran is resting.

Instead of the passive adjective, another adjective is frequently used: odmoran (odmorn-).

odnositi («) ~ odnijeti (odnese,...) take (carry things)

(i) (irr.)
impf.perf.
pres-1 odnosim odnesem
pres-3 odnosi odnese
pres-3pl odnose odnesu
pres. adv. odnoseći
imper-2 odnosi odnesi
impf.          perf.
inf odnositi odnijeti odnesti *
past-m odnosio odnio odnesao *
past-f odnosila odnijela odnesla *
pass. adj. odnošen odnijet odnesen **
gerund odnošenje

* The perf. verb has alternative, non-standard past forms and infinitive, marked with an asterisk.

** The perf. passive adjective has one more form, but non-standard: odnešen.

A (dest) (orig)

This verb pair is used with objects in A, and optional destinations and origins:

Goran je odnio knjigu u sobu. Goran took the book to the room.

Destinations can be persons in DL:

Ana je odnijela Goranu sladoled. Ana brought Goran an ice-cream.

This pair is not used when objects are people or animals (except when carrying someone who is unconscious, and like).

For taking people or animals somewhere, odvoditi («) ~ odvesti (odvede, odveo) take (someone) is used.

(A possible exception for some speakers are small animals which are always carried, e.g. hamsters. This seems to be more common in Serbia.)

The difference between this pair and donositi («) ~ donijeti (donese,...) bring (things) is similar to go vs. come.

odnositi («) se² relate; behave towards

With a se², the impf. verb odnositi («) (but not the related perf. verb!) has a specific meaning: relate, behave towards.

na A

The meaning relate requires objects expressed with na¨ + A, and often translates to English apply and similar verbs:

Popust se ne odnosi na ovu majicu. The discount doesn’t ‘relate to’ this T-shirt. (i.e. doesn’t apply to)

!

The meaning behave towards requires objects expressed with prema + DL:

Loše se odnosio prema meni. He behaved badly towards me.

The meaning behave is also expressed with ponašati («) se² behave.

odustajati (odustaje) ~ odustati (odustane) give up

(a/e) (0/n)
impf.perf.
pres-1 odustajem odustanem *
pres-3 odustaje odustane *
pres-3pl odustaju odustanu *
pres. adv. odustajući
imper-2 odustani *
impf.perf.
inf odustajati odustati
past-m odustajao odustao
past-f odustajala odustala
pass. adj.
gerund odustajanje

* The present tense and imperative forms of the perf. verb are sometimes stressed as odustane, etc.

The verbs are sometimes used with only a subject:

Goran je odustao. Goran gave up.

od G

To express what someone is giving up on, use od¨ + G:

Ana je odustala od španjolskog. Ana gave up on Spanish.

odvoditi («) ~ odvesti (odvede, odveo) take (someone)

(i) (irr.)
impf.perf.
pres-1 odvodim odvedem
pres-3 odvodi odvede
pres-3pl odvode odvedu
pres. adv. odvodeći
imper-2 odvodi odvedi
impf.perf.
inf odvoditi odvesti
past-m odvodio odveo
past-f odvodila odvela
pass. adj. odvođen odveden
gerund odvođenje
A dest (orig)

This verb pair is used with objects in A and destinations. The objects are always persons, including babies, or animals that walk (cats, dogs, horses, etc.):

Ana je odvela Gorana u školu. Ana took Goran to school.

Taking anything else (e.g. a book, a suitcase) is expressed by odnositi («) ~ odnijeti (odnese,...) take (carry things).

The impf. verb is seldom used, usually for repeated actions; to express ongoing actions, the verb voditi lead is mostly used.

This verb pair is coupled with dovoditi («) ~ dovesti (dovede, doveo) bring (someone) in the go/come fashion, i.e. this pair implies elsewhere.

okretati (okreće) ~ okrenuti (okrene) turn, rotate

(a/*) (n)
impf.perf.
pres-1 okrećem okrenem
pres-3 okreće okrene
pres-3pl okreću okrenu
pres. adv. okrećući
imper-2 okreći okreni
impf.perf.
inf okretati okrenuti
past-m okretao okrenuo
past-f okretala okrenula
pass. adj. okretan okrenut
gerund okretanje
se²

This pair is mostly used with se², when something/somebody is turning:

Goran se okrenuo. Goran has turned.

A

Instead of se², an object in A is used when someone is turning something:

Ana okrenula ključ. Ana has turned the key.

This verb pair covers only the literal meaning of turn, i.e. rotate.

opisivati (opisuje) ~ opisati (opiše) describe

(iva) (a/*)
impf.perf.
pres-1 opisujem opišem
pres-3 opisuje opiše
pres-3pl opisuju opišu
pres. adv. opisujući
imper-2 opisuj opiši
impf.perf.
inf opisivati opisati
past-m opisivao opisao
past-f opisivala opisala
pass. adj. opisivan opisan
gerund opisivanje *

* There’s no regular perf. verbal noun, the noun opis description is used instead.

(DL) A

This pair is usually used with an optional person in DL (recipient of speech) and what was described in A.

Opisao sam problem Ani. I described the problem to Ana. {m}

(DL) [..]

Instead an object in A, a noun clause with što or a content clause is frequently used.

There’s a potential adjective opisiv describable.

opraštati («) ~ oprostiti («) forgive

(a) (i)
impf.perf.
pres-1 opraštam oprostim
pres-3 oprašta oprosti
pres-3pl opraštaju oproste
pres. adv. opraštajući
imper-2 opraštaj oprosti
impf.perf.
inf opraštati oprostiti
past-m opraštao oprostio
past-f opraštala oprostila
pass. adj. opraštan oprošten
gerund opraštanje *

* There’s no regular perf. verbal noun, the nouns oprost act of forgiving and oproštaj farewell are used instead, with different meanings.

DL

The pair is usually used with an object in DL:

Ana je oprostila Ivani. Ana has forgiven Ivana.

DL [...]

What is/was disputed is expressed as an object in A or a content clause starting with što:

Ana je oprostila Ivani [što je bila nepristojna].
Ana has forgiven Ivana [for being rude].

Note that the Croatian construction uses a clause, unlike English, which uses an -ing form of the verb!

The imperative of the perf. verb is also used as a polite word, to start a question to an unknown person (personal pronouns in A aren’t used then, i.e. no equivalent to English me!):

Oprostite, gdje je WC? Excuse me, where’s the toilet?

(Yes, we’re direct, we talk about toilets, not ‘bathrooms’.)

se² (od G)

With a se², this pair is occasionally used (and a bit old-fashioned) as say farewell; if you say farewell to something specific, it’s expressed by od¨ + G:

Oprostili smo se. We said farewell. (to one another)

Oprostili smo se od ljeta. We said farewell to the summer.

There’s a related potential adjective: oprostiv forgiveable.

opuštati («) ~ opustiti («) relax

(a) (i)
impf.perf.
pres-1 opuštam opustim
pres-3 opušta opusti
pres-3pl opuštaju opuste
pres. adv. opuštajući
imper-2 opuštaj opusti
impf.perf.
inf opuštati opustiti
past-m opuštao opustio
past-f opuštala opustila
pass. adj. opuštan opušten
gerund opuštanje
se²

This pair is usually used with a se²:

Ana se opuštala. Ana is relaxing.

A

It can be used without a se², and an object in A, normally the body part which is relaxing:

Ana opušta leđa. Ana is relaxing her back. (leđa back is always plural)

† The present adverb opuštajući is also used as a true adjective, meaning relaxing.

osjećatiosjetiti feel

(a) (i)
impf.smlf.
pres-1 osjećam osjetim
pres-3 osjeća osjeti
pres-3pl osjećaju osjete
pres. adv. osjećajući
imper-2 osjećaj osjeti
impf.smlf.
inf osjećati osjetiti
past-m osjećao osjetio
past-f osjećala osjetila
pass. adj.
gerund osjećanje *

* There’s no regular ‘semelfactive’ verbal noun, the noun osjećaj feeling is used when needed.

se²

The impf. verb is often used with a se², to describe how someone feels at the moment, expressed with an adverb:

Ana se osjeća odlično. Ana is feeling great.

A

Both verbs are also used to express what is felt, as an object in A:

Ana osjeća bol. Ana is feeling pain.

The verb osjetiti is ‘semelfactive’, e.g. stands for a brief, ‘single’ feeling:

Ana je osjetila bol. Ana felt pain. (for a moment, for some time)

[...]

You can also feel something expressed by a content clause, often using a ‘modal’ verb (but no perf. verbs in the present tense):

Ana osjeća [da mora otići na odmor]. Ana feels [she must go on vacation].

There’s is frequently used potential adjective osjetljiv sensitive, having a bit shifted meaning.

ostajati (ostaje) ~ ostati (ostane) stay, remain

(a/e) (0/n)
impf.perf.
pres-1 ostajem ostanem *
pres-3 ostaje ostane *
pres-3pl ostaju ostanu *
pres. adv. ostajući
imper-2 ostani
impf.perf.
inf ostajati ostati
past-m ostajao ostao
past-f ostajala ostala
pass. adj.
gerund ostajanje **

* The perf. verb is also stressed ostane etc. in the present tense.

** There’s no regular perfective verbal noun, the noun ostanak (ostank-) stay is used when needed.

This verb pair is used in various ways. Since the perf. verb can express duration of stay, the impf. verb is practically used in present only:

Ostao je u bolnici dva sata. He remained in hospital for two hours.

Ostala je kod kuće. She stayed at home.

Ostali su zajedno. They stayed together.

The past form of the perf. verb is used as a real quantity adjective (as with other past forms used as adjectives, a form with -i, ostali is the basic form):

Ostalo tijesto je u frižideru. The remaining pastry is in the fridge.

It’s often used as a pronoun as well; in the same way as other adjectives, the neuter singular forms are used for things, and masc. plural forms for people:

Ostali će doći sutra. The rest (of them) will come tomorrow.

Ostalo će doći sutra. The rest (of it) will come tomorrow.

DL

With a person in DL, the perf. verb expresses accidental leaving things somewhere (take care, jakna jacket and novčanik wallet are the subjects):

Jakna mi je ostala u autu. I left the jacket in the car (accidentally).

Ani je ostao novčanik u trgovini. Ana has left her wallet in the shop (accidentally).

As with other expressions where someone, expressed in DL, is unintentionally affected, they are often at the start of the sentence.

The pair ostavljati ~ ostaviti leave (things) expresses leaving things both intentionally and accidentally.

ostavljati ~ ostaviti leave (things)

(a) (i)
impf.perf.
pres-1 ostavljam ostavim
pres-3 ostavlja ostavi
pres-3pl ostavljaju ostave
pres. adv. ostavljajući
imper-2 ostavljaj ostavi
impf.perf.
inf ostavljati ostaviti
past-m ostavljao ostavio
past-f ostavljala ostavila
pass. adj. ostavljan ostavljen
gerund ostavljanje
A (loc)

This verb pair expresses leaving things or people (in A), somewhere (as an optional location):

Ostavila sam jaknu u autu. I left the jacket in the car. {f}

This pair doesn’t express if it’s intentional or not. To express unintentional leaving things specifically, the pair ostajati (ostaje) ~ ostati (ostane) is used.

!

A special case is the ‘location’ na miru, expressing the meaning leave alone:

Ostavi ga na miru! Leave him alone! (or: it, depending on the context)

otključavati («) ~ otključati unlock

(a) (i)
impf.perf.
pres-1 otključavam otključam
pres-3 otključava otključa
pres-3pl otključavaju otključaju
pres. adv. otključavajući
imper-2 otključavaj otključaj
impf.perf.
inf otključavati otključati
past-m otključavao otključao
past-f otključavala otključala
pass. adj. otključan
gerund otključavanje
A

This verb pair can be used with an object in A:

Ana otključava vrata. Ana is unlocking the door.

The perf. pass. adj. is a very frequently used adjective (the noun vrata door is always in plural):

Vrata su otključana. The door is unlocked.

The opposite meaning is expressed by zaključavati («) ~ zaključati lock.

otkrivati («) ~ otkriti (otkrije) uncover; discover; reveal

(a) (0/j)
impf.perf.
pres-1 otkrivam otkrijem
pres-3 otkriva otkrije
pres-3pl otkrivaju otkriju
pres. adv. otkrivajući
imper-2 otkrivaj otkrij
impf.perf.
inf otkrivati otkriti
past-m otkrivao otkrio
past-f otkrivala otkrila
pass. adj. otkrivan otkriven
gerund otkrivanje *

* There’s no regular passive verbal noun, but the common noun otkriće discovery covers some meanings.

A

The verb pair, when used in meaning uncover, is used with an object in A:

Ana je otkrila Gorana. Ana has uncovered Goran.

If someone uncovers himself or herself, a se² is used:

Goran se otkrio. Goran has uncovered himself.

A

This verb pair also means discover; what is discovered is an object in A:

Pas je otkrio kost. The dog has discovered a bone.

[...]

What is discovered can also be a content clause (all tenses allowed, but no perf. verbs in the present tense):

Cassini je otkrio [da Saturn ima prstenove].
Cassini discovered [(that) Saturn has rings].

(DL) A

In journalism, this verb is very frequently used in the third meaning: reveal. Someone always reveals his or her plans, strategy for a football game, reasons, and – if there are no other news – a new hairstyle or boyfriend; one who gets the revelation is optionally expressed in DL:

Iva Šarić nam je otkrila tajne svog izgleda.
Iva Šarić revealed to us the secrets of her look.

(This is an actual sentence from a web site.)

(DL) [...]

This can be also used with content clauses:

Danijela Dvornik je otkrila [da piše knjigu].
Danijela Dvornik revealed [(that) she’s writing a book].

otvarati («) ~ otvoriti («) open

(a) (i)
impf.perf.
pres-1 otvaram otvorim
pres-3 otvara otvori
pres-3pl otvaraju otvore
pres. adv. otvarajući
imper-2 otvaraj otvori
impf.perf.
inf otvarati otvoriti
past-m otvarao otvorio
past-f otvarala otvorila
pass. adj. otvaran otvoren
gerund otvaranje otvorenje
A

This verb pair can be used with an object in A:

Ana otvara kutiju. Ana is opening the box.

Goran je otvorio prozor. Goran has opened the window.

se²

With a se², the meaning is mediopassive, that is, something happens or has happened to the subject, but we don’t know or won’t say who is causing it:

Škola se otvara sutra. The school is opening tomorrow.

Vrata su se otvorila. The door has opened.

(The noun vrata door is always in plural.)

The perf. pass. adj. is a very frequently used adjective:

Dućan je otvoren. The shop is open.

The opposite meaning is expressed by zatvarati («) ~ zatvoriti («) close.

The agent noun is otvarač, mostly used for various devices (openers).

There’s an associated root noun otvor opening (as hole, not an action).

ovisiti depend

(i)
pres-1 ovisim
pres-3 ovisi
pres-3pl ovise
pres. adv. oviseći
imper-2 ovisi
inf ovisiti
past-m ovisio
past-f ovisila
pass. adj.
gerund
o DL

The verb is used with the preposition o¨ + DL:

Sve ovisi o vremenu. Everything depends on the weather.

When asking about the o¨ + DL object, don’t forget to keep the preposition before the pronoun in DL:

O čemu to ovisi? What does it depend on?

O kome to ovisi? On whom does it depend?

The subject of this verb is often a content clause, usually a yes-no or another type of question, which can be placed anywhere:

Ovisi o tebi [kad krećemo]. It depends on you [when we’ll start].

A clause is often put as an object in the o¨ + DL construction, using the connecting to (in DL tome), which is unlike English:

To ovisi o tome [da li će padati kiša]. It depends on [whether it will rain].

Ovisi o tome [gdje živiš]. It depends on [where you live].

Now, colloquially, it’s possible to leave out o tome and just have a clause as an object of the verb; the clause now must be after the subject (if any):

Ovisi [gdje živiš]. (colloq.) It depends [where you live].

It’s possible to use the verb + question word as a short response:

Koliko košta pizza? How much is a pizza?

Ovisi gdje. (colloq.) ‘It depends on where.

There’s as related adjective ovisan (ovisn-) dependent, also meaning addicted. It’s used in the same way as the verb:

Ivan je ovisan o nogometu. Ivan is addicted to football.

This verb doesn’t mean have confidence (the second meaning of English depend). For that, use računati ~ iz- calculate, rely on.

padati ~ pasti (padne, pao) fall

(a) (irr.)
impf.perf.
pres-1 padam padnem
pres-3 pada padne
pres-3pl padaju padnu
pres. adv. padajući
imper-2 padaj padni
impf.perf.
inf padati pasti
past-m padao pao
past-f padala pala
pass. adj.
gerund padanje *

* There’s no regular perf. verbal noun, pad fall is used when needed.

(dest)

The verb pair is used without objects, and with optional destinations:

Šalica je pala na pod. The cup fell to the floor.

DL

This pair also expresses dropping things unintentionally, by adding the person involved in DL (the thing dropped is still the subject):

Šalica mi je pala. I’ve dropped the cup.

For intentional dropping, use bacati ~ baciti throw.

!

This pair is often used with kiša rain and snijeg snow to expess it’s raining or snowing (in such sentences, the subject usually comes after the verb):,

Padala je kiša. It was raining. (lit. ‘A rain was falling.’)

Pada snijeg. It’s snowing. (lit. ‘A snow is falling.’)

Impersonally, the imperfective verb is sometimes used to express raining or snowing, understood from the context:

Pada. It was raining. It’s raining. / It’s snowing.

Padalo je. It was raining. / It was snowing.

The past forms of the perf. verb are used as real adjectives, meaning fallen; the base form is pali:

Ima puno palog lišća. There’s a lot of fallen leaves.

pakirati («) ~* s- pack

(a)
impf.perf.
pres-1 pakiram spakiram
pres-3 pakira spakira
pres-3pl pakiraju spakiraju
pres. adv. pakirajući
imper-2 pakiraj spakiraj
impf.perf.
inf pakirati spakirati
past-m pakirao spakirao
past-f pakirala spakirala
pass. adj. pakiran spakiran
gerund pakiranje *

* The verbal noun pakiranje is also used as a general noun, meaning pack, packing.

A

This verb pair is used with objects in A:

Ana pakira odjeću. Ana is packing her clothes.

se²

If you are packing your things to go somewhere, i.e. just pack, you have to use a se²:

Ana se spakirala. Ana has packed.

paliti ~*/~ u- («) ignite, turn on

(i)
impf.perf.
pres-1 palim upalim
pres-3 pali upali
pres-3pl pale upale
pres. adv. paleći
imper-2 pali upali
impf.perf.
inf paliti upaliti
past-m palio upalio
past-f palila upalila
pass. adj. paljen upaljen
gerund paljenje
A

This verb pair can be used with an object in A – for things that burn, but also for lights, engines, cars, TV and many other things:

Upalili su vatru. They’ve ignited the fire.

Upalit ću auto. I’ll turn the car on.

The opposite meaning is expressed by gasiti («) extinguish, turn off.

pamtiti ~~ za- memorize, bear in mind

(i)
impf.inch.
pres-1 pamtim zapamtim
pres-3 pamti zapamti
pres-3pl pamte zapamte
pres. adv. pamteći
imper-2 pamti zapamti
impf.inch.
inf pamtiti zapamtiti
past-m pamtio zapamtio
past-f pamtila zapamtila
pass. adj. zapamćen
gerund pamćenje *

Unlike English, Croatian has a special verb pair for storing things into memory.

The verb zapamtiti is ‘inchoative’: it means something got into the memory. (Since it’s inchoative, it’s normally not used in the present tense.)

[...]

It can be used with a content clause, representing the fact you want to memorize (using verbs in any tense, but no perf. verbs in the present tense; note that the Croatian clause below is in the present tense: there’s no adjustment of tenses in Croatian):

Ana nije zapamtila [gdje su ključevi]. Ana didn’t ‘memorize’ [where the keys were].

A

It’s also often used with objects in A, also representing things you want to memorize:

Ana nije zapamtila njegovu adresu. Ana didn’t ‘memorize’ his address.

[...]

You can also memorize to do something, expressed by a clause, usually using a ‘modal’ verb:

Ana je zapamtila [da mora kupiti kruh]. Ana ‘memorized’ [she had to buy bread].

Unlike English memorize, this is a very common verb in Croatian.

[...]

The verb pamtiti is imperfective: it means something is in the memory (it’s mostly used with adverbs dobro well and dugo for a long time):

Ana je dugo pamtila [što se dogodilo].
Ana ‘had in memory’ for a long time [what had happened]. (i.e. remembered)

A

It can be also used with objects in A:

Dobro pamtim školu. I remember the school well.

Meaning of this verb overlaps with sjećati se² ~~ sjetiti se² remember (recall, come to mind), which is more common in speech (note this verb uses G):

Dobro se sjećam škole. I remember the school well.

paziti be careful, watch out

(i)
pres-1 pazim
pres-3 pazi
pres-3pl paze
pres. adv. pazeći
imper-2 pazi
inf paziti
past-m pazio
past-f pazila
pass. adj. pažen
gerund *

* There’s no regular verbal noun, pažnja is used instead.

The verb is often used in imperative:

Pazi! Watch out!

na A

The verb can be used with na¨ + A, in meaning watch out for:

Ana pazi na trnje. Ana is watching out for thorns.

[...]

The verb can be used with atemporal clauses (starting with da, having both impf. and perf. verbs, but only in the present tense), which express what the subject wants to happen (and are consequently often negative, e.g. doesn’t fall):

Goran pazi [da ne padne]. Goran is careful [that he doesn’t fall].

There’s potential adjective pažljiv with an unexpected meaning: careful.

peći (peče,...) ~* ispeći (ispeče,...) bake

(irr.)
impf.perf.
pres-1 pečem ispečem
pres-3 peče ispeče
pres-3pl peku ispeku
pres. adv. pekući
imper-2 peci ispeci
impf.perf.
inf peći ispeći
past-m pekao ispekao
past-f pekla ispekla
pass. adj. pečen ispečen
gerund pečenje *

* The verbal noun is spelled the same as the noun pečenje roasted meat, which is different only in stress.

A

This verb pair is used with an object in A:

Ana peče kolače. Ana is baking cakes.

Ivan je ispekao pizzu. Ivan baked a pizza.

While English prefers other verbs in some instances, i.e. make a cake etc., Croatian prefers this verb pair whenever baking is done.

se²

This verb pair can also be used with se², the meaning is mediopassive, i.e. something happens or has happened to the subject, but we don’t say who is causing it, or it happens ‘on its own’, e.g. for things left to bake:

Kolači se peku. Cakes are baking.

pisati (piše) ~* na- («) write

(a/*)
impf.perf.
pres-1 pišem napišem
pres-3 piše napiše
pres-3pl pišu napišu
pres. adv. pišući
imper-2 piši napiši
impf.perf.
inf pisati napisati
past-m pisao napisao
past-f pisala napisala
pass. adj. pisan napisan
gerund pisanje
A (DL)

The verb pair is used with objects in A (mandatory for the perf. verb), and optional recipients in DL:

Ana piše poruku. Ana is writing a message.

Ana piše poruku Ivani. Ana is writing a message to Ivana.

There’s a secondary present adjective pisaći writing, mostly used for pisaći stol writing desk and pisaći pribor stationery.

pitatiu- («) ask

(i)
impf.smlf.
pres-1 pitam upitam
pres-3 pita upita
pres-3pl pitaju upitaju
pres. adv. pitajući
imper-2 pitaj upitaj
impf.smlf.
inf pitati upitati
past-m pitao upitao
past-f pitala upitala
pass. adj. pitan
gerund pitanje *

* The verbal noun has the fixed meaning: question.

A [...]

This verb pair is usually used with an object in A (recipient of the question) and another object, usually a content clause, starting with a question-word (all tenses can be used):

Pitala sam Anu [gdje je auto]. I asked Ana [where the car was]. {f}

Observe that there’s no tense shift in Croatian.

A A

What is asked can also be an object in A, then the verb has two objects in A (one is always a person, or something else that can answer questions):

Pitala sam te nešto. I asked you something. {f}

The perf. verb is ‘semelfactive’, i.e. stands for an individual question. It’s not used really often and has an alternative form with za- instead of u-.

If want to use pitanje question as the second object, these verbs are not used, the verb pair postavljati ~ postaviti set, place is used idiomatically.

piti (pije) ~* po- drink

(0/j)
impf.perf.
pres-1 pijem popijem
pres-3 pije popije
pres-3pl piju popiju
pres. adv. pijući
imper-2 pij popi(j)
impf.perf.
inf piti popiti
past-m pio popio
past-f pila popila
pass. adj. pijen popijen
gerund pijenje
(A)

The verb pair is used with an optional object in A, mandatory for the perf. verb:

Goran pije. Goran is drinking.

Goran pije vodu. Goran is drinking water.

pjevati ~* ot- ~~ za- sing

(a)
impf.perf.inch.
pres-1 pjevam otpjevam zapjevam
pres-3 pjeva otpjeva zapjeva
pres-3pl pjevaju otpjevaju zapjevaju
pres. adv. pjevajući
imper-2 pjevaj otpjevaj zapjevaj
 
inf pjevati otpjevati zapjevati
past-m pjevao otpjevao zapjevao
past-f pjevala otpjevala zapjevala
pass. adj. pjevan otpjevan
gerund pjevanje
(A)

The verb pair is used with an optional object in A:

Ptice pjevaju. Birds are singing.

Goran pjeva pjesmu. Goran is singing a song.

Two perfective verbs are a standard perfective, for singing something to the end, and an ‘inchoative’ verb, meaning start singing.

Ana je zapjevala. Ana started singing.

A

The perfective verb requires an object in A:

Goran je otpjevao pjesmu. Goran has sung a song.

The agent nouns are pjevač m / pjevačica f singer.

plaćati ~ platiti pay

(a) (i)
impf.perf.
pres-1 plaćam platim
pres-3 plaća plati
pres-3pl plaćaju plate
pres. adv. plaćajući
imper-2 plaćaj plati
impf.perf.
inf plaćati platiti
past-m plaćao platio
past-f plaćala platila
pass. adj. plaćan plaćen
gerund plaćanje
(A)

The verb pair is used with an optional object in A:

Ana plaća večeru. Ana is paying for the dinner.

A DL

You can also pay something to somebody, expressed in DL, which is usually expressed with buy in English:

Ana je platila Goranu večeru. Ana bought Goran the dinner.

planirati («) ~* is- plan

(a)
impf.perf.
pres-1 planiram isplaniram
pres-3 planira isplanira
pres-3pl planiraju isplaniraju
pres. adv. planirajući
imper-2 planiraj isplaniraj
impf.perf.
inf planirati isplanirati
past-m planirao isplanirao
past-f planirala isplanirala
pass. adj. planiran isplaniran
gerund planiranje *

* There’s no regular perf. verbal noun; the noun plan plan can be used when needed.

inf

The verbs can used with another verb in infinitive, which can have additional objects and so on:

Ana planira kupiti auto. Ana is planning to buy a car.

A

They can also be used with objects in A, when some activity is planned:

Ivan planira put. Ivan is planning the trip.

plivati ~* ot- , do- ~~ za- swim

(a)
impf.perf.inch.
pres-1 plivam otplivam zaplivam
pres-3 pliva otpliva zapliva
pres-3pl plivaju otplivaju zaplivaju
pres. adv. plivajući
imper-2 plivaj otplivaj zaplivaj
impf.perf.inch.
inf plivati otplivati zaplivati
past-m plivao otplivao zaplivao
past-f pivala otplivala zaplivala
pass. adj. plivan otplivan
gerund plivanje

There are two perfective verbs, but they don’t have exactly the same meaning, they rather form a go-come pair: the verb derived with ot- is simply the perfective version of the impf. verb; it covers swim away as well.

The perf. verb derived with do- is used in situations where the English come can be used; it’s essentially come by swimming.

Ana pliva. Ana is swimming.

Ana je otplivala. Goran swam away.

The agent nouns are plivač m / plivačica f swimmer.

počinjati (počinje) ~ početi (počne) begin

(a/e) (irr.)
impf.perf.
pres-1 počinjem počnem *
pres-3 počinje počne *
pres-3pl počinju počnu *
pres. adv.
imper-2 počinji počni *
impf.perf.
inf počinjati početi
past-m počinjao počeo
past-f počinjala počela
pass. adj. počet
gerund **

* Occasionally, the perf. verb is seen with alternative, non-standard forms of the present tense, having -m- instead of -n-, e.g. počme. This seems to be more common in coastal regions.

** There’s no regular perf. verbal noun; početak (početk-) beginning is used instead.

This is a phase verb pair. It can be used with a noun standing for an activity as the subject, and no object:

Kiša počinje. The rain is starting.

Film je počeo. The movie has started.

When the subject is something new or indefinite (e.g. we just say some movie has started), it’s usually expressed by putting the subject after the verb, which roughly corresponds to using English indefinite article a/an:

Počeo je film. A movie has started.

I

To describe how something starts, a noun in I can be used:

Nova godina je počela vatrometom. The new year started with fireworks.

inf

Another way of using this pair is with another impf. verb in infinitive, possibly with its objects, etc.:

Goran je počeo jesti. Goran has begun eating.

Goran je počeo jesti jabuku. Goran has begun eating an apple.

The opposite pair is prestajati (prestaje) ~ prestati (prestane) stop, cease for natural events (e.g. rain) and feelings (e.g. pain), while for man-made things, završavati («) ~ završiti («) end is used.

pogađati («) ~ pogoditi («) hit; guess

(a) (i)
impf.perf.
pres-1 pogađam pogodim
pres-3 pogađa pogodi
pres-3pl pogađaju pogode
pres. adv. pogađajući
imper-2 pogađaj pogodi
impf.perf.
inf pogađati pogoditi
past-m pogađao pogodio
past-f pogađala pogodila
pass. adj. pogađan pogođen
gerund pogađanje *

* There’s no regular perf. verbal noun; pogodak (pogotk-) hit can be used instead.

A

The basic meaning is hit the target, e.g. goal, basket, someone – usually with something flying (a ball, arrow, stone):

Goran je pogodio prozor. Goran has hit the window.

Note: the target can be untentional; you aimed for something, but you’ve hit something else.

If you hit something directly (e.g. with a fist, foot), the verb pair udaratiudariti hit, punch is used.

[..]

A derived, but common meaning is guess something, often expressed with a content clause (starting with da or a question-word, using any tense, but no perf. verbs in the present tense):

Pogodila sam [gdje je auto]. I guessed [where the car is]. {f}

(Note that the perf. verb implies that the guessing was successful: you were right.)

Also, noun clauses can be used in this construction (starting with što (č-) what or tko (k-) who):

Pogodila sam [što je to]. I guessed [what that is]. {f}

!

Another derived meaning is that someone (who is an object in A) was negatively affected or hurt by something (the subject in N):

Anu je to jako pogodilo. Ana took it very badly.

Vijesti su ih pogodile. They took the news badly.

pokazivati (pokazuje) ~ pokazati (pokaže) show

(iva) (a)
impf.perf.
pres-1 pokazujem pokažem
pres-3 pokazuje pokaže
pres-3pl pokazuju pokažu
pres. adv. pokazujući
imper-2 pokazuj pokaži
impf.perf.
inf pokazivati pokazati
past-m pokazivao pokazao
past-f pokazivala pokazala
pass. adj. pokazivan pokazan
gerund pokazivanje
(DL) A

The verb is used with an object in A, and an optional ‘recipient’ in DL:

Ana pokazuje kuću Ivani. Ana is showing the house to Ivana.

(DL) [..]

Instead of objects in A, content clauses starting with da or a question-word are often used (using any tense, but no perf. verbs in the present tense):

Ana je pokazala Ivani [gdje je kuhinja].
Ana has shown Ivana [where the kitchen is].

Goran pokazuje [da može stajati na rukama].
Goran is showing [(that) he can stand on his hands].

se² [...]

With a se², a content clause can be the subject (the verb must be neuter singular accordingly), and the meaning is turn out that...:

Pokazalo se [da je škola predaleko]. lit. ‘It turned out [the school was too far]’.
= The school turned out to be too far.

Note that in Croatian, the subject is usually not something turning up to have unexpected properties, but the whole clause! This is unlike English.

Also, note that the clause in the example above uses the present tense. There’s no adjustment of tenses in Croatian!

This is a somewhat formal use; in speech, it’s more common to use ispadati ~ ispasti (ispadne, ispao) fall out, drop out, turn out.

pokrivati («) ~ pokriti (pokrije) cover

(iva) (0/j)
impf.perf.
pres-1 pokrivam pokrijem
pres-3 pokriva pokrije
pres-3pl pokrivaju pokriju
pres. adv. pokrivajući
imper-2 pokrivaj pokrij
impf.perf.
inf pokrivati pokriti
past-m pokrivao pokrio
past-f pokrivala pokrila
pass. adj. pokrivan pokriven
gerund pokrivanje
A / se² (I)

The verb pair is used with an object in A or a se²; what is used to cover can be expressed in I:

Ana je pokrila Gorana. Ana has covered Goran.

Goran se pokriva dekom. Goran is covering himself with a blanket.

This pair is also used metaphorically, in journalism, sports, law etc., as in English.

The opposite meaning is expressed with otkrivati («) ~ otkriti (otkrije) uncover; discover; reveal.

The agent noun is pokrivač, mostly used for blankets and similar things.

pokušavati («) ~ pokušati try

(a)
impf.perf.
pres-1 pokušavam pokušam
pres-3 pokušava pokuša
pres-3pl pokušavaju pokušaju
pres. adv. pokušavajući
imper-2 pokušaj
impf.perf.
inf pokušavati pokušati
past-m pokušavao pokušao
past-f pokušavala pokušala
pass. adj.
gerund pokušavanje *

* There’s no regular perf. verbal noun, pokušaj attempt is used when needed.

inf

The verb is used with another verb in infinitive, which can have its objects, and so on:

Goran pokušava stajati na jednoj nozi. Goran is trying to stand on one leg.

pomagati (pomaže) ~ pomoći (pomogne,...) help

(a/*) (irr.)
impf.perf.
pres-1 pomažem pomognem
pres-3 pomaže pomogne
pres-3pl pomažu pomognu
pres. adv. pomažući
imper-2 pomaži pomogni
pomozi
impf.perf.
inf pomagati pomoći
past-m pomagao pomogao
past-f pomagala pomogla
pass. adj. pomognut
gerund pomaganje *

* Besides the regular verbal noun, the common noun pomoć f help is frequently used.

DL

The verb is used with a ‘recipient’ of help in DL:

Ana pomaže Goranu. Ana is helping Goran.

DL inf

As objects, infinitives (of both impf. and perf. verbs) with additional objects can be used:

Ana je pomogla Goranu otvoriti kutiju. Ana has helped Goran open the box.

DL [...]

Instead of inf, atemporal clauses (starting with da, having both impf. and perf. verbs, but only in the present tense) can be used:

Ana je pomogla Goranu [da otvori kutiju]. (the same meaning)

The subject of the clause must be the same as the recipient of help in DL.

The agent nouns are pomagač m / pomagačica f helper.

ponavljati («) ~ ponoviti («) repeat

(a) (i)
impf.perf.
pres-1 ponavljam ponovim
pres-3 ponavlja ponovi
pres-3pl ponavljaju ponove
pres. adv. ponavljajući
imper-2 ponavljaj ponovi
impf.perf.
inf ponavljati ponoviti
past-m ponavljao ponovio
past-f ponavljala ponovila
pass. adj. ponavljan ponovljen
gerund ponavljanje
A

The verb pair can be used with an object in A:

Ana je dvaput ponovila pitanje. Ana repeated the question twice.

se²

If the subject is repeating (i.e. there’s no object in English) these verbs have to be used with a se²:

Povijest se ponavlja. History repeats (itself).

There’s a potential adjective ponovljiv repeatable.

ponašati («) se² behave

(a)
pres-1 ponašam
pres-3 ponaša
pres-3pl ponašaju
pres. adv. ponašajući
imper-2 ponašaj
inf ponašati
past-m ponašao
past-f ponašala
pass. adj.
gerund ponašanje *

* The verbal noun ponašanje is used as a common noun, meaning behavior.

This verb is used with adverbs, expressing how someone behaves:

Goran se ponaša grozno. Goran behaves horribly.

Unlike in English, this verb must be used with an adverb, it doesn’t imply good behavior on its own!

!

If the behavior is directed toward someone, that can be expressed with prema + DL:

Goran se ponaša grozno prema mami. Goran behaves horribly with his mom.

popravljati ~ popraviti fix, repair

(a) (i)
impf.perf.
pres-1 popravljam popravim
pres-3 popravlja popravi
pres-3pl popravljaju poprave
pres. adv. popravljajući
imper-2 popravljaj popravi
impf.perf.
inf popravljati popraviti
past-m popravljao popravio
past-f popravljala popravila
pass. adj. popravljan popravljen
gerund popravljanje *

* There’s no regular perf. verbal noun, popravak (popravk-) is used when needed.

A

This verb pair is used with objects in A:

Ivan je popravio auto. Ivan has fixed his car.

se²

The verb pair can be used with se²: the meaning is mediopassive, i.e. somebody or something improves:

Vrijeme se popravlja. The weather is improving.

There’s a potential adjective popravljiv improveable, fixable.

postajati (postaje) ~ postati (postane) become

(a/e) (0/n)
impf.perf.
pres-1 postajem postanem *
pres-3 postaje postane *
pres-3pl postaju postanu *
pres. adv. postajući
imper-2 postani *
impf.perf.
inf postajati postati
past-m postajao postao
past-f postajala postala
pass. adj.
gerund postajanje **

* The present forms of the perf. verb are also stresed as postane, etc. and imperative as postani.

** There’s no regular perf. verbal noun, postanak (postank-) is used when needed.

N

The verb pair is used in a way similar to biti (je² +) ‘~’ (bude) be – with nouns in N and adverbs:

Postaje hladno. It’s getting cold.

Postalo je hladno. It got cold.

Ivan će postati otac. Ivan is going to become a father.

It’s also used with adjectives in N, adjusted to the gender and number of the subject:

Goran je postao nervozan. Goran became nervous.

Ana polako postaje nestrpljiva. Ana is slowly getting impatient.

It’s sometimes used with specific subjects used with biti (je² +) ‘~’ (bude) be:

Postalo nas je strah. We got afraid.

However, this pair is never used in existential phrases (see imati have).

postavljati ~ postaviti set, place

(a) (i)
impf.perf.
pres-1 postavljam postavim
pres-3 postavlja postavi
pres-3pl postavljaju postave
pres. adv. postavljajući
imper-2 postavljaj postavi
impf.perf.
inf postavljati postaviti
past-m postavljao postavio
past-f postavljala postavila
pass. adj. postavljan postavljen
gerund postavljanje

This verb pair translates to several meanings in English. The basic meaning is set, in the meaning fix, put on an elevated place, erect (a monument), but also make ready (e.g. set the table). It’s not used in the meanings set free, set in motion (Croatian has specific verbs for such actions).

A

The objects are in A:

Ana je postavila stol. Ana has set the table.

A dest

When you want to express where something is placed or fixed, you have to use destinations, unlike in English:

Postavit ću sliku na zid. I’ll put the picture on the wall. (Croatian: a destination!)

!

This pair is also used to formulate and ask questions:

Postavio sam dva pitanja. I asked two questions. {m}

postizati (postiže) ~ postići (postigne,...) achieve

(a/*) (irr.)
impf.perf.
pres-1 postižem postignem
pres-3 postiže postigne
pres-3pl postižu postignu
pres. adv. postižući
imper-2 postiži postigni
impf.perf.
inf postizati postići
past-m postizao postigao
past-f postizala postigla
pass. adj. postignut
gerund postizanje
A

This pair is often used with an object in A:

Ana je postigla uspjeh. Ana achieved success.

[...]

What is achived can also be expressed with a content clause.

postojati (postoji) exist

(a/i)
pres-1 postojim
pres-3 postoji
pres-3pl postoje
pres. adv. postojeći
imper-2
inf postojati
past-m postojao
past-f postojala
pass. adj.
gerund postojanje

The verb is used without an object, often covering the ‘existential’ meaning there is, with countable objects:

Ne postoje plave jabuke. Blue apples don’t exist.

Postoje dva problema. There are two problems.

† The present adverb postojeći is frequently used as a true adjective, meaning existing, current:

Obavijest postojećim korisnicima. A notice to current users.

posuđivati (posuđuje) ~ posuditi («) borrow, lend

(iva) (i)
impf.perf.
pres-1 posuđujem posudim
pres-3 posuđuje posudi
pres-3pl posuđuju posude
pres. adv. posuđujući
imper-2 posuđuj posudi
impf.perf.
inf posuđivati posuditi
past-m posuđivao posudio
past-f posuđivala posudila
pass. adj. posuđivan posuđen
gerund posuđivanje *

There’s no regular perfective verbal noun, the noun posudba is used when needed.

!

These verbs are used in two meanings. One is borrow something (expressed in A) from an origin (expressed with od¨ + G for people):

Goran je posudio loptu od Ivana. Goran has borrowed a ball from Ivan.

!

The same verbs are used to express lend. What is lent is still expressed in A, while the recipient is in DL:

Ivan je posudio loptu Goranu. Ivan has lent a ball to Goran.

!

This verb pair uses ‘round trip’ time periods, i.e. na¨ + period, meaning things borrowed should be returned in that time period:

Goran je posudio loptu od Ivana na tri dana.
Goran has borrowed a ball from Ivan for three days.

If you used za¨ + period in the example above, it would mean how much it took to complete the borrowing before you took the ball (e.g. to negotiate, etc.), not when you’re going to return it!

povećavati («) ~ povećati enlarge, magnify

(a)
impf.perf.
pres-1 povećavam povećam
pres-3 povećava poveća
pres-3pl povećavaju povećaju
pres. adv. povećavajući
imper-2 povećavaj povećaj
impf.perf.
inf povećavati povećati
past-m povećavao povećao
past-f povećavala povećala
pass. adj. povećavan povećan
gerund povećavanje povećanje
se²

This pair is often used with a se² , when something increases:

Cijene su se povećale. The prices increased.

It’s also used with an object in A, when someone enlarges, increases or magnifies something:

Restoran je povećao cijene. The restaurant increased its prices.

poznavati (poznaje) / poznati know, be familiar with (person, city)

(irr.)
pres-1 poznajem poznam *
pres-3 poznaje pozna *
pres-3pl poznaju poznaju
pres. adv. poznajući / poznavajući
imper-2
inf poznavati poznati *
past-m poznavao poznao *
past-f poznavala poznala *
pass. adj. poznat
gerund poznavanje

* The verb has an alternative form with inf poznati; its forms are common in speech, but ones marked with * are regarded as a bit colloquial.

A

This verb means know, but with specific objects: a person, a city, a car brand, etc. The object is in A:

Ana poznaje Ivana. Ana knows Ivan.

The meaning get to know, become familiar is expressed with the verb pair upoznavati (upoznaje) ~ upoznati get acquainted with (person, city).

The passive adjective poznat is used as a common adjective, well-known.

prati (pere) ~* o- (») wash

(irr.)
impf.perf.
pres-1 perem operem
pres-3 pere opere
pres-3pl peru operu
pres. adv. perući
imper-2 peri operi
impf.perf.
inf prati oprati
past-m prao oprao
past-f prala oprala
pass. adj. pran opran
gerund pranje
A

This verb pair is used with objects in A:

Ana pere kosu. Ana is washing her hair.

se² / sebe

If you are washing yourself, you have to use a se² (which is true reflexive, i.e. it can be emphasized as sebe):

Goran se oprao. Goran has washed himself.

There’s a potential adjective periv washable.

pratiti follow

(i)
pres-1 pratim
pres-3 prati
pres-3pl prate
pres. adv. prateći
imper-2 prati
inf pratiti
past-m pratio
past-f pratila
pass. adj. praćen
gerund praćenje
A

This verb is used with objects in A:

Pas nas prati. The dog is following us.

The verb is also used when somebody regularly watches something (e.g. a TV series).

† The present adverb prateći is also used as a true adjective, meaning accompanying.

predviđati («) ~ predvidjeti (predvidi,...) predict

(a) (je)
impf.perf.
pres-1 predviđam predvidim
pres-3 predviđa predvidi
pres-3pl predviđaju predvide
pres. adv. predviđajući
imper-2 predviđaj predvidi
impf.perf.
inf predviđati predvidjeti
past-m predviđao predvidio
past-f predviđala predvidjela
pass. adj. predviđan predviđen
gerund predviđanje *
A

This verb pair can be used with an object in A:

Goran predviđa svašta. Goran predicts all sorts of things.

[...]

The verbs are often used with content clauses, i.e. clauses starting with da or question-words, and using any tense (but not perf. verbs in the present tense):

Ana je predvidjela [da će Goran biti gladan].
Ana predicted [Goran would be hungry].

The Croatian clause is in the future tense, as there’s no adjustment of tenses in Croatian.

There’s a potential adjective predvidljiv predictable.

prekidati («) ~ prekinuti (prekine) interrupt, quit

(a) (n)
impf.perf.
pres-1 prekidam prekinem
pres-3 prekida prekine
pres-3pl prekidaju prekinu
pres. adv. prekidajući
imper-2 prekidaj prekini
impf.perf.
inf prekidati prekinuti
past-m prekidao prekinuo
past-f prekidala prekinula
pass. adj. prekidan prekinut
gerund prekidanje *

* There’s no regular perf. verbal noun, prekid is used when needed.

A

This verb pair is used for interruptions, unexpected or forced endings or actions. It’s used with objects in A:

Sudac je prekinuo utakmicu. The referee has stopped the match.

se²

With a se², the meaning is mediopassive, i.e. something unexpectedly ends ‘on its own’:

Veza se prekinula. The connection has broken.

prestajati (prestaje) ~ prestati (prestane) stop, cease

(a/e) (0/n)
impf.perf.
pres-1 prestajem prestanem *
pres-3 prestaje prestane *
pres-3pl prestaju prestanu *
pres. adv. prestajući
imper-2 prestani *
impf.perf.
inf prestajati prestati
past-m prestajao prestao
past-f prestajala prestala
pass. adj.
gerund prestajanje **

* The present forms of the perf. verb are sometime stresed as prestane, etc. (i.e. the stress in ‘western’ areas of Croatia is sometimes on the 2nd syllable for this verb). The imperative forms are also stressed as prestani, etc.

** There’s no regular perf. verbal noun; prestanak (prestank-) is used instead.

This is a phase verb pair. The verb pair can be used with a noun standing for some process as the subject, without anything else:

Kiša je prestala. The rain has stopped.

This is not used for organized activities (e.g. party, meeting), man-made things (e.g. story, war, movie) or periods of time (e.g. month, day). For example, it’s often used with:

bol f pain
buka noise
glavoboljaʷ¹ headache
kiša rain
krvarenje bleeding
oluja storm
opasnost f danger
snijeg snow
vjetar (vjetr-) wind

To express that something ends (e.g. a movie, a story, a party, an evening) use only završavati («) ~ završiti («).

inf

It can be also used with another imperfective verb in infinitive, which can have additional objects and so on:

Goran je prestao plakati. Goran has stopped crying.

Ivan je prestao piti pivo. Ivan has stopped drinking beer.

There’s no restriction on the type of activity in the construction with an infinitive.

The opposite meaning is expressed by počinjati (počinje) ~ početi (počne) begin.

pretpostavljati ~ pretpostaviti suppose

(a) (i)
impf.perf.
pres-1 pretpostavljam pretpostavim
pres-3 pretpostavlja pretpostavi
pres-3pl pretpostavljaju pretpostave
pres. adv. pretpostavljajući
imper-2 pretpostavljaj pretpostavi
inf pretpostavljati pretpostaviti
past-m pretpostavljao pretpostavio
past-f pretpostavljala pretpostavila
pass. adj. pretpostavljan pretpostavljen
gerund pretpostavljanje *

* There’s no regular perf. verbal noun, the noun pretpostavka assumption is used instead.

[...]

This verb is usually used with a content clause (i.e. all verbs in any tense, except perf. verbs in present) as its object:

Pretpostavljam [da imaš malo vremena]. I suppose [you have some time].

This verb is basically a literal translation of the German verb voraussetzen, and ultimately based on Latin praesuppōnere.

prevoditi («) ~ prevesti (prevede, preveo) translate

(i) (irr.)
impf.perf.
pres-1 prevodim prevedem
pres-3 prevodi prevede
pres-3pl prevode prevedu
pres. adv. prevodeći
imper-2 prevodi prevedi
impf.perf.
inf prevoditi prevesti
past-m prevodio preveo
past-f prevodila prevela
pass. adj. prevođen preveden
gerund prevođenje *

* There’s no regular perf. verbal noun, but the noun prijevod translation is used when needed.

A (dest) (orig)

This verb pair is used with objects in A, and optional destinations and origins:

Ana prevodi s engleskog. Ana translates from English.

Ana je prevela knjigu s engleskog na hrvatski. Ana has translated the book from English to Croatian.

Pay attention that languages use the preposition s¨ / sa¨ for origins and na¨ for destinations and locations.

There’s a potential adjective prevodljiv translatable.

The agent nouns are prevoditelj m / prevoditeljica f translatior. There’s another masc. noun: prevodilac (prevodioc-).

pričati ~* is- («) tell

(a)
impf.perf.
pres-1 pričam ispričam
pres-3 priča ispriča
pres-3pl pričaju ispričaju
pres. adv. pričajući
imper-2 pričaj ispričaj
impf.perf.
inf pričati ispričati
past-m pričao ispričao
past-f pričala ispričala
pass. adj. pričan ispričan
gerund pričanje
A DL

This verb pair is traditionally used to tell narration, e.g. a story, or to talk about something; what is told is an object in A, and an optional recipient is in DL:

Ana je ispričala kratku priču Goranu. Ana told Goran a short story.

[...]

The object can be expressed with a noun clause:

Ivan je ispričao [što se dogodilo]. Ivan told [what has happened].

Colloquially, this verb pair also covers meanings expressed by pairs govoriti («) ~ reći (reče / kaže,...) speak, say, tell and razgovarati («) talk with someone, converse:

Pričala sam s Anom. (colloq.) I talked to Ana. {f}

There’s a potential adjective pričljiv, with a bit unexpected meaning: talkative, chatty.

prihvaćati ~ prihvatiti accept

(a) (i)
impf.perf.
pres-1 prihvaćam prihvatim
pres-3 prihvaća prihvati
pres-3pl prihvaćaju prihvate
pres. adv. prihvaćajući
imper-2 prihvaćaj prihvati
impf.perf.
inf prihvaćati prihvatiti
past-m prihvaćao prihvatio
past-f prihvaćala prihvatila
pass. adj. prihvaćan prihvaćen
gerund prihvaćanje
A

This verb pair can be used with an object (what is accepted) in A:

Ana je prihvatila objašnjenje. Ana has accepted the explanation.

[...]

The verbs are often used with content clauses, starting with da, and using any tense, or with noun clauses, starting with forms of tko (k-) who and što (č-) what:

Ana ne prihvaća [da mora čekati satima].
Ana doesn't accept [she has to wait for hours].

Ne prihvaćam [što su mi rekli]. I don't accept [what they told me].

There’s a potential adjective prihvatljiv acceptable.

primati ~ primiti receive

(a) (i)
impf.perf.
pres-1 primam primim
pres-3 prima primi
pres-3pl primaju prime
pres. adv. primajući
imper-2 primaj primi
impf.perf.
inf primati primiti
past-m primao primio
past-f primala primila
pass. adj. priman primljen
gerund primanje
A

This verb pair is used with objects in A:

Ivana je primila poruku . Ivana has received a message.

A orig

To specify sources, origins can be added (for persons: od¨ + G):

Ana je primila poruku iz banke.
Ana has received a message from the bank.

Ivana je primila poruku od Ane. Ivana has received a message from Ana.

The same meaning is often expressed in speech with dobivati («) ~ dobiti (dobije) get (a thing, a message, an idea).

A za A

Colloquially, this pair can mean take, start holding, grab, hold for a while:

Ana je primila Gorana za ruku . (colloq.) Ana took Goran by his hand. (or: took Goran’s hand)

In that meaning, the pair is used in the same ways as držati (drži) hold; keep.

There’s a phrase which corresponds to an English phrase, meaning express disbelief, dismay:

Ana se primila za glavu. (colloq.) Ana shook her head. (lit: ‘held her head’)

The meaning take, start holding, grab, hold for a while is not found in Bosnia or Serbia; the verb pair hvatati ~ uhvatiti catch and others are used instead.

pripadati ~~ pripasti (pripadne, pripao) belong

(a) (irr.)
impf.inch.
pres-1 pripadam pripadnem
pres-3 pripada pripadne
pres-3pl pripadaju pripadnu
pres. adv. pripadajući
imper-2 pripadaj pripadni
impf.inch.
inf pripadati pripasti
past-m pripadao pripao
past-f pripadala pripala
pass. adj. pripadan
gerund pripadanje
DL

This verb is used to express belonging to someone or something (expressed in DL):

Auto pripada Ani. The car belongs to Ana.

The verb pripasti (pripadne) is ‘inchoative’, describing entering a state, and it’s hard to translate it to English:

Uloga je pripala Ani. Ana got the role.

This is frequently used metaphorically, when someone gets the following:

čast honor
nagrada award
priznanje recognition, award
uloga role

† The present adverb pripadajući is sometimes used as a true adjective, meaning corresponding. It’s mostly used in official documents, contracts, etc.

The agent nouns are pripadnik m / pripadnica f member. They are mostly used in official documents, laws and like; they aren’t used for members of a club, but rather of ethnic groups, armed forces, police etc.

pripremati («) ~ pripremiti («) prepare

(a) (i)
impf.perf.
pres-1 pripremam pripremim
pres-3 priprema pripremi
pres-3pl pripremaju pripreme
pres. adv. pripremajući
imper-2 pripremaj pripremi
impf.perf.
inf pripremati pripremiti
past-m pripremao pripremio
past-f pripremala pripremila
pass. adj. pripreman pripremljen
gerund pripremanje *

* There’s no regular perf. verbal noun, priprema is used when needed.

A

The verb pair is used with objects in A, where English often uses verbs make:

Ana priprema ručak. Ana is preparing lunch.

A za A

You can also prepare someone (in A) for something (za¨ + A):

Ana priprema Gorana za školu. Ana is preparing Goran for school.

se²

If you prepare on your own, e.g. like English get ready, you have to use se²:

Pripremamo se za vikend. We’re preparing for the weekend.

se² [...]

If you prepare (or prepare someone) to do something, it’s expressed by an clause (in any tense, present of perf. verbs stands for future) starting with da:

Pripremi se [da ćeš dugo čekati]. Prepare for a long wait.

probati perf. try; taste

(a)
pres-1 probam
pres-3 proba
pres-3pl probaju
pres. adv. probajući
imper-2 probaj
inf probati
past-m probao
past-f probala
pass. adj.
gerund *

* There’s no regular verbal noun, proba is used when needed.

inf

The verb is slightly colloquial. It’s usually used in the past or future tense, since it’s essentially perfective. It can be used with another verb in infinitive, which can have its objects, and so on:

Goran je probao stajati na jednoj nozi. Goran has tried to stand on one leg.

A

Unlike pokušavati («) ~ pokušati, this verb can be also used with objects in A; it also corresponds to English try on (for clothes) and try out (i.e. test):

Ivan je probao hlače. Ivan has tried the trousers on.

When trying food, it often corresponds to English taste:

Ana je probala kolač. Ana has tasted the cake.

prodavati (prodaje) ~ prodati sell

(irr.) (a)
impf.perf.
pres-1 prodajem prodam
pres-3 prodaje proda
pres-3pl prodaju * prodaju
pres. adv. prodajući *
imper-2 prodavaj * prodaj
impf.perf.
inf prodavati prodati
past-m prodavao prodao
past-f prodavala prodala
pass. adj. prodavan prodan
gerund prodavanje **

* There are alternative, non-standard forms of the present tense of the impf. verb (prodavam, etc.) and the pres. adv. (prodavajući). The impf. imperative has standard form which coincides with the perf. imperative, so prodavaj is actually more common.

** There’s no regular perf. verbal noun, prodaja is used when needed.

A (DL)

The verb pair is used with objects in A and optional recipients (i.e. buyers) in DL:

Ana je prodala kuću. Ana has sold the house.

Ana je prodala kuću Marku. Ana has sold the house to Marko.

se²

With a se², in the present tense it corresponds to English on sale and Spanish se venda:

Kuća se prodaje. The house is on sale. (lit. ‘is being sold’)

The agent nouns are prodavač m / prodavačica f seller, always used for people who work in shops.

prolaziti ~ proći (prođe,...) pass

(i) (irr.)
impf.perf.
pres-1 prolazim prođem
pres-3 prolazi prođe
pres-3pl prolaze prođu
pres. adv. prolazeći
imper-2 prolazi prođi
impf.perf.
inf prolaziti proći
past-m prolazio prošao
past-f prolazila prošla
pass. adj.
gerund prolaženje *

* There’s no regular perf. verbal noun, prolazak (prolask-) is used when needed.

This pair is usually used without an object:

Zima je prošla. The winter passed.

A

As in English, it can be used with objects (in A) in meaning go past or across something:

Prošli smo njegovu kuću. We have passed his house.

This pair is not used in meaning pass ball, or pass salt: for that, the pair dodavati ~ dodati is used.

The past form of the perf. verb is used as a real adjective, in the meaning last, previous, past (as with other past forms used as adjectives, a form with -i, prošli is the basic form):

Prošla zima je bila hladna. The last/past winter was cold.

It’s a very common adjective, more common than English past. The phrase prošlo vrijeme means past tense.

The agent nouns are prolaznik m / prolaznica f passer-by.

provjeravati («) ~ provjeriti check, verify

(a) (i)
impf.perf.
pres-1 provjeravam provjerim
pres-3 provjerava provjeri
pres-3pl provjeravaju provjere
pres. adv. provjeravajući
imper-2 provjeravaj provjeri
impf.perf.
inf provjeravati provjeriti
past-m provjeravao provjerio
past-f provjeravala provjerila
pass. adj. provjeravan provjeren
gerund provjeravanje *

* There’s no regular perf. verbal noun, provjera is used when needed.

[...]

This pair is usually used with content clauses – so any tense, but no perf. verbs in the present tense – normally formed out of questions:

Provjerio sam [ima li mlijeka]. I’ve checked [if there’s any milk].

Ana provjerava [gdje je ključ]. Ana is checking [where the key is].

Provjeri [do kad radi trgovina].
Check [‘until when’ the shop works]. (i.e. check the closing time)

Provjerit ću [kod koga je knjiga].
I’ll check [‘at whom’ the book is]. (i.e. who has the book)

A

This pair can be also used with objects in A:

Provjerio sam kupaonicu. I’ve checked the bathroom. {m}

This verb has been likely borrowed from Russian.

provoditi («) ~ provesti (provede, proveo) spend (time)

(i) (irr.)
impf.perf.
pres-1 provodim provedem
pres-3 provodi provede
pres-3pl provode provedu
pres. adv. provodeći
imper-2 provodi provedi
impf.perf.
inf provoditi provesti
past-m provodio proveo
past-f provodila provela
pass. adj. provođen proveden
gerund provođenje

This verb pair is used mostly to express spending time, e.g. holidays, afternoons, days, weekends etc. It’s used with locations:

Proveli smo dva dana u Dubrovniku. We spent two days in Dubrovnik.

This pair is not used for spending money or other resources; for such purposes, trošiti ~* po- («) is used.

puniti ~* na- fill; charge (battery)

(i)
impf.perf.
pres-1 punim napunim
pres-3 puni napuni
pres-3pl pune napune
pres. adv. puneći
imper-2 puni napuni
impf.perf.
inf puniti napuniti
past-m punio napunio
past-f punila napunila
pass. adj. punjen napunjen
gerund punjenje
A

This pair is used with objects in A:

Ana je napunila rezervoar. Ana has filled the (car) tank.

se²

With a se², the meaning is mediopassive, that is, something happens or has happened to the subject, but we don’t know or won’t say who is causing it:

Kada se puni. The bathtub is filling.

This pair is also used for charging batteries, mobile phones etc.:

Ana je napunila mobitel. Ana charged her mobile phone. (lit. ‘filled’)

puštati ~ pustiti release, let go, let

(a) (i)
impf.perf.
pres-1 puštam pustim
pres-3 pušta pusti
pres-3pl puštaju puste
pres. adv. puštajući
imper-2 puštaj pusti
impf.perf.
inf puštati pustiti
past-m puštao pustio
past-f puštala pustila
pass. adj. puštan pušten
gerund puštanje
A

The pair means release, let go and it’s used with objects in A:

Goran je pustio balon. Goran has let the balloon go.

Colloquially, it can be used to play music or movies:

Danas puštaju super pjesme. (colloq.) They play great songs today.

A [..]

With atemporal da-clauses (using only present tense of both perf. and impf. verbs) it means let, allow; who is allowed to do something is still the object in A:

Ana je pustila psa [da trči]. Ana let the dog [run].

The subject of the da-clause must be the same as the object of the main clause:

Ana ih nije pustila [da se igraju noževima].
Ana didn’t let them [play with knives].

Sometimes, this construction is used with DL instead of A, which is colloquial:

DL [..]

Ana im nije pustila [da se igraju noževima]. (the same, but colloquial)

The last construction coincides completely with dopuštati («) ~ dopustiti («) allow, let.

A loc

This pair can also mean, colloquially, leave, in exactly the same way as ostavljati ~ ostaviti leave (things):

Pusti ga tamo. (colloq.) Leave it there. (or: him, depending on the context)

!

A very frequent use of that meaning is the special case of na miru:

Pusti me na miru! (colloq.) Leave me alone!

putovati (putuje) ~ ot-, do- travel

(ova)
impf.perf.perf. (C)
pres-1 putujem otputujem doputujem
pres-3 putuje otputuje doputuje
pres-3pl putuju otputuju doputuju
pres. adv. putujući
imper-2 putuj otputuj doputuj
 
inf putovati otputovati doputovati
past-m putovao otputovao doputovao
past-f putovala otputovala doputovala
pass. adj.
gerund putovanje *

* There’s a very similar noun that’s spelled like the gerund (the only difference is the stress): putovanje travel.

There are two perfective verbs, but they don’t have exactly the same meaning, they rather form a go-come pair: the verb derived with od- is simply the perfective version of the impf. verb; it covers depart as well.

The perf. verb derived with do- is used in situations where the English come can be used to; it’s essentially come by traveling.

dest (orig)

The verbs are used with destinations and optionally origins:

Putujemo u Split. We’re traveling to Split.

Otputovali smo u Split. We’ve departed to Split.

Doputovali smo u Split. We’ve arrived in Split.

!

These verbs use ‘round trip’ time periods, i.e. na¨ + period, meaning you will return after that time period:

Otputovali smo na tri dana u Split.
We’ve departed to Split to spend three days there.

† The present adverb putujući is sometimes as a true adjective, meaning traveling.

The agent nouns are unexpectedly putnik m / putnica f traveler.


The rest: A-MR-Ž

5 Easy Croatian: Essential Verbs (N-P) This is the second part of a list of the most useful Croatian verbs, containing 153 verbs. They are either listed individually, in verb pa...

↓ Add Your Comment (click here)