Essential verbs: H-M

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

hladiti ~ o- («) cool

pres-1 hladim ohladim
pres-3 hladi ohladi
pres-3pl hlade ohlade
pres. adv. hladeći
imper-2 hladi ohladi
inf hladiti ohladiti
past-m hladio ohladio
past-f hladila ohladila
pass. adj. hlađen ohlađen
gerund hlađenje

This verb pair is usually 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:

Pivo se hladi. The beer is cooling.

More se ohladilo. The sea became cold.


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

Ohladili smo vino. We’ve cooled the wine.

The opposite meaning is expressed by grijati (grije) ~ u- («) warm.

hraniti ~* na- («) feed

pres-1 hranim nahranim
pres-3 hrani nahrani
pres-3pl hrane nahrane
pres. adv. hraneći
imper-2 hrani nahrani
inf hraniti nahraniti
past-m hranio nahranio
past-f hranila nahranila
pass. adj. hranjen nahranjen
gerund hranjenje

This verb pair is used with an object in A:

Ana je nahranila mačku. Ana has fed the cat.

There’s a potential adjective hranjiv nutritious, with a bit unexpected meaning.

htjeti (hoće +,...) want

clitic stressed negative
pres-1 ću² hoću neću
pres-3 će² hoće neće
pres-3pl će² hoće neće
pres. adv. htjedući
inf htjeti
past-m htio
past-f htjela
pass. adj.

This verb is used with an object in A, but this is rather direct and considered rude in the 1st person, so it’s usually ‘softened’ with conditional:

Hoću kavu. I want (a) coffee. (considered rude in most regions)

Htjela bih kavu. I’d like (a) coffee. {f}

Of course, it’s not rude in 2nd and 3nd persons and when you’re asking about others:

Hoćeš kavu? (colloq.) Do you want (a) coffee?


The verb can be used with another verb in inf, which can have its objects, etc:

Hoću kupiti nešto. I want to buy something. (maybe a bit rude)

Htjela bih kupiti nešto. I’d like to buy something. {f}


Clitic forms are used as auxiliary verbs, to form the future tense with verbs in inf:

Kupit ću nešto. I’ll buy something.

If you form questions by putting the verb first, you must use stresed forms:

Hoćeš li kupiti nešto? Will you buy something? (or: Do you want to buy something?)

Since such questions are a bit ambiguous, a more precise verb željeti (želi,...) ~¹/~~ po- («), za- («) want, wish, desire is often used.


If the other verb is ići (ide,...) go with a destination, it can be left out in speech, leaving only a destination, including when it’s just a future tense auxiliary:

Hoćemo li ići u kino? Shall we go to the cinema?

Hoćemo u kino? (the same meaning, in speech)

The same happens with the verbs morati must, have to, trebati need / should, etc.

In speech, present tense forms are often pronounced without the h- (i.e. oću, oćeš...); the pres-2 form can be shortened to just , which is regarded as very colloquial:

kavu? (very colloq.) Wanna a coffee? (also spelled as 'Oš kavu?)

hvatati ~ uhvatiti catch

(a) (i)
pres-1 hvatam uhvatim
pres-3 hvata uhvati
pres-3pl hvataju uhvate
pres. adv. hvatajući
imper-2 hvataj uhvati
inf hvatati uhvatiti
past-m hvatao uhvatio
past-f hvatala uhvatila
pass. adj. hvatan uhvaćen
gerund hvatanje

This verb pair is used with an object in A:

Goran je uhvatio loptu. Goran caught the ball.


What is used for catching is expressed in I:

Goran je uhvatio loptu rukom. Goran caught the ball with his hand.

A za A

If you want to express that something is caught by a part, you should use za¨ + A:

Goran je uhvatio Anu za ruku . Goran caught Ana by her hand.

(Note that these constructions coincide with ones used with držati (drži) hold; keep).

se² (dest)

With a mediopassive se², the meaning is often cleave, stick, cling; it’s often used with destinations:

Prašina se hvata na odjeću. The dust sticks to clothes.

This construction is also used when the snow that fell doesn’t melt:

Snijeg se hvata na grane. The snow is sticking to branches.

There’s a potential adjective uhvatljiv catchable.

The agent nouns are hvatač m / hvatačica f catcher. They also covers various devices (catchers).

ići (ide,...) go

pres-1 idem
pres-3 ide
pres-3pl idu
pres. adv. idući
imper-2 idi
inf ići
past-m išao
past-f išla
pass. adj.
dest (orig)

This verb is used with destinations and (less often) origins:

Idemo u kino. We’re going to the cinema.

Idem s posla. I’m going from work.


Used impersonally (i.e. in the 3rd pers. singular, neuter forms in the past tense) with a person in DL and an adverb, it describes how that person is ‘doing’:

Ide nam dobro. We’re doing fine.

Išlo mi je super. (colloq.) I was doing great.

This corresponds exactly to German es geht mir gut and similar phrases.


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

Idemo jesti pizzu. Let’s eat pizza. / We’re going for a pizza.

The meaning can be either inviting/encouraging, or it can be literal, i.e. going somewhere to do something there.

The 1st person imperative plural idimo is rare. The pres-1pl is used instead:

Idemo! Let’s go!

† The present adverb idući is often used as a true adjective, meaning next:

Idući dan smo išli u restoran. We went to a restaurant the next day.

Iduće ljeto idemo u Francusku. We’re going to France the next summer.

igrati ~~ za- play (game)

pres-1 igram zaigram
pres-3 igra zaigra
pres-3pl igraju zaigraju
pres. adv. igrajući
imper-2 igraj zaigraj
inf igrati zaigrati
past-m igrao zaigrao
past-f igrala zaigrala
pass. adj. igran zaigran
gerund igranje

The verb is used with an object in A:

Ivan igra košarku. Ivan is playing basketball.


When someone is not playing a specific game, but e.g. with toys, a se² must be used:

Goran se igra. Goran is playing.

The agent nouns are igrač m / igračica f player.

imati have

pres-1 imam nemam
pres-3 ima nema
pres-3pl imaju nemaju
pres. adv. imajući nemajući
imper-2 imaj nemaj
inf imati
past-m imao
past-f imala
pass. adj.

The verb is used with objects in A:

Goran ima loptu. Goran has a ball.

The negative present tense is one word, the ne¨ gets fused:

Ana nema kišobran. Ana doesn’t have an umbrella.

(You’ll also see fused negative inf: nemati.)


In the 3rd pers. present, the verb used in so-called existential phrases, corresponding to English there is... or there are..., with G (for uncountable nouns) or G-pl objects (for countable nouns):

Nema šećera. There’s no sugar.

Ima jabuka. There are some apples.

In the past and future tenses, such phrases use the verb biti (je² +) be instead:

Nije bilo šećera. There was no sugar.

Bit će jabuka. There will be some apples.

Unlike in English, the existential phrase is also used with personal pronouns:

Nema ih. They are not here. (lit. ‘There’s no them.’)

Nije te bilo. You weren’t here. (lit. ‘There was no you.’)


If you want to express there’s a... — with single countable things and immaterial concepts — you can use N, but it’s less frequent:

Ima jedan problem. There’s a problem.

This can’t be done when the phrase is negated (there’s no): G-pl must be used then:

Nema problema. There are no problems.

Pay attention: in existential phrases, verbs are always in the 3rd person, singular.

isključivati (isključuje) ~ isključiti («) exclude; turn off (device)

(iva) (i)
pres-1 isključujem isključim
pres-3 isključuje isključi
pres-3pl isključuju isključe
pres. adv. isključujući
imper-2 isključuj isključi
inf isključivati isključiti
past-m isključivao isključio
past-f isključivala isključila
pass. adj. isključen
gerund isključivanje

The verb is used with objects in A, usually for turning off various devices and power supplies:

Ana je isključila pećnicu. Ana has turned the oven off.

There’s a potential adjective isključiv exclusive.

ispadati ~ ispasti (ispadne, ispao) fall out, drop out, turn out

(a) (irr.)
pres-1 ispadam ispadnem
pres-3 ispada ispadne
pres-3pl ispadaju ispadnu
pres. adv. ispadajući
imper-2 ispadaj ispadni
inf ispadati ispasti
past-m ispadao ispao
past-f ispadala ispala
pass. adj.
gerund ispadanje

It’s used when something literally falls out, from an optional origin:

Mobitel je ispao iz Anine torbe. The mobile phone fell out of Ana’s purse.


If someone was involved (but didn’t cause it) you can add them in DL:

Ani je ispao mobitel. Ana’s mobile phone fell out (somehow).

This pair is not used to express falling out with someone, i.e. having an argument.

It’s also used to express when someone is eliminated from a competition:

Hrvatska je ispala s prvenstva. Croatia has dropped out of the championship.


A content clause (i.e. all tenses, but no perf. verbs in present) can be the subject (so the verb must impersonal) and the meaning is turn out that...:

Ispalo je [da nemam novca]. It turned out [I had no money].

Ispada [da je plaža predaleko]. lit. ‘It turns out [the beach is too far]’.
= The beach turns out to be too far.

This is a bit colloquial; a formal way is using the verb pair pokazivati (pokazuje) ~ pokazati (pokaže) show. Also, note that there’s no adjustment of tenses in Croatian!


The subject is usually not something turning up to have unexpected properties, unlike English, but a whole clause. However, you can use adjectives in N to specify how good, how big and how expensive something (the subject) turned out:

Sve je ispalo dobro. Everything turned out well.

Kolač je ispao odličan. The cake turned out excellent.

Cipele su ispale premale. The shoes turned out (to be) too small.

Adverbs can be also used, but only to express how good something turned out:

Kolač je ispao grozno. The cake turned out terrible. (lit. ‘terribly’)

This pair can’t have an object, and doesn’t cover various meanings of English turn out, such as attend, turn off (lights), produce.

ispravljati ~ ispraviti correct

(a) (i)
pres-1 ispravljam ispravim
pres-3 ispravlja ispravi
pres-3pl ispravljaju isprave
pres. adv. ispravljajući
imper-2 ispravljaj ispravi
inf ispravljati ispraviti
past-m ispravljao ispravio
past-f ispravljala ispravila
pass. adj. ispravljanje ispravljen
gerund ispravljanje *

* There’s no regular perf. verbal noun, the noun ispravak (ispravk-) correction is used when needed.


This verb pair is used with an object in A:

Goran je ispravio greške. Goran has corrected errors.

isticati (ističe) ~ istaknuti / istaći (istakne) emphasize, stress; stand out [u/c]

(a/e) (n)
pres-1 ističem istaknem
pres-3 ističe istakne
pres-3pl ističu istaknu
pres. adv. ističući
imper-2 ističi istakni
impf.            perf.
inf isticati istaknuti istaći *
past-m isticao istaknuo istakao *
past-f isticala istaknula istakla *
pass. adj. istican istaknut
gerund isticanje

* Alternative, shorter (and less regular) inf and past forms are much less used, but they are both considered standard; you’ll likely see and hear both.


These verbs are often used with a se²; the meaning is mediopassive, e.g. something or someone stands out:

U mjestu se ističe crkva iz 15. stoljeća. A 15th century church stands out in the town.


These verbs can be used with objects in A; this is a bit formal and fancy, you’ll find it in news reports about what politicians said and similar semi-official stuff:

Gradonačelnica je istaknula važnost ovog projekta. The mayor emphasized importance of this project.


These verbs can be also used with content clauses, and using any tense; this is again a bit formal:

(under construction)


izgledati («) appear, look, seem

pres-1 izgledam
pres-3 izgleda
pres-3pl izgledaju
pres. adv. izgledajući
imper-2 izgledaj
inf izgledati
past-m izgledao
past-f izgledala
pass. adj.
gerund *

* There’s no regular verbal noun, the noun izgled look is used when needed.


This verb is usually used with adverbs, describing how someone looks:

Izgledaš odlično. You look great.


A content clause (starting with da) can be the subject, meaning it seems that...:

Izgleda [da će padati kiša]. It seems [it’s going to rain].

Izgledalo je [da će padati kiša]. It seemed [it was going to rain].

While English adjusts tenses in the last example (it isit was), Croatian doesn’t – there’s no adjustment of tenses in Croatian!

izlaziti ~ izaći (izađe,...) go out

(i) (irr.)
pres-1 izlazim izađem *
pres-3 izlazi izađe *
pres-3pl izlaze izađu *
pres. adv. izlazeći
imper-2 izlazi izađi *
inf izlaziti izaći *
past-m izlazio izašao *
past-f izlazila izašla *
pass. adj.
gerund izlaženje **

* The perf. verb has alternative forms izići (iziđe,...) that are preferred by Standard Croatian, but less common in the real life.

** There’s no regular perf. verbal noun, the noun izlazak (izlask-) is used when needed.

(orig) (dest)

This verb pair is used with optional origins and (sometimes) destinations:

Goran je izašao iz sobe. Goran came out of the room.

Goran je izašao iz kuće na dvorište. Goran came out of the house to the yard.

jačati ~* o- make, get stronger [u/c]

pres-1 jačam ojačam
pres-3 jača ojača
pres-3pl jačaju ojačaju
pres. adv. jačajući
imper-2 jačaj ojačaj
inf jačati ojačati
past-m jačao ojačao
past-f jačala ojačala
pass. adj. jačan ojačan
gerund jačanje ojačanje *

* The verbal noun ojačanje is sometimes used as a common noun, meaning reinforcement.

This verb pair can be used in two ways. Usually, without any object, it means the subject is getting stronger, or got stronger:

Vjetar jača. The wind is getting stronger.

Vjetar je ojačao. The wind got stronger.


Sometimes, with an object, usually a body part or a skill, meaning that the subject is strenghtening it:


javljati ~ javiti inform, get in touch

(a) (i)
pres-1 javljam javim
pres-3 javlja javi
pres-3pl javljaju jave
pres. adv. javljajući
imper-2 javljaj javi
inf javljati javiti
past-m javljao javio
past-f javljala javila
pass. adj. javljen
gerund javljanje
se² (DL)

This verb pair can be used in two ways. First, without any o se², and optionally a person (or a group, institution) in DL, in meaning get in touch, contact:

Javi mi se [kad dođeš u hotel]. Contact me [when you come to the hotel].

[...] (DL)

Another meaning – inform – is expressed with a content clause instead of se²; the use of optional DL is the same:

Ana nam je javila [da je sve u redu].
Ana has informed us [that everything is fine].

jesti (jede, jeo) ~* po- eat

pres-1 jedem pojedem
pres-3 jede pojede
pres-3pl jedu pojedu
pres. adv. jedući
imper-2 jedi pojedi
inf jesti pojesti
past-m jeo pojeo
past-f jela pojela
pass. adj. pojeden
gerund jedenje

The process verb is used with an optional object in A, normally mandatory for the completion verb:

Goran jede. Goran is eating.

Goran je pojeo kolač. Goran has eaten a cake.

There’s a potential adjective jestiv eatable.

kašljati (kašlje) cough

pres-1 kašljem
pres-3 kašlje
pres-3pl kašlju
pres. adv. kašljući
imper-2 kašlji
inf kašljati
past-m kašljao
past-f kašljala
pass. adj.

This verb is used without objects:

Ana ponekad kašlje. Ana coughs sometimes.

kihati (kiše) ~¹ kihnuti (kihne) sneeze

(a/*) (n)
pres-1 kišem kihnem
pres-3 kiše kihne
pres-3pl kišu kihnu
pres. adv. kišući
imper-2 kiši kihni
inf kihati kihnuti
past-m kihao kihnuo
past-f kihala kihnula
pass. adj.
gerund kihanje

These verbs are used without objects:

Goran stalno kiše. Goran sneezes all the time.

The verb kihnuti (kihne) is ‘semelfactive’, i.e. it means sneeze once:

Goran je dvaput kihnuo. Goran sneezed twice.

koristiti use

pres-1 koristim
pres-3 koristi
pres-3pl koriste
pres. adv. koristeći
imper-2 koristi
inf koristiti
past-m koristio
past-f koristila
pass. adj. korišten *
gerund korištenje *

* The passive adjective and verbal noun have alternative forms korišćen and korišćenje. You’ll hear them in speech and see sometimes in writing, even in scientific articles and newspapers. They are considered non-standard in Croatia, but they’re standard in Bosnia and Serbia. They are also common in some dialects in Croatia.


This verb is often used with an object in A (some people consider it non-standard in Croatian, but it’s widespread):

Ana koristi žlicu. Ana is using a spoon.

se² I

Much less frequent, but standard in Croatian, is use with se² and an object in I:

Ana se koristi žlicom. (the same meaning, less common)


Finally, the verb can be used in the ‘reverse’ mode: something that’s useful (or not) is the subject (in N), and the person who will benefit (or not) is in DL:

Žlica će ti koristiti. The spoon will be useful to you.

To nam ne koristi. This is of no use to us.

The agent nouns are korisnik m / korisnica f user.

There’s a derived adjective koristan (korisn-) useful.

koštati cost

pres-1 koštam
pres-3 košta
pres-3pl koštaju
pres. adv. koštajući
imper-2 koštaj
inf koštati
past-m koštao
past-f koštala
pass. adj.
gerund koštanje

This verb used with an object in A, normally an amount of money:

Olovka košta jednu kunu. The pencil costs one kuna.

The amount can be generic:

Pizza ovdje košta puno. A pizza costs a lot here.

A more formal way to express this, used sometimes in writing, is stajati (stoji) stand.

krasti (krade, krao) ~ u- (») steal

pres-1 kradem ukradem
pres-3 krade ukrade
pres-3pl kradu ukradu
pres. adv. kradući
imper-2 kradi ukradi
inf krasti ukrasti
past-m krao ukrao
past-f krala ukrala
pass. adj. ukraden
gerund *

* There’s no regular impf. verbal noun, the noun krađa is used when needed.


This verb pair is used with optional objects in A:, mandatory for the perf. verb:

Netko krade lopte. Somebody steals balls.

Netko je ukrao loptu. Somebody stole the ball.


If you want to express who you stole something from, you can use DL:

Netko je ukrao Goranu loptu. Somebody stole the ball from Goran.

The agent nouns are kradljivac (kradljivc-) m / kradljivica f thief, stealer, but the noun lopov is more common in that meaning.

kretati (kreće) ~~ krenuti (krene) move

(a/*) (n)
pres-1 krećem krenem
pres-3 kreće krene
pres-3pl kreću krenu
pres. adv. krećući
imper-2 kreći kreni
inf kretati krenuti
past-m kretao krenuo
past-f kretala krenula
pass. adj.
gerund kretanje

The impf. verb is used usually with se²:

Auto se kreće. The car is moving.

The perf. verb is ‘inchoative’, meaning start moving, and is used usually without se²:

Auto je krenuo. The car started moving.

kružiti circle, circulate

pres-1 kružim
pres-3 kruži
pres-3pl kruže
pres. adv. kružeći
imper-2 kruži
inf kružiti
past-m kružio
past-f kružila
pass. adj.
gerund kruženje

This verb is used without any object, when something moves in circles, or circulates:

Ptice kruže. Birds are circling.


This verb can be used with locations, often expressed with oko + G.

Komarci su kružili oko nas. Mosquitos circled around us.

Krv kruži tijelom. The blood circulates through the body.

This verb can be also used metaphorically:

Glasine su kružile. Rumors were circulating.

kuhati ~* s- cook

pres-1 kuham skuham
pres-3 kuha skuha
pres-3pl kuhaju skuhaju
pres. adv. kuhajući
imper-2 kuhaj skuhaj
inf kuhati skuhati
past-m kuhao skuhao
past-f kuhala skuhala
pass. adj. kuhan skuhan
gerund kuhanje

While English prefers other verbs in some instances, i.e. make coffee, prepare lunch etc., Croatian prefers this verb pair whenever an oven or stove are used. This verb pair is used with an optional object in A:

Ana kuha. Ana is cooking.

Ana kuha kavu. Ana is ‘cooking’ coffee.


With a se² the meaning is mediopassive, e.g. for things left to cook:

Juha se kuha. The soup is cooking.

In Bosnia and Serbia, this verb pair usually has the form kuvati ~ s-.

kupati ~* o- («) bathe

pres-1 kupam okupam
pres-3 kupa okupa
pres-3pl kupaju okupaju
pres. adv. kupajući
imper-2 kupaj okupaj
inf kupati okupati
past-m kupao okupao
past-f kupala okupala
pass. adj. kupan okupan
gerund kupanje

This verb pair is very often used with se², in meaning that someone is in a bathtub or a lake, pool, sea, river, either washing or just enjoying themselves (where English would use e.g. swim):

Ana se kupa u bazenu. Ana is ‘bathing’ in a pool.

Okupali smo se danas. We have swum today.


With an object in A, the meaning is that someone is bathing someone else:

Ivana kupa Luku. Ivana is giving a bath to Luka.

There’s a secondary present adjective kupaći, which is used only to describe swimming costume and swimming trunks, often without the accompanying noun.

The agent nouns are kupač m / kupačica f bather; they often correspond to swimmer, basically anyone who is in the sea, a lake, a pool, etc. except for sports or work.

kupovati (kupuje) ~ kupiti buy

(ova) (i)
pres-1 kupujem kupim
pres-3 kupuje kupi
pres-3pl kupuju kupe
pres. adv. kupujući
imper-2 kupuj kupi
inf kupovati kupiti
past-m kupovao kupio
past-f kupovala kupila
pass. adj. kupljen
gerund kupovanje *

* There’s no regular perf. verbal noun, nouns kupnja and kupovina are used when needed.


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

Ana je kupila kruh. Ana has bought bread.


If you buy something for someone, that person is usually expressed in DL:

Ana je kupila Goranu majicu. Ana has bought Goran a T-shirt.

The agent noun is kupac (kupc-) buyer, customer. The feminine noun is not well-established yet.

kvariti ~ po- («) break, spoil

pres-1 kvarim pokvarim
pres-3 kvari pokvari
pres-3pl kvare pokvare
pres. adv. kvareći
imper-2 kvari pokvari
inf kvariti pokvariti
past-m kvario pokvario
past-f kvarila pokvarila
pass. adj. pokvaren
gerund kvarenje

This verb pair is usually used with a se²; the meaning is mediopassive, i.e. something happens or has happened to the subject, but we don’t say who is causing it, who has caused it, or it has happened ‘on its own’.

With machines and devices, it corresponds to English break down:

Auto se pokvario. The car broke down.

With food, it corresponds to English spoil:

Mlijeko se pokvarilo. The milk has spoiled.


With an object in A, the meaning is that somebody damages something complex, usually in an invisible way:

Goran je pokvario Anin mobitel. Goran has broken Ana’s mobile phone.

The passive adjective pokvaren has wide meanings: corrupt, spoiled, dirty-minded, etc.

There’s a potential adjective kvarljiv perishable.

lagati (laže) ~ s- lie (tell lies)

pres-1 lažem slažem
pres-3 laže slaže
pres-3pl lažu slažu
pres. adv. lažući
imper-2 laži slaži
inf lagati slagati
past-m lagao slagao
past-f lagala slagala
pass. adj.
gerund laganje

The verbs can be used without an object:

Goran laže. Goran is telling lies.

(DL) [...]

The verbs is usually used with an optional person in DL (recipient of lies) and several possible ways to express what was said. One common option are content clauses, starting with da or a question-word (all tenses can be used):

Goran je slagao Ani [gdje je bio]. Goran has lied to Ana [about where he was].

Note: the perf. verb coincides in writing with the impf. slagati (slaže) arrange, put together, but there’s no confusion since the contexts are completely different. Besides, those who have a difference between short vs. long vowels in their speech have a long a in the other verb:

Slagao je... He told a lie...

Slāgao je... He was arranging... (in dialects with long vowels)

This difference is never indicated in writing, unlike some other long vowels.

There’s a potential adjective lažljiv lying, double-tongued.

letjeti (leti,...) ~ od- («), do- («) fly

impf.perf.perf. (C)
pres-1 letim odletim doletim
pres-3 leti odleti doleti
pres-3pl lete odlete dolete
pres. adv. leteći
imper-2 leti odleti doleti
impf.perf.perf. (C)
inf letjeti odletjeti doletjeti
past-m letio odletio doletio
past-f letjela odletjela doletjela
pass. adj.
gerund letenje

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 fly away 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 flying.

(dest) (orig)

The verbs are used with destinations and origins:

Ptice lete. Birds are flying.

Ptice lete na jug. Birds are flying south.

† The present adverb leteći is also used as a true adjective, meaning flying, e.g. leteći tepih is flying carpet.

ležati (leži) ~~ leći (legne,...) lie (e.g. on bed)

(a/i) (irr.)
pres-1 ležim legnem
pres-3 leži legni
pres-3pl leže legnu
pres. adv. ležeći
imper-2 leži legni
inf ležati leći
past-m ležao legao
past-f ležala legla
pass. adj.
gerund ležanje

The impf. verb is used with optional locations:

Goran leži. Goran is lying down.

Goran leži na podu. Goran is lying on the floor.


The perf. verb – it’s really ‘inchoative’, describing entering a state – corresponds to English lie down. It’s used with optional destinations:

Goran je legao. Goran has lain down.

Goran je legao na pod. Goran has lain down on the floor.

† The present adverb ležeći is also used as a true adjective, meaning lying. For example, the phrase ležeći policajac, lit. ‘lying policeman’ is used for a speed bump.

lomiti ~ s- break

pres-1 lomim slomim
pres-3 lomi slomi
pres-3pl lome slome
pres. adv. lomeći
imper-2 lomi slomi
inf lomiti slomiti
past-m lomio slomio
past-f lomila slomila
pass. adj. lomljen slomljen
gerund lomljenje

The basic meaning is break, but it’s much more specific than in English: the idea is breaking in a small number of nice pieces, e.g. a branch in two, similar to snap.


It’s used with objects in A (often bones, teeth and joints):

Goran je slomio granu. Goran has broken the branch.

Ptica je slomila krilo. The bird broke its wing.


When used with a se², the meaning is mediopassive: something breaks, ‘on its own’:

Grana se slomila. The branch has broken.

A se² is also used when someone breaks down:

Slomila se. She has broken down.

The verb is also used metaphorically, when someone breaks someone’s heart (the ownership of the heart is expressed with a possesive or DL):

Slomila mu je srce. She has broken his heart.

This verb pair is mainly used for:

  • branches, sticks, poles, etc.
  • ice
  • bones and teeth
  • various body parts (except head)

In many instances where English uses break, Croatian doesn’t use this pair!

There’s a potential adjective lomljiv fragile.

ludovati (luduje) ~~ poludjeti (poludi,...) behave crazy [u/c]

pres-1 ludujem
pres-3 luduje
pres-3pl luduju
pres. adv. ludujući
imper-2 luduj
inf ludovati
past-m ludovao
past-f ludovala
pass. adj.
gerund ludovanje

Coming soon...

ljubitipo- («) kiss

pres-1 ljubim poljubim
pres-3 ljubi poljubi
pres-3pl ljube poljube
pres. adv. ljubeći
imper-2 ljubi poljubi
inf ljubiti poljubiti
past-m ljubio poljubio
past-f ljubila poljubila
pass. adj. ljubljen poljubljen
gerund ljubljenje

The verb poljubiti («) is usually understood to mean a single kiss.


This verb pair is used with objects in A:

Ana je poljubila Gorana. Ana has kissed Goran.


It can be also used with mutual se², when subject is more than one person:

Ana i Marko su se poljubili. Ana and Marko kissed each other.

micati (miče) ~ maknuti (makne) move

(a/*) (n)
pres-1 mičem maknem
pres-3 miče makne
pres-3pl miču maknu
pres. adv. mičući
imper-2 miči makni
inf micati maknuti
past-m micao maknuo
past-f micala maknula
pass. adj. mican maknut
gerund micanje

This verb pair is usually used with a se², the meaning is mediopassive, i.e. something moves ‘on its own’:

Goran se miče. Goran is moving.


The verb pair can be also used with an object in A, when someone is moving something, esp. when moving something out of the way:

Goran je maknuo igračku. Goran has put the toy away.

mijenjati ~*/~ promijeniti («) change

(a) (i)
pres-1 mijenjam promijenim
pres-3 mijenja promijeni
pres-3pl mijenjaju promijene
pres. adv. mijenjajući
imper-2 mijenjaj promijeni
inf mijenjati promijeniti
past-m mijenjao promijenio
past-f mijenjala promijenila
pass. adj. mijenjan promijenjen
gerund mijenjanje

These verbs are often seen in non-standard spelling, with je instead of ije, e.g. mjenjam.


This verb pair is very often used with se², in meaning something changes (‘on its own’):

Vrijeme se mijenja. The weather is changing.

Goran se promijenio. Goran has changed.

Note that vrijeme (vremen-, pl ») means both time and weather, depending on the context. When used in the meaning weather, it has no plural, so plural forms mean only times:

Vremena se mijenjaju. The times are changing.

This verb doesn’t imply change clothes, unlike English change! You have to mention what is changed when someone changes clothes.


It can also be used with objects in A, meaning somebody changes something, including money:

Promijenili smo eure. We’ve changed euros.

There’s a potential adjective promjenjiv variable, inconstant, also appearing as promjenljiv. Both forms are considered standard, but the first one is more common.

You’ll also see spellings with -ije-: promijenjiv and promijenljiv, which are less common and non-standard.

miješati ~* pro- («) mix, stir; se² meddle

pres-1 miješam promiješam
pres-3 miješa promiješa
pres-3pl miješaju promiješaju
pres. adv. miješajući
imper-2 miješaj promiješaj
inf miješati promiješati
past-m miješao promiješao
past-f miješala promiješala
pass. adj. miješan promiješan
gerund miješanje

These verbs are often seen in non-standard spelling, with je instead of ije, e.g. mješam.


This verb pair is used with single objects in A, coresponding to English stir:

Ana miješa juhu. Ana is stirring the soup.

A i A

With two objects in A, linked with i¨ it corresponds to English mix:

Ana je promiješala brašno i šećer. Ana mixed flour with sugar.

A s I

Another option is one object in A and another expressed by s¨ / sa¨ + I:

Ana je promiješala brašno sa šećerom. (the same meaning)


With a se² and u¨ + A, there’s meaning meddle; the one who is affected can be expressed in DL:

Šef se miješa Ani u razgovor. The boss is meddling in Ana’s conversation.

mislitipo- ~˙˙˙ pomišljati («) think

pres-1 mislim pomislim pomišljam
pres-3 misli pomisli pomišlja
pres-3pl misle pomisle pomišljaju
pres. adv. misleći pomišljajući
imper-2 misli pomisli pomišljaj
inf misliti pomisliti pomišljati
past-m mislio pomislio pomišljao
past-f mislila pomislila pomišljala
pass. adj.
gerund mišljenje *

* The verbal noun mišljenje is also used as a common noun, meaning opinion.


The verbs are used usually with content clauses, starting with da, and using any tense:

Ana misli [da ima dovoljno novca]. Ana thinks [she has enough money].

o DL

The verb misliti can be also used with o¨ + DL, meaning think about:

Ana misli o Ivanu. Ana is thinking about Ivan.

The verb pomisliti is ‘semelfactive’, i.e. it means think for a moment, have a thought:

Ana je pomislila [da će morati ići na bankomat].
Ana thought for a moment [she would have to go to the ATM].

The verb pomišljati («) is ‘iterative’, i.e. it means think once a while, think a bit.


The verb misliti, quite colloquially, means also intend; it’s then used with another verb in inf, which can have its objects, etc.:

Ana misli kupiti auto. (colloq.) Ana intends to buy a car.

Another way to express it is using the verb namjeravati («) intend.

moći (može +,...) can, be able to

pres-1 mogu *
pres-3 može *
pres-3pl mogu *
pres. adv.
inf moći
past-m mogao
past-f mogla
pass. adj.

* In traditional dialects of almost whole Croatia, this verb has other, fully regular present tense forms, with pres-3 more. Such forms are frequently found in songs, sometimes heard in movies etc. In the northern parts of Croatia, including Zagreb, negative present tense is contracted to one word, pres-3 nemre (note there’s no o). These forms are considered dialectal and very colloquial today.


The verb is used with another verb in infinitive, which can have its objects, etc.:

Goran može stajati na jednoj nozi. Goran can stand on one leg.


If the other verb is ići (ide,...) go, it can be left out in speech:

Možemo ići u restoran. We can go to a restaurant.

Možemo u restoran. (the same meaning, in speech)

In conditional, it corresponds to English could:

Mogli bismo ići u restoran. We could go to a restaurant.

Mogli bi u restoran. (the same, but colloquial, with bi² for all persons)


Colloquially, the pres-3 is used in meaning "alright, OK" with nouns in N:

Može jedna kava. (colloq.) ‘One coffee is OK.’ = Yes, I’d like one cup of coffee.

Colloquially, it’s also used in questions and positive responses (esp. when talking to people you’re familiar with):

Može jedna kava? Would you like a cup of coffee? / Can we get a cup of coffee?

— Može.OK’ = Yes.

In this meaning, it can stay frozen in pres-3, regardless of what is offered / asked for:

Može dvije kave? Can we get two cups of coffee?

† The expected present adjective moguć is used only as an adjective, meaning possible; it’s never used as an adverb. The negated version nemoguć is very frequent:

To nije moguće. That’s not possible.

To je nemoguće. That’s impossible.

molitiza- («) kindly ask; pray

pres-1 molim zamolim
pres-3 moli zamoli
pres-3pl mole zamole
pres. adv. moleći
imper-2 moli zamoli
inf moliti zamoliti
past-m molio zamolio
past-f molila zamolila
pass. adj. zamoljen
gerund moljenje *

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

A [...]

This verb is usually used with a person in A (who receives the request) and an atemporal da-clause (only in pres. tense, but perf. verbs allowed) standing for what is asked:

Molim te [da kupiš kruh]. ‘I’m kindly asking [you to buy bread].’


It can be used with simple objects in A, standing for what is requested (note that we have two objects in A in such constructions):

Molim te kruh. ’I’m kindly asking you for the bread‘. = Bread, please.

The verb zamoliti («) is ‘semelfactive’, i.e. stands for individual requests, e.g. if you asked twice, you can say:

Zamolio sam te dvaput. ‘I’ve kindly asked you twice.’ {m}

morati must, have to

pres-1 moram
pres-3 mora
pres-3pl moraju
pres. adv.
inf morati
past-m morao
past-f morala
pass. adj.

This verb is used with another verb in infinitive:

Ana mora jesti voće. Goran has to eat fruits.

The verb is in speech often ‘softened’ into conditional, in order not to sound like a command:

Morala bi spavati. You should sleep.


If the other verb is ići (ide,...) go with a destination, it can be left out in speech, leaving only a destination:

Ana mora ići na sastanak. Ana has to go to a meeting.

Ana mora na sastanak. (the same meaning, in speech)

The same happens with the verbs htjeti (hoće +,...) want, moći (može +,...) can, and trebati need / should.

This verb, when negated, means don’t have to:

Ana ne mora platiti račun. Ana doesn’t have to pay the bill.

To express must not, use the negated verb smjeti (smije,...) may, be allowed to.

mrziti ~~ za- («) hate

pres-1 mrzim zamrzim
pres-3 mrzi zamrzi
pres-3pl mrze zamrze
pres. adv. mrzeći
imper-2 mrzi zamrzi
inf mrziti zamrziti
past-m mrzio zamrzio
past-f mrzila zamrzila
pass. adj.
gerund *

* There’s no regular verbal noun, the noun mržnja hate is used when needed.


The verb is used with objects in A:

Goran mrzi ribu. Goran hates fish.


It’s also used with another verb in infinitive, which can have own objects, and so on:

Goran mrzi jesti ribu. Goran hates eating fish.


You can also hate something expressed with a clause starting with što (all tenses are allowed, but no perf. verbs in present):

Ana mrzi [što stalno pada kiša]. lit. Ana hates [it’s raining all the time].

The perf. verb is ‘inchoative’, i.e. it means start of state:

Goran je zamrzio školu. Goran started to hate school.

The opposite meaning is expressed by voljeti (voli,...) love.

The rest: A-GN-OPR-ŠT-Ž

5 Easy Croatian: Essential verbs: H-M This is the second part of a list of the most useful Croatian verbs, containing XXX verbs. They are either listed individually, in verb pa...

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