Essential Verbs (R-Ž)

This is the third part of a list of the most useful Croatian verbs, containing 159 verbs. They are either listed individually, in verb pairs, and occasionally in triplets; this part contains 89 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:

računati ~ iz- calculate, rely on

pres-1 računam izračunam
pres-3 računa izračuna
pres-3pl računaju izračunaju
pres. adv. računajući
imper-2 računaj izračunaj
inf računati izračunati
past-m računao izračunao
past-f računala izračunala
pass. adj. računat * izračunat *
gerund računanje

* There’s also rare regular forms of passive adjectives, but the forms with -t are at least 10 times more common.


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

Ana je izračunala troškove. Ana has calculated the expenses.


With a mediopassive se², the impf. verb has a frequent meaning: something counts, i.e. something matters (or not, if negative):

I ovo se računa. This too counts.

To se ne računa. It doesn’t count.

(The last example is a quite frequent phrase.)

na A

The impf. verb, when used with na¨ + A, has a similar meaning: count on, rely on:

Ana računa na Ivanu. Ana counts on Ivana.

The meanings count and rely apply only to the impf. verb.

raditi ~ napraviti work, do, make

pres-1 radim napravim
pres-3 radi napravi
pres-3pl rade naprave
pres. adv. radeći
imper-2 radi napravi
inf raditi napraviti
past-m radio napravio
past-f radila napravila
pass. adj. rađen napravljen
gerund *

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


This verb is used with optional locations:

Ivan radi u bolnici. Ivan works in a hospital.

Ana radi do četiri. Ana works until 4 o’clock.

The perf. verb napraviti doesn’t cover the meaning work.

In questions, the verb is used as a generic verb, like English do:

Što radiš? What are you doing?

The perf. verb can be used in the generic sense, asking about the outcome:

Što si napravio? What have you done? {to a male}


The verb pair also means make; it’s used with objects in A. Such use of raditi is a bit colloquial:

Ivan radi salatu. Ivan is making a salad. (a bit colloquial)

Ivan je napravio salatu. Ivan has made a salad.

impf. !

Impersonal mediopassive of the imperfective verb, with o¨ + DL, means it is/was about:

Radi se o kvaru na motoru. It’s about an engine fault.

The agent nouns are unexpectedly radnik m / radnica f worker.

rađati ~ roditi give birth

(a) (i)
pres-1 rađam rodim
pres-3 rađa rodi
pres-3pl rađaju rode
pres. adv. rađajući
imper-2 rađaj rodi
inf rađati roditi
past-m rađao rodio
past-f rađala rodila
pass. adj. rađan rođen
gerund rađanje rođenje

The impf. verb is used only for ongoing births or general statements.


The perf. verb is used with an object in A:

Ana je rodila Gorana. Ana gave birth to Goran.


Both verbs can be used 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:

Goran se rodio prije 10 godina. Goran was born 10 years ago.

(Note that the sentence above is in the past tense in Croatian.)

Instead of mediopassive, passive adjectives can be used:

Goran je rođen prije 10 godina. Goran was born 10 years ago.

(Note that the sentence above is in the present tense in Croatian.)

The agent noun is a very common noun roditelj parent, used for men and women, i.e. covering fathers too.

rasti (raste, rastao, rasla) ~* na- (»), po- (») grow

pres-1 rastem narastem
pres-3 raste naraste
pres-3pl rastu narastu
pres. adv. rastući
imper-2 rasti narasti
inf rasti narasti
past-m rastao narastao
past-f rasla narasla
pass. adj.
gerund *

* There’s no regular impf. verbal noun, rast growth is used when needed.

These verbs are used with a subject in N only:

Drvo raste. A tree grows.

Metaphorically, other things – prices, sea levels and so on – can grow in Croatian:

Temperature rastu. Temperatures are rising. (lit. ‘growing’)

The perf. verb means something has grown to some degree (but it doesn’t imply it cannot grow more), while the impf. verb doesn’t imply any outcome:

Goran je narastao. Goran has grown.

Goran je rastao. Goran was growing.

rastavljati ~ rastaviti take apart

(a) (i)
pres-1 rastavljam rastavim
pres-3 rastavlja rastavi
pres-3pl rastavljaju rastave
pres. adv. rastavljajući
imper-2 rastavljaj rastavi
inf rastavljati rastaviti
past-m rastavljao rastavio
past-f rastavljala rastavila
pass. adj. rastavljan rastavljen
gerund rastavljanje

This verb pair is used with objects in A:

Goran je rastavio igračku. Goran took apart the toy.

The opposite meaning is expressed by sastavljati ~ sastaviti assemble (put parts together).

razbijati («) ~ razbiti (razbije) break, smash, shatter, crash

(a) (0/j)
pres-1 razbijam razbijem
pres-3 razbija razbije
pres-3pl razbijaju razbiju
pres. adv. razbijajući
imper-2 razbijaj razbij
inf razbijati razbiti
past-m razbijao razbio
past-f razbijala razbila
pass. adj. razbijan razbijen
gerund razbijanje

The main meaning of this verb is break in a way that something shatters or falls apart.


It’s used with objects in A:

Goran je razbio prozor. Goran has broken the window.


If something happens to the subject, and we don’t know who caused it (or we don’t want to say it), mediopassive se² is used:

Prozor se razbio. The window broke.

This verb pair is also used for body parts when they are injured with a lot of blood etc, like head, chin, elbows and knees. It can include broken bones, but the focus is on the visible damage.

This is also used when someone wrecks a car, or destroys something by external force, causing a lot of visible damage. It then contrasts with kvariti ~ po- («) break, spoil which implies an internal, invisible damage:

Auto je razbijen. The car is wrecked.

Auto je pokvaren. The car is broken. (engine or electrics don’t work)

Therefore, this pair is used only with certain objects; other uses of English break are covered by other verbs:

razgovarati («) talk with someone, converse

pres-1 razgovaram
pres-3 razgovara
pres-3pl razgovaraju
pres. adv. razgovarajući
imper-2 razgovaraj
inf razgovarati
past-m razgovarao
past-f razgovarala
pass. adj.
gerund *

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

This verb is used when more than one people talk, i.e. when they converse. For one-sided talk, govoriti («) is used.

s I

Other sides of conversation are expressed with s¨ / sa¨ + I:

Razgovarao sam s Anom. I talked to Ana. {m}

Razgovarat ću s njima. I’ll talk to them.

o DL

The topic of conversation is expressed with o¨ + DL:

Razgovarali smo o Ivanu. We talked about Ivan.

Colloquially, the verb pričati ~* is- («) is used often instead.

razmišljati («) ~ razmisliti think (about something)

(a) (i)
pres-1 razmišljam razmislim
pres-3 razmišlja razmisli
pres-3pl razmišljaju razmisle
pres. adv. razmišljajući
imper-2 razmišljaj razmisli
inf razmišljati razmisliti
past-m razmišljao razmislio
past-f razmišljala razmislila
pass. adj.
gerund razmišljanje
o DL

This verb pair is used in two ways. First, you can think about some thing or person, expressed with o¨ + DL:

Ana razmišlja o odmoru. Ana is thinking about vacation.


Then, you can think about doing something; this is usually expressed with an atemporal clause (i.e. da + a verb in present, either impf. or perf. + object etc.):

Ana razmišlja [da ode kući]. Ana is thinking [about going home].

razumjeti (razumije,...) understand

pres-1 razumijem
pres-3 razumije
pres-3pl razumiju
pres. adv.
imper-2 razumij *
inf razumjeti
past-m razumio
past-f razumjela
pass. adj.

* In speech, the imperative is often shortened to razumi.


This verb can be used with an object (a person or something you understand or not) in A:

Ana nije razumjela problem. Ana didn’t understand the problem.

Ivana razumije Anu. Ivana understands Ana.

This verb is essentially perfective, i.e. duration cannot be normally expressed with it.


The verb is often used with content clauses, and using any tense:

Ana razumije [što je Ivana rekla]. Ana understands [what Ivana has said].

In comparison with a very similar verb pair shvaćati ~~ shvatiti, this verb is also used for physical understanding, e.g. over a noisy phone line.

There’s a potential adjective razumljiv understandable.

The verb also appears as
(non-standard in Croatian)
  Ikavian: razumiti
Ekavian: razumeti

rezati (reže) ~* od-, pre- cut

pres-1 režem odrežem
pres-3 reže odreže
pres-3pl režu odrežu
pres. adv. režući
imper-2 reži odreži
inf rezati odrezati
past-m rezao odrezao
past-f rezala odrezala
pass. adj. rezan odrezan
gerund rezanje

This pair has two perfective verbs: one with od- expresses cutting of a smaller piece from a larger piece (e.g. a slice of bread), while one with pre- means just cutting something in two (e.g. a rope).

Both perf. verbs have exactly the same form, just the prefix is different, so only one is listed.


What is cut or cut off is expressed in A:

Ana reže kruh. Ana is cutting bread.

Ana je odrezala komad kolača. Ana has cut off a piece of cake.

These verbs are using for cutting with knives, scissors and many other things.

The agent nouns are rezač m / rezačica f cutter. The masc. noun also covers various devices (cutters).

In Serbia and eastern parts of Bosnia, these verbs are not used for cutting things with scissors (e.g. fingernails, hair) – other verbs are used instead.

The veb pair also appears as
(non-standard in Croatian)
  Ikavian: rizati (riže)

rješavati («) ~ riješiti solve (problem); se² get rid of

(a) (i)
pres-1 rješavam riješim
pres-3 rješava riješi
pres-3pl rješavaju riješe
pres. adv. rješavajući
imper-2 rješavaj riješi
inf rješavati riješiti
past-m rješavao riješio
past-f rješavala riješila
pass. adj. rješavan riješen
gerund rješavanje rješenje *

* The perf. verbal noun rješenje is also used as a common noun, meaning solution (to some problem). It’s not used for chemical solutions and such things.


This verb pair is used with an object in A, with a bit wider use than the English verb:

Ana je riješila problem. Ana has solved the problem.

Goran mora riješiti zadaću. Goran has to complete the homework. (lit. ‘solve’)

se² G

With a se² and an object in G, the verb pair means get rid of:

Ana se riješila starog auta. Ana got rid of the old car.

There’s a potential adjective rješiv solvable.

The verb pair also appears as
(non-standard in Croatian)
  Ikavian: rišavati («) ~ rišiti
Ekavian: rešavati («) ~ rešiti

rušiti ~*/~ s- demolish, tear down

pres-1 rušim srušim
pres-3 ruši sruši
pres-3pl ruše sruše
pres. adv. rušeći
imper-2 ruši sruši
inf rušiti srušiti
past-m rušio srušio
past-f rušila srušila
pass. adj. rušen srušen
gerund rušenje

This verb pair is used with an object in A:

Vjetar je srušio stablo. The wind has knocked down the tree.


With a se² the meaning is mediopassive, something falls down, collapses:

Kuća se srušila. The house collapsed.

sanjati dream

pres-1 sanjam
pres-3 sanja
pres-3pl sanjaju
pres. adv. sanjajući
imper-2 sanjaj
inf sanjati
past-m sanjao
past-f sanjala
pass. adj.
gerund sanjanje

This verb can be used in three ways. First, you can dream of some thing (expressed in A):

Sanjao sam tebe. I dreamed of you. {m}

o DL

You can also dream about something, expressed as o¨ + DL in Croatian (but this is less common):

Sanjao sam o ovome. I dreamed about this. {m}


Finally, you can dream of anything, expressed by a content clause in Croatian, matching an English clause:

Ana sanja [da je na odmoru]. Ana is dreaming [she’s on vacation].

sastajati (sastaje) se² ~¹ sastati (sastane) se² meet (longer meeting, planned)

(a/e) (irr.)
pres-1 sastajem sastanem
pres-3 sastaje sastane
pres-3pl sastaju sastanu
pres. adv. sastajući
imper-2 sastaj sastani
inf sastajati sastati
past-m sastajao sastao
past-f sastajala sastala
pass. adj.
gerund sastajanje *

* There’s no regular smlf. verbal noun, the noun sastanak (sastank-) meeting is used when needed.

This verb pair is always used with se². The subjects meet:

Ana i Ivana su se sastale. Ana and Ivana met.


Another way to express another party is with s¨/sa¨ + I:

Ana se sastala s Ivanom. Ana met Ivana.

The verb sastati (sastane) se² is ‘semelfactive’, i.e. it stands for a single meeting, while the impf. verb implies ongoing or repeating events in past and future.

This pair is today mostly used for business and official meetings. Other meetings are usually expressed in speech with the verb pair nalaziti ~¹/~ naći (nađe,...) find.

The pair implies a planned meeting; for accidental or brief meetings, the pair sretati (sreće) ~ sresti (sretne, sreo) is used.

sastavljati ~ sastaviti assemble (put parts together)

(a) (i)
pres-1 sastavljam sastavim
pres-3 sastavlja sastavi
pres-3pl sastavljaju sastave
pres. adv. sastavljajući
imper-2 sastavljaj sastavi
inf sastavljati sastaviti
past-m sastavljao popravio
past-f sastavljala sastavila
pass. adj. sastavljan sastavljen
gerund sastavljanje

This verb pair is used with objects in A:

Ana je sastavila igračku. Ana assembled the toy.

The perf. passive adjective sastavljen can be used to express what (or how many) parts something has, using od¨ + G:

Igračka je sastavljena od tri dijela. The toy consists of three parts.

Colloquially, same meaning is sometimes expressed with the multi-purpose slagati (slaže) ~ složiti arrange, put together; se² agree.

The opposite meaning is expressed by rastavljati ~ rastaviti take apart.

shvaćati ~~ shvatiti understand

(a) (i)
pres-1 shvaćam shvatim
pres-3 shvaća shvati
pres-3pl shvaćaju shvate
pres. adv. shvaćajući
imper-2 shvaćaj shvati
inf shvaćati shvatiti
past-m shvaćao shvatio
past-f shvaćala shvatila
pass. adj. shvaćan shvaćen
gerund shvaćanje

This verb pair can be used with an object (a person or something you understand or not) in A:

Ana nije shvatila problem. Ana didn’t understand the problem.

Ivana shvaća Anu. Ivana understands Ana.


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

Ana shvaća [da nema dovoljno novca].
Ana understands [she doesn’t have enough money].

In imperative, the inchoative verb is almost always used:

Shvati to! Understand that!

This verb pair is very similar to razumjeti (razumije,...) understand; however, this pair doesn’t cover understanding a language, a less familiar word, or understanding what was said over a noisy phone line, while razumjeti (razumije,...) understand covers all these meanings as well. Interestingly, this verb pair is more common in speech.

There’s a potential adjective shvatljiv understandable.

sjećati se² ~~ sjetiti se² remember (recall, come to mind)

(a) (i)
pres-1 sjećam sjetim
pres-3 sjeća sjeti
pres-3pl sjećaju sjete
pres. adv. sjećajući
imper-2 sjeti
inf sjećati sjetiti
past-m sjećao sjetio
past-f sjećala sjetila
pass. adj.
gerund sjećanje

This verb pair is virtually always used with se².


Unlike English, Croatian distinguishes storing into memory from retrieving something from memory; this verb pair expresses only retrieving. If you can get a fact from your memory, it’s expressed with the impf. verb and a content clause (using any tense):

Sjećam se [gdje je auto]. I recall [where the car is]. (I can get it from my memory)

The ‘inchoative’ verb sjetiti se² in past tense is often used to express that you have recalled something just now (and previously you couldn’t):

Sjetila sam se [gdje je auto]. I remember now [where the car is]. {f}

This verb has ‘inchoative’ meaning, since from the moment you recall something, you are aware of it. Therefore, it corresponds to English come to mind.


It’s also very common to use this verb when you remembered (or didn’t) to do something (expressed in infinitive, with possible objects, etc.) If you failed to do something, it’s not necessarily permanent loss of memory:

Jesi li se sjetio zatvoriti prozor? Did you remember to close the window? {to a male}

Nisam se sjetio zatvoriti prozor. I didn’t remember to close the window. {m}

A similar meaning is expressed with zaboraviti perf. forget as well:

Zaboravio sam zatvoriti prozor. I forgot to close the window. {m}


If you just recall somebody or something, it’s expressed as an object in G:

Ana se sjetila Ivane. Ivana came to Ana’s mind.

Storing into memory, i.e. memorizing, is expressed by pamtiti ~~ za- memorize, bear in mind.

sjedati ~ sjesti (sjedne, sjeo) sit down

(a/e) (irr.)
pres-1 sjedam sjednem
pres-3 sjeda sjedne
pres-3pl sjedaju sjednu
pres. adv. sjedajući
imper-2 sjedaj sjedni
inf sjedati sjesti
past-m sjedao sjeo
past-f sjedala sjela
pass. adj.
gerund sjedanje

This verb pair is dynamic sit down, in contrast to sjediti, which is static sit.


This pair is used with optional destinations. The perf. verb is mostly used (its relation with sjediti sit is start-of-state, i.e. ‘inchoative’):

Ana je sjela. Ana has sat down.

Ana je sjela na kauč. Ana has sat down on the couch.


In Zagreb and the surrounding regions, this pair can be used with a se²; this is regarded as colloquial today, but you’ll see it sometimes in writing:

Ana se sjela. (colloquial, regional) Ana has sat down.

sjediti sit

pres-1 sjedim
pres-3 sjedi
pres-3pl sjede
pres. adv. sjedeći
imper-2 sjedi
inf sjediti
past-m sjedio
past-f sjedila
pass. adj.
gerund sjedenje

This verb is static, imperfective, i.e. it expresses continuous sitting somewhere (expressed as an optional location):

Ana sjedi. Ana is sitting.

Ana sjedi na kauču. Ana is sitting on the couch.

The verb is quite similar to sjesti (sjedne, sjeo) perf. sit down; however, the perf. verb doesn’t have the -i-, and has -n- in the present tense.

Sometimes, in older literature, this verbs appears as sjedjeti (sjedi,...).

skretati (skreće) ~ skrenuti (skrene) turn (change direction)

(a/*) (n)
pres-1 skrećem skrenem
pres-3 skreće skrene
pres-3pl skreću skrenu
pres. adv. skrećući
imper-2 skreći skreni
inf skretati skrenuti
past-m skretao skrenuo
past-f skretala skrenula
pass. adj.
gerund skretanje *

* The verbal noun means also turn (in traffic).

This verb pair is mostly used when turning while driving:

Ana je skrenula lijevo. Ana has turned left.

skidati ~ skinuti (skine) take off, take down, remove

(a) (n)
pres-1 skidam skinem
pres-3 skida skine
pres-3pl skidaju skinu
pres. adv. skidajući
imper-2 skidaj skini
inf skidati skinuti
past-m skidao skinuo
past-f skidala skinula
pass. adj. skidan skinut
gerund skidanje
A (orig)

With things placed in places that use the preposition na¨, this pair is the opposite of stavljati ~ staviti put (things somewhere). It uses objects in A and origins:

Ana je skinula sliku sa zida. Ana has removed the picture from the wall.

This verb pair is very often used as the opposite of oblačiti («) ~ obući (obuče,...) put on (clothes). Clothes taken off are expressed in A:

Goran je skinuo majicu. Goran has taken his T-shirt off.


In this use, you can express that somebody is taking clothes off from someone else. The person taking the clothes off is the subject (in N), and the person undressed is in DL:

Ana je skinula Goranu majicu. Ana has taken Goran’s T-shirt off.


Conversely, with a se², the meaning is simply undress, take off clothes:

Goran se skida. Goran is undressing.

When you are taking clothes from yourself, sometimes sa sebe from himself/herself/themselves will be added, with no change in meaning:

Goran je skinuo majicu sa sebe. Goran has taken his T-shirt off.

skupljati ~ skupiti collect, gather; se² shrink

(a) (i)
pres-1 skupljam skupim
pres-3 skuplja skupi
pres-3pl skupljaju skupe
pres. adv. skupljajući
imper-2 skupljaj skupi
inf skupljati skupiti
past-m skupljao skupio
past-f skupljala skupila
pass. adj. skupljan skupljen
gerund skupljanje

This verb pair is used with an object in A when you collect something, gather people, etc.:

Goran skuplja grančice. Goran is collecting little twigs.

Ana je skupila susjede. Ana has gathered her neighbors.


With a se², there’s mediopassive meaning, something or somebody gathers:

Prijatelji su se skupili. Friends have gathered.


When the subject is cloth, clothes, with a se², the meaning is shrink:

Majica se skupila. The T-shirt has shrunk.

The perf. verb has an alternative form sakupiti, which is more common in Bosnia and Serbia.

The agent nouns are skupljač m / skupljačica f collector. The masc. noun also covers some devices (collectors).

slagati (slaže) ~ složiti arrange, put together; se² agree

(a/*) (i)
pres-1 slažem složim
pres-3 slaže složi
pres-3pl slažu slože
pres. adv. slažući
imper-2 slaži složi
inf slagati složiti
past-m slagao složio
past-f slagala složila
pass. adj. složen
gerund slaganje

This multi-purpose verb pair has the basic meaning arrange. It can be used to arrange anything, either for storage, or for use, expressed as objects in A:

Ana je složila knjige. Ana has arranged books.

A (loc / dest)

It can be used both with locations (if something is already there, just not arranged) and destinations (if something is put there):

Složila je knjige na policu. She’s arranged the books on the shelf. (put them there)

Složila je knjige na polici. (the same, but the books were already there)


With a se², when the subject is people, this pair means go along well, agree:

Oni se slažu. They agree. (or: go along)

slati (šalje) ~ po- send

pres-1 šaljem pošaljem
pres-3 šalje pošalje
pres-3pl šalju pošalju
pres. adv. šaljući
imper-2 šalji pošalji
inf slati poslati
past-m slao poslao
past-f slala poslala
pass. adj. poslan
gerund slanje
A (DL)

This pair is used with an object in A, and an optional recipient in DL:

Ana je poslala Ivani poruku. Ana has sent a message to Ivana.

The matching verbs on the receiving side are primati ~ primiti receive or more colloquial, dobivati («) ~ dobiti (dobije) get (a thing, a message, an idea).

slikati ~* na- paint (picture), take (photo)

pres-1 slikam naslikam
pres-3 slika naslika
pres-3pl slikaju naslikaju
pres. adv. slikajući
imper-2 slikaj naslikaj
inf slikati naslikati
past-m slikao naslikao
past-f slikala naslikala
pass. adj. slikan naslikan
gerund slikanje

This verb pair has a simple meaning – make a painting or a photo.


This verb pair is used with an optional object in A (mandatory for the perf. verb) expressing who or what is going to be on a painting of a photo:

Ana je slikala Gorana. Ana took a picture of Goran.

Slikaj nas! Take a picture of us!


When someone takes a picture of themselves, se² is used:

Slikali smo se. We took a photo of us.

The perfective verb is used only when making a painting is completed, never for taking a photo!

The verb uzeti (uzme) perf. take (something) is not used in Croatian for "taking photos".

The agent nouns are slikar m / slikarica f painter, used only for people who make paintings.

slušati listen

pres-1 slušam
pres-3 sluša
pres-3pl slušaju
pres. adv. slušajući
imper-2 slušaji
inf slušati
past-m slušao
past-f slušala
pass. adj. slušan
gerund slušanje

This verb is used with objects in A:

Goran sluša radio. Goran is listening to the radio.

The agent nouns are slušatelj m / slušateljica f listener. Another noun is used too: slušalac (slušaoc-).

smanjivati (smanjuje) ~ smanjiti decrease, diminish

(iva) (i)
pres-1 smanjujem smanjim
pres-3 smanjuje smanji
pres-3pl smanjuju smanje
pres. adv. smanjujući
imper-2 smanjuj smanji
inf smanjivati smanjiti
past-m smanjivao smanjio
past-f smanjivala smanjila
pass. adj. smanjivan smanjen
gerund smanjivanje smanjenje

This verb pair is usually used with a se², when something decreases:

Buka se smanjila. The noise decreased.

smetatiza- («) disturb, bother, be a nuisance

pres-1 smetam zasmetam
pres-3 smeta zasmeta
pres-3pl smetaju za>smetaju
pres. adv. smetajući
imper-2 smetaj
inf smetati zasmetati
past-m smetao zasmetao
past-f smetala zasmetala
pass. adj. zasmetan
gerund smetanje *

* There’s no regular smlf. verbal noun, the noun smetnja is used when needed.


This pair is similar to sviđati se² ~~ svidjeti (svidi,...) se² like: what causes disturbance is the subject, and who is disturbed is an object in DL:

Buka mi smeta. The noise is disturbing me.


What is disturbing can be expressed with a clause starting with što (all tenses are allowed, but no perf. verbs in present) – the clause is the subject then:

Ani smeta [što mora čekati]. lit. Ana is bothered [by having to wait].


Colloquially, the person affected can be in A (some consider this a ‘mistake’):

Buka me smeta. (colloq., controversial) The noise is disturbing me.

smijati (smije) se² laugh

pres-1 smijem
pres-3 smije
pres-3pl smiju
pres. adv. smijući
imper-2 smij
inf smijati
past-m smijao
past-f smijala
pass. adj.
gerund smijanje

This verb is always used with se²; to laugh at somebody/something, use DL:

Goran se smije. Goran is laughing.

Goran se smije Ani. Goran is laughing at Ana.

smjeti (smije,...) may, be allowed to

pres-1 smijem
pres-3 smije
pres-3pl smiju
pres. adv.
inf smjeti
past-m smio
past-f smjela
pass. adj.

This verb is usually used in negative, when somebody is not allowed to do something, with another verb in infinitive, which can have its objects and so on:

Ne smiješ skakati po krevetu. You must not jump on the bed.

In everyday language, as in English, to express non-negated meaning is allowed, the verb moći (može +,...) can is used.

In some Croatian regions and neigboring countries (Bosnia, Serbia) this verb also means dare; this meaning is archaic in most of Croatia, the verb pair usuđivati (usuđuje) se² ~ usuditi («) se² dare is used to express that meaning.

snimati ~ snimiti record (video, sound)

(a) (i)
pres-1 snimam snimim
pres-3 snima snimi
pres-3pl snimaju snime
pres. adv. snimajući
imper-2 snimaj snimi
inf snimati snimiti
past-m snimao snimio
past-f snimala snimila
pass. adj. sniman snimljen
gerund snimanje

This verb pair has the basic meaning of recording sound and/or video on some device.

The verb pair is used for recording videos and movies; what is taken is in A:

Ana je snimila Gorana kako pliva. Ana took a video of Goran swimming.

It's also used with any kind of sound recording:

Gibonni je snimio novi album. Gibonni recorded a new album.

It can be also used for photos:

Ana je snimila dvije fotografije. Ana took two photos.

To take pictures of people, use slikati ~* na- paint (picture), take (photo).

The verb uzeti (uzme) perf. take (something) is not used in Croatian for "taking photos".

spajati ~ spojiti connect

(a) (i)
pres-1 spajam spojim
pres-3 spaja spoji
pres-3pl spajaju spoje
pres. adv. spajajući
imper-2 spajaj spoji
inf spajati spojiti
past-m spajao spojio
past-f spajala spojila
pass. adj. spajan spojen
gerund spajanje
A (dest)

This verb pair is used with objects in A, and destinations – where the object is connected to:

Ana je spojila radio u struju.
Ana has connected the radio to power. (lit. ‘into current’)

There’s a potential adjective spojiv connectable.

spavati ~~ zaspati (zaspi) sleep

(a) (a/i)
pres-1 spavam zaspim *
pres-3 spava zaspi *
pres-3pl spavaju zaspe *
pres. adv. spavajući
imper-2 spavaj zaspi
inf spavati zaspati
past-m spavao zaspao
past-f spavala zaspala
pass. adj.
gerund spavanje

* The perf. verb zaspati has alternative, non-standard present forms (e.g. pres-3 zaspe, etc.) that are quite common in more eastern regions of Croatia (and in Serbia, but they aren’t accepted as standard anywhere).

This verb is used without objects:

Goran spava. Goran is sleeping.

The perf. verb is ‘inchoative’; it usually corresponds to English fall asleep:

Goran je brzo zaspao. Goran quickly fell asleep.

There’s a secondary present adjective spavaći, used almost exclusively in the phrase spavaća soba, lit. ‘sleeping room’, i.e. bedroom.

The agent nouns are spavač m / spavačica f sleeper.

spremati ~ spremiti tidy; put to its place, store; prepare

(a) (i)
pres-1 spremam spremim
pres-3 sprema spremi
pres-3pl spremaju spreme
pres. adv. spremajući
imper-2 spremaj spremi
inf spremati spremiti
past-m spremao spremio
past-f spremala spremila
pass. adj. spreman spremljen
gerund spremanje

This versatile verb pair has the basic meaning: bring something/someone to the optimal/requested state. It’s basically used for three things.

A (dest)

First, to put things (expressed in A) back to their places, e.g. if a book is out of its usual place (shelf), a toy is out of the box, etc.:

Spremio sam knjige. I’ve put the books back in place. {m}

If the place is expressed, it’s a destination:

Spremio sam knjige na policu. I’ve put the books back to the shelf. {m}


Then, this pair covers the meanings prepare. It’s used with an object in A:

Spremio sam ručak. I’ve prepared lunch. {m}


With a se², it means get ready, prepare oneself:

Spremio sam se. I’ve prepared (myself). {m}

The same meaning is expressed also by pripremati («) ~ pripremiti («) prepare.

Finally, the third meaning is tidy, again used with an object in A:

Spremio sam sobu. I’ve tidied the room. {m}

The agent nouns are spremač m / spremačica f cleaning person.

There’s a related adjective spreman (spremn-) ready.

sretati (sreće) ~ sresti (sretne, sreo) meet (briefly, accidentally)

(a/*) (irr.)
pres-1 srećem sretnem
pres-3 sreće sretne
pres-3pl sreću sretnu
pres. adv. srećući
inf sretati sresti
past-m sretao sreo
past-f sretala srela
pass. adj.
gerund *

* There’s no regular perfective verbal noun, susret encounter, meeting is used when needed.


This verb pair is used when someone accidentally meets someone (expressed as an object in A):

Ana je jučer srela Mariju. Ana came across Marija yesterday.


With a se², it implies either an accidental, or a planned, but brief meeting, where the subjects meet:

Ana i Marija su se jučer srele. Ana and Marija met briefly yesterday.

s I

Another option is that the subject meets someone expressed by s¨ / sa¨ + I (a se² is still required):

Ana se jučer srela s Marijom. Ana met Marija briefly yesterday.

This pair is used for accidental or brief meetings.

stajati (staje) ~ stati (stane) stop, come to halt

(a/e) (0/n)
pres-1 stajem stanem
pres-3 staje stane
pres-3pl staju stanu
pres. adv. stajući
imper-2 stani
inf stajati stati
past-m stajao stao
past-f stajala stala
pass. adj.
gerund stajanje

This verb is used for dynamic standing, i.e. going to stand somewhere; it’s used without objects and with optional destinations (unlike in English):

Goran je stao. Goran stopped.

Goran je stao na krevet. Goran has stood on the bed. (Croatian: a destination!)

It can be also used when a noun, standing for some process or activity, stops. It can mean a temporary halt, it can start again at any time. (Stopping permanently is expressed by prestajati (prestaje) ~ prestati (prestane) stop, cease.)

Kiša je stala. The rain stopped.

perf. !

The perfective verb has a derived meaning: fit, again used with destinations. In this meaning, the perfective verb is normally used in the present tense, including the true present, i.e. the moment of speaking:

Goran ne stane u hlače. Goran doesn’t fit into the pants. (Croatian: a destination!)

Knjiga ne stane na policu. The book doesn’t fit on the shelf.

Knjiga nije stala na policu. The book didn’t fit on the shelf.

Kofer nije stao u ormar. The suitcase didn’t fit in the closet.


The affected person can be added in DL (note that knjiga book is the subject):

Ani knjiga ne stane na policu. Ana can’t fit the book on the shelf.

The meaning fit of the perf. verb is very restricted: only be not too big.


Sometimes, in older literature and in speech in Dalmatia and maybe some other parts, this pair used with another impf. verb in inf, meaning start:

Stala je pričat. She started talking. (literature, Dalmatia)

stajati (stoji) stand

pres-1 stojim
pres-3 stoji
pres-3pl stoje
pres. adv. stojeći
imper-2 stoj
inf stajati
past-m stajao
past-f stajala
pass. adj.
gerund stajanje

This verb is used for static standing; there are optional locations, but no objects:

Goran stoji. Goran is standing.

Goran stoji na krevetu. Goran is standing on the bed.

Ana stoji pred kućom. Ana is standing in front of the house.

The verb also expresses where something is, where something is kept:

Noževi stoje u ladici. Knives ‘stand’ in the drawer. (i.e. are kept)


This verb is also – maybe a bit colloquially – used to express how some clothes fit someone; the clothing item is the subject, the affected person is in DL, and there’s an adverb:

Cipele mu odlično stoje. The shoes fit him great.

Ovo mi loše stoji. This fits me badly. (speaking about a piece of clothes/outfit)


Sometimes, in writing, this verb is used to express cost. That’s very rare in speech and casual writing:

Knjiga stoji 100 kuna. (formal, rare in speech) The book costs 100 kuna.

A much more common way to express this meaning is koštati cost.

† The present adverb stojeći is also used as a true adjective, meaning standing, stationary.

There’s a secondary present adjective stajaći standing, mostly used for stajaća vojska standing army and stajaća voda standing water. Note that these meanings are unlike other secondary present adjectives, which have ‘used for’ meanings. Compare:

kupaći kostim = costume used for bathing
pisaći stol = desk used for writing
spavaća soba = room used for sleeping

In comparison, stajaća voda is not ‘water for standing’, but ‘water which is standing’.

stavljati ~ staviti put (things somewhere)

(a) (i)
pres-1 stavljam stavim
pres-3 stavlja stavi
pres-3pl stavljaju stave
pres. adv. stavljajući
imper-2 stavljaj stavi
inf stavljati staviti
past-m stavljao stavio
past-f stavljala stavila
pass. adj. stavljan stavljen
gerund stavljanje
A (dest)

This pair is used with objects in A, and destinations (unlike in English!) for where you put something:

Stavio sam pivo u frižider. I’ve put the beer in the fridge. {m} (Croatian: a destination!)

This verb is used for putting things anywhere, temporary or permanently; to stress that something is put to a more permanent place, where something is kept, use spremati ~ spremiti tidy; put to its place, store; prepare.

For example, you could use either pair to put the beer in the fridge, while you would use only stavljati ~ staviti to put the beer on the table!

This pair is used only for literally putting things in some place, while English put has many other uses. Common metaphorical uses of put are expressed in the following way in Croatian:

The opposite action is represented by:

Another option is uzimati ~ uzeti (uzme) take (something), with no restrictions.

stizati (stiže) ~ stići (stigne,...) get, arrive, make on time

(a/*) (irr.)
pres-1 stižem stignem
pres-3 stiže stigne
pres-3pl stižu stignu
pres. adv. stižući
imper-2 stigni
inf stizati stići
past-m stizao stigao
past-f stizala stigla
pass. adj.
gerund stizanje

This verb pair means reaching a point in space, time or both; what is reached is expressed as a destination:

Ana je stigla na posao. Ana has arrived to work.

Using this pair with negation usually implies reaching something too late, or not reaching at all (depending on the context):

Ana nije stigla na sastanak. Ana didn't get to the meeting (on time).


It can also be used with another verb in infinitive, which can have its objects, and so on, to express that somebody had time to do something; it’s usually used in negative:

Ana nije stigla kupiti kruh. Ana had no time to buy bread.


Finally, it can be used with objects in A, meaning someone catches up with someone else:

Goran je stigao Anu. Goran has caught up with Ana.

sušiti ~* o- («) dry

pres-1 sušim osušim
pres-3 suši osuši
pres-3pl suše osuše
pres. adv. sušeći
imper-2 suši osuši
inf sušiti osušiti
past-m sušio osušio
past-f sušila osušila
pass. adj. sušen osušen
gerund sušenje

These verbs are often used with a se², mediopassively, i.e. something dries ‘on its own’:

Majica se suši. The T-shirt is drying.


Sometimes the verbs can be used with an object in A, when someone actively dries something, which is also used for blowing hair:

Ana suši kosu fenom. Ana is ‘drying’ her hair with a blow-dryer.

sviđati se² ~~ svidjeti (svidi,...) se² like

(a) (je)
pres-1 sviđam svidim
pres-3 sviđa svidi
pres-3pl sviđaju svide
pres. adv.
inf sviđati svidjeti
past-m sviđao svidio
past-f sviđala svidjela
pass. adj.

This verb pair is always used with a se². Cases are in the ‘reverse’ mode: what is liked is the subject (in N), and who likes is expressed in DL:

Ani se sviđa Ivan. Ana likes Ivan.

The perf. verb is ‘inchoative’, i.e. it means start to like, but it’s also used for an instant impression you like something:

Ani se svidio film. Ana liked the movie.

This is often used to like something on social media.

The subject (i.e. what someone likes) can be a verb in inf, possibly with its objects and so on:

Ani se svidjelo piti čaj ujutro. Ana liked drinking tea in the morning.

The subject can be also an adverb:

Ani se svidjelo tamo. Ana liked it there. / Ana liked being there.

Pay attention that in both constructions (inf and an adverb as the subject), the verb must be in neuter singular.

This verb has a bit different meaning than English like – it sometimes corresponds to English love.

For more information, see voljeti (voli,...) ~~ za- («) love.

svirati ~* od- («) ~~ za- («) play (music)



pres-1 sviram odsviram zasviram
pres-3 svira odsvira zasvira
pres-3pl sviraju odsviraju zasviraju
pres. adv. svirajući
imper-2 sviraj odsviraj zasviraj
inf svirati odsvirati zasvirati
past-m svirao odsvirao zasvirao
past-f svirala odsvirala zasvirala
pass. adj. sviran odsviran
gerund sviranje

The impf verb used with an optional object in A, which can be a song or an instrument:

Ana svira. Ana is playing.

Ana svira gitaru. Ana is playing a guitar.


Like in English, the verbs have ‘middle’ use without a se²:

Svirala je neka dosadna glazba. Some boring music was playing.

(This is exceptional, as only a few verbs in Croatian show that behavior.)

In the last example, the subject was placed after the verb, to emphasize indefiniteness.

Two perfective verbs are a perfective completion verb, for playing something to the end, and an ‘inchoative’ verb, meaning start playing. The completion verb, as usual, requires an object in A:

Ana je zasvirala. Ana started playing (music).

Goran je odsvirao pjesmu. Goran has played a song. (from start to end)

The agent nouns are svirač m / sviračica f musician.

šaliti se² ~¹/~~ na- joke

pres-1 šalim našalim
pres-3 šali našali
pres-3pl šale našale
pres. adv. šaleći
imper-2 šali našali
inf šaliti našaliti
past-m šalio našalio
past-f šalila našalila
pass. adj.

This verb pair is always used with a se². It can be used without any object:

Ivan se našalio. Ivan joked.


It can be also used with a content clause, i.e. a da-clause in any tense (but no perf. verbs in present):

Goran se šali [da je dinosaur]. Goran is joking [he’s a dinosaur].

šetati (šeće / šeta) ~* pro- («) stroll, walk

       impf.               perf.
pres-1 šećemšetam prošećemprošetam
pres-3 šećešeta prošećeprošeta
pres-3pl šećušetaju prošećuprošetaju
pres. adv. šećućišetajući
imper-2 šećišetaj prošećiprošetaj
inf šetati prošetati
past-m šetao prošetao
past-f šetala prošetala
pass. adj. šetan prošetan
gerund šetanje

This verb pair with se² expresses casual walking; the se² is often left out, which was considered non-standard in the past:

Goran šeće. Goran is walking.

Goran se šeće. (the same, a bit more formal)


It’s possible to walk someone (an object in A) but that again must be for their pleasure; normally it’s used for children and dogs:

Ivan šeće psa. Ivan is walking his dog.

tjerati ~ na-, po- force, chase

pres-1 tjeram natjeram
pres-3 tjera natjera
pres-3pl tjeraju natjeraju
pres. adv. tjerajući
imper-2 tjeraj natjeraj
inf tjerati natjerati
past-m tjerao natjerao
past-f tjerala natjerala
pass. adj. tjeran natjeran
gerund tjeranje

The basic meaning is either chase either to go somewhere, or to do something.

A (dest)

It’s used with objects in A and optional destinations to express the first meaning; in this meaning, perf. verb derived with po- is usually used:

Ana tjera Gorana unutra. Ana is chasing Goran inside.

Goran tjera muhu van. Goran is chasing the fly out.

Goran je potjerao muhu van. Goran chased the fly out.

Without any destination, the implies meaning is away.

A [...]

The other meaning – force, make to do something – is expressed by an atemporal clause i.e. both impf. and perf. verbs, but only in the present tense. In this meaning, the perf. verb derived with na- is usually used:

Ana tjera Gorana [da uči]. Ana is making Goran [study].

Ana je natjerala Gorana [da uči]. Ana has made Goran [study].

trajati (traje) last

pres-1 trajem
pres-3 traje
pres-3pl traju
pres. adv. trajući
inf trajati
past-m trajao
past-f trajala
pass. adj.
gerund trajanje *

* The verbal noun trajanje is also used as a common noun, meaning duration.

This verb is used with time periods in A:

Posao traje jednu godinu. The job lasts for a year.

It can be used with other time periods (here I-pl):

Loše vrijeme je trajalo tjednima. The bad weather lasted for weeks.

It can be used with time adverbs:

Zima još traje. The winter is still not over.

Zima dugo traje. Winter lasts for a long time.

There’s a derived adjective trajan (trajn-) permanent, lasting.

tražiti look for, ask for

pres-1 tražim
pres-3 traži
pres-3pl traže
pres. adv. tražeći
imper-2 traži
inf tražiti
past-m tražio
past-f tražila
pass. adj. tražen
gerund traženje

This verb is used with objects in A:

Ana traži ključeve. Ana is looking for the keys.

Goran je tražio Anu. Goran was looking for Ana.

With certain abstract nouns, it corresponds to English ask for:

Goran je tražio pomoć. Goran asked for help.

To ask for directions use the verb pair pitatiu- («) ask.

trčati (trči) ~ o-, do- ~ po- run

pres-1 trčim otrčim potrčim
pres-3 trči otrči potrči
pres-3pl trče otrče potrče
pres. adv. trčeći
imper-2 trči otrči potrči
inf trčati otrčati potrčati
past-m trčao otrčao potrčao
past-f trčala otrčala potrčala
pass. adj. trčan * otrčan *
gerund trčanje

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 o- is simply the perfective version of the impf. verb; it covers run 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 running.

Goran trči. Goran is running.

Goran je otrčao. Goran ran away.

The agent nouns are trkač m / trkačica f runner.

trebati need / should

pres-1 trebam
pres-3 treba
pres-3pl trebaju
pres. adv. trebajući
inf trebati
past-m trebao
past-f trebala
pass. adj. *

* There’s no regular passive adjective, but the adjective potreban (potrebn-) needed can be used.


This verb can be used with objects in A:

Ana treba čašu. Ana needs a glass.


It can be used with another verb in infinitive, which can have objects, etc., and then it corresponds to English should:

Goran treba spavati. Goran should sleep.


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

Trebamo ići u dućan. We should go to a shop.

Trebamo u dućan. (the same meaning, in speech)

The same happens with the verbs htjeti (hoće +,...) want, moći (može +,...) can, and morati must, have to.


The verb often used in the ‘reverse’ mode, where what’s needed is the subject (in N), and one who needs is in DL:

Ani treba čaša. Ana needs a glass. (lit. ‘To Ana, a glass is needed.’)

In Serbia, this verb is usually used impersonally when used with another verb.

trošiti ~* po- («) spend (money, resources)

pres-1 trošim potrošim
pres-3 troši potroši
pres-3pl troše potroše
pres. adv. trošeći
imper-2 troši potroši
inf trošiti potrošiti
past-m trošio potrošio
past-f trošila potrošila
pass. adj. trošen potrošen
gerund trošenje

This verb pair can be used with objects in A:

Ivana je potrošila novac. Ivana has spent the money.

This verb pair is not used to spend time or holidays: for these meanings, the pair provoditi («) ~ provesti (provede, proveo) spend (time) is used.

ubrzavati («) ~ ubrzati speed up, accelerate

pres-1 ubrzavam * ubrzam
pres-3 ubrzava * ubrza
pres-3pl ubrzavaju * ubrzaju
pres. adv. ubrzavajući *
imper-2 ubrzavaj * ubrzaj
inf ubrzavati ubrzati
past-m ubrzavao ubrzao
past-f ubrzavala ubrzala
pass. adj. ubrzavan ubrzan
gerund ubrzavanje ubrzanje *

* The perf. verbal noun also means acceleration.

The verb pair is often used without any objects, when the subject speeds up:

Auto je ubrzao. The car sped up.


When the subject is a person, it can be used also with a se²:

Goran se ubrzao. Goran sped up.

učiti ~* na- («) learn, study, teach

pres-1 učim naučim
pres-3 uči nauči
pres-3pl uče nauče
pres. adv. učeći
imper-2 uči nauči
inf učiti naučiti
past-m učio naučio
past-f učila naučila
pass. adj. učen naučen
gerund učenje

This pair has two meanings, depending on number of objects and their cases. When used with 2 objects – one in A: a person/animal – another in A or a verb in infinitive: what is taught – it means teach:

Ivan uči Gorana matematiku. Ivan is teaching math to Goran.

Ana je naučila Gorana plivati. Ana taught Goran to swim.


However, it’s more common to use this pair with a single object in A or a verb in infinitive, and it then means study, learn:

Goran uči matematiku. Goran is studying math.

Goran je naučio plivati. Goran has learned to swim.

If you want to say e.g. Ivan teaches math, you have to used some generic word to have two objects:

Ivan uči djecu matematiku. Ivan teaches math to children.

Beware, here the Croatian noun djeca is here in A.

Another way is to use a more formal verb pair predavati (predaje) ~ predati teach, give lecture.

The agent nouns are:

učenik m / učenica f student
učitelj m / učiteljica f teacher

udaratiudariti hit, punch

(a) (i)
pres-1 udaram udarim
pres-3 udara udari
pres-3pl udaraju udare
pres. adv. udarajući
imper-2 udaraj udari *
inf udarati udariti
past-m udarao udario
past-f udarala udarila
pass. adj. udaran udaren
gerund udaranje *

* There’s no regular smlf. verbal noun, the noun udarac (udarc-) is used when needed.


The verb pair is used with objects in A:

Goran je udario loptu. Goran has hit the ball.

The verb udariti is ‘semelfactive’, meaning you hit something once; however, it’s also used as an ordinary perfective verb, meaning the hitting is completed, something was hit at least once.


With a se², the verb is very frequently used to express hurt by contact with some physical object:

Goran se udario. Goran has hurt himself. (by bumping into something)

se² dest

What is hurt is expressed as a destination:

Goran se udario u koljeno. Goran has hurt his knee.
(by bumping into something)

The same expression is used to say what someone bumped into:

Goran se udario u ogradu. Goran has bumped into the fence.

Such expressions are very often used by and with children.

These verbs aren’t used to hit something with flying objects (balls, stones, arrows, rockets, etc.). For that, use pogađati («) ~ pogoditi («) hit; guess.

uključivati (uključuje) ~ uključiti («) include, turn on (device)

(iva) (i)
pres-1 uključujem uključim
pres-3 uključuje uključi
pres-3pl uključuju uključe
pres. adv. uključujući
imper-2 uključuj usključi
inf uključivati uključiti
past-m uključivao uključio
past-f uključivala uključila
pass. adj. uključen
gerund uključivanje uključenje

The verbs are used with objects in A, usually for turning on various devices and power supplies:

Ana je uključila pećnicu. Ana has turned the oven on.

The verbs are also used with objects in A, in meaning include:

Cijena ne uključuje osiguranje. The price doesn’t include insurance.

† The present adverb uključujući is frequently used meaning including, e.g. uključujući porez including the tax.

ulagati (ulaže) ~ uložiti («) invest, put in (effort, time)

(a/*) (i)
pres-1 ulažem uložim
pres-3 ulaže uloži
pres-3pl ulažu ulože
pres. adv. ulažući
imper-2 ulaži uloži
inf ulagati uložiti
past-m ulagao uložio
past-f ulagala uložila
pass. adj. uložen
gerund ulaganje
A (dest)

This verb pair is quite frequent because it – besides investing money – covers English expressions like put effort into, put time into etc. It’s used with an object in A and optional destinations:

Ana je uložila puno vremena. Ana has put in a lot of time.

Ana je uložila puno vremena u detalje. Ana has put in a lot of time into the details.

The agent nouns are ulagač m / ulagačica f investor, used only for financial investors.

ulaziti ~ ući (uđe,...) enter, come in

(i) (irr.)
pres-1 ulazim uđem
pres-3 ulazi uđe
pres-3pl ulaze uđu
pres. adv. ulazeći
imper-2 ulazi uđi
inf ulaziti ući
past-m ulazio ušao
past-f ulazila ušla
pass. adj.
gerund ulaženje *

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

(dest) (orig)

This verb pair is used with optional destinations and origins:

Goran je ušao u kuću. Goran has entered the house.

umirati (umire) ~ umrijeti (umre, umro) die

(a/e) (irr.)
pres-1 umirem umrem
pres-3 umire umre
pres-3pl umiru umru
pres. adv. umirući
imper-2 umri
inf umirati umrijeti
past-m umirao umro *
past-f umirala umrla *
pass. adj.
gerund umiranje

This verb pair is used without an object:

Anina baka je davno umrla. Ana’s grandmother has died long ago.

* The past form umrli is used as an adjective, and even as a kind of pronoun, one who died.

† The present adverb umirući is also used as a true adjective, meaning dying.

uništavati («) ~ uništiti destroy

(a) (i)
pres-1 uništavam uništim
pres-3 uništava uništi
pres-3pl uništavaju unište
pres. adv. uništavajući
imper-2 uništavaj uništi
inf uništavati uništiti
past-m uništavao uništio
past-f uništavala uništila
pass. adj. uništavan uništen
gerund uništavanje uništenje *

* The perfective verbal noun uništenje is used as a common noun, meaning destruction.


The verbs are used with objects in A:

Goran je uništio igračku. Ana has destroyed the toy.

There’s a potential adjective uništiv destructible, mostly used negated, i.e. neuništiv indestructible.

upoznavati (upoznaje) ~ upoznati get acquainted with (person, city)

(irr.) (a)
pres-1 upoznajem * upoznam
pres-3 upoznaje * upozna
pres-3pl upoznaju * upoznaju
pres. adv. upoznajući *
imper-2 upoznavaj * upoznaj
inf upoznavati upoznati
past-m upoznavao upoznao
past-f upoznavala upoznala
pass. adj. upoznavan upoznat
gerund upoznavanje

* There are alternative forms of the present tense: upoznava etc., used colloquially.


The verb pair is used with objects in A, usually corresponding to English meet, in the meaning become familiar with:

Ana je upoznala Ivana. Ana met Ivan.


With a se², the meaning is usually mutual, people meet one another:

Upoznali smo se prošle godine. We met last year.

Drago mi je [što smo se upoznali]. I’m glad [we met].

The meaning know, be familiar with (person, city) is expressed with the verb poznavati (poznaje) / poznati.

uspijevati («) ~ uspjeti (uspije,...) succeed

(a) (irr.)
pres-1 uspijevam uspijem
pres-3 uspijeva uspije
pres-3pl uspijevaju uspiju
pres. adv. uspijevajući
imper-2 uspi(j)
inf uspijevati uspjeti
past-m uspijevao uspio
past-f uspijevala uspjela
pass. adj.
gerund uspijevanje *

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


Unlike English, this pair uses another verb in inf, possibly with its object, etc.:

Uspjela sam riješiti problem. I succeeded in solving the problem. {f}

Uspjela je otvoriti prozor. She managed to open the window.

Nisam uspio pročitati knjigu. I failed to read the book. {m}

They can be translated with English succeed or manage, but these verbs are not used to ‘manage household’ and similar things – only to manage to do something.


The verb pair is often used in the ‘reverse’ mode: what is achieved (or not) is the subject (in N), and the person (or animal) who was responsible is optionally expressed in DL. As usual, if the subject is a verb in inf, it behaves like neuter singular:

Uspjelo mi je riješiti problem. I succeeded in solving the problem.

In this mode, the subject can be also something that you succeeded in making (or failed to make). Now you must observe the subject gender:

Uspio nam je kolač. We succeeded in making the cake.

usporavati («) ~ usporiti («) slow down

(a) (i)
pres-1 usporavam * usporim
pres-3 usporava * uspori
pres-3pl usporavaju * uspore
pres. adv. usporavajući *
imper-2 usporavaj * uspori
inf usporavati usporiti
past-m usporavao usporio
past-f usporavala usporila
pass. adj. usporavan usporen
gerund usporavanje

The verb pair is often used without any objects, when the subject slows down:

Auto je usporio. The car slowed down.


When the subject is a person, it can be used also with a se²:

Goran se usporio. Goran slowed down.

uspoređivati (uspoređuje) ~ usporediti («) compare

(iva) (i)


pres-1 uspoređujem usporedim
pres-3 uspoređuje usporedi
pres-3pl uspoređuju usporede
pres. adv. uspoređujući
imper-2 uspoređuj usporedi
inf uspoređivati usporediti
past-m uspoređivao usporedio
past-f uspoređivala usporedila
pass. adj. uspoređivan uspoređen
gerund uspoređivanje *

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


The pair is used with objects in A:

Usporedili smo dva filma. We have compared the two movies.

A s I

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

Usporedila sam novu Toyotu s novim Mercedesom.
I’ve compared the new Toyota with the new Mercedes. {f}

There’s a potential adjective usporediv comparable.

The pair also appears as
(non-standard in Croatian)
  Bosnia, Serbia: upoređivati (upoređuje) ~ uporediti («)

usuđivati (usuđuje) se² ~ usuditi («) se² dare

(iva) (i)
pres-1 usuđujem usudim
pres-3 usuđuje usudi
pres-3pl usuđuju usude
pres. adv. usuđujući
imper-2 usuđuj usudi
inf usuđivati usuditi
past-m usuđivao usudio
past-f usuđivala usudila
pass. adj.
gerund usuđivanje

These verbs are always used with se², and another verb in infinitive, which can have its objects, and so on:

Goran se nije usudio otvoriti kutiju. Goran didn't dare to open the box.

utjecati (utječe) influence, affect

pres-1 utječem *
pres-3 utječe *
pres-3pl utječu *
pres. adv. utječući *
imper-2 utječi *
inf utjecati *
past-m utjecao *
past-f utjecala *
pass. adj.
gerund utjecanje **

* The verb has an alternative form uticati (utiče) which is not standard in Croatia.

** Instead of the verbal noun, the noun utjecaj influence is often used.

na A

The verb is used with an object expressed with na¨ + A:

Vrijeme utječe na ljude. The weather affects people.

uzimati ~ uzeti (uzme) take (something)

(a) (irr.)
pres-1 uzimam uzmem
pres-3 uzima uzme
pres-3pl uzimaju uzmu
pres. adv. uzimajući
imper-2 uzimaj uzmi
inf uzimati uzeti
past-m uzimao uzeo
past-f uzimala uzela
pass. adj. uziman uzet
gerund uzimanje
A (orig) (dest)

The verbs are used with objects in A, optional origins (od¨ + G for people) and optional destinations (unlike in English):

Ana je uzela knjigu. Ana took the book.

Ana je uzela knjigu od Ivane. Ana took the book from Ivana.

Ana je uzela knjigu u ruku . Ana took the book in her hand. (Croatian: a destination!)

This verb pair is used only for literally taking things (and sometimes people); it’s not used for taking it easy, taking it hard and other metaphorical uses of English.


With the ‘destination’ u obzir, this pair corresponds to English take into account:

Uzmi u obzir njenu poruku . Take her message into account.

Ne uzimaš u obzir [da je ljeto]. You don’t take into account [it’s summer].

ivati («) enjoy

pres-1 uživam
pres-3 uživa
pres-3pl ivaju
pres. adv. ivajući
imper-2 uživaj
inf ivati
past-m ivao
past-f ivala
pass. adj.
gerund ivanje

This verb pair is usually used without objects in A; what is enjoyed can be expressed with u¨ + DL or with a location:

Ana uživa. Ana is enjoying herself.

Ana uživa u odmoru. Ana is enjoying the vacation.

vaditi ~ iz- take out, pull out

pres-1 vadim izvadim
pres-3 vadi izvadi
pres-3pl vade izvade
pres. adv. vadeći
imper-2 vadi izvadi
inf vaditi izvaditi
past-m vadio izvadio
past-f vadila izvadila
pass. adj. vađen izvađen
gerund vađenje
A (orig)

This verb pair is used with things in A, normally pulling out from places that use the preposition u¨.

Ana je izvadila knjigu. Ana has pulled out a book.

The old location of things pulled out is expressed as an origin, consequently using iz¨ + G:

Ana je izvadila knjigu iz torbe. Ana has pulled out a book from the purse.

Colloquially, this verb pair is also used to obtain documents, ID’s, and similar things:

Izvadio sam osobnu. (colloq.) I got my ID. {m}

The opposite action is expressed with stavljati ~ staviti put (things somewhere) and spremati ~ spremiti tidy; put to its place, store; prepare.

vidjeti (vidi,...) see

pres-1 vidim
pres-3 vidi
pres-3pl vide
pres. adv. videći
imper-2 vidi
inf vidjeti
past-m vidio
past-f vidjela
pass. adj. viđen
gerund viđenje

This verb pair translates as see or can see. It can be used with an object in A:

Vidim te. I can see you.


It can be also used with any kind of content clause:

Ana vidi [gdje su ključevi]. Ana can see [where the keys are].

This verb is essentially perfective, i.e. duration cannot be normally expressed with it.


With a se², the verb in plural with persons or animals as subjects has mutual meaning (each other):

Oni se vide. They see each other.

This includes a very common phrase, used to express people will meet again:

Vidimo se. We see each other. (used as see you)

In other cases, the meaning with a se² is mediopassive, and always translates as can be seen; when used with a se², duration can be expressed:

Vidi se mjesec. The moon can be seen.

Mjesec se vidio cijelu noć. The moon could be seen the whole night.

There’s a potential adjective vidljiv visible.

vjerovati (vjeruje) ~~ po- believe

pres-1 vjerujem povjerujem
pres-3 vjeruje povjeruje
pres-3pl vjeruju povjeruju
pres. adv. vjerujući
imper-2 vjeruj
inf vjerovati povjerovati
past-m vjerovao povjerovao
past-f vjerovala povjerovala
pass. adj.
gerund vjerovanje *

* Besides the regular verbal noun, the noun vjera belief, faith is frequently used.


This verb pair is used in a very similar way like the English verb. It can be used with objects in DL:

Ne vjeruj svakom. Don’t believe everyone.


It can be also used with content clauses, using any tense (but no perf. verbs in the present tense):

Vjerujemo [da ćemo pobijediti]. We believe [(that) we’re going to win].

It’s also used negated; the negation of the verb in the clause is less common, so instead of I believe they don’t... Croatian rather uses I don’t believe they...:

Ne vjerujem [da ćemo pobijediti]. I don’t believe [(that) we’re going to win].

However, the verb is used less often to express predictions in speech, compared to English: the verb misliti think is more common.


With u¨ + A, the meaning is believe in:

Neki ljudi vjeruju u sudbinu. Some people believe in destiny.

The perf. verb is ‘inchoative’, i.e. it means start to believe.

The verb also appears as
(non-standard in Croatian)
  Ikavian: virovati (viruje)
Ekavian: verovati (veruje)

vježbati practice, rehearse

pres-1 vježbam
pres-3 vježba
pres-3pl vježbaju
pres. adv. vježbajući
imper-2 vježbaj
inf vježbati
past-m vježbao
past-f vježbala
pass. adj.
gerund vježbanje

The verb can be used without an object, in meaning exercise:

Ana vježba. Ana is exercising.


With an object in A, it corresponds also to English practise:

Goran je vježbao engleski. Goran practised English.

The verb also appears as
(non-standard in Croatian)
  Ekavian: vežbati

voditi lead, conduct; take (someone)

pres-1 vodim
pres-3 vodi
pres-3pl vode
pres. adv. vodeći
imper-2 vodi
inf voditi
past-m vodio
past-f vodila
pass. adj. vođen
gerund vođenje

These verbs can be used without objects, in meaning be in front of somebody else (e.g. lead in sports):

Naši vode. lit. ‘Ours are leading.’ = Our team is leading.


With objects in A, it again corresponds to English lead (somebody, or idiomatically, life):

Goran vodi Anu. Goran is leading Ana.

A dest

This verb is also used to take, bring a person (or an animal) (expressed by an object in A) somewhere (expressed by a destination):

Ana vodi Gorana u školu. Ana takes Goran to school.


If the destination is a person, it’s normally expressed by DL:

Ana vodi Gorana doktoru. Ana takes Goran to a doctor.

Euphemistically, this verb is also used to ‘lead love’, i.e. have sex.

This is an imperfective verb. In the meaning take somebody somewhere, the completed action is expressed by the perf. verb odvesti (odvede, odveo).

† The present adverb vodeći is also used as a true adjective, meaning leading. For example, vodeći igrač leading player, vodeća uloga leading role.

The agent nouns are vodič tour guide, also meaning conductor (of electricity, heat...) with feminine versions vodičica and vodička. There’s also vođa m leader.

voljeti (voli,...) ~~ za- («) love

pres-1 volim zavolim
pres-3 voli zavoli
pres-3pl vole zavole
pres. adv. voleći
imper-2 voli zavoli
inf voljeti zavoljeti
past-m volio zavolio
past-f voljela zavoljela
pass. adj. voljen zavoljen

This verb pair is used with persons or things in A.

Goran voli Anu. Goran loves Ana.

Ana voli čaj. Ana likes tea.


It can be also used with other verbs in infinitive, possibly having additional objects, etc.

Ana voli kuhati. Ana likes to cook.

Ana voli piti čaj. Ana likes to drink tea.

This verb is used for long-term feelings.

For impressions, e.g. when you watch a movie once, eat something once, visit some place once, meet someone etc., no matter how great it was, the verb to use is sviđati se² ~~ svidjeti (svidi,...) se² like.

In conditional, the impf. verb has a bit shifted meaning: would like, wish. It’s then frequently used with da-clauses, in two ways. The first way are wishes about past and present, which are expressed by clauses in past and present (but no perf. verbs in present):

Volio bih [da imamo kuću]. I wish [we had a house].

To express wishes about the future, the present tense of both perf. and impf. verbs is used, and the verb biti (je² +) is replaced by the verb (bude):

Volio bih [da kupimo kuću]. I wish [we would buy a house].

Volio bih [da bude sunčano]. I’d like [it to be sunny].

Note that English grammar is completely unlike Croatian in such sentences.

voziti drive

pres-1 vozim
pres-3 vozi
pres-3pl voze
pres. adv. vozeći
imper-2 vozi
inf voziti
past-m vozio
past-f vozila
pass. adj. vožen
gerund voženje *

* Instead of the regular verbal noun, vožnja is much more common.

This verb is used for all vehicles, including bicycles and motorbikes.

(A) (dest) (orig)

This verb is used with optional objects in A, and optionally destinations and origins; in such sentences, the subject controls the vehicle:

Ana vozi auto. Ana is driving a car.

Ana vozi u Split. Ana is driving to Split.


This verb can be also used with se²; the meaning is kind of mediopassive; it’s not implied that the subject is driving, but he or she is riding; now there’s no object, but the vehicle can be specified as a location:

Ana se vozi u autu. Ana is riding a car.

Ana se vozi u Split. Ana is riding to Split.

This verb is related to vehicles only. It’s never used to express that something drives somebody to do something (i.e. forces). For that, the verb pair tjerati ~ na-, po- force, chase away is used.

The agent nouns are vozač m / vozačica f driver.

vući (vuče,...) ~ povući (povuče,...) pull, drag

pres-1 vučem povučem
pres-3 vuče povuče
pres-3pl vuku povuku
pres. adv. vukući
imper-2 vuci povuci
inf vući povući
past-m vukao povukao
past-f vukla povukla
pass. adj. vučen povučen
gerund vučenje

This verb is used with objects in A:

Goran vuče igračku. Goran is pulling a toy.


With a se², a bit colloquially, the meaning is that the subject drags, i.e. does things slowly and with no enthusiasm:

Ana se vukla cijelo jutro. (colloq.) Ana dragged the whole morning.

Like in English, it can also mean a vehicle, time, anything moves slowly, slower than we would like to:

Vlak se vuče. (colloq.) The train is dragging.

vraćati ~ vratiti return

(a) (i)
pres-1 vraćam vratim
pres-3 vraća vrati
pres-3pl vraćaju vrate
pres. adv. vraćajući
imper-2 vraćaj vrati
inf vraćati vratiti
past-m vraćao vratio
past-f vraćala vratila
pass. adj. vraćan vraćen
gerund vraćanje *

* There’s no regular perf. verbal noun; povratak (povratk-) return is used instead.

A (DL)

This verb pair can be used with an object in A, and an optional recipient in DL:

Ana je vratila knjigu. Ana has returned the book.

Ana je vratila knjigu Ivani. Ana has returned the book to Ivana.


When used with a se², the pair means that the subject returns, i.e. comes back:

Vraćamo se sutra. We’re coming back tomorrow.

zabavljati ~ zabaviti entertain; se² have fun

(a) (i)
pres-1 zabavljam zabavim
pres-3 zabavlja zabavi
pres-3pl zabavljaju zabave
pres. adv. zabavljajući
imper-2 zabavljaj zabavi
inf zabavljati zabaviti
past-m zabavljao zabavio
past-f zabavljala zabavila
pass. adj. zabavljan zabavljen
gerund zabavljanje *

* Besides the regular verbal noun, the common noun zabava is used as well (it means fun, but also party).


This verb pair can be used with an object in A, when it means that someone entertains someone (an object in A):

Goran zabavlja Anu. Goran entertains Ana.


With a se², the meaning shifts a bit to have fun:

Goran se zabavlja. Goran is having fun.

The agent nouns are zabavljač m / zabavljačica f entertainer.

There’s a related adjective zabavan (zabavn-) entertaining, fun:

Film je jako zabavan. The movie is very entertaining.

zaboravljati ~ zaboraviti forget

(a) (i)
pres-1 zaboravljam zaboravim
pres-3 zaboravlja zaboravi
pres-3pl zaboravljaju zaborave
pres. adv. zaboravljajući
imper-2 zaboravi
inf zaboravljati zaboraviti
past-m zaboravljao zaboravio
past-f zaboravljala zaboravila
pass. adj. zaboravljen
gerund zaboravljanje *

* There’s no regular of perf. verbal noun, the noun zaborav can be used instead.


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

Zaboravio sam jaknu. I forgot the jacket. {m}


It can be also used with any kind of content clause, i.e. a da-clause in any tense (but no perf. verbs in present):

Ana je zaboravila [gdje su ključevi]. Ana forgot [where the keys are].


When someone forgets to do something, it’s expressed in infinitive, which can have its objects, etc.:

Ana je zaboravila zaključati vrata. Ana forgot to lock the door.

A similar meaning is expressed by the negation of the verb sjetiti se² perf. recall, come to mind:

Ana se nije sjetila zaključati vrata. Ana didn’t remember to lock the door.

zaključavati («) ~ zaključati lock

pres-1 zaključavam zaključam
pres-3 zaključava zaključa
pres-3pl zaključavaju zaključaju
pres. adv. zaključavajući
imper-2 zaključavaj zaključaj
inf zaključavati zaključati
past-m zaključavao zaključao
past-f zaključavala zaključala
pass. adj. zaključan
gerund zaključavanje

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

Ana zaključava vrata. Ana is locking the door.

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

Vrata su zaključana. The door is locked.

The opposite meaning is expressed by otključavati («) ~ otključati unlock.

zamišljati («) ~ zamisliti («) imagine

(a) (i)
pres-1 zamišljam zamislim
pres-3 zamišlja zamisli
pres-3pl zamišljaju zamisle
pres. adv. zamišljajući
imper-2 zamišljaj zamisli
inf zamišljati zamisliti
past-m zamišljao zamislio
past-f zamišljala zamislila
pass. adj. zamišljan zamišljen *
gerund zamišljanje

* The passive adjective zamišljen has an additional meaning: in thought, contemplating, i.e. when someone has been absorbed in their thoughts.


This verb pair is used with objects in A, what is imagined:

Ana zamišlja odmor na pustom otoku.
Ana imagines vacation on a desert island.


What is imagined can be also expressed with an unrestricted clause: any tense can be used, present of both impf. and perf. verbs can be used in them, usually expressing relative future (this is a special behavior):

Ana zamišlja [da pliva u moru]. Ana imagines [(that) she’s swimming in the sea].

Note that this construction is unlike in English, which often uses -ing forms with imagine.

zanimati («) interest

pres-1 zanimam
pres-3 zanima
pres-3pl zanimaju
pres. adv. zanimajući
imper-2 zanimaj
inf zanimati
past-m zanimao
past-f zanimala
pass. adj.
gerund zanimanje *

* The verbal noun zanimanje is also used as a common noun, meaning interest, but also profession, occupation.


This verb is usually used ‘reverse’, with interesting things and people as subjects, and persons that feel the interest in A:

Anu zanima film. The movie is interesting to Ana. (lit. ‘The movie interests Ana.’)

Negation of this verb is similar to English don’t care. This is a common phrase:

To me ne zanima. That’s not interesting to me. = I don’t care about it.

se² za A

It can be also used with se², in meaning show interest (in): the person who shows interest is then the subject, and the object of interest is expressed with za¨ + A:

Ivan se zanima za Anu. Ivan is showing interest in Ana.

There’s a potential adjective zanimljiv, meaning simply interesting:

Jezero je jako zanimljivo. The lake is very interesting.

This verb has been borrowed from Russian in previous centuries.

zatvarati («) ~ zatvoriti («) close

(a) (i)
pres-1 zatvaram zatvorim
pres-3 zatvara zatvori
pres-3pl zatvaraju zatvore
pres. adv. zatvarajući
imper-2 zatvaraj zatvori
inf zatvarati zatvoriti
past-m zatvarao zatvorio
past-f zatvarala zatvorila
pass. adj. zatvaran zatvoren
gerund zatvaranje

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

Ana zatvara kutiju. Ana is closing the box.

Goran je zatvorio prozor. Goran has closed the window.


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 zatvara sutra. The school is closing tomorrow.

Vrata su se zatvorila. The door has closed. (vrata door is always plural)

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

Dućan je zatvoren. The shop is closed.

The opposite meaning is expressed by otvarati («) ~ otvoriti («) open.

The agent noun is zatvarač, mostly used for various things, such as caps, fasteners, breeches (in guns), etc.

zaustavljati ~ zaustaviti stop (somebody, something)

(a) (i)
pres-1 zaustavljam zaustavim
pres-3 zaustavlja zaustavi
pres-3pl zaustavljaju zaustave
pres. adv. zaustavljajući
imper-2 zaustavljaj zaustavi
inf zaustavljati zaustaviti
past-m zaustavljao zaustavio
past-f zaustavljala zaustavila
pass. adj. zaustavljan zaustavljen
gerund zaustavljanje

These verbs are used with an object in A:

Ana je zaustavila auto. Ana has stopped the car.


This verb pair is also 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:

Auto se zaustavio. The car stopped.

The same meaning is more often expressed with the pair stajati (staje) ~ stati (stane) stop, come to halt:

Auto je stao. The car stopped.

However, if somebody stops something or somebody else, you have to use this pair, since it permits objects, while stajati (staje) ~ stati (stane) stop, come to halt is only for people, animals and things that stop ‘on their own’.

There’s a potential adjective zaustavljiv stoppable, mostly used negated, i.e. nezaustavljiv unstoppable.

završavati («) ~ završiti («) finish, end

(a) (i)
pres-1 završavam završim
pres-3 završava završi
pres-3pl završavaju završe
pres. adv. završavajući
imper-2 završavaj završi
inf završavati završiti
past-m završavao završio
past-f završavala završila
pass. adj. završen
gerund završavanje *

* There’s no regular perf. verbal noun, završetak (završetk-) end is used when needed.

The verb pair is usually used with a noun standing for an activity or an event as the subject, without anything else:

Film je završio. The movie has ended.

This implies an orderly, expected end; for things that can end at any moment (e.g. rain, pain, danger), the pair prestajati (prestaje) ~ prestati (prestane) stop, cease is used.


You can also finish something you work on, expressed as an object in A:

Goran je završio zadaću. Goran has finished the homework.

In Serbia and eastern parts of Bosnia, this verb pair must be used with an object or a (mediopassive) se². Therefore, the first example would rather be:

Film se završio. (Serbia, eastern Bosnia) The movie has ended.

značiti mean, signify

pres-1 značim
pres-3 znači
pres-3pl znače
pres. adv. značeći
imper-2 znači
inf značiti
past-m značio
past-f značila
pass. adj.
gerund značenje *

* The verbal noun značenje is, like in English, often used as a general noun, i.e. meaning.


This verb is often used with a person in DL and an adverb or indefinite pronoun in A as its object; the subject is very often a demonstrative adjective:

Ona mu znači sve. She means everything to him.

To mi je značilo puno. It meant a lot to me.


An object can be a content clause, i.e. a da-clause with verbs in any tense (but not perf. verbs in the present tense):

Znači [da moram ići u banku]. It means [I have to go to the bank].

The word znači is frequently used as a filler in colloquial speech, to fill gaps or connect sentences.

znati know

pres-1 znam *
pres-3 zna *
pres-3pl znaju *
pres. adv. znajući *
imper-2 znaj
inf znati
past-m znao
past-f znala
pass. adj. znan
gerund znanje **

* In some dialects, sometimes in speech and traditional songs, there are alternative forms of the present tense: pres-3 znade, and so on.

** The verbal noun znanje is also used as a common noun, meaning knowledge.


Knowledge of something is expressed with objects in A:

Ivan zna matematiku. Ivan knows math.

Ana zna engleski. Ana ‘knows’ English. (i.e. speaks)


It can be also used with any kind of content clause (i.e. a da-clause in any tense, but no perf. verbs in present):

Ana zna [gdje su ključevi]. Ana knows [where the keys are].


When someone knows how to do something, it’s expressed in infinitive:

Ana zna pjevati. Ana knows how to sing.

In Bosnia and Serbia, the verb umjeti (umije) is often used to express the last meaning. It’s also used in the southernmost parts of Croatia, including Dubrovnik.

zvati (zove) call

pres-1 zovem
pres-3 zove
pres-3pl zovu
pres. adv. zovući
imper-2 zovi
inf zvati
past-m zvao
past-f zvala
pass. adj. zvan
gerund zvanje

This verb is used with objects in A:

Ana zove Ivanu. Ana is calling Ivana.


This verb is also often used with se²: the meaning is similar to mediopassive (exactly like Spanish llamar and French apeller): naming the subject. Both the subject and the name are in N:

Zovem se Ivan. My name is Ivan. (lit. ‘I’m called Ivan.’)

Ona se zove Marija. Her name is Marija. (lit. ‘She’s called Marija.’)

željeti (želi,...) ~¹/~~ po- («), za- («) want, wish, desire

pres-1 želim poželim
pres-3 želi poželi
pres-3pl žele požele
pres. adv. želeći
imper-2 želi poželi
inf željeti poželjeti
past-m želio poželio
past-f željela poželjela
pass. adj. željen
gerund *

* There’s no regular verbal noun; the noun želja wish is used when needed.


This pair can be used with objects in A:

Goran želi sladoled. Goran wants ice-cream.


When someone wants to do something, it’s usually expressed in infinitive:

Ana želi spavati. Ana wants to sleep.


When someone wants something else to happen, where he or she isn’t the subject, it’s expressed by an atemporal clause (i.e. da + a verb in present, either impf. or perf. + object etc.):

Ana želi [da Goran prestane vikati]. Ana wants [Goran to stop screaming].

In such clauses, the verb bude is usually used instead of biti (je² +) be:

Ana želi [da bude sunčano]. Ana wants [it to be sunny].

The two perfective verbs cover both ‘semelfactive’ (wish for a moment) and ‘inchoative’ (start to wish) meanings, depending on the context. Only one is listed in the table, since the other has only a different prefix. The one derived with po- is more common. They’re used like the impf. verb:

Goran je poželio sladoled. Goran expressed a wish for ice-cream. (or felt a wish)

With nešto something as an object, these two verbs correspond to English make a wish:

Goran je poželio nešto. Goran made a wish.

In Serbia, it’s more common to use atemporal clauses also in sentences of type Ana wants to sleep.

There’s a related adjective poželjan (poželjn-) desirable.

živjeti (živi,...) live

pres-1 živim
pres-3 živi
pres-3pl žive
pres. adv. živeći
imper-2 živi
inf živjeti
past-m živio
past-f živjela
pass. adj.

The verb is normally used without objects, with an optional location:

Ana živi u Zagrebu. Ana lives in Zagreb.

A / I

Sometimes it can be used with objects in A or I, meaning live something:

Ana živi svoj život. Ana lives her life.

Ana živi svojim životom. (the same meaning, a bit more common)

The verb also appears as
(non-standard in Croatian)
  Ikavian: živiti
Ekavian: živeti (živi)

žuriti hurry

pres-1 žurim
pres-3 žuri
pres-3pl žure
pres. adv. žureći
imper-2 žuri
inf žuriti
past-m žurio
past-f žurila
pass. adj.
gerund *

* There’s no regular verbal noun, but žurba hurry is used when needed.


The verb is normally used with optional destinations:

Goran žuri u školu. Goran is hurrying to school.


It’s often used with another verb in infinitive, which can have its object and so on, when someone hurries to do something:

Goran žuri pojesti sendvič. Goran is hurrying to eat the sandwich.

The rest: A-MN-P

5 Easy Croatian: Essential Verbs (R-Ž) This is the third part of a list of the most useful Croatian verbs, containing 159 verbs. They are either listed individually, in verb pai...

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