7 cases of the Serbian language:

If we want to master Serbian, we have to deal with seven (that's right ... seven ...) cases.
Below we will give you an overview over those seven cases and their functions within a Serbian sentence.

1rst case: Nominative

The subject of every Serbian sentence is in the nominative case.
If you are asking for the subject in a Serbian sentence, you use the interrogative pronouns Тко/ Tko? (who?-m/f) / Шта/ Što? (what?-n).

For example:
Петар поклања својој пријатељици Ани букет цвећа./
Petar poklanja svojoj prijateljici Ani buket cveća.
(Petar gives flowers to his friend Ana.)

2nd case: Genitive

The genitive in Serbian describes relations – like ownership, temporal relations or spatial distances.
We also use the genitive in Serbian when we talk about quantity and numbers of persons or things.
The genitive is used to describe the origin of persons or things.
Some Serbian prepositions demand to be combined together with a genitive form.

For example:
  • без / bez (without)
  • до/ do (until)
  • испод/ispod (underneath)
  • из/iz (out of)
  • иза/iza (hinter)
  • изнад/iznad (above)
  • код/kod (by)
  • од/od (from)
  • по/po (on)
  • поред/pored (next to)
  • преко/preko (over)
  • пре/pre, против/protiv (against)
  • and many more…

Also certain expressions of time only want to be seen and heard together with the genitive.
If you are asking for a genitive form in a Serbian sentence, you use the interrogative pronouns Кога?/ Koga? (whose?-m/f) or Чега/ Čega? (whose?-n).

For example:
Ово је цвеће Анине сестре./
Ovo je cveće Anine sestre.
(These are the flowers of Ana's sister.)
Она живи одвојено од породице./
Ona živi odvojeno od porodice.
(She lives separated from her family.)

3rd case: Dative

The function of the dative in a Serbian sentence is to mark the indirect object.
If you analyse a Serbian sentence and you want find out where the dative form is located, you ask:
Кoму?/ Komu? (whom?, when the noun in the dative is animated)
Чемy?/ Čemu? (whom?, when the noun in the dative form is inanimated)

Some Serbian verbs are always followed by the noun in the dative, e.g.:

  • ати/dati (to give)
  • даровати/darovati (to gift)
  • рећи/reći (to say)
  • купити/kupiti (to buy)
  • написати/napisati (to write down)
  • послати/poslati (to send)
  • пожалити се/požaliti se (to regret)

Also you need to get acquainted with Serbian prepositions that ask for the usage of the dative:
к/k, ка/ka, надомак/nadomak, насупрот/nasuprot, према/prema, против/protiv, упркос/uprkos, надохват/nadohvat

For example:
Петар поклања својој пријатељици Ани букет цвећа./
Petar poklanja svojoj prijateljici Ani buket cveća.
(Petar gives flowers to his friend Ana.)

4th case: Accusative

The function of the accusative in a Serbian sentence is to mark the direct object.
If you a searching for the accusative in a Serbian sentence, you ask:
Кога?/ Koga? (Who?)
Чега/ Čega? (What?)

The accusative is often used together with verbs that signalize a movement.

For example:
бацити/baciti, (to throw)
довести/donijeti, (to bring)
јурити/juriti, (to hurry)
возити ce/voziti se (to drive)

Some Serbian prepositions call for the use of the accusative, e.g.:

  • кроз/kroz, (through)
  • међу/među, (in between)
  • на/na, (on top of)
  • над/nad, (above)
  • низ/ niz, (out of)
  • o/o, (of)
  • po, (over smth.)
  • под/pod, (under smth.)
  • пред/pred, (infront of)
  • у/u, (in)
  • за/za (for sth./so.)
For example:
Петар поклања својој пријатељици Ани букет цвећа./
Petar poklanja svojoj prijateljici Ani buket cveća.
(Petar gives flowers to his friend Ana.)

5th case: Locative

A Serbian noun with a locative ending describes the whereabouts / the location of a person or an object.
If you try to track down a noun in the locative in a Serbian sentence, you ask:
Где / Gdje? (where?)
О чему/O čemu (where of?)

And please remember: the locative in Serbian always comes with a preposition!
It can come with the following:

  • на/na (on)
  • o/o (of)
  • по/po (over smth.)
  • у при/u pri (at)
For example:
Анино цвеће стоји на столу./
Anino cveće stoji na stolu.
(Anas flowers are on the table.)

6th case: Instrumental

With the instrumental case Serbian describes the means / the device with what an action is executed.
With the help of these question words, you can identify Serbian nouns with instrumental endings:
Са ким/S kim? (with whom?)
Чиме/Čime? (with what?)

Please, try to get acquainted with this new case ending.
The English language doesn't know a case like this.

These prepositions stand together with instrumental case endings:

  • међу/ među (in between)
  • изнад (а)/ nad (a) (above)
  • под (а)/ pod (a) (under smth.)
  • пре/ pred (infront of)
  • са (а)/s(a) (with)
  • за/ za (for sth. /so.)
For example:
Ана реже цвеће ножем./
Ana reže cveće nožem.
(Ana cuts the flowers with a knife.)

7th case: Vocative

We find vocative case endings in Serbian whenever we want to address another person.

For example:
Ана, донео сам ти цвеће./
Ana, doneo sam ti cveće.
(Ana, I brought you flowers.)
To build correct sentences in Serbian, you have to learn the case endings by heart.
To help you in learning all the case endings, we want to provide you with a system:
Serbian nouns can be grouped in three types of declension: the “a declension”, the “e declension” and the “i declension”.
The following chapter will show you tables and tell you more about this system.


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