The Verb "TO BE"


The Verb "to be."

The verb "to be" is one of the most important elements in any language.  Learn it well!

Positive Form
Trdilna Oblika

SINGULAR
EDNINA

I am
(Jaz) sem

You are
(Ti) si

He is
(On) je

She is
(Ona) je

It is
(Ono) je

DUAL
DVOJINA

We two are
(Midva) sva

You two are
(Vidva) sta

They two are
(Onadva) sta

PLURAL
MNOŽINA

We are
(Mi) smo

You are
(Vi) ste

They are
(Oni) so

 

Negative Form
Nikalna Oblika

SINGULAR
EDNINA

I am not
(Jaz) nisem

You are not
(Ti) nisi

He is not
(On) ni

She is not
(Ona) ni

It is not
(Ono) ni

DUAL
DVOJINA

We two are not
(Midva) nisva

You two are not
(Vidva) nista

They two are not
(Onadva) nista

PLURAL
MNOŽINA

We are not
(Mi) nismo

You are not
(Vi) niste

They are not
(Oni) niso

 

Interrogative Form
Vprašalna Oblika

SINGULAR
EDNINA

Am I?
Ali sem (Jaz)?

Are you?
Ali si (ti)?

Is he?
Ali je (on)?

Is she?
Ali je (ona)?

Is it?
Ali je (ono)?

DUAL
DVOJINA

Are we two?
Ali sva (midva)?

Are you two?
Ali sta (vidva)?

They two are
Ali sta (onadva)?

PLURAL
MNOŽINA

Are we? Ali smo (mi)?

Are You?
Ali ste (vi)?

Are they?
Ali so (oni)?

 

NOTES - OPOMBE

1.
The verb BITI (TO BE) is irregular.  It must simply be committed to memory.
2.

In the interrogative form the question word "Ali" may be (is often) omitted.  It is also not uncommon to replace "Ali" with "Ka".

For example:

Is he in school?

Ali je on v šoli?

    Je on v šoli?

Ka je on v šoli?

Is Mary at home?

Ali je Marija doma?

    Je Marija doma?

Ka je Marija doma?

 

3.

TI (you, singular) implies NOT ONLY singular but also familiar.  Thus it is used in addressing or speaking about a member of the family, a child or a close friend.

VI (you, plural) implies NOT ONLY plural but also polite or formal.  Thus it is used in addressing or speaking about ONE person when that person is a stranger (it verges on an insult to not do so), an elder (as a sign of respect), someone with a title or special status in the community (as a sign of deference), or someone who is not a close friend.

For example, in a restaurant, a waiter would be expected to address a customer as VI, another waiter as TI, but probably his supervisor and definitely the owner as VI.  The customer would normally address the waiter using VI rather than TI.

4.

Personal pronouns, when used as the subject, may be omitted since, in SLovenian, the verb endings indicate the person.

For example:

Are you at home?

Ste doma?

Ste (vi) doma?

I am a student.

Sem študent.

(Jaz) sem študent.

As a rule in the early stages of this course, pronouns will usually be given with the verb forms to help beginners recognize the endings.

5.

In addition to singular (ednina) and plural (množina) forms, all Slovenian verbs as well as nouns and pronouns have dual (dvojina) forms, the latter being used whenever reference is being made to TWO of anything.  It is a feature of language that has disappeared from many languages.  It, of course, increases the number of forms that must be mastered to speak Slovenian that is grammatically correct.

Examples:

You and I are friends.

Ti in jaz sva prijatelja.

Midva sva prijatelja.

Mom and Dad are at home.
Mama in oče sta doma.
They (two) are here.
Onadva sta tukaj.
They (many) are here.
Oni so tukaj.

 

6.

Personal Pronouns, Feminine DUAL

The dual (dvojina) is further complicated by having two possible feminine forms in addition to the masculine shown above.  For completeness, they are shown here in the table below.  Their use will be dealt with later.

Masculine Feminine
midva

midve

ali

medve

vidva

vidve

ali

vedve

onadva

onidve

ali

onedve

The personal pronouns for feminine plural are: me, ve and one.

The personal pronoun for neuter plural is: ona.

Not surprisingly, there will be much more about personal pronouns in what follows.

 

EXERCISE:  Print (or write out) the English portion of each table shown above (EXCEPT the NOTES table) and then, without looking at the web page, write the Slovenian for each English statement.

EXERCISE:  Repeat the preceding exercise until you get most of the statements right most of the time.

EXERCISE:  Repeat both of the exercises above starting with the Slovenian statements.

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