Nouns in Slovenian

Nouns in Slovenian

1. Nouns in Slovenian include:

a) Persons e.g. oče (father) or dekilca (girl),

b) Beings or animate objects e.g. roža (flower) or pes (dog) or drevo (tree),

c) Inanimate objects e.g. miza (table) or letalo (airplane),

d) Ideas or concepts e.g. lepota (beauty) or prijaznost (friendliness),

e) Actions (Gerunds) e.g. igranje (playing) or plavanje (swimming).

2. All nouns in Slovenian belong to one of three categories or genders, viz. Feminine, Masculine or Neuter.  In the vocabulary lists provided elsewhere on these pages nouns appear in separate lists according to these three categories.  In dictionaries the categories are usually indicated by the abbreviations f., m. and n.  As with most languages, aside from "natural" or "obvious" cases like woman, mother, girl, ewe or man, father, boy, ram the gender of nouns must simply be memorized particularly since, in Slovenian, what seems "obviously" neuter in English can be feminine or masculine in Slovenian, e.g. svinčnik (pencil) is masculine rather than neuter and škatla (box) is feminine rather than neuter.

3. The following rules are useful in determining the gender of Slovenian nouns:

a) Nouns ending in "a" are almost always feminine, except the following which are all neuter plural:

tla (floor(s))

vrata (door(s))

usta (mouth(s))

pljuča (lung(s))

jetra (liver(s))

ala (eyeglasses)

b) Nouns ending in "o" or "e" are almost always neuter, except for the following which are masculine:

avto (car)

kino (cinema, movie theater)

radio (radio)

c) Nouns ending in a consonant may be either feminine or masculine but not neuter.

4. In Slovenian, the definite article "the" and the indefinite article "a" or "an" are not used. "The book" and "a book" are both expressed as "knjiga."  For example, the Slovenian sentence "Tukaj je knjiga." may mean either "Here is a book." or "Here is the book." depending on the context in which it occurs.