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7. pronouns

All pronouns inflect like nouns in three genders. Fortunately, there are only two declension patterns: soft (-ego, -emu, ...) and hard (-ogo, -omu, ...) for all pronouns except personal pronouns. Even better news is that the same pattern is also used in adjectives. Please try to find them in our grammatical tables and learn them. Please remember the following helpful information:
  1. Endings are divided into three genders only in the singular. Plural (and dual) are the same for all genders.

  2. Masculine endings in the singular accusative follow the same model of the animate (accusative = genitive) and inanimate (accusative = nominative) declension paradigm of nouns. (e.g. togo = accusative animate, toj = accusative inanimate of the pronoun toj = this)

  3. There are symmetries between soft and hard endings:
    • Vowel -o- in hard endings corresponds to the vowel -e- in soft endings (eg. -omu ↔ -emu).
    • Vowel -ie- in hard endings corresponds to the vowel -i- in soft endings (eg. -ieh -ih).

personal pronouns

 nominative 
 ja
 I  ty  you
-
   my  we  vy  you
 genitive mne
  tebe
   sebe   nas
  vas
 
 dative mnie
  tebie
  sebie
  nam
  vam
 
 accusative mne
 me tebe
 you sebe
 *self nas
 us vas
 you
 vocative ja
  ty

-
  my

vy

 locative mnie
  tebie
  sebie
  nas
  vas
 
 instrumental 
mnoj
  teboj
  seboj
  nami
  vami
 

  1. The pronoun ty=you is used for singular, the pronoun vy=you is used for plural or for politeness and courtesy to one person.

  2. It is possible to optionally use short forms mnie=mi, tebie=ti, sebie=si and sebe=se.

  3. Pronoun sebe, sebie, seboj is referring the subject of the sentence. It is obvious, that this pronoun does not exist in the nominative.
    example: Pišu sebe do knigy. = I write myself in a book.   Pišeme sebe do knigy. = We write ourselves in a book.


hard pattern - pronoun toj, ta, to = the



 masculine
 feminine  neuter  plural
 nominative
 t-oj  t-a  t-o  t-i
 genitive  t-ogo  t-oj  t-ogo  t-ieh
 dative  t-omu  t-oj  t-omu  t-iem
 accusative  t-ogo, t-oj
 t-u  t-o  t-e
 vocative  t-oj
 t-a
 t-e
 t-i
 locative  t-om  t-oj  t-om  t-ieh
 instrumental  t-iem  t-oj  t-iem  t-iemi

Remember, that this pronoun has popular derivatives tutoj, tuta, tuto = this (here), tamtoj, tamta, tamto = that (there).


soft
pattern - pronoun sej, sa, se = the


 masculine
 feminine  neuter  plural
 nominative
 s-ej  s-a  s-e  s-i
 genitive  s-ego  s-ej  s-ego  s-ih
 dative  s-emu  s-ej  s-emu  s-im
 accusative  s-ego,s-ej
 s-u  s-e  s-e
 vocative  s-ej
 s-a
 s-e
 s-i
 locative  s-em  s-ej  s-em  s-ih
 instrumental  s-im  s-ej  s-im  s-imi

Pronoun sej, sa, se is a
very rarely used alternative to the definite article toj, ta, to. But remember it has very frequent derivative: vsej, vsa, vse (vsego, vsemu, ...) = everybody, everyone, anybody, anyone. Moreover, there are also some words using this pronoun such as: vsej + mir (world) = vsejmir (space, cosmos, universe).


soft pattern - pronouns on, ona, ono, oni = he, she, it, they


 masculine
 feminine  neuter  plural
 nominative
 on  on-a  on-o  on-i
 genitive  (n)j-ego  (n)j-ej  (n)j-ego  (n)j-ih
 dative  (n)j-emu  (n)j-ej  (n)j-emu  (n)j-im
 accusative  (n)j-ego
 (n)j-u  (n)j-e  (n)j-e
 vocative  -
 -
 -
 -
 locative  (n)j-em  (n)j-ej  (n)j-em  (n)j-ih
 instrumental  (n)j-im  (n)j-ej  (n)j-im  (n)j-imi

  1. If this pronoun is used with a preposition, we need to add n- on the beginning.

    Example: daj jemu (D) = give him, idu k njemu (D) = I go to him, vidim ju (A) = I see her, tuto jest za nju (A) = this is for her.

  2. There is no need to add personal pronouns (ja, ty, on, ona, ono, my, vy, oni) to verbs. In English, we need to say pronoun in order to express the personal form of the verb, but Slavic verbs themselves carry this information through the personal postfixes. This style is also known from Romance languages.

    example: čitaju = (I) read, čitaje = (he) reads, čitajeme = (we) read, čitajut = (they) read ...


possessive pronouns moj = my, tvoj = yours, naš = our, vaš = your

These pronouns are used in all three genders and are inflected according to the soft pattern.


 masculine
 feminine  neuter  plural
 nominative
 moj  moj-a  moj-e  moj-i
 genitive  moj-ego  moj-ej  moj-ego  moj-ih
 dative  moj-emu  moj-ej  moj-emu  moj-im
 accusative  moj-ego
 moj-u  moj-e  moj-e
 vocative  moj
 moj-a
 moj-e
 moj-i
 locative  moj-em  moj-ej  moj-em  moj-ih
 instrumental  moj-im  moj-ej  moj-im  moj-imi

The same style as moj, moja, moje, moji = "my, of me" has tvoj, tvoja, tvoje, tvoji = "yours, of you (sg.)" and
svoj, svoja, svoje, svoji = "of self".



 masculine
 feminine  neuter  plural
 nominative
 naš  naš-a  naš-e  naš-i
 genitive  naš-ego  naš-ej  naš-ego  naš-ih
 dative  naš-emu  naš-ej  naš-emu  naš-im
 accusative  naš-ego
 naš-u  naš-e  naš-e
 vocative  naš
 naš-a
 naš-e
 naš-i
 locative  naš-em  naš-ej  naš-em  naš-ih
 instrumental  naš-im  naš-ej  naš-im  naš-imi

It is obvious, that in the same style as naš, naša, naše, naši = "our, of us" is vaš, vaša, vaše, vaši = "yours, of you (pl.)".


possessive pronouns jego = his, jej = her, jego = its, jih = their

Note that these pronouns are identical to the genitive of pronouns on = he, ona = she, ono = it, oni = they. This means that they remain unchanged regardless their subject is inflected.

Example: jego dobra žena = his good woman/wife/lady

 nominative 
 jego dobra žena
 genitive
 jego dobrej ženy
 dative
 jego dobrej ženie
 accusative
 jego dobru ženu
 vocative
 jego dobra ženo!
 locative
 jego dobrej ženie 
 instrumental 
 jego dobrej ženoj 


interrogative pronouns kto, ktory = who;  što, kaky = what

Please remember that pronouns kto? = "who?", što? or čo? = "what?" are used at the position of the noun, and pronouns ktory? = "who?, which?", kaky? (or jaky?) = "what?, what kind of?" are used at the position of the adjective. But semantically there is no difference between kto? and ktory? and between što? and kaky?

Examples:

Kto jest doma? = Who is at home? (kto = subject of the sentence in nominative, at the position of a noun)

Što tu dielaješ? = What are you doing here? (što = object of the sentence in accusative, at
position of a noun)

Ktory student tamo sedi? = Which student is sitting there? (ktory = "which" is added to the noun student as its adjective)

Kake jest ime tvojego prijatela? = What is the name of your friend?
(kaky = "what, what kind of" is added to the noun prijatel as its adjective)


Remember, that kto is declined using the animate (A = G) hard pattern, što is declined using the inanimate (A = N) soft pattern. They have only one form for all three genders:

 nominative 
 kto 
 što 
 genitive  kogo 
 čego 
 dative  komu 
 čemu 
 accusative
 kogo  što 
 vocative
 -  -
 locative
 kom
 čem
 instrumental 
 kiem  čim

ktory, ktora, ktore, ktori and jaky, jaka, jake, jaki are declined in the soft pattern as any ordinary adjective (e.g. jakego, jakemu, jakej, ...).


interrogative pronoun koj

Interrogative pronoun koj, koja, koje = which is identical with the pronoun ktory, ktora, ktore (e.g. is used
at the position of the adjective). This pronoun is inflected in the same way as the possessive pronous moj and tvoj = "my" by the soft pattern.


 masculine
 feminine  neuter  plural
 nominative
 koj  koj-a  koj-e  koj-i
 genitive  koj-ego  koj-ej  koj-ego  koj-ih
 dative  koj-emu  koj-ej  koj-emu  koj-im
 accusative  koj-ego
 koj-u  koj-e  koj-e
 vocative  koj  koj-a
 koj-e
 koj-i
 locative  koj-em  koj-ej  koj-em  koj-ih
 instrumental  koj-im  koj-ej  koj-im  koj-imi

Remember that the pronoun koj, koja, koje is frequently used in the southern Slavic languages, but the identical pronoun ktory, ktora, ktore is more used in the western and eastern Slavic languages. These pronouns (e.g. koj, ... and ktory, ...) are inflected in all three genders and all cases as adjectives.

examples:

Koj student tamo sedi? = Which student is sitting there? (ktory = koj = "which" is added to the noun student as its adjective)


interrogative pronouns kogo, čego = whose

Note that these pronouns are identical to the genitive of pronouns kto = who, što = what. This means that they remain noninflected regardless their subject is inflected.

example:

Kogo jest tuto auto? = Whose is this car?


interrogative pronouns and their answers


It is possible to create several pronouns using prefixes to the interrogative pronouns. Learn them from this table. The same prefixes (e.g. t-, in-, ni-, nie-, vse-, ...) are used at numerals and adverbs as well.

 k-version (main)
 j-version (optional) 
 kaky? 
 which?  jaky? 
 which? 
 taky  this, such a
 taky  this, such a
 ovaky  this, such a (roughly)
 ovaky  this, such a (roughly)
 onaky  this, such a (distantly)  onaky  this, such a (distantly)
 inaky  other one  inaky  other one
 nikaky  nobody   nijaky 
 nobody 
 niekaky  somebody, anybody
 niejaky 
 somebody, anybody
 vsekaky 
 everybody, whoever  vsejaky 
 everybody, whoever


relative pronouns in subordinate clauses

There are two ways how to refer something from the superordinate clause to the subordinate clause:

  1. Using any standard interrogative pronoun (e.g. ktory, kaky, ...). This method is chosen in a situation where a subordinate clause adds or clarifies some still not fully known concept from a main sentence.

    Example:

    Kto jest tamtoj človiek, ktory imaje zelene auto? = Who is that man, who has a green car? (Here we need to define this unknown man.)
    Ne hoču auto, v ktorem jest slaby motor. = I do not want a car, in which the engine is weak. (Here we need to define this unknown car.)
    Ne hoču auto, v kojem jest slaby motor. = I do not want a car, in which the engine is weak. (Here we need to define this unknown car.)


  2. Using special relative pronoun iže. This method is chosen in a situation where a subordinate clause adds a new feature to some already known concept from a main sentence.

    Example:

    Otče naš, iže jesi na nebesah. = Our Father (V), who are in heaven. (Here we add the new feature to the already known Father.)

The relative pronoun iže has the form iže in all (m., f., n., pl.) nominatives, and in all other cases it has the same forms as the pronoun on, ona, ono, oni with added postfix -že.

 masculine
 feminine  neuter  plural
 nominative
 iže  iže  iže  iže
 genitive  (n)jegože  (n)jejže  (n)jegože  (n)jihže
 dative  (n)jemuže  (n)jejže  (n)jemuže  (n)jimže
 accusative  (n)jegože
 (n)juže  (n)ježe  (n)ježe
 vocative  -
 -
 -
 -
 locative  (n)jemže  (n)jejže  (n)jemže  (n)jihže
 instrumental  (n)jimže  (n)jejže  (n)jimže  (n)jimiže

Examples:

Moj prijatel, jegože mlada žena tamo ide, jest bolestny. = My friend, whose young wife is going there, is sick.

Moj dom, v njemže žijut šest ljudi, jest maly.
=
My house, in which 6 people live, is small.


Finally, it should be noted that there is not a big mistake to use only interrogative pronouns (ktory, ktora, ktore, ktori) in all situations.
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