Slovene declension

This page describes the declension of nouns, adjectives and pronouns in Slovene. For information on Slovene grammar in general, see Slovene grammar.

This article follows the tonal orthography.

Grammatical categories[edit]

Nouns are declined for six cases and three numbers. Adjectives and most pronouns additionally decline for three genders.

There are six cases (the Slovene names are given in brackets):

  1. Nominative (imenovalnik or nominativ)
  2. Genitive (rodilnik or genitiv)
  3. Dative (dajalnik or dativ)
  4. Accusative (tožilnik or akuzativ)
  5. Locative (mestnik or lokativ)
  6. Instrumental (orodnik or instrumental)

Traditionally, the cases are given in the order above. They are also usually numbered accordingly: the nominative case is the first case, the genitive the second, and so on. However, the accusative is sometimes identical to the nominative and sometimes identical to the genitive. Therefore, this article lists the accusative between the nominative and genitive.

Slovene has three numbers:

  1. Singular (ednina), which refers to one object.
  2. Dual (dvojina), which refers to a pair of objects.
  3. Plural (množina), which refers to more than two objects.

A noun in Slovene can have one of the following three genders:

  1. Masculine (moški); divided further into animate (accusative singular equals genitive) and inanimate (accusative singular equals nominative).
  2. Feminine (ženski)
  3. Neuter (srednji)

Nouns[edit]

The declensions for nouns can be split by gender, as gender and declension pattern normally coincide. However, some nouns of one gender follow the declension of another gender, so this is not an absolute rule. The dual and plural are not distinguished in the genitive and locative cases of nouns; the plural form is used for the dual as well. For neuter nouns, the nominative and accusative forms are always the same, in all numbers.

The gender of a noun can usually be determined from the final vowel in the nominative singular:

  • Masculine nouns typically end in a consonant, although a few end in a vowel.
  • Feminine nouns usually end in -a; these are the "a-stem" nouns. A number of feminine nouns end in a consonant; these are "i-stem" and "v-stem" nouns.
  • Neuter nouns end in -o or -e.

Every declensional class has a small subset of nouns following the so-called "mobile accent" paradigm. These nouns have the accent on the ending in some of the forms, in particular in the genitive singular, and some of the endings may also be different. The mobile paradigms were inherited from Common Slavic, where they were more numerous. In modern Slovene, they are best treated as irregular because there are relatively few of them, but the declensional patterns are usually still regular enough to consider them as cohesive subclasses. Many nouns with mobile accent are commonly used, which has helped to preserve them.

Masculine o-stem nouns[edit]

Most masculine nouns follow the same inflection pattern, termed "o-stem" nouns. O-stem nouns are divided between "hard" and "soft" stems, see the main Slovene grammar article for the meaning of these terms.

Masculine nouns are further divided between animate and inanimate nouns. This difference is only significant for the accusative singular.

  • For inanimate nouns, the accusative singular is identical to the nominative singular. For example, stȍl "chair", genitive singular stóla, accusative singular stȍl.
  • For animate nouns, the accusative singular is identical to the genitive singular. For example, fȁnt "boy", genitive singular fánta, accusative singular fánta.

This distinction is also applied to all words that modify the noun, such as adjectives, determiners and the like. Thus, adjectives in the masculine accusative singular will have either the form of the nominative (no ending or -ni), or the form of the genitive (-ega).

Masculine o-stem endings
Hard declension Soft declension
Singular Dual Plural Singular Dual Plural
Nominative - -a -i - -a -i
Accusative nom or gen -a -e nom or gen -a -e
Genitive -a -ov -ov -a -ev -ev
Dative -u -oma -om -u -ema -em
Locative -u -ih -ih -u -ih -ih
Instrumental -om -oma -i -em -ema -i
  • A few nouns ending in -elj have a stem in -eljn- rather than dropping the fill vowel. For example, nágelj "carnation", genitive singular nágeljna.
  • If the stem of a noun ends in -rj-, the nominative singular ends only in -r. For example, redár "security guard at a public event", genitive singular redárja.
  • Some nouns have the ending -je in the nominative plural instead of -i. This is a remnant of the Common Slavic masculine i-stem inflection, which was mostly lost in Slovene except for this ending. For example: študȅnt "student", nominative plural študéntje, gospọ̑d "sir, lord", nominative plural gospọ̑dje, kmȅt "farmer", nominative plural kmẹ́tje, etc. Usually, the regular form is also allowed, or even preferred.
  • In the 19th century the ending -i was often used in the dative/locative singular instead of -u. For example, nominative óče "father", dative/locative očẹ́ti. Nowadays this ending is considered archaic or dialectal.

A relatively small number of masculine nouns have a nominative singular ending in a vowel. These can be declined in various ways, depending on the individual noun.

  • Those ending in -o (and rarely -e) decline as regular masculine o-stems with simply an additional vowel in the nominative singular (and accusative, if inanimate). In the other forms, the ending replaces this vowel. For example, kȋno "cinema", genitive singular kȋna; Čȋle "Chile", genitive singular Čȋla. Personal names ending in -o (which are fairly common) decline in this way.
  • Those ending in -i or -u (primarily loanwords), as well as all words ending in a stressed vowel, add -j- after the stem when endings are attached, and therefore decline as soft o-stems. For example, Vȋšnu "Vishnu", genitive singular Vȋšnuja; apartmȃ "apartment", genitive singular apartmȃja.
  • Those ending in -a usually decline as feminine a-stems (accusative -o, genitive -e), but can optionally also decline as regular o-stems. For example, vọ̑jvoda "duke", genitive singular vọ̑jvode / vọ̑jvoda. If declined as feminine a-stems, these nouns do not show animacy themselves (since the nominative, accusative and genitive singular all have their own distinct forms), but adjectives and other modifying words will still show animacy as appropriate.
  • Proper names ending in -e normally follow the neuter declension like the noun otročȅ, adding the infix -et- before the endings. For example, Zvọ̑ne, genitive singular Zvọ̑neta. Despite declining as neuters, these nouns still show animacy, so the accusative singular follows the genitive.

Masculine o-stem nouns with stem accent[edit]

The basic and most common accentual type has accent on the same syllable throughout the stem. In circumflex stems, the accent is the same in all forms. In acute stems, the locative singular, genitive dual/plural, locative dual/plural and instrumental plural can optionally have a circumflex accent.

Singular Dual Plural Singular Dual Plural
Nominative korȃk korȃka korȃki kováč kováča kováči
Accusative korȃk korȃka korȃke kováča kováča kováče
Genitive korȃka korȃkov korȃkov kováča kovāčev kovāčev
Dative korȃku korȃkoma korȃkom kováču kováčema kováčem
Locative korȃku korȃkih korȃkih kovāču kovāčih kovāčih
Instrumental korȃkom korȃkoma korȃki kováčem kováčema kovāči

Some acute-accented nouns appear with an anomalous nominative singular form. This form has a short accent rather than an acute accent, or, if the stem has more than one syllable, has an acute accent one syllable to the left relative to the other forms. In addition, the locative singular allows for an optional circumflex accent, as does the dative singular when preceded by the preposition k/h.

Singular Dual Plural Singular Dual Plural
Nominative brȁt bráta brátje / bráti rázred razrẹ́da razrẹ́di
Accusative bráta bráta bráte rázred razrẹ́da razrẹ́de
Genitive bráta brātov brātov razrẹ́da razrẹ̄dov razrẹ̄dov
Dative brátu / k brātu brátoma brátom razrẹ́du / k razrẹ̄du razrẹ́doma razrẹ́dom
Locative brātu brātih brātih razrẹ̄du razrẹ̄dih razrẹ̄dih
Instrumental brátom brátoma brāti razrẹ́dom razrẹ́doma razrẹ̄di

Masculine o-stem nouns with mobile accent[edit]

A number of masculine o-stem nouns have a mobile accent paradigm. These have a circumflex accent on the stem in most singular forms, but a circumflex accent on the ending in the genitive singular. The locative dual/plural has a special acute-accented ending -ẹ́h, while the other dual and plural endings are circumflex accented. The genitive dual/plural has no ending, and acute accent on the stem.

Singular Dual Plural
Nominative mọ̑ž možȃ možjẹ̑
Accusative možȃ možȃ možẹ̑
Genitive možȃ mọ́ž mọ́ž
Dative mọ̑žu možẹ̑ma možẹ̑m
Locative mọ̑žu možẹ́h možẹ́h
Instrumental mọ̑žem možẹ̑ma možmí

Few mobile o-stems follow the pattern of mož exactly. Instead, most follow mož in the singular, but have an accented infix -ȏv- with an open-mid vowel in the dual and plural, and regular unaccented endings. In the genitive dual/plural, it is acute-accented -óv with no further ending. Only hard stems allow for the -ȏv- infix; soft stems never have it and therefore there is no soft alternative *-ȇv-.

There are two possibilities for the genitive singular ending, or . The former reflects the Common Slavic mobile o-stems, while the latter is a remnant of the u-stem inflection, which has otherwise disappeared in Slovene. The infix -ȏv- in the plural also originates from the old u-stems.

Genitive singular in Genitive singular in
Singular Dual Plural Singular Dual Plural
Nominative svẹ̑t svetȏva svetȏvi grȃd gradȏva gradȏvi
Accusative svẹ̑t svetȏva svetȏve grȃd gradȏva gradȏve
Genitive svetȃ svetóv svetóv gradȗ gradóv gradóv
Dative svẹ̑tu svetȏvoma svetȏvom grȃdu gradȏvoma gradȏvom
Locative svẹ̑tu svetȏvih svetȏvih grȃdu gradȏvih gradȏvih
Instrumental svẹ̑tom svetȏvoma svetȏvi grȃdom gradȏvoma gradȏvi

A fair number of nouns combine different types of fixed-accent and mobile-accent forms:

  • Nouns with stem accent in the singular, i.e. with an unaccented genitive singular ending, but the -ȏv- infix in the dual and plural. These often have optional dual/plural forms with stem accent and no infix. For example krẹ̑s, genitive singular krẹ̑sa, nominative plural kresȏvi or krẹ̑si.
  • Some ending-accented forms in the plural with no -ȏv- infix, like those of mož. These are usually rare, stylistically marked or used only in fixed phrases.
  • zọ̑b follows mož in the plural, optionally also in the dual and singular.
  • lȃs follows mož in the plural, has stem accent in the dual, and allows both in the singular, with the genitive singular lasȗ or lȃsa.
  • vọ̑z either follows mož in the plural or has the -ȏv- infix, has only forms with the infix in the dual, and mobile accent in the singular.

Masculine o-stem nouns with ending accent[edit]

When there is an ending, it receives a short accent. Where the ending has multiple syllables, it has an acute accent and an open-mid vowel. In the genitive dual/plural, both accents are possible.

Singular Dual Plural
Nominative pȅs psȁ psȉ
Accusative psȁ psȁ psȅ
Genitive psȁ psȍv, psóv psȍv, psóv
Dative psȕ psóma psȍm
Locative psȕ psȉh psȉh
Instrumental psȍm psóma psȉ

Feminine a-stem nouns[edit]

The feminine a-stem declension is the most common pattern for feminine nouns. There is no distinction between hard and soft stems (the declension used in modern Slovene was historically the soft one). This declension can also be used for masculine nouns in -a.

Feminine a-stem endings
Singular Dual Plural
Nominative -a -i / -e -e
Accusative -o -i / -e -e
Genitive -e - -
Dative -i -ama -am
Locative -i -ah -ah
Instrumental -o -ama -ami

Feminine a-stem nouns with stem accent[edit]

The basic and most common accentual type has accent on the same syllable throughout the stem. In circumflex stems, the accent is the same in all forms. In acute stems, the instrumental singular and the genitive dual/plural have a circumflex accent.

Singular Dual Plural Singular Dual Plural
Nominative slȗžba slȗžbi slȗžbe lípa lípi lípe
Accusative slȗžbo slȗžbi slȗžbe lípo lípi lípe
Genitive slȗžbe slȗžb slȗžb lípe lȋp lȋp
Dative slȗžbi slȗžbama slȗžbam lípi lípama lípam
Locative slȗžbi slȗžbah slȗžbah lípi lípah lípah
Instrumental slȗžbo slȗžbama slȗžbami lȋpo lípama lípami

Feminine a-stem nouns with mobile accent[edit]

Some a-stem nouns have declensions with mobile accent, usually as rarer alternatives to the more common fixed-accent forms described above. These nouns have the accent on the ending in all forms except the nominative, dative and locative singular. The stem has an acute accent and an open-mid vowel. The endings of the nominative and accusative dual differ slightly from those of the fixed-accent nouns, having -ẹ̑ instead of -i.

The genitive dual/plural can either end in , or have no ending. In the latter case, the stem vowel is acute accented with a close-mid vowel. It is not fully predictable which of the two genitive plural forms a given noun will use. Statistically, most nouns having open-mid vowels in the nominative singular will have the ending, while other nouns will have the endingless form with stem accent, but there are exceptions, such as nóga "leg", genitive plural nọ́g. A few nouns have stressed -á- as a fill vowel before the final consonant in the genitive plural, like óvca "sheep", genitive plural ovác.

Gen. plural in Gen. plural no ending
Singular Dual Plural Singular Dual Plural
Nominative góra gorẹ̑ gorẹ̑ nóga nogẹ̑ nogẹ̑
Accusative gorọ̑ gorẹ̑ gorẹ̑ nogọ̑ nogẹ̑ nogẹ̑
Genitive gorẹ̄ gorā gorā nogẹ̄ nọ́g nọ́g
Dative góri gorȃma gorȁm nógi nogȃma nogȁm
Locative góri gorȁh gorȁh nógi nogȁh nogȁh
Instrumental gorọ́ gorȃma gorȃmi nogọ́ nogȃma nogȃmi

Feminine a-stem nouns with ending accent[edit]

Some nouns have the accent on all endings. The single-syllable endings have a short accent, or sometimes optionally the same accent as in the mobile paradigm. The genitive dual/plural always has the ending , with either acute or circumflex accent.

Singular Dual Plural
Nominative stezȁ stezȉ / stezẹ̑ stezȅ / stezẹ̑
Accusative stezȍ / stezọ̑ stezȉ / stezẹ̑ stezȅ / stezẹ̑
Genitive stezȅ / stezẹ̄ stezā stezā
Dative stezȉ stezȃma stezȁm
Locative stezȉ stezȁh stezȁh
Instrumental stezȍ / stezọ́ stezȃma stezȃmi

Feminine i-stem nouns[edit]

The feminine i-stem declension is less common. It is used primarily by the widely productive abstract noun suffix -ost, but a fair number of other nouns (mostly of Common Slavic origin) also follow it.

Feminine i-stem endings
Singular Dual Plural
Nominative - -i -i
Accusative - -i -i
Genitive -i -i -i
Dative -i -ma / -ema -im / -em
Locative -i -ih / -eh -ih / -eh
Instrumental -jo -ma / -ema -mi

Nouns with a fill vowel get an additional i before some endings, namely the instrumental singular (-ijo), dative and instrumental dual (-ima) and instrumental plural (-imi).

Feminine i-stem nouns with stem accent[edit]

In circumflex stems, the accent is usually the same in all forms. Rarely, the nominative singular has a short vowel, e.g. nȉt, stem nȋt-.

Singular Dual Plural
Nominative perȗt perȗti perȗti
Accusative perȗt perȗti perȗti
Genitive perȗti perȗti perȗti
Dative perȗti perȗtma perȗtim
Locative perȗti perȗtih perȗtih
Instrumental perȗtjo perȗtma perȗtmi

In acute stems, the accentuation depends on accent position. If the accent is before the final syllable of the stem, it is acute throughout, but optionally circumflex in the instrumental singular. With accent on the final syllable of the stem, the circumflex is required in the instrumental singular, and a number of other forms also allow a circumflex accent.

Singular Dual Plural Singular Dual Plural
Nominative stárost stárosti stárosti lúč lúči lúči
Accusative stárost stárosti stárosti lúč lúči lúči
Genitive stárosti stárosti stárosti lúči lūči lūči
Dative stárosti stárostma stárostim lúči lūčma lúčim
Locative stárosti stárostih stárostih lúči lūčih lūčih
Instrumental stārostjo stárostma stárostmi lȗčjo lūčma lūčmi

Some circumflex-accented nouns appear with an anomalous nominative/accusative singular form. This form has an acute accent one syllable to the left relative to the other forms, and an open-mid vowel. For example, senóžet, stem senožẹ̑t-

Feminine i-stem nouns with mobile accent[edit]

Nouns with mobile accent are common among the i-stem nouns. The stem-accented forms are the nominative singular with circumflex accent, and the dative and locative singular with acute accent and an open-mid vowel. The other forms have the accent on the ending.

Singular Dual Plural Singular Dual Plural
Nominative stvȃr stvarȋ stvarȋ kọ̑st kostȋ kostȋ
Accusative stvȃr stvarȋ stvarȋ kọ̑st kostȋ kostȋ
Genitive stvarí stvarī stvarī kostí kostī kostī
Dative stvári stvarẹ̄ma stvarẹ̄m kósti kostẹ̄ma kostẹ̄m
Locative stvári stvarẹ́h stvarẹ́h kósti kostẹ́h kostẹ́h
Instrumental stvarjọ́ stvarẹ̄ma stvarmí kostjọ́ kostẹ̄ma kostmí

Feminine i-stem nouns with ending accent[edit]

The accent is short and on the last syllable in all forms. The instrumental singular optionally allows an acute accent.

Singular Dual Plural
Nominative debȅr debrȉ debrȉ
Accusative debȅr debrȉ debrȉ
Genitive debrȉ debrī debrī
Dative debrȉ debrimȁ debrȉm
Locative debrȉ debrȉh debrȉh
Instrumental debrijȍ / debrijọ́ debrimȁ debrimȉ

Feminine v-stem nouns[edit]

A small number of feminine nouns belongs to the feminine v-stem declension, with the ending -ev (in which the -e- is a fill vowel). These inflect as a-stems, but the with i-stem instrumental singular ending -ijo. Many nouns in this group can also inflect as regular a-stems, with the nominative singular ending in -va and accusative and instrumental singular in -vo.

Accentually, this group is identical to the a-stems.

Singular Dual Plural Singular Dual Plural
Nominative brẹ̑skev brẹ̑skvi brẹ̑skve cẹ́rkev cẹ́rkvi cẹ́rkve
Accusative brẹ̑skev brẹ̑skvi brẹ̑skve cẹ́rkev cẹ́rkvi cẹ́rkve
Genitive brẹ̑skve brẹ̑skev brẹ̑skev cẹ́rkve cẹ̑rkev cẹ̑rkev
Dative brẹ̑skvi brẹ̑skvama brẹ̑skvam cẹ́rkvi cẹ́rkvama cẹ́rkvam
Locative brẹ̑skvi brẹ̑skvah brẹ̑skvah cẹ́rkvi cẹ́rkvah cẹ́rkvah
Instrumental brẹ̑skvijo brẹ̑skvama brẹ̑skvami cẹ̑rkvijo cẹ́rkvama cẹ́rkvami

Neuter o-stem nouns[edit]

The neuter o-stem declension closely resembles its masculine counterpart. The nominative and accusative always have the same form, however, with endings that differ from the masculine nouns. The genitive dual/plural has no ending like in the feminine a-stems. The neuter o-stems are divided between "hard" and "soft" stems, like the masculines.

Neuter o-stem endings
Hard declension Soft declension
Singular Dual Plural Singular Dual Plural
Nominative -o -i -a -e -i -a
Accusative -o -i -a -e -i -a
Genitive -a - - -a - -
Dative -u -oma -om -u -ema -em
Locative -u -ih -ih -u -ih -ih
Instrumental -om -oma -i -em -ema -i

Neuter o-stem nouns with stem accent[edit]

In circumflex stems, the accent is the same in all forms. Acute stems have acute accent in the singular, but circumflex in the plural, and allow both accents in the dual forms not shared with the plural.

Singular Dual Plural Singular Dual Plural
Nominative sọ̑nce sọ̑nci sọ̑nca kopíto kopīti kopȋta
Accusative sọ̑nce sọ̑nci sọ̑nca kopíto kopīti kopȋta
Genitive sọ̑nca sọ̑nc sọ̑nc kopíta kopȋt kopȋt
Dative sọ̑ncu sọ̑ncema sọ̑ncem kopítu kopītoma kopȋtom
Locative sọ̑ncu sọ̑ncih sọ̑ncih kopítu kopȋtih kopȋtih
Instrumental sọ̑ncem sọ̑ncema sọ̑nci kopítom kopītoma kopȋti

Some acute-accented neuter nouns have an acute accent in the plural. There are three general accentuation patterns in this case.

Plural Plural Plural
Nominative kọ́la pljúča gēsla
Accusative kọ́la pljúča gēsla
Genitive kọ́l pljȗč gȇsel
Dative kọ́lom pljúčem gēslom
Locative kọ́lih pljȗčih gēslih
Instrumental kọ́li pljȗči gēsli

The following nouns have one of these patterns in the plural:

  • Diminutives in -ce (e.g. črẹ́vce) and the noun jájce. These decline in the plural like either kọ́la or pljúča.
  • Various plurale tantum nouns, including the first two exemplified above. Others decline like either kọ́la or pljúča, but vráta declines only like kọ́la, jẹ́tra only like pljúča.
  • Nouns with an open-mid vowel. These all decline like gésla.
  • Nouns of the above type, with an optional close-mid vowel in the plural. ọ́kna declines like kọ́la, rẹ́bra like pljúča, stẹ̑gna has circumflex throughout, rešẹ̄ta allows both in all forms.

Neuter o-stem nouns with mobile accent[edit]

A small number of neuter nouns have a mobile accent paradigm. These have a circumflex accent on the endings in the nominative, accusative and genitive singular, but circumflex on the root in all other cases. The dative and locative singular may have an open-mid vowel; in this case, it can be either acute or circumflex.

Singular Dual Plural Singular
Nominative blagọ̑ blȃgi blȃga srebrọ̑
Accusative blagọ̑ blȃgi blȃga srebrọ̑
Genitive blagȃ blȃg blȃg srebrȃ
Dative blȃgu blȃgoma blȃgom srẹ̑bru / srēbru
Locative blȃgu blȃgih blȃgih srẹ̑bru / srēbru
Instrumental blȃgom blȃgoma blȃgi srẹ̑brom
  • The noun dŕva / drvȁ "fire wood, fuel wood" (plurale tantum) can have either stem accent or a special mobile accent. In the latter case, the nominative/accusative plural is drvȁ, genitive plural drvȁ, locative plural drvẹ́h, instrumental plural drvmí.

Neuter o-stem nouns with ending accent[edit]

When there is an ending, it receives a short accent. Where the ending has multiple syllables, it has either an acute or circumflex accent and an open-mid vowel.

Singular Dual Plural
Nominative zlȍ zlȉ zlȁ
Accusative zlȍ zlȉ zlȁ
Genitive zlȁ zȅl zȅl
Dative zlȕ zlōma zlȍm
Locative zlȕ zlȉh zlȉh
Instrumental zlȍm zlōma zlȉ

Some nouns of this type may have long vowels in endings and other minor irregularities:

  • dnȍ "bottom": genitive dual/plural dnȍv / dnóv, rarely dán, locative dual/plural optionally dnẹ́h.
  • tlȁ "floor, ground, soil" (plurale tantum): genitive plural tál, locative plural tlẹ́h, instrumental plural tlẹ̑mi / tlí.

Neuter n-, s- and t-stem nouns[edit]

A small group of neuter nouns follow the neuter n-stem, neuter s-stem or neuter t-stem declensions. These use the same endings as the o-stems, but there is an additional consonant infix (-en-, -es-, -et-) that is present in all forms except the nominative/accusative singular. The n-stem and t-stem nouns have a nominative/accusative singular in -e, while the s-stem nouns have -o or -e depending on whether the preceding stem is hard or soft.

Accentually, they are the same as regular o-stems, but the shorter nominative/accusative singular form can have different accentuation. If the stem is acute and the final vowel is accented, it may be either shortened (as in deklȅ) or shifted to the preceding syllable, which receives an acute accent and may have either a close-mid or an open-mid vowel (vréme, sẹ́me). Such nouns allow for a circumflex accent in the dative and locative singular.

n-stem s-stem t-stem
Singular Dual Plural Singular Dual Plural Singular Dual Plural
Nominative imẹ̑ imẹ̑ni imẹ̑na telọ̑ telẹ̑si telẹ̑sa deklȅ deklẹ́ti deklẹ̑ta
Accusative imẹ̑ imẹ̑ni imẹ̑na telọ̑ telẹ̑si telẹ̑sa deklȅ deklẹ́ti deklẹ̑ta
Genitive imẹ̑na imẹ̑n imẹ̑n telẹ̑sa telẹ̑s telẹ̑s deklẹ́ta deklẹ̑t deklẹ̑t
Dative imẹ̑nu imẹ̑noma imẹ̑nom telẹ̑su telẹ̑soma telẹ̑som deklẹ̄tu deklẹ̄toma deklẹ̑tom
Locative imẹ̑nu imẹ̑nih imẹ̑nih telẹ̑su telẹ̑sih telẹ̑sih deklẹ̄tu deklẹ̑tih deklẹ̑tih
Instrumental imẹ̑nom imẹ̑noma imẹ̑ni telẹ̑som telẹ̑soma telẹ̑si deklẹ́tom deklẹ̄toma deklẹ̑ti
  • črevọ̑ (stem črevẹ̑s-) loses the infix in the plural: črẹ́va. It is accentuated in the plural like either kọ́la or pljúča of the o-stems.
  • nebẹ́sa, a plurale tantum, is accentuated like either kọ́la or pljúča of the o-stems.

Indeclinable nouns[edit]

Acronyms and symbols generally do not decline, and have the same form in all cases and numbers. They may also be declined as the masculine soft declension, with a hyphen and j added before the ending.

Thus, for the noun NLP "UFO":

Singular Dual Plural
Nominative NLP NLP / NLP-ja NLP / NLP-ji
Accusative NLP NLP / NLP-ja NLP / NLP-ji
Genitive NLP / NLP-ja NLP / NLP-jev NLP / NLP-jev
Dative NLP / NLP-ju NLP / NLP-jema NLP / NLP-jem
Locative NLP / NLP-ju NLP / NLP-jih NLP / NLP-jih
Instrumental NLP / NLP-jem NLP / NLP-jema NLP / NLP-ji

Substantivized adjectives[edit]

Adjectives may occasionally be used as nouns. They are declined as the original adjective.

Irregular nouns[edit]

The most common irregular masculine noun is dȃn "day". Many forms have two stems, a shorter one with only the consonants dn-, and a longer one dnẹ̑v-. The longer stem declines as a regular o-stem, while the shorter one has a unique set of endings not shared with any other noun.

Singular Dual Plural
Nominative dȃn dnẹ̑va, dnȋ dnẹ̑vi
Accusative dȃn dnẹ̑va, dnȋ dnẹ̑ve, dnȋ
Genitive dnẹ̑va, dnẹ̑ dnẹ̑vov, dní dní, dnẹ̑vov
Dative dnẹ̑vu dnẹ̑voma, dnẹ̑ma dnẹ̑vom, dnẹ̑m
Locative dnẹ̑vu dnẹ̑vih, dnẹ́h dnẹ̑vih, dnẹ́h
Instrumental dnẹ̑vom, dnẹ̑m dnẹ̑voma, dnẹ̑ma dnẹ̑vi, dnẹ̑mi

The masculine noun člóvek "human, person" is suppletive. In the plural, the stem ljud- is used, which follows the mobile-accent i-stem declension.

Singular Dual Plural
Nominative člóvek človẹ́ka ljudjẹ̑
Accusative človẹ́ka človẹ́ka ljudȋ
Genitive človẹ́ka ljudí ljudí
Dative človẹ́ku človẹ́koma ljudẹ̑m
Locative človẹ́ku ljudẹ́h ljudẹ́h
Instrumental človẹ́kom človẹ́koma ljudmí

The feminine noun gospá "lady, madam" has acute accent on all the endings.

Singular Dual Plural
Nominative gospá gospẹ́ gospẹ́
Accusative gospọ́ gospẹ́ gospẹ́
Genitive gospẹ́ gospá gospá
Dative gospẹ́ gospẹ́ma gospẹ́m
Locative gospẹ́ gospẹ́h gospẹ́h
Instrumental gospọ́ gospẹ́ma gospẹ́mi

The feminine nouns máti "mother" and hčȋ "daughter" follow the a-stem paradigm, but have irregular nominative and accusative singular forms, and the instrumental singular ending -jo of the i-stems.

Singular Singular
Nominative máti hčí
Accusative máter hčẹ̑r
Genitive mátere hčẹ̑re
Dative máteri hčẹ̑ri
Locative máteri hčẹ̑ri
Instrumental máterjo hčẹ̑rjo

The feminine noun krȋ "blood" follows the mobile-accent i-stem declension, but replaces the final -v with -i in the nominative and accusative singular.

Singular
Nominative krȋ
Accusative krȋ
Genitive krvȋ
Dative kȓvi
Locative kȓvi
Instrumental krvjọ́

A few masculine nouns show the effects of the Slavic second palatalisation in some of the plural forms:

  • otrȍk: nominative plural otróci, locative plural otrọ̄cih.
  • vȏlk: nominative plural volcjẹ̑. But this form is rare, the usual nominative plural is volkȏvi.

A few neuter s-stem nouns show the effects of the Slavic first palatalisation in the forms with the infix -es-:

  • The noun okọ̑ "eye" has the stem očẹ̑s-. It also has a shorter plural stem oč- when referring to human eyes. This stem is feminine rather than neuter, and follows the mobile i-stem declension.
  • The noun uhọ̑ "ear" has the stem ušẹ́s-, with a change in accent type. The genitive plural allows both accents.
  • The noun igọ̑ "yoke" has the stem ižẹ̑s-.

Adjectives[edit]

Adjective declension is simpler than noun declension, as there is only one set of endings. The endings can be split into three groups of cases:

  • The nominative and accusative, which are like the o-stems of masculine and neuter nouns, and the a-stems of feminine nouns. Like in nouns, a distinction is made between hard and soft stems, but this is only relevant for the neuter nominative/accusative singular, which has -o for hard stems and -e for soft stems.
  • The other feminine singular cases, which also follow the a-stems of nouns.
  • The remaining cases, which have endings unique to adjectives. These are the same for all three genders in the dual and plural.

The masculine accusative singular is like either the nominative or the genitive, as in masculine nouns. Which form is used depends on which form the accompanying noun uses, which in turn depends on whether the noun is animate or inanimate.

Adjective endings
Singular Dual Plural
Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative - -a -o / -e -a -i / -e -i -i -e -a
Accusative nom or gen -o -o / -e -a -i / -e -i -e -e -a
Genitive -ega -e -ega -ih -ih
Dative -emu -i -emu -ima -im
Locative -em -i -em -ih -ih
Instrumental -im -o -im -ima -imi

Adjectives with stem accent[edit]

Adjectives with a circumflex accent mostly have the same accent in all forms. Some adjectives such as surȍv have a short accent in the masculine nominative singular but circumflex in the other forms.

Singular Dual Plural
Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative vesẹ̑l vesẹ̑la vesẹ̑lo vesẹ̑la vesẹ̑li vesẹ̑li vesẹ̑li vesẹ̑le vesẹ̑la
Accusative nom or gen vesẹ̑lo vesẹ̑lo vesẹ̑la vesẹ̑li vesẹ̑li vesẹ̑le vesẹ̑le vesẹ̑la
Genitive vesẹ̑lega vesẹ̑le vesẹ̑lega vesẹ̑lih vesẹ̑lih
Dative vesẹ̑lemu vesẹ̑li vesẹ̑lemu vesẹ̑lima vesẹ̑lim
Locative vesẹ̑lem vesẹ̑li vesẹ̑lem vesẹ̑lih vesẹ̑lih
Instrumental vesẹ̑lim vesẹ̑lo vesẹ̑lim vesẹ̑lima vesẹ̑limi

Adjectives with an acute accent on a non-final syllable of the stem also have the same accent in all forms. With acute accent on the final syllable of the stem, there are some more differences. Some have an anomalous masculine nominative singular form:

  1. Short accent, with an open-mid vowel in the stem: zelȅn, stem zelén-.
  2. Circumflex: mlȃd, stem mlád-.
  3. Either circumflex or acute: klečẹ̄č, stem klečẹ́č-.
  4. Acute accent one syllable to the left, with an open-mid vowel: débel, stem debẹ́l-.

A number of adjectives require or allow a circumflex accent in the feminine nominative singular. Such adjectives allow both accent types in the other feminine singular forms. The acute is used mostly in attributive position, while the circumflex appears in predicative position.

  1. Circumflex required in feminine nominative singular, optional in other feminine singular forms: príden, sȉt, bógat, feminine nominative singular prȋdna, sȋta, bogȃta, feminine singular stem prīdn-, sīt-, bogāt-, stem of remainder prídn-, sít-, bogát-.
  2. Circumflex optional in all feminine singular forms: blázen, feminine singular stem blāzn-, stem of remainder blázn-.

Because both the masculine and feminine nominative singular can have anomalous accentuation in adjectives with stem accent, it is the neuter nominative singular form that determines the accentuation of the rest of the forms.

Adjectives with ending accent[edit]

A short accent appears on the last syllable of all forms.

Singular Dual Plural
Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative temȅn temnȁ temnȍ temnȁ temnȉ temnȉ temnȉ temnȅ temnȁ
Accusative nom or gen temnȍ temnȍ temnȁ temnȉ temnȉ temnȅ temnȅ temnȁ
Genitive temnegȁ temnȅ temnegȁ temnȉh temnȉh
Dative temnemȕ temnȉ temnemȕ temnimȁ temnȉm
Locative temnȅm temnȉ temnȅm temnȉh temnȉh
Instrumental temnȉm temnȍ temnȉm temnimȁ temnimȉ

Adjectives with mobile accent[edit]

Mobile-accented adjectives have stem accent in all cases but the nominative and accusative, so the mobility is only apparent in those cases. In these two cases, the accent matches the mobile o- and a-stems: the accent is on the stem in the masculine and feminine nominative singular, and on the ending with circumflex in the other forms. The feminine nominative/accusative dual allows for an alternative ending -ẹ̑.

Every mobile-accented adjective allows for a stem-accented declension as an alternative. The mobile accent is sometimes simply an alternative, other times it is rare or stylistically marked.

Singular Dual Plural
Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative bẹ́l bẹ́la belọ̑ belȃ belȋ / belẹ̑ belȋ belȋ belẹ̑ belȃ
Accusative nom or gen belọ̑ belọ̑ belȃ belȋ / belẹ̑ belȋ belẹ̑ belẹ̑ belȃ
Genitive bẹ́lega bẹ́le bẹ́lega bẹ́lih bẹ́lih
Dative bẹ́lemu bẹ́li bẹ́lemu bẹ́lima bẹ́lim
Locative bẹ́lem bẹ́li bẹ́lem bẹ́lih bẹ́lih
Instrumental bẹ́lim bẹ́lo bẹ́lim bẹ́lima bẹ́limi

Some mobile adjectives have anomalies in the masculine nominative singular form, like the stem-accented adjectives:

  1. Short accent, with an open-mid vowel in the stem: gȍl, accented stem gól-.
  2. Circumflex: mlȃd, accented stem mlád-.
  3. Circumflex ȃ as a fill vowel: sladȃk, accented stem sládk-.

Acute-accented mobile adjectives never have a circumflex in the feminine singular forms. The accent of the feminine singular thus determines the accentuation of all other stem-accented case forms.

Definite adjectives[edit]

Adjectives in Slovene distinguish between indefinite and definite meanings. They correspond in meaning to the distinction between the English indefinite article a, referring to an unknown thing, and the definite article the, referring to a known thing. The definite form is also used in fixed noun phrases, where the combination of adjective and noun are to be understood as a single concept.

For the majority of adjectives, the only distinction between indefinite and definite adjectives is in the masculine nominative singular, which has no ending if it is indefinite, but the special ending -i if it is definite. All other forms are the same, acting as both indefinite and definite adjective.

For some adjectives, however, there are more differences between the indefinite and definite declensions:

  • If the indefinite declension has acute accent, but circumflex accent in the feminine singular, the definite declension has acute accent throughout: prídni, síti, bogáti, blázni, feminine nominative singular prídna, síta, bogáta, blázna.
  • If the indefinite declension is mobile or end-accented, the definite declension has stem accent: bẹ́li, góli, tèmni.
  • Some acute-stem adjectives (e.g. stȁr) switch to circumflex accentuation in the definite declension: stȃri.
  • The adjective vélik (with stem velík-) has circumflex accent on the stem and a close-mid vowel in the definite declension: vẹ̑liki.

Comparison[edit]

Slovene adjectives have both comparative and superlative forms. For many adjectives, these are formed periphrastically, using the adverbs bȍlj "more" and nȁjbolj / nȃjbolj "most". For some adjectives, especially more basic or old ones, the comparative and superlative are formed with affixes.

There are three affixes used to form the comparative: -ši, -ji and -ejši. Which one is used depends in a large part on the shape of the adjective's stem, although these are not hard rules and there are some exceptions. The superlative is formed from the comparative by prefixing nȁj- / nȃj- to it.

The suffix -ši is used with one-syllable adjectives ending in b, d or p, preceded by a vowel or /ər/. After a vowel, d becomes j, and after r it disappears altogether. The suffix is also used with adjectives ending in -ok or -ek, which is dropped in the comparative, and along with the previous changes, t also changes to j and other consonants are iotated. Acute stems are usually converted to circumflex.

  • lẹ̑p (stem lẹ́p-) → lẹ̑pši
  • slȁb (stem sláb-) → slȃbši
  • mlȃd (stem mlád-) → mlȃjši
  • hȗd (stem húd-) → hȗjši
  • gȓd (stem gŕd-) → gȓši
  • širȍkšȋrši
  • krátekkrȃjši
  • tánektȃnjši

The suffix -ji is used with one-syllable adjectives ending in g, h or k. In the comparative, these change to their palatalised variants ž, š and č respectively. The suffix is also used with adjectives ending in -ok or -ek preceded by one of these consonants. Again, the suffix is dropped and the final consonant is iotated. Acute stems are usually converted to circumflex.

  • drȃg (stem drág-) → drȃžji
  • tȋh (stem tíh-) → tíšji
  • blȃg (stem blág- or blȃg-) → blážji or blȃžji
  • strọ̑g (stem strọ́g- or strọ̑g-) → strọ̑žji
  • téžektẹ̑žji
  • globȍkglọ̑blji

The suffix -ejši is used in all other cases, including one-syllable adjectives ending in more than one consonant or adjectives with more than one syllable. The stem may remain accented, or the suffix may be circumflex accented -ȇjši with an open-mid vowel.

  • nȍv (stem nóv-) → novȇjši
  • krȗt (stem krút- or krȗt-) → krútejši or krȗtejši
  • fȋnfinȇjši
  • gọ̑st (stem gọ́st-) → gostȇjši
  • pȏln (stem póln-) → pólnejši
  • grénekgrenkȇjši
  • nevárennevárnejši

Pronouns[edit]

Pronouns generally inflect like adjectives, although many do not have a definite form in the masculine nominative singular. Some pronouns are irregular; these are detailed here.

Personal pronouns[edit]

The first and second person pronouns are very irregular, and do not fit neatly into any other declensional category. The nominative forms of the dual and plural have different forms for the genders, depending on who is speaking or who is being spoken to. The accusative, genitive and dative forms of the singular have stressed and unstressed forms; the stressed forms are used when particular emphasis is needed. The possessive forms for each of the pronouns inflect like adjectives to match the noun they modify.

The reflexive pronouns are used to refer back to the subject or to some other word, and have only a single set of forms for all three numbers, which inflect like the first- and second-person singular pronouns. There is no nominative form.

1st person 2nd person Reflexive
Singular
Nominative jȁz
Accusative méne (me) tébe (te) sébe (se)
Genitive méne (me) tébe (te) sébe (se)
Dative méni (mi) tébi (ti) sébi (si)
Locative méni tébi sébi
Instrumental menọ́j, mȃno tebọ́j, tȃbo sebọ́j, sȃbo
Possessive mọ́j tvọ́j svọ́j
Dual
Nominative mȋdva m, mȇdve / mȋdve f, n vȋdva m, vȇdve / vȋdve f, n
Accusative náju (naju) váju (vaju)
Genitive náju (naju) váju (vaju)
Dative náma (nama) váma (vama)
Locative náju váju
Instrumental náma váma
Possessive nȃjin vȃjin
Plural
Nominative m, mẹ̑ f, n m, vẹ̑ f, n
Accusative nȁs (nas) vȁs (vas)
Genitive nȁs (nas) vȁs (vas)
Dative nȁm (nam) vȁm (vam)
Locative nȁs vȁs
Instrumental nȃmi vȃmi
Possessive nȁš vȁš

The third-person pronouns inflect similar to adjectives, but irregularly. Like in the first- and second-person pronouns, the accusative mostly normally the genitive, and the ending -ih in the dual forms is replaced with -iju. The nominative is formed from a different stem than the other cases. There are also unstressed forms for several of the cases.

Singular Dual Plural
Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative ȍn óna / onȃ óno / onọ̑ ónadva / onȃdva ónidve / onẹ̑dve óni / onȋ óne / onẹ̑ óna / onȃ
Accusative njéga (ga) njọ̄ (jo) njéga (ga) njíju (ju / jih) njȉh (jih)
Genitive njéga (ga) njẹ́ (je) njéga (ga) njíju (ju / jih) njȉh (jih)
Dative njému (mu) njēj / njȅj / njȉ (ji) njému (mu) njíma (jima) njȉm (jim)
Locative njém njēj / njȅj / njȉ njém njíju njȉh
Instrumental njím njọ̄ njím njíma njími
Possessive njegóv, njegȍv njẹ́n njegóv, njegȍv njún njīhov

ta and ves[edit]

The demonstrative "this" inflects like an adjective, but -i- in the endings is replaced with -e-. Many of the forms have shortened alternatives, including cases of non-final short accents.

Singular Dual Plural
Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative tọ̑
Accusative nom or gen tọ̑ tọ̑ tẹ̑ tẹ̑
Genitive tẹ̑ga / tegȁ tẹ́ tẹ̑ga / tegȁ tẹ̑h / tȅh tẹ̑h / tȅh
Dative tẹ̑mu / temȕ tēj / tȅj / tẹ̑mu / temȕ tẹ̑ma / tȅma tẹ̑m / tȅm
Locative tẹ̑m / tȅm tēj / tȅj / tẹ̑m / tȅm tẹ̑h / tȅh tẹ̑h / tȅh
Instrumental tẹ̑m / tȅm tọ̑ tẹ̑m / tȅm tẹ̑ma / tȅma tẹ̑mi

The word vȅs "all" inflects much like , but it inflects as if it were a soft stem, having -e in the neuter nominative/accusative singular. All the accents are short, even those in a non-final syllable.

Singular Dual Plural
Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative vȅs vsȁ vsȅ vsȁ vsȉ vsȉ vsȅ vsȁ
Accusative nom or gen vsȍ vsȅ vsȁ vsȉ vsȅ vsȅ vsȁ
Genitive vsȅga / vsegȁ vsȅ vsȅga / vsegȁ vsȅh vsȅh
Dative vsȅmu / vsemȕ vsȅj / vsȉ vsȅmu / vsemȕ vsȅma vsȅm
Locative vsȅm vsȅj / vsȉ vsȅm vsȅh vsȅh
Instrumental vsȅm vsȍ vsȅm vsȅma vsȅmi

Interrogative, relative and negative pronouns[edit]

The interrogative pronouns kdọ̄ "who" and kāj "what" have only singular forms, and have irregular stem changes. kaj also replaces the normal -g- in the genitive with -s-.

Nominative kdọ̄ kāj
Accusative kọ̄ga kāj
Genitive kọ̄ga čẹ̄sa
Dative kọ̄mu čẹ̄mu
Locative kọ̄m čẹ̄m
Instrumental kọ̄m čīm

The pronouns nekdọ̄ / nẹ̑kdo "somebody" and nẹ̄kaj "something" follow the declensions of kdo and kaj.

Nominative nekdọ̄ / nẹ̑kdo nẹ̄kaj
Accusative nekọ̄ga nẹ̄kaj
Genitive nekọ̄ga nečẹ̄sa
Dative nekọ̄mu nečẹ̄mu
Locative nekọ̄m nečẹ̄m
Instrumental nekọ̄m nečīm

The relative pronouns kdọ̑r / kdȍr "who, that" and kȁr "which, that" inflect like kdo and kaj, but add -r to the end of each form, adding a fill vowel if necessary.

Nominative kdọ̑r / kdȍr kȁr
Accusative kọ̑gar kȁr
Genitive kọ̑gar čẹ̑sar
Dative kọ̑mur čẹ̑mur
Locative kọ̑mer čẹ̑mer
Instrumental kọ̑mer čȋmer

The pronouns nihčȅ "nobody" and nȉč "nothing" follow the declensions of kdor and kar, but the nominative and accusative are different.

Nominative nihčȅ nȉč
Accusative nikọ̑gar nȉč
Genitive nikọ̑gar ničẹ̑sar
Dative nikọ̑mur ničẹ̑mur
Locative nikọ̑mer ničẹ̑mer
Instrumental nikọ̑mer ničȋmer

References[edit]