Asking Questions in Croatian

CroatianCroatian A1

Welcome to our Croatian course for beginners! In this lesson, we`ll talk about another important aspect that every Croatian language learner should master: how to ask questions correctly.

Interrogative sentences in the Croatian language contain interrogative adverbs, pronouns, particles, a specific word order, and interrogative intonation. From a grammatical perspective, interrogative sentences can be created using the following patterns:

1. Using interrogative intonation (raising the tone on verbs or words that are key in questions).
Volite čitati? - Do you like to read?
Vi volite čitati? - Do you like to read?

2. Using particles li, da, zar in interrogative sentences.
For example:
Volite li čitati? - Do you like to read?
Da je ona to čitala? - Did she read this?
Zar ne čitaš? - Don`t you read?

3. Using interrogative pronouns tko (who), što (what), čiji (whose), koji (which), kakav (what kind of), kolik(o) (how much/many) in interrogative sentences.
Koliko košta? - How much does it cost?
Tko je to bio? - Who was that?
Što ste vidjeli? - What did you see?
Čija je ovo kuća? - Whose house is this?
Kakav je danas dan? - What`s the weather like today?

4. Using adverbs gdje (where), kad(a) (when), kamo (where - destination), kuda (where - direction), odakle (where from), zašto (why) in interrogative sentences.
Gdje živiš? - Where do you live?
Kada si otišao? - When did you leave?
Kamo ste otišli? - Where did you go?
Odakle se vratio? - Where did he return from?
Zašto si to rekao? - Why did you say that?

It`s worth mentioning that the methods of forming interrogative sentences are different from those used in English.

Next, let`s look at the general word order in a simple interrogative sentence. In most cases, the formula for constructing an interrogative phrase looks like this:
the predicate comes first, followed by the interrogative particle "li".
For example:
Imate li vremena da mi pomognete? - Do you have time to help me?

There`s a difference when the predicate is a form of the verb "biti" (to be) - in this case, the full (not abbreviated) form of the verb "biti" is placed in the first position in the sentence:
Jesi li kod kuće sad? - Are you at home now?

In summary, forming questions in Croatian doesn`t have very difficult features that are unclear to students. The difference lies in other interrogative words and grammatical features, which may make some question forms look a little unusual. We hope it has been helpful and good luck with your studies!