Dative Case in Croatian

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Welcome to our Croatian course for beginners! Today we`re going to talk about Dative.
We recommend that you read our previous articles about the Nominative and Genitive cases for croatian nouns and adjectives if you haven`t already done that.

The Dative case, often referred to as "Dativ" in Croatian, is one of the grammatical cases used to indicate the indirect object of an action. It is used in cases when we talk about the direction, place, and purpose of movement, action, express an indirect object, or make assumptions. The prepositions that are used with this case include k / ka (to), nasuprot / usuprot (opposite), prema (according to), usprkos / uprkos (despite), and some others. Here are the key uses of the Dative case for nouns:

Indirect Object
The Dative case is primarily used to indicate the recipient or beneficiary of an action or the person or thing to which something is given, shown, or communicated.
Dajem knjigu sestri. (I`m giving the book to my sister.)
Pomažem prijatelju. (I`m helping a friend.)

The Dative case can indicate the purpose or goal of an action or object.
Šaljem poklon prijateljici. (I`m sending a gift to a friend.)

The Dative case can also be used to express an assumption or likelihood.
Prema oblačenju, mislim da će biti hladno. (Judging by the way they`re dressed, I think it will be cold.)

Dative Case for Adjectives
Adjectives in the Dative case must agree in gender, number, and case with the nouns they modify. Here are the endings for adjectives in the Dative case:
Masculine: -omu
Feminine: -oj
Neuter: -omu
Plural (all genders): -im

Here`s how our examples will look in the Dative case:
Mojoj sestri - to my sister (fem.)
Polarnoj zvijezdi - to the polar star (fem.)
Dobroj stvari - to a good thing (fem.)
Mojem rječniku - to my dictionary (masc.)
Dobrom konju - to a good horse (masc.)
Novom autu - to a new car (masc.)
Velikom selu - to a big village (neut.)
Zelenom polju - to a green field (neut.)

It is worth noting that the masculine and neuter endings are "-u". However, in the feminine gender the ending is "-i".

Let`s look at the same phrases in the plural:
Mojim sestrama - to my sisters (fem.)
Polarnim zvijezdama - to the polar stars (fem.)
Dobrim stvarima - to good things (fem.)
Mojim rječnicima - to my dictionaries (masc.)
Dobrim konjima - to good horses (masc.)
Novim autima - to new cars (masc.)
Velikim selima - to big villages (neut.)
Zelenim poljima - to green fields (neut.)

The endings for nouns in the plural for all genders end in "-a." In addition, for feminine nouns without endings in the nominative case, their endings in the Dative case coincide with those of masculine and neuter genders (stvarima - konjima - selima). With adjectives in the plural, the situation is simpler since all genders have the same ending "-im" regardless of gender.

We hope that everything is clear about Dative after reading the article. We are waiting you in the next lesson about the Accusative case. Good luck in learning Croatian and see you in the next lessons.