Genitive Case in Croatian

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

Nouns in the genitive case answer the questions koga? (whom?) and čega? (what?). It is used in cases where it is necessary to indicate the time when events occur, in descriptions of appearance and character, as well as when describing the material from which an object is made. Prepositions such as bez (without), blizu (near), ispod (under), ispred (in front of), iz (from), iza (behind), između (between), kod (at), mimo (past), od (from), preko (over), prije (before), protiv (against), s / sa (with), sred (in the middle), u (in), za (for), zbog (because of), and some others can be used with nouns in the genitive case.

Here are some key uses of the genitive case for nouns:

It`s used to indicate the origin of an object or person.
Auto iz Njemačke (A car from Germany)
Kava iz Kolumbije (Coffee from Colombia)

Description of Material
When describing what something is made of, the genitive case is used.
Stolica od drva (Chair made of wood)
Nakit od zlata (Jewelry made of gold)

It can indicate an indefinite quantity or an approximate amount.
Puno ljudi (Many people)
Malo novca (A little money)

Partitive Genitive
In some cases, the genitive case is used to indicate a part of a whole.
Komad kolača (A piece of cake)
Čaša vina (A glass of wine)

Genitive for Adjectives
Adjectives in the genitive case must agree in gender, number, and case with the nouns they modify. Here are the endings for adjectives in the genitive case:
Masculine: -og
Feminine: -e
Neuter: -og
Plural (all genders): -ih

Let`s look at examples that we used in the nominative case and see how they appear in the genitive case.
Moje sestre - my sister`s (fem.)
Polarne zvijezde - polar star`s (fem.)
Dobre stvari - good thing`s (fem.)
Mojeg rječnika - my dictionary`s (masc.)
Dobrog konja - good horse`s (masc.)
Novog auta - new car`s (masc.)
Velikog sela - big village`s (neut.)
Zelenog polja - green field`s (neut.)

One interesting observation is that nouns and adjectives of masculine and neuter gender have the same endings (adjectives have the ending "-og," nouns have "-a"). However, feminine nouns most often have the ending "-e," but those without endings in the nominative case have the ending "-i."

The same examples in the plural:
Mojih sestara - my sisters` (fem.)
Polarnih zvijezda - polar stars` (fem.)
Dobrih stvari - good things` (fem.)
Mojih rječnika - my dictionaries` (masc.)
Dobrih konja - good horses` (masc.)
Novih auta - new cars` (masc.)
Velikih sela - big villages` (neut.)
Zelenih polja - green fields` (neut.)

As you can see, adjectives show the ending "-ih," which is characteristic of all genders. It`s also interesting that the endings in the genitive case for masculine and neuter genders in the plural are the same as in the singular. However, in the feminine gender, there are again peculiarities for nouns without endings.

We hope that everything is clear. In summary, the genitive case in Croatian is versatile and used for various purposes, including origin, material, quantity, and more. When using adjectives in the genitive case, ensure that they agree in gender, number, and case with the nouns they modify. Good luck in learning Croatian and see you in the next lessons.