Instrumental Case in Croatian

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Welcome to our Croatian course for beginners! Today we`re going to talk about Instrumental.
We recommend that you read our previous articles about other cases if you haven`t already done that.

The Instrumental case is one of the seven grammatical cases used in the Croatian language. It serves various functions, including indicating the means by which an action is performed, expressing a state or condition, and specifying certain time expressions. In the instrumental case, nouns and adjectives that answer the questions `kim?` (by whom?) and `čim?` (with what?) are used when specifying the place and/or time of an event, indicating the instrument of an action, or denoting the company in which the actions are performed. The prepositions with which nouns are used in this case are: pod (under), pred (in front of), nad (above), među (among), s/sa (with). Here are the key aspects of the Instrumental case in Croatian.


To form the Instrumental case, you typically take the nominative form of a noun and apply specific endings, depending on the gender and number of the noun.
For masculine nouns ending in a consonant, you often add "-om" or "-em" for singular nouns and "-ima" for plural nouns.
For feminine nouns ending in "-a," you usually add "-om" for singular nouns and "-ama" for plural nouns.
Neuter noun endings often coincide with the masculine nouns.


Let`s look at examples in the singular:
Mojom sestrom - with my sister (f.)
Polarnom zvijezdom - with the polar star (f.)
Dobrom stvari - with a good thing (f.)
Mojim rječnikom - with my dictionary (m.)
Dobrim konjem - with a good horse (m.)
Novim autom - with a new car (m.)
Velikim selom - in a big village (n.)
Zelenim poljem - on a green field (n.)

As you can see, the masculine and neuter singular forms are similar to each other. However, when it comes to the feminine gender, the endings are `-om.` But, pay attention again to the feminine gender word without the ending `stvar` - it disregards the rules, so be attentive.
Now let`s see what happens in the plural form of the instrumental case:
Mojim sestrama - with my sisters (f.)
Polarnim zvijezdama - with the polar stars (f.)
Dobrim stvarima - with good things (f.)
Mojim rječnicima - with my dictionaries (m.)
Dobrim konjima - with good horses (m.)
Novim autima - with new cars (m.)
Velikim selima - in big villages (n.)
Zelenim poljima - on green fields (n.)

In the plural form, it`s easier to grasp the logic of the Croatian language - adjectives have the ending `-im` regardless of gender, and the ending `-ama` is used for nouns in the feminine gender, while nouns in the neuter and masculine gender have the ending `-ima`."


The primary function of the Instrumental case is to indicate the means or instrument by which an action is performed. For example:
"Pišem olovkom." (I am writing with a pencil.)
"Jedem vilicom." (I am eating with a fork.)

It`s also used to express a state, condition, or manner of doing something. For example:
"Idem s tobom." (I go with you.)
"Brzim korakom." (With a quick step.)

In summary, the Instrumental case in Croatian adds nuance to the language, allowing for precise expression of how something is done or the means used. It`s essential for clear and specific communication.
We hope that everything is clear about Instrumental after reading the article. We are waiting you in the next lessons. Good luck in learning Croatian and see you.