Vocative Case in Croatian

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

The Vocative case, or "Vokativ" in Croatian, is one of the seven grammatical cases used in the Croatian language. It`s primarily used for addressing someone or something directly. In essence, it`s the case used when calling or getting someone`s attention. The Vocative case is often used as a form of addressing another person and as an element of etiquette. It answers the questions "oj?" and "ej?"


To form the Vocative case, you typically take the nominative form of a noun and apply specific endings, depending on the gender and number of the noun. The endings for the singular are usually different from those in the plural.

For masculine nouns ending in a consonant, you often add "-e" or "-u" for singular nouns, and "-i" or "-e" for plural nouns.
For feminine nouns ending in "-a," you generally add "-o" or "-e" for singular nouns and "-e" or "-i" for plural nouns.
For neuter nouns ending in "-o," the Vocative case usually coincides with the nominative form.
There are also irregularities, especially with masculine nouns, which have unique vocative forms.


The Vocative case is mainly used when addressing someone directly, such as when calling their name or expressing surprise or emotion. For example:
"Ana, dođi ovamo!" (Ana, come here!)
"Bože, pomozite!" (God, help!)

It can also be used with titles or when referring to someone in a familiar and informal manner.
"Gospodine profesore" (Mr. Professor)
"Mama, gdje si?" (Mom, where are you?)


Adjectives used in the Vocative case should agree in gender, number, and case with the noun they modify. For example:
"Dobar prijatelju" (Good friend - addressing a male friend)
"Dobra knjigo" (Good book - addressing a book)


Take a look at the examples in the singular below:
Moja sestro - my sister (f.)
Polarna zvijezdo - polar star (f.)
Dobra stvari - good thing (f.)
Moj rječniče - my dictionary (m.)
Dobri konju - good horse (m.)
Novi auto - new car (m.)
Veliko selo - big village (n.)
Zeleno polje - green field (n.)

One noticeable thing is the quite unusual combination of endings. Firstly, in the feminine gender, adjectives have the same form as in the nominative case, while nouns receive a unique ending `-o.` Secondly, forms in the neuter gender coincide with the accusative and nominative. And thirdly, for masculine singular forms, adjectives coincide with the plural nominative case (except for `moj` - this is an exception), and the ending of the noun depends on the consonant preceding it. In addition, consonant alternation is possible (rječnik - rječniče).
Now let`s turn to examples in the plural:
Moje sestre - my sisters (f.)
Polarne zvijezde - polar stars (f.)
Ddobre stvari - good things (f.)
Moji rječnici - my dictionaries (m.)
Dobri konji - good horses (m.)
Novi auti - new cars (m.)
Velika sela - big villages (n.)
Zelena polja - green fields (n.)

Fortunately, for those learning, the forms of the nominative and vocative cases in the plural coincide, which somewhat simplifies the understanding of this case. Nevertheless, singular forms should be noted.

We hope that everything is clear about Vocative after reading the article. In summary, the Vocative case in Croatian is essential for addressing and calling out to people and things directly. We are waiting you in the next lessons. Good luck in learning Croatian and see you in the next lessons.