Instrumental for Beginners in Slovenian

SlovenianSlovenian A1

Welcome to our Slovenian grammar course for beginners! Today we`re going to talk about the Instrumental Case - "Orodnik" in Slovenian grammar.
Before reading the article, we strongly recommend that you read the lesson about Nominative, Genitive, Dative and Accusative.

The Instrumental case, or Orodnik, is always used with prepositions and mainly answers the questions "s kom?" (with whom), "s čim?" (with what). Let`s take a closer look at when and with which prepositions this happens:

- With the prepositions "z", "s", answering the questions "s kom?" (with whom) and "s čim?" (with what).
Examples:
Grem (s kom) s prijateljem (I go with a friend);
Potujem (s kom) z vlakom (we`re traveling by train)

- With the prepositions "pred", "za", "nad", "pod", "med", answering the question "kje?" (where).
Examples:
Stojim (kje) pred letalom (I stand in front of the airplane);
Letim (kje) nad Ljubljano (I fly over Ljubljana);
Avto je (kje) za hišo (the car is behind the house);
Smo (kje) med blokom in supermarketom (we are between the apartment building and the supermarket).

- With the prepositions "pred" and "med", answering the question "kdaj" (when).
Examples:
(kdaj) Pred enim letom (a year ago); (kdaj) Med počitnicami (during the vacation).


Singular

Let`s start with the singular form:
Z velikim psom - With the big dog (masculine);
Z dobrim filmom - With the good movie (masculine);
Z mojo prijateljico - With my friend (feminine);
Z zanimivo stvarjo - With the interesting thing (feminine);
Z nedeljskim kosilom - With the Sunday lunch (neuter);
Z športnim igriščem - With the sports field (neuter).

The endings for nouns and adjectives in the masculine and neuter genders are the same. The only exception is the letter "-e" after the consonants "c, č, ž, š, j" (igriščem). However, the endings are a bit different in the feminine gender: adjectives have the endings "-o", while nouns either have the ending "-o" or "-ijo" (for feminine nouns without endings in the nominative case).


Dual

The dual number might also raise some questions:
Z velikima psoma - With two big dogs (masculine);
Z dobrima filmoma - With two good movies (masculine);
Z mojima prijateljicama - With two of my friends (feminine);
Z zanimima stvarema - With two interesting things (feminine);
Z nedeljskima kosiloma - With two Sunday lunches (neuter);
Z športnima igriščema - With two sports fields (neuter).

. As you can see, adjectives in all genders have the same endings "-ima". Nouns in the masculine and neuter genders have the endings "-oma" or "-ema" (after the consonants "c, č, ž, š, j"). Feminine nouns have either the ending "-ama" or, in some cases, "-ema".


Plural

The plural form also has some peculiarities:
Z velikimi psi - With the big dogs (masculine);
Z dobrimi filmi - With the good movies (masculine);
Z mojimi prijateljicami - With my friends (feminine);
Z zanimivimi stvarmi - With interesting things (feminine);
Z nedeljskimi kosili - With Sunday lunches (neuter);
Z športnimi igrišči - With sports fields (neuter).

The good news is that in the plural form, all adjectives have the same ending "-imi". Feminine nouns have the ending "-ami". Feminine nouns without endings in the nominative case can have different endings; in our case, the word "stvarmi" has the ending "-mi". However, please note that masculine and neuter nouns have the ending "-i", which might seem illogical. Therefore, we recommend memorizing this rule and applying it when using the Slovenian instrumental case.


We hope that everything is clear about Genitive after reading the article. We are waiting you in the next lesson about the Locative case. Good luck!