Slovene nouns

Slovene nouns

In Slovene, nouns, which are used to define a person, place, or a thing, as well as adjectives, which describe the attributes of a noun, are declined for 6 cases and 3 numbers (singular, dual, and plural). This section presents an overview of the declension of nouns in Slovene. Further information about the grammar of the Slovene language should be sought in the article Slovene grammar.



In Slovene, the function of a noun in a sentence is marked using different cases, and hence endings. There are a total of 6 different cases (The Slovene names are given in brackets):

# Nominative (imenovalnik or nominativ)
# Genitive (rodilnik or genitiv)
# Dative (dajalnik or dativ)
# Accusative (tožilnik or akuzativ)
# Locative (mestnik or lokativ)
# Instrumental (orodnik or instrumental)

In Slovene it is traditional to refer to the cases by the numbered location in the above list. Thus, the nominative case is referred to as 1, while the locative case is referred to as 5.


Slovene possesses 3 numbers:

# Singular, which refers to one of an object
# Dual, which refers to a pair of objects
# Plural, which refers to more than 2 objects.

Most nouns contain distinct forms for each of the cases.


A noun in Slovene can have one of the following three genders:

# Masculine
# Feminine
# Neuter

An adjective on the other hand has different forms for each gender.

Common phonological changes

In the declension of nouns and adjectives, certain predictable sound changes occur in the base form (root).

*Fill Vowel: Under certain circumstances, an -e-, which is pronounced as a schwa-sound, may be inserted between two consonants that occur at the end of a word. This occurs commonly in many nouns in the nominative singular case and in feminine and neuter nouns in the genitive plural and dual cases. For example, the nominative case igra (game) has a genitive plural form of iger. In the combination, -consonant + j, the fill vowel is an -i-. For example, ladja (boat) has a genitive plural of ladij.

*Preglas: Nouns whose roots end in C, Č, Ž, Š, or J change the following -o- of the ending into an -e-. Thus, for example, the ending -ov becomes -ev for nouns whose roots end in the above letters. The following 2 sets of words can be compared: korak/korakom (step) and stric/stricem (uncle).


There are 4 basic declension patterns for nouns, with a single pattern for the declension of adjectives. An example of each with a model noun is given below. It should be noted that there are many exceptions, not all of which have been given. The endings in the following tables are marked in bold.

Feminine declension

First declension

This declension consists of nouns that end in -a. Most of the nouns are feminine with the exception of a few masculine nouns such as vojvoda (duke), which can be declined either as an -a noun or as a regular masculine noun. The model noun for this declension is lipa, lime (or linden) tree.


This declension pattern consists of feminine adjectival noun (posamostaljeni pridevnik). These nouns are declined as a regular feminine adjective.

Irregular Feminine Nouns

The following nouns have an irregular declension pattern: gospa (lady, madam), hči (daughter), and mati (mother) in the singular. In the plural and dual mati and hči follow, the -a stem pattern.

The following points should be born in mind:
# Animate nouns, that is nouns representing living things take the genitive ending in the accusative case. Some other inanimate nouns also obey this rule. Thus, fant (a boy) has an accusative of fanta
# Nouns whose roots end in C, Č, Ž, Š, J are subject to preglas. The letter -o- of the endings is replaced by an -e-. Thus, stric (an uncle) has the instrumental form stricem. .
# Some monsyllabic nouns have the ending -u instead of -a in genitive singular. For example, grad (a castle) has a genitive singular of gradu.
# In the plural and dual forms, monosyllabic nouns, often have an -ov- added before the endings. Thus, zid (wall) - zidova - zidovi.
# Nouns taken from other languages may have the ending -o or -e in nominative singular. For example, avto (car) or finale.
# The nouns mož (husband or man), zob (tooth) and las (hair) have the ending -je in nominative plural instead of -i: možje, zobje, lasje. Some allow either form. For example, fant (boy), gost (guest), škof (bishop). These same nouns also have a genitive plural and dual without any endings.
# For masculine nouns with the fill vowel, -e-, in the nominative singular case, drop this letter in all other cases. Thus, vrelec (thermal spring) has genitive singular vrelca.
# Some nouns add to their stem -j- (if the nominative ends in -r), -t- (if for proper nouns ending in -e) or -n- (if the nominative ends in -lj) in all other cases. Thus, redar (security guard at a public event) - redarja; Zvone - Zvoneta; nagelj (carnation) - nageljna.
# The noun otrok (child) has a nominative plural of otroci and a locative dual of octrocih.
# The noun človek (human) has a different stem in the plural and in the genitive and locative dual. ljud-. Thus: in the plural, ljudje - ljudi - ljudem - ljudi - pri ljudeh - z ljudmi; in the dual: človeka - ljudi - človekoma - človeka - pri ljudeh - s človekoma (dual).


This declension pattern is identical to the feminine first declension. Most nouns in this group can also be declined as a masculine first declension noun. The model noun for this declension is "vojvoda", duke.

Neuter declensions


The model noun for this declension is "mesto", city.

For adjective, the ending given above for the accusative case is only used for nouns modifying animate nouns or for adjectival nouns. Otherwise, the nominative singular form is used. In order to form the indefinite adjective, no ending is used instead.

In nominative and accusative singular, the ending is -e instead of -o for adjectives ending in "c", "č", "ž", "š" and "j" ("preglas").

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