Easy Croatian: 52 Come In, Come Out, Go
• • • Review: Basic Prepositions, Government
The Croatian verb idem "go" is irregular in respect to its past participle: it's quite unexpected išäo, išla.
This verb is quite important, and there's a substantial group of very often used verbs derived from it: they are even more irregular. They are all perfective, and their impf. pairs (thankfully, all regular) are look quite different from them! They also have a wide range of meanings.
A strange thing about these verbs: they are derived by means of prefixing prepositions to them (or former prepositions now used in verb derivation only, like raz-), but they seem to be used with the same prepositions again! For instance, ušao säm means "I came in", but it's used again with u + acc.:
Išäo säm u kuću. "I was going into (the) house." (= impf., obviously)
Ušäo säm u kuću. "I came into (the) house." (= perf.)
Išäo säm iz kuće. "I was going out of (the) house." (= impf.)
Izašäo säm iz kuće. "I came out of (the) house." (= perf.)
What then the derived impf. verbs mean? The act of "leaving", "entering", etc. taken as a process (that is what imperfective aspect really stands for!):
Ulazim u kuću. "I'm coming into the house."
Izlazim iz kuće. "I'm coming out of the house."
The difference is actually subtle, but there are so many ways to finish or start "going", "be leaving", so all those verbs have developed.
With this in mind, let's go over 14 derived verbs; they are listed in the usual impf. ~ perf. pairs:
Verbs odem and dođem
The verbs are:
odlazim ~ odem, otišäo, otišla, otići "leave, go away"
dolazim ~ dođem, došäo, došla, doći "come, arrive"
These two verbs have opposite meanings: "depart" and "arrive". odem is used with the preposition iz + gen., and dođem with: u + acc.
Otišäo säm iz grada. "I left (the) city." (grada = gen.)
Odlazim iz grada. "I'm leaving (the) city."
Odlazio säm iz grada. "I was leaving (the) city."
Došäo säm u grad. "I came to (the) city." (grad = acc.)
Dolazim u grad. "I'm coming to (the) city."
Dolazio säm u grad. "I was coming to (the) city."
As I already said, all impf. verbs paired to the perf. verbs derived from idem are 100% regular, with present on -im and perfect and infinitive on -i-, as regular as it gets!
Verbs uđem, izađem and zađem
The verbs are:
ulazim ~ uđem, ušäo, ušla, ući "enter, come in"
izlazim ~ izađem, izašäo, izašla, izaći "exit, come out"
zalazim ~ zađem, zašäo, zašla, zaći diverse meanings
The first two verbs have again opposite meanings: "enter" and "exit". izađem is used with the preposition iz + gen., and uđem with: u + acc. (the same system as the previous pair):
Izašäo säm iz kuće. "I came out of (the) house." (kuće = gen.)
Izlazim iz kuće. "I'm coming out of (the) house."
Izlazio säm iz kuće. "I was coming out of (the) house."
Ušäo säm u kuću. "I came into (the) house." (kuću = acc.)
Ulazim u kuću. "I'm coming into (the) house."
Ulazio säm u kuću. "I was coming into (the) house."
The verb zađem has diverse meanings. It's used opposite to izađem meaning "come up" and "come down" (of Sun) without any prepositional phrases:
Sunce je izašlo. "The Sun came up."
Sunce je zašlo. "The Sun came down."
Otherwise, zađem usually means "come behind", but also — in the impf. form — to mean "visit occasionally" or something similar, with u + acc.:
Zalazio säm u krčme. "I was occasionally visiting inns." (krčme = acc.pl.)
Verbs nađem, snađem and naiđem
The verb pair:
nalazim ~ nađem, našäo, našla, naći "find"
It has an unexpected meaning: "find". It's the main way to express this meaning in Croatian. It's used just with an object in acc.:
Našäo säm ključeve. "I found (the) keys." (ključeve = acc.pl.)
Naći ću ključ. "I'll find (the) key." (ključ = acc.sg.)
Its impf. pair, nalazim, is seldom used.
These verbs (nađem and nalazim) are not used in phrases like "I find her attractive" and "I want to find out about it" (for that use, Croatian has mislim "think" besides another strange way to express it, which will be explained later). It's only used if you physically "find" some object that was unknown or lost.
With se, it changes meaning to "find oneself", for example:
Našao säm se u Zagrebu. "I found myself in Zagreb."
snalazim ~ snađem, snašäo, snašla, snaći "get accustomed, find way"
The verb snalazim ~ snađem, snašäo, snašla, snaći is always used with a se, and mean roughly "manage", "find way" "get accustomed", "be able to do without assistance". For instance, it means that you can find your way in the city, on a job, what you need in a shop... it's hard to translate with one English verb. For instance:
Nisäm se odmah snašla u Zagrebu. "I didn't get accustomed to Zagreb immediately."
nailazim ~ naiđem, naišäo, naišla, naići. "come unexpectedly"
This verb is not that much used, it means that somebody came out of the blue, that one came for a brief, occasional visit; secondly, that someone was going somewhere and unexpectedly stumbled upon something. The second variant is not that distant from nađem "find". If you "stumbled upon" something, you should use na + acc.:
Moj brat je naišäo. "My brother came unexpectedly."
Moj brat je naišäo na bunar. "My brother stumbled upon (a) well." (bunar = acc.sg.)
Verbs obiđem, prëđem and prođem
The verbs are:
obilazim ~ obiđem, obišäo, obišla, obići "go around", "visit"
prëlazim ~ prëđem, prëšäo, prëšla, prëći "cross, come over"
prolazim ~ prođem, prošäo, prošla, proći "pass, come through"
These verbs sound quite alike, and their meaning is all about moving with respect to something other than the destination or origin of motion. What is special about them is that they can use prepositions but also just objects, without much difference in meaning.
The verb prođem "pass" is very often used to refer to "passing of time". A derived noun prošlost f means "past".
Prošäo säm kroz šumu. "I passed through (the) forest." (šumu = acc.)
Prošäo säm šumu. "I left (the) forest behind." (šumu = acc.)
Prolazim kroz šumu. "I'm passing through (the) forest."
Vrijeme prolazi. "Time is passing." (derived meaning, the same as in English)
Bol će proći. "(The) pain will pass."
The verb prëđem "cross" can be used with prëko "over" + gen. or just with an object in acc.:
Prëšäo säm prëko mosta. "I crossed over (the) bridge." (mosta = gen.)
Prëšäo säm most. "I crossed (the) bridge." (most = acc.)
Prëlazim most. "I'm crossing (the) bridge."
The verb obiđem "go around" can be used with oko "around" + gen. or just with an object in acc.:
Obišäo säm oko kuće. "I went around (the) house." (kuće = gen.)
Obišäo säm kuću. "I went around (the) house.", "I visited the house" (kuću = acc.)
Obišäo säm groblje. "I visited (the) cemetery." (groblje = acc., derived meaning)
Expressing Purpose of Motion
With the motion verb idem, išäo, išla, ići "go" and motion verbs derived from it, it's possible to use infinitive of another verb with to express why someone or somebody moves:
Otišäo säm poslati pismo. "I left to send the letter."
In Serbian, it's normal to use purpose clauses instead of infinitives with motion verbs.
There are more verbs I will just summarize briefly:
polazim ~ pođem, pošäo, pošla, poći "start going"
prilazim ~ priđem, prišäo, prišla, prići "approach, come close"
proizlazim ~ proizađem, proizašäo, proizašla, prozaći "come out as a result" razilazim ~ raziđem, razišäo, razišla, razići "go separate ways" silazim ~ siđem, sišäo, sišla, sići "come down, come off"
Since all verbs are derived from the same bases by mean of prefixes (e.g. u-lazim ~ u-đem, u-šäo, u-šla, u-ći, it's very efficient to list just prefixes, the cases and prepositions demanded by the verb, and the meaning in a compact table, similar to one I've described when explaining government:
prefix grammar meaning do- N (DEST) N comes (to DEST) iz- * N (iz G) N exits (G) na- N A N finds A nai- N (DEST) N comes unexpectedly (to DEST) od- * N (od G)
N (iz G)
N leaves G obi- N A
N oko G
N goes around, visits A
N goes around G
po- N N starts going pri- N (D) N approaches, comes close (to D) prë- N A
N (preko G)
N crosses A
N crosses (over G)
pro- N A
N kroz A
N passes (A)
N passes through A
N passes through I
proiz- N (iz G) N results (from G) raz- N se N disperses, scatters si- N (s G) N comes, steps down (from G) sna- N se (PLACE) N finds way (PLACE) u- N (u A) N enters, comes into (A) za- N (iza G)
a. N [Sun, Moon] comes down (behind G)
b. N occasionally visits (DEST)
I will use such tables when describing other verb "families", that is, groups of verbs derived from one verb. This looks "mathematical" but it's just another way or writing what I wrote above (and it's much more transparent).
DEST means "destination", usually a u/na + noun in acc; PLACE is a "place", usually a u/na + noun in dat. (but there are other ways to express destinations and places!).
Actually such table is not well-suited for this family, since everything about idem is a bit irregular: prefixes od- and iz- are added unlike others, in an irregular way, hence the asterisks (*).
Updated 2014-06-16 (v. 0.4)