65 Interjections and Presentatives

• • • Review: Demonstratives and Definiteness

This strange term is about words used to convey emotions or simply to shout, like "ouch", "hey", etc. Some of them are:

hej to call someone
joj to express strong emotions, surprise, or even pain
jao to express pain or suprise, "woe"
aha stress on the last a; to express agreement
a, ah emotions
o, oh emotions, surprise

Some of them can be used with pronouns; case used depends on the interjection:

joj mene used only with mene
jao + dat. — woe to someone e.g. jao tebi

Then there are interjections used to encourage, call or drive away animals; some or them are:

to drive away animals generally    
điha to make a horse move
mic to call cats
šic to drive away cats

There's a special interjection na; a noun in genitive or accusative can be attached, it's used when offering food to animals or small children. It's considered quite rude to say na to an adult person; the polite way is izvoli or izvolite.

Finally, there are so-called presentatives, roughly corresponding to English "Here's....!" They correspond exactly to French voici and voilà, but there are three of them (recall that Croatian has three-way distinction instead of English/French two-way here/there). They don't change case/gender/number, and they are used with nouns in genitive after them.

that (showing)eto!
that (distant)ònōeno!

They are simply more emotional versions of neutral demonstratives, used in live situations, that is, not when telling about what happened, but only when talking about (or presenting to someone) things and people visible and present around you at the time! One can use short forms of pronouns with them. For example:

Ovo je moja kuća. "This is my house."
Evo moje kuće! "Here's my house!" (standing in front of it)
Ono je moja teta. "That is my aunt."
Eno moje tete! "That's my aunt!" (talking to someone about a distant, but visible person)
Evo me! "Here I am!" (as you expected, I came...) — a very frequent expression
Eno ga! "That's him!" (you just spotted someone)

One needs some practice to understand exactly all situations where presentatives are used. However, this is hardly essential... On it's own, they are also used:

Evo. "Here it is." — It's the normal, friendly way to offer things.
Eto. "That's it.", "Done.", "That was it."

So, when giving things, you should use expressions like these (remember that gen. with uncountable nouns means "some", and can be used instead of acc.):

wordnoun casewhom toexample(s)
nagen./acc. animals, small children onlyNa vode!
evogen. someone you're friend withEvo vode!
izvòliacc. someone you are talking ti with,
Izvoli vodu!
Izvoli vode! (gen. = "some")
izvòliteacc. more than one person / politely
to someone you are not talking ti with
Izvolite vodu!
Izvolite vode! (gen. = "some")

Of course, you can say izvoli to your dog. A lot of people do.

Updated 2014-06-16 (v. 0.4)


Anonymous said...

My mom says "na" to me all the time! She also says "nu" when she wants me to move or she wants something moved. My father says "ma!" or just "a!" at the end of a sentence for emphasis. "Ala" usually means stop that or get going.

Marin said...

Almost a year later and I still can't think or a translation for ma. It expresses dismissal or defiance, like yeah, right or a sarcastic sure.

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