Serbian participles

A participle is a form of a verb that is declined like adjective. There are active and passive participles of present and past tense in Serbian language.

Let’s begin from passive participles of past tense. This is analogue of English participles like “write – written”, “hide – hidden” and so on.

Passive participles of past tense in most of cases are formed from perfective form of a verb, however not always.

Pisati (imperf.) / Napisati (perf.) – to write , the participle past tense passive participle will be NAPISAN, and we will consider how to form it in the following instructions.

Verbs that have –A in ending before -TI will have participle ending –AN:

Napisati – napisan – written

Zapitati – zapitan – asked

Pročitati – pročitan – read

Verbs that have a consonant before –TI will have participle ending:

Reći – rečen – said

Naći – nađen – found

Prevesti – preveden – translated

Verbs that have –I or –E before –TI will have participle ending –EN, and ALSO, they will have consonant change before ending for these consonants:

D – đ: Videti – viđen – seen

T – ć: Vratiti – vraćen – returned

Z – ž: Opaziti – opažen – perceived

S – š: Nositi – nošen – worn

C – č: Bacati – bačen – thrown

L – lj: Voleti – voljen – loved

N – nj: Učiniti – učinjen – done

B – blj: Izgubiti – izgubljen – lost

P – plj: Popraviti – popravljen – fixed

V – vlj: Zaboraviti – zaboravljen – forgotten

M – mlj: Pripremiti – priprevljen – prepared

St – šć: Čistiti – čišćen – cleaned

St – št: Opustiti – opušten – relaxed

And the consonants R, Š, Ž, Ć, Č  and ŠT, ŽD remain without change:

Stvoriti – stvoren – created

Izbušiti – izbušen – drilled

Uništiti – uništen – destroyed

And all of these participles can be declined by gender, number, case as well as adjectives:

Napisan (m), napisana (f), napisano (n), napisani (m, pl), napisane (f,pl), napisana (n, pl).

And there are some exceptions:

Prodati – prodat – sold

Dati – dat – given

Examples

Ova haljina je bila nošena mnogo puta – this dress was worn many times (haljina – dress, mnogo – many, put – time (in sense of number))

Daleka obala je viđena sa naše strane jezera – far shore is seen from our side of the lake (dalek – far, obala – shore, strana – side, jezero – lake)

Parcela je bila vraćena nazad u poštu – The parcel was returned back to the post office (parcela – parcel, nazad – back, pošta – post office)

Šta je napisano tamo? – What is written over there? (tamo – there/over there)

Ova knjiga nikada nije bio pročitna – This book was never read (knjiga – book, nikada – never)

Našao sam zaboravljenu stvar – I have found a forgotten thing (stvar – thing(feminine))

Da li je bilo traženo? – Was it searched?

Active past tense participles

This is how to say “Doing this task, I was thinking about another one”, or “Painting the wall, we were talking” or something like this. In order to make it simpler, look at underlined words – these are past tense active participles.

Radjući posao Ivan je slušao muziku – Doing work, Ivan was listening to music (raditi – do to/to work, posao – work/job, slušati – listen, raditi)

Participles made out of verbs of:

1st conjugation will end in –JUĆI;

2nd conjugation will end in –UĆI;

3rd conjugation will end in –EĆI.

If you don’t remember how to understand which conjugation a verb belongs to – check out the lesson 1 – Serbian verbs in present tense

Studirati – studirajući – studying (1st conj.)

Čitati – čitajući – reading (1st conj.)

Ulaziti – ulazeći – coming in (3rd conj.)

Raditi – radjeći – doing (3rd conj.)

Putovati – putovajući – traveling (2nd conj.)

Ići – Ideći – going (2nd conj.)

Examples

Studirajući u univerzitetu, ja želeo sam da radim – Studing in university, I wanted to work

Moj prijatelj iz Rusije, putovajući u Srbiju, posetio je me – My friend from Russia, traveling to Serbia, has visited me

Ideći u prodavnicu ja sam se sećao da sam zaboravio novčanik kod kuće – Going to the store I’ve recalled that I forgot the walled at home

Active present tense participles II

This kind of participles is barely used in conversational language, so if you are tired of this lesson, you can leave it for later. This is analogue of the English construction “Having done …..” , “Having said …”, “Having ….” Etc. These participles are formed only from perfective verbs.

In order to form such participle from a verb, change –ТИ to –VŠI:

Pročitati – pročitavši – having read

Napisati – napisavši – having written

Kupiti – kupivši – having bought

Sačekati – Sačekavši  – having waited

And there are some exceptions:

Doći – došavši (exception) – having come

Naći – našavši (exception) – having found

Uzeti – uzev (exception) – having taken

Početi – počev (exception) – having started

Izuzeti – izuzev (exception) – having excluded

Examples

Došavši do kuče, počeo sam jesti – Having come home, I started to eat

Pogledavši u tu stranu, odlučio sam da ne idem tamo – Having looked at that side I decided not to go there

Sačekavši konobara, ona je rekla šta želi – Having waited a waiter, she has said what she wants

Vocabulary

želeti – to wish

posetiti – to visit

Rusija – Russia

sećati se – to recall

kod kuće – at home

početi – to start

odlučiti – decide

gledati/pogledati – look at

konobar – waiter

strana – side

Exercises

Use appropriate participle

  1. ________________ da radi domaći zadatak, Andrej je otišao da šeta (URADITI – to do) – Having finished the homework, Andrey have left to walk
  2. ________________ hranu, pozvao sam svih da jedu (SPREMITI – to prepare) – Having prepared food, I called everyone to eat
  3. Ta kniga je bila ________________ mnogo puta – (PROČITATI – to read) – That book was read many times
  4. ___________________ preko telefona, mislio sam o susretu (PRIČATI – to talk) – Talking by phone, I was thinking about meeting
  5. _______________ tekst, uvek radim mnogo grešaka (KUCATI – to type) – Typing a text, I always do many errors
  6. _________________ veoma daleko, Bojan je mislio o kuće (PUTOVATI – to travel) – Traveling very far, Boyan was thinking about home
  7. Ovo je pivo, koje nije bilo ______________ na žurke (ISPITI – to drink) – This is beer that was not drunk at the party
  8. Ko može da reši ________________ zadatak (DATI – to give) – Who can solve the given task?
  9. _______________ da igraju, dete nisu mogli da prestaju (POČETI – to start) – Having started to play, the children could not stop
  10. Imam arhive ___________________ sa kompjutera (KOPIRATI – to copy) – I have files copied from the computer
  11. Ja nisam poznavao ništa novo ____________________ ih (PITATI – to ask) – I have not known anything new asking them
  12. _______________ nekoliko lekcije, mi smo povećali našu kvalifikaciju – (IUZETI – to take) Having taken some lessons, we have increased our qualification

Answers

1: uradivši; 2: spremivši; 3: pročitana; 4: pričajući; 5: kucajući; 6: putovajući; 7: ispito; 8: dat; 9: počevši; 10: kopirani; 11: pitajući; 12: izuzev

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