Plural Nouns in Slovenian

In Slovenian, like in many other languages, there are the nouns which only have a singular or plural form. Today, I will concentrate on the Slovenian plural nouns.

The neuter plural nouns

The nouns which only exist in plural and have the ending –a are neuter, however, they are often confused with the feminine nouns in singular. So not only foreigners but also Slovenians would think that, for example, vrata (door) is a feminine noun. But we never say vrata je (the door is), but we should conjugate it in plural. The correct answer is vrata so (literally the doors are), even if we have one door in mind. In English, most of the following nouns are in a singular form, but in Slovenian we only use the plural form.

Examples of the neuter nouns that only have a plural form:

  • vrata (door)
  • očala (eyeglasses)
  • jetra (liver)
  • pljuča (lungs)
  • tla (floor)
  • usta (mouth)
  • drva (firewood)
  • nebesa (heaven)

Vrata so lesena.  –The door is wooden.

Jetra so pomemben organ. – The liver is an important organ.

Tla so umazana. – The floor is dirty.

We would decline these nouns in all 6 cases as follows:

  1. vrata
  2. vrat
  3. vratom
  4. vrata
  5. o vratih
  6. z vrati

The feminine plural nouns

Feminine nouns that only have a plural form, are often mistakenly considered to be neuter nouns in singular (the ending –e is used for the neuter nouns in singular and these feminine nouns in plural). So again, we say počitnice so (holidays are), not počitnice je.

Examples of the feminine nouns that only have a plural form:

  • kopalke (bathing suit)
  • sanje (dream)
  • testenine (pasta)
  • počitnice (holidays, vacation)
  • vilice (fork)
  • škarje (scissors)
  • hlače (pants)
  • prsi (breasts, chest)
  • kavbojke (jeans)
  • Benetke (Venice)
  • Firence (Florence)
  • Atene (Athens)
  • Jesenice (a Slovenian town)

Benetke

Benetke so polne turistov. – Venice is full of tourists.

Med poletnimi počitnicami bomo šli v gore. – We will go to the mountains during the summer holidays.

Všeč so mi te hlače. – I like these pants.

We decline them as we would decline any normal feminine noun in plural:

  1. počitnice
  2. počitnic
  3. počitnicam
  4. počitnice
  5. o počitnicah
  6. s počitnicami

The masculine plural nouns

The only noun I could find, which is masculine and exists only in plural, is možgani  (the brain). Here I would like to mention that English uses it in singular just when it comes to body organs, but brains in plural would mean pamet in Slovenian (which could also be translated as common sense).

Here’s how we decline it:

  1. možgani
  2. možganov
  3. možganom
  4. možgane
  5. o možganih
  6. z možgani

Možgani se delijo na levo in desno polovico. – The brain is divided into the left and the right half.

If you know more nouns in Slovenian that exist only in plural, let us know. 🙂

Published on August 15, 2019