Learn How to Use the Days of the Week in Croatian
In Croatian, the week starts with Monday and ends with Sunday. In English, the days of the week are capitalized, while in Croatian they are not.
Here is a list of days in the week in Croatian:
Monday – PONEDJELJAK (po’-ned-ya-lyack)
Tuesday – UTORAK (u-to-rack)
Wednesday – SRIJEDA (sre-ya-the-a)
Thursday – ČETVRTAK (et -vr-tack)
Friday – PETAK (pe-tack)
Saturday – SUBOTA (sue-bou-ta)
Sunday – NEDJELJA (ned-ye-lya)
The days of the week are nouns that change according to their function in the sentence. This is called declension. This means that the names of the days change through 7 different cases.
A common use of cases for the days of the week is obviously to tell time. So, let’s see the most common uses:
Use Nominative – the basic form of the word to answer questions like – what day is it today?
Koji je danas dan? – Danas je ponedjeljak.
[Which – is – today – day] [Today – is – Monday (N)]
Koji je danas dan? – Danas je utorak.
[Which – is – today – day] [Today – is – Tuesday(N)]
Koji je danas dan? – Danas je subota.
[Which – is – today – day] [Today – is – Saturday(N)]
Another common case you will often use is Accusative. Use the accusative to express a day when something is going to take place. Always use the preposition “u” – in.
On Monday I have to go to work.
U ponedjeljak moram ići na posao.
[In – Monday (A) – I must – to-go – on – work.]
On Saturday we are going on vacation.
U subotu idemo na odmor.
[In – Saturday – we-are-going – on – vacation]
Another common use is when you want to express that you like or don’t like certain day/days. Remember that Accusative is used for words that are direct objects. So, if you like something – like Fridays, Friday would be the Accusative since it’s a direct object.
However, if you want to say you don’t like Mondays, for example, in Croatian Mondays would be singular Accusative.
I don’t like Mondays!
Ne volim ponedjeljak!
[Not – I-love – Monday (A)]
In this instance, you could use the Accusative plural as well – Ne volim ponedjeljke.
Accusative is used whenever you are expressing a direct object. So, saying something like – I can’t wait for Friday – you would need to use the Accusative as well.
Notice that the Accusative form is the same as the Nominative for masculine!
Another common case to tell time is the Instrumental case. Use the Instrumental case whenever you want to express a reoccurring action.
I play tennis on Wednesdays and Fridays.
Srijedom i petkom igram tenis.
[Wednesday (I) – and – Friday (I) – I-play – tennis]
I work from home on Thursdays.
Četvrtkom radim od kuće.
[Thursday (I) – I-work – from – house.]
Notice that in English you use the plural form of the noun to express a reoccurring action, but in Croatian, you would simply use the Instrumental form of the noun, in its singular form.
Use the Genitive case when you want to express time periods from one day to another. In this case, always use the prepositions od-do (from-to). For example:
I work from Monday to Friday.
Radim od ponedjeljka do petka.
[I-work – from – Monday (G) – to – Friday (G)]
You can also use Genitive to express that something starts on a certain day and continues in the future. In this case, always use the preposition od (from). This of it, from this day forward. Even though in English this is usually expressed by a phrase that you are starting something on a certain day (I will start my diet on Monday, for example), in Croatian you would say the equivalent of From Monday I will be on a diet. For example:
I’m going to be on a diet from Tuesday.
Od utorka sam na dijeti.
[From – Tuesday (G) – am – on – diet]
I’m starting my training on Friday.
Počinjem trenirati od petka.
[I’m-starting – to-train – form – Friday (G)]
Now remember the Accusative and using Accusative to express an action that happens on certain days like Mondays? Well, the same can be expressed with a pronoun each, every – svakog, svake. BUT, if you use this pronoun, then you have to use the Genitive form of the day of the week.
Now, remember that pronouns in Croatian have a grammatical property of case, count, and grammatical gender? So, you have to pay attention to the noun by which they stand.
If you’re talking about Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, then you need to use the masculine form – svakog, because these days in Croatian are masculine.
If you’re talking about Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday, then use the feminine form – svake, because these days in Croatian are feminine.
I run every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.
Trčim svakog ponedjeljka, utorka i četvrtka.
[I-run – each (m.) – Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday (G)]
I have lunch with my family every Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Ručam s obitelji svake srijede, subote i nedjelje.
[I-have-lunch – with – family (I) – every(f.) – Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday (G)]
In essence, both of these mean the same thing. You can say you do something Mondays, or that you do something every Monday, it’s basically the same. You can use them as you wish, just like in English.
DAYS OF THE WEEK THROUGH CASES
For the masculine nouns, one “a” disappears in Genitive and Instrumental.
ponedjeljak – ponedjeljka – ponedjeljkom
utorak – utorka – utorkom
četvrtak – četvrtka – četvrtkom
petak – petka – petkom
In Croatian, this is quite common, and it’s called the “unstable a”.
There are three more cases in Croatian – Dative, Locative, and Vocative. However, these are not really used when it comes to the days of the week, so I haven’t included them in this table.
Today is Wednesday! – Danas je srijeda!
I don’t like Mondays. – Ne volim ponedjeljak.
I can’t wait for Friday. – Jedva čekam petak.
I run every Tuesday. – Trčim svakog utorka.
I love to read on Thursdays. – Volim čitati utorkom.
I’m starting to work on Monday. – Od ponedjeljka počinjem raditi.
That’s it for now, everyone! Happy learning!