Pronouns

Contents:

Personal   •   Reflexive   •   Possessive   •   Demonstrative   •   Relative   •   Interrogative/definite/indefinite   •   Pronominal adverbs

Personal and reflexive pronouns

Personal pronouns have the same six cases as the nouns. The reflexive pronoun sebe is inflected like ty, tebe, ..., the only difference being that it does not have a nominative.

The forms between brackets are clitic forms, i.e. they are weaker and always unstressed. is used in reflexive verbs: Ja myjų sę „I'm washing myself”. If it needs to be stressed, the longer form is used: Ja myjų jedino sebe „I wash nobody but myself”. After a preposition, it is better to use the longer forms: k mně, za tebe.

Singular Plural Reflexive
1st person 2nd person 3rd person 1st person 2nd person 3rd person
masc. neut. fem.
Nom ja ty on ono ona my vy oni
Acc mene (mę) tebe (tę) jego (go) nas vas ih sebe (sę)
Gen mene tebe jego jej sebe
Dat mně (mi) tobě (ti) jemu (mu) jej nam vam im sobě (si)
Ins mnojų tobojų im jejų nami vami imi sobojų
Loc mně tobě im jej nas vas ih sobě

Notes:

  1. After a preposition, all pronouns of the third person are preceded by n-: jego > do njego; im > pri nim, etc.
  2. If you are curious how these forms relate to the Slavic languages, you can see them compared here.

And a few notes regarding usage:


Possessive pronouns

The possessive pronouns are inflected like adjectives, except for the zero ending in the masculine singular. The forms are:

In the third person, it is most common to use the genitive of the corresponding personal pronoun: jego, jej, ih. These forms are not inflected. Alternatively, one can also use the following forms, which are declined like adjectives:

Whenever the possessor is also the subject of the sentence, the reflexive svoj is used, no matter whether this subject is in the third person or not: Ja myjų svoje avto „I am washing my car”. Note the difference in meaning when the reflexive pronoun refers to a subject in the third person:

Pjotr dal Ivanu svojų knigų „Pjotr gave Ivan his [= Pjotr's] book”
Pjotr dal Ivanu jegovų knigų „Pjotr gave Ivan his [= Ivan's] book”.

There are also interrogative, definite and indefinite possessive pronouns: čij „whose”, ničij „nobody's”, etc. They are inflected like moj. For more forms, see the section about correlatives.

Just like adjectives, possessive pronouns correspond with the noun they modify in gender, number and case. Here is an example of their declension:

singular plural
masculine neuter feminine
Nom moj, naš moje, naše moja, naša moje, naše
Acc mojų, našų
Gen mojego, našego mojej, našej mojih, naših
Dat mojemu, našemu mojej, našej mojim, našim
Ins mojim, našim mojejų, našejų mojimi, našimi
Loc mojem, našem mojej, našej mojih, naših


Demonstrative pronouns

The primary demonstrative pronoun in Slovianski is toj „this, that”, and it should be used whenever there is no need to distinguish explicitly between this one over here and that one over there.

If we need to be more precise, the simplest solution is using tutoj for „this” and tamtoj for „that”. Less simple, but more accurate, is the following three-way distinction: sej for „this”, toj for „that” and onoj for „yonder”. The are declined as follows:

singular plural
masculine neuter feminine
Nom sej se (seje) sja se (seje)
Acc sjų
Gen sego sej sih
Dat semu sej sim
Ins sim sejų simi
Loc sem sej sih
singular plural
masculine neuter feminine
Nom toj to ta te
Acc
Gen togo toj tyh
Dat tomu toj tym
Ins tym tojų tymi
Loc tom toj tyh

Notes:

  1. Instead of the plurals tyh, tym and tymi it is also possible to use těh, těm and těmi. Same goes for sěh etc.
  2. Tutoj, tamtoj and onoj are declined like toj.
  3. Like sej is also declined veś (f. vsja, n. vse) „whole, entire; all”.
  4. Although sej is historically correct, it has practically vanished from most modern languages except for a few fossilized remnants. It may therefore not always be clear.
  5. The demonstrative pronoun ov and its compounds are better avoided, because its meaning is very different in the modern languages.


Relative pronouns

The relative pronoun that is used most frequently is ktory (or kotory). It is inflected like an ordinary adjective. Alternatively, South Slavic koj can be used (inflected like moj). Their meanings are identical and they can be used interchangably.

A third option is the more archaic iže – used in the nominative for all genders, both singular and plural; in other cases it is inflected like a form of the personal pronouns on/ona/ono with the suffix -že: m.gen.sg. jegože, m.dat.sg. jemuže etc.


Interrogative, definite and indefinite pronouns

The basic forms are kto „who” and čto (or što, čo) „what”. Derived from these are also several indefinite pronouns, e.g. někto „somebody”, kto-nebųď „anybody”, ničto „nothing”. For more forms, see correlatives. They are inflected as follows:

who? what?
Nom kto čto
Acc kogo
Gen čego
Dat komu čemu
Ins kim čim
Loc kom čem

Another interrogative pronoun is koj „which”. It is inflected like moj. Instead of it, ktory or kotory can be used as well.


Pronominal adverbs

One of Zamenhof's best inventions was his table of correlatives, a group of interrelated pronouns, adjectives and adverbs. There words have been kept as regular as possible, but not at the expense of recognisability for speakers of Slavic languages. A few virtually impossible words have been left out, and a few other regular forms have been replaced by forms that are common in the natural languages. Irregular forms (i.e. not looking the way they should according to the table) are shown in italics.

question here there yonder some any no every else
which? koj1 sej toj onoj někoj1 koj-nebųď1 kojkoli1 nikoj, nijedin vsjaki iny
who? kto někto kto-nebųď ktokoli nikto vsekto, vsi inokto
what? čto2 se to ono něčto2 čto-nebųď2 čtokoli2 ničto2 vsečto2, vse inočto2
how much? koliko seliko toliko onoliko několiko koliko-nebųď kolikokoli
whose? čij něčij čij-nebųď čijkoli ničij vsečij inočij
what kind of? kaki3 sjaki taki onaki někaki3 kaki-nebųď3 kakikoli3 nikaki3 vsjaki inaki
how? kako3 sjako tako onako někako3 kako-nebųď3 kakokoli3 nikako3 vsjako inako
where? gde sde, tu tude, tam onde něgde gde-nebųď gdekoli nigde vsde inde
whereto? kamo sjamo tamo onamo někamo kamo-nebųď kamokoli nikamo vsjamo inamo
when? kògda4 segda4, sejčas tògda4 onògda4 někògda4 kògda-nebųď4 kògdakoli4 nikògda4 vsegda4 inògda4
whither? kųdy sjųdy tųdy onųdy někųdy kųdy-nebųď kųdykoli nikųdy vsjųdy inųdy
whence? odkųdy odsjųdy odtųdy odonųdy odněkųdy odkųdy-nebųď odkųdykoli odnikųdy odvsjųdy odinųdy
why? (purpose) čemu tomu něčemu čemu-nebųď čemukoli ničemu
why? (reason) za čto2 za to za něčto2 za čto-nebųď2 za čtokoli2 za ničto2

1 In all cases when koj appears, kotory and ktory can be used interchangeably.
2 In all cases when čto appears, što and čo can be used interchangeably.
3 In all cases when kako or kaki appears, jako/jaki can be used as well, but it should be remember that in South Slavic jak means „strong”.
4 In all cases when -gda appears, -gdy can be used interchangeably.