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Difference between "pa" and "ma"


Often when I listen (in the bus or on the streets in Vienna) to people from former Yugoslavia I hear that sentences start with „pa“ or „ma“. Is there any difference in the usage of these two words and if, could you please give me an example sentence?

Hvala na pažnji :)

For learning: Serbian
Base language: English
Category: Language



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    Best Answer - Chosen by the Asker
    pa and ma require quite a bit of time as the usage is very vast and colloquial. here are just a few examples:

    pa... nisam o tome razmisljala: well... i haven't thought about it. versus ma nisam o tome razmisljala!: but i haven't thought about it!

    pa... (ne) znam: well.. I (don't) know versus ma ne znam..: i don't know ('ma' here expresses shame or insecurity for not knowing or irritation/anger with the question if with an exclamation point in the end of the sentence.

    pa dobro: well, all right or all right then... (i'll take the coffee without milk if you don't have any) versus ma dobro: it's all right (it doesn't matter that you broke that cup)

    pa ipak: even so

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