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What are the rules for use of pronouns in Serbian? e.g. ga and njega

 

When do you use short forms and long forms? What are the rules?
For example, from an exercise I found - I have estimated the answers;

Slušam njega svaki dan kad peva.
Volim palačinke. Pravim ih svaki dan

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Much appreciated advice- Steve

For learning: Serbian
Base language: English
Category: Language

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    Best Answer - Chosen by Voting
    You are talking here about stressed (long) and unstressed (short) personal pronouns and I assume you know their declension.

    Stressed pronouns are used as follows:
    1. When a personal pronoun begins at a sentence (e.g. Njega svi vole)
    2. Following the conjunctions a, i and ni (e.g. Pisali su i vama i nama)
    3. When it is used with a preposition
    4. When emphasis or contrast are required (e.g. Ne obraća se tebi)

    In all other cases you can use the unstressed (short) form.

    I am also learning Serbian and that is what I learned from my grammar books. I hope it will be verified by someone whose mother tongue is Serbian :)

    The short, unstressed forms of the pronouns, ( plural &singular) could be used only in the cases of genitive, dative and accusative. It is most usual way to use them, but never at the beginning of one sentence. The long forms of the pronouns are to be used for emphasis of a pronoun in the phrase/sentence. (Aleksandra made some examples ). So, never use the short form at the beginning of the sentence and generally use it in a common conversation and you will not make any mistakes.
    Regards. Kamenko

     

    You've already received a lot of useful info here. It's great that Sina has a grammar book as most people don't really know what the rules actually are! I'll add some examples to further clarify (or complicate) things for you.

    As far as Sina's number 4 goes, note the difference between "Ne obraca se tebi" and "Ne obraca ti se". The second one is like "He's not talking to you" and the first "He's not talking to YOU".

    Here are some examples for the word order, in approximate order of the most natural sounding first, as it would really depend on the context, what you are trying to emphasise:
    Njega slusam svaki dan.
    Slusam ga svaki dan.
    Slusam njega svaki dan.
    Svaki dan ga slusam.
    Svaki dan njega slusam.
    Svaki dan slusam njega.
    Svaki dan slusam ga - INCORRECT (maybe you could get away with it in a poem)
    Ga slusam svaki dan - INCORRECT
    Every time you use "njega", the stress is on "njega" as the emphasis is on him. When you use "ga", you stress either the verb or in "slusam ga svaki dan" the adjective "svaki".

    Q: Da li ga slusas? A: Slusam ga!
    Q: Koga slusas? A: Slusam njega.

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