When tourists go to another country, oftentimes the first thing they learn is bad words. That's really sad, especially because there are so many better and more useful things to learn.

In my opinion, numbers are definitely useful, especially because we're deeply connected with them. How is this possible? I'll explain to you right now.

1. If you want to buy something in a market, you have to know how much it is going to cost. This means that you have to know numbers.
2. If you want to pay for any task, item, or trip, etc., you have to know numbers. If you don't know them, you're not going to be able to do anything you had planned.
3. If you want to note an expense or gain, you're not going to be able to do it if you don't know numbers.

There are so many more examples, but I'm not going to write them now. If I do, I think I'd write too long of a story and this is not my purpose.

1. How to count in Serbian
2. Cardinal numbers
3. How to ask, "How old are you?"
4. How to respond with your age
5. How to ask, "What time is it?"
6. How to respond with the time

## How to Count:

Numbers 1-20:

1 - jedan, 2 - dva, 3 - tri, 4 - četiri , 5 - pet, 6 - šest, 7 - sedam, 8 - osam, 9 - devet, 10 - deset, 11 - jedanaest, 12 - dvanaest, 13 - trinaest, 14 - četrnaest, 15 - petnaest, 16 - šesnaest, 17 - sedamnaest, 18 - osamnaest, 19 - devetnaest, 20 - dvadeset

Numbers measured in tens:

20 - dvadeset, 30 - trideset, 40 - četrdeset, 50 - pedeset, 60 - šezdeset, 70 - sedamdeset, 80 - osamdeset, 90 - devedeset

21 - dvadeset jedan (or dvadeset i jedan), 22 - dvadeset dva (or dvadeset i dva), 29 - dvadeset devet (or dvadeset i devet), 30 - trideset, 31 - trideset jedan (or trideset i jedan)

For higher numbers:

1,000,000 - milion (or jedan milion) , 1,000,000,000 - milijarda (or jedna milijarda)

1,000,000,000 - milijarda (or jedna milijarda) 1,000,000,000,000 - bilion (or jedan bilion)

You count when talking about something or someone (describing how much or many of something there is).

## How to Ask, "How old are you?" in Serbian

You are going to say, Koliko imaš godina? (literally it means, "How many years do you have?") The English literally translated to Serbian would be, Koliko si star/a? But, this doesn’t sound correct at all.

 Lična zamenica (Personal pronoun) +  imati (to have) Ja (I) imam Ti (you) imaš On, ona, ono (he, she, it) ima Mi (we) imamo vi, Vi (you) imate oni, one, ona (they - m.pl., f.pl., n.pl.) imaju

Add the number to the conjugated form of imati.

Example:

• imam:  1, 21, 31, 41, ... godinu (digits ending in 1)
• imaš: 2, 22, 23, 24, … 32, 33, 34, … 42, 43, 44, ... godine (digits ending in 2, 3, or 4)
• ima:  5 + godina (digits ending in 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, or 0)

Koliko imaš godina? How old are you?

The table below is going to help you to correctly use numbers so you can answer the question, "How old are you?"

 1 (godinu) 2 (dve), 3 (tri), 4 (četiri) 5 (pet), 6 (šest), 7 (sedam), 8 (osam), 9 (devet), 0 (nula) 21, 31…101 22, 23…54… 35...46...57...68...79...100... godinu godine godina

As you can see from the table, we say godinu only if the number ends in the numeral 1 (as in these numbers: 21, 51, 81, 101, 1001).

We say godine only if the numbers end in 2, 3 or 4 (as in these numbers: 32, 53, 84, 102, 1004).

We say godina only if the numbers end in 0, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 (as in these numbers: 35, 57, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 and decades like 20, 30, 70, etc).

## What's the time? Telling the time

If you don't have a watch and want to know how to ask, "What time is it?" you're going to ask, Koliko ima sati? or Koliko je sati?

There are two ways of telling the time: the traditional (12-hour clock) way and the digital (24-hour clock) way. Both are in common use, however, the latter one is more often used in official contexts.

The table below is going to help you to correctly use the minutes and hours so you can say what time it is.

Čas, sat is an hour; minut is a minute.

 1 (jedan) 2 (dva), 3, 4 5-20 21 22, 23, 24 Čas, sat Časа, sata Časova, sati 1 (jedan) 2 (dva), 3, 4 5-20, 30...(29, 47…) Minut minuta minuta

What if I have to say, “a quarter to/half an hour until”?

30 minutes are one half (pola) of an hour. That's why we would say the following:

• 1:30 - pola dva (half an hour until two) - because it's going to be two o'clock in thirty minutes.
• 2:30 - pola tri (half an hour until three) - because it's going to be three in thirty minutes.
• 5:30 - pola šest (half an hour until six) - because it's going to be six in thirty minutes.

As you can see, this part is similar to the English. I'll explain it to you a bit further so you can understand me better.

1:30 - half an hour until two... so this means that 30 minutes have just passed since one o’clock. As 30 + 30 are 60 and 1 hour contains 60 minutes, then it's logical that we need 30 minutes more until the next hour.

A quarter is 15 minutes of 1 hour. However, be careful with the way you use it. If you are going to say “a quarter to...” then it's going to be 15 do.

Take a look at these examples:

• 5:45 - petnaest do šest (a quarter to six)
• 1:45 - petnaest do dva (a quarter to two)
• 8:45 - petnaest do devet (a quarter to nine)

If you're going to say “a quarter past...” then you're going to say the following:

• ...i petnaest (.. and 15)
• 15 minuta je prošlo od… (a quarter past from...)

Let's take a look at these examples:

• 7:15 - sedam i petnaest
• 6:15 - šest i petnaest
• 3:15 - tri i petnaest

You can also say, petnaest minuta je prošlo od: sedam, šest, tri.

How am I going to say this if it’s 5, 10, or 20 minutes to a certain hour?

It's going to be the same as a quarter to... Remember the golden rule that I have just mentioned: minutes (5, 10, 20, ...) + to (do) + the next hour. We almost never mark this minuta.

Let's take a look at these examples:

• 6:50 - deset do sedam
• 3:55 - pet do četiri
• 9:40 - dvadeset do deset

There is an additional way to say it:

• biće ... sat(a/i) za ... minut(a). It’s going to be … in … minute(s).

Examples:

• 6:50 - Biće sedam sati za deset minuta
• 3:55 - biće četiri sata za pet minuta
• 9:40 - biće deset sati za dvadeset minuta

My suggestion is to use the first way because it is much simpler and we use it more often.

Serbian people say, Ponavljanje je majka znanja. This means, “Repeating is the mother of knowledge,” and I completely agree. If you don't repeat anything you're going to forget it very easily. That's why I ask you to take this very seriously and try to do these exercises as best as you can.

Exercise A: Fill in with godinu, godine, godina

1. Marko ima  5 ___ .
2. Tanja ima 26 ___ .
3. Marija ima 3 ___ .
4. Nikola ima 29 ___ .
5. Petar ima 31 ___ .
6. Stefan ima 24 ___ .
7. Nenad i Nikolina imaju 33 ___ i 30 ___ .
8. Biljana, Milan i Branko imaju 7 ___ , 10 ___ i 11 ___ .

Exercise B:  What time is it?

1. 18:45
2. 11:05
3. 10:20
4. 22:46
5. 19:15

Before I finish this article I'd like to tell you some interesting information.

1. It's considered impolite to ask about a woman's age in Serbia, so I suggest you try not to ask it if you don't have to.
2. There is also one more way to ask, "What time is it?" and it is Koliko šljaka tika taka? Literally this means, "How much does tick tock work?" as šljakati, raditi, rintati are “to work.” Be careful with the word raditi because it may mean “to work” or “to do,” depending on the way you use it. But it is an especially informal way of asking, so I suggest to use it ONLY if you are with close friends or family.

I really hope you liked this article, but especially I hope it was helpful for you. If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask me.

Exercise 1:

1. Marko ima  5 godina.
2. Tanja ima 26 godina.
3. Marija ima 3 godine.
4. Nikola ima 29 godina.
5. Petar ima 31 godinu.
6. Stefan ima 24 godine.
7. Nenad i Nikolina imaju 33 godine i 30 godina.
8. Biljana, Milan i Branko imaju 7 godina , 10 godina i 11 godina.

Exercise 2:

1. Sad je 18 časova i 45 minuta
2. Sad je 11 sati i 05 minuta
3. Sad je 10 sati i 20 minuta
4. Sad je 22 sata 46 minuta
5. Sad je 19 sati i 15 minuta