At this moment, I recommend that you check my other blog, Easy Croatian first. It's simpler, has sound clips, deals with pronunciation from the start, etc., and use this blog as supplemental information only.
Croatian is a Slavic language. It's almost the same as Serbian or Bosnian, and similar to Czech and Russian. Its grammar resembles Old Greek and Latin, so it's quite complex.
Relation to Serbian, Bosnian and Montenegrin
Basically, you can say that you almost learn 4 languages with one effort: Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian, and Montenegrin. Yes, there are some differences, but they are mostly in vocabulary. And you can get by with Croatian in Slovenia and Macedonia as well, so that's all together 6 countries!
For an alternative explanation, with sound clips, check: Easy Croatian.
Usually, basic language courses give pronunciation rules. I find that somewhat strange — after all, a language is primarily spoken, writing can vary. If fact, over centuries, Croatian writing system did vary, but nowadays it settled to a quite simple one. Roughly, there is a rule: one sound = one letter. However, some "letters" are actually "double". But they are really considered as true letters, and have own entries in dictionaries and like.
This chapter should prepare you for what lies ahead, to introduce some basic concepts.
For some reasons, English grammar divides words into various "parts of speech". I would rather use a phrase "types of words". In scientific use people prefer "word classes". I would rather use class to sub-divide various types.
I hope you know at least about nouns (e.g. "Sun") and verbs (e.g. "shine"). There are also adjectives (e.g. "yellow"), etc. Croatian has all these types, similar to English.
In this post I'll describe the structure of simple sentences. I have a serious problem - English is, in a sense, a very peculiar language. Regarding the sentence structure, most languages of the world are not so rigid as English is. In fact, even Mandarin Chinese is (in this aspect) more similar to Croatian. Germanic languages (English included) and French are somewhat different from the bulk!
This post will introduce you to grammatical cases. English has 2 cases (the subject case and the object case). However, their forms are different only for pronouns ("we" vs. "us").
Cases are forms of words when used in various places in a sentence (subject, object, indirect object, etc.)
• • • Easy Croatian: 10 Gender
Introduction to Gender
Suppose Ana is a woman, and Igor is a man. In English, the only effect will be that one has to use "she" for Ana, and "he" for Igor; "her" vs. "his". Words have to 'agree' on gender. In Croatian, gender is much more comprehensive.
Basic Cases of Adjectives
Let's take a look how can one make all necessary forms of adjectives in all genders, and three basic cases in both the singular and plural. I'm going to show all those forms for one adjective, for instance velik "big".
Types of Nouns
The following is slightly complicated, so I will try to explain it slowly.
Previously, we have examined how adjectives change in gender, case, and number. Adjectives don't have their own gender, case, or number — instead, you can (and must) create any combination of these for any adjective when needed.