When tourists go to Serbia, 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, such as learning how to say Thank you in Serbian.
In addition, Serbian numbers are also useful to know, especially because we’re deeply connected with them. For example:
If you want to buy something in a store or market, you need to know how much it costs. This definitely means that you have to know numbers.
If you want to pay for any service, taxi, hotel room, drink in a Serbian pub, or Serbian food at a restaurant, 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.
There are so many more examples, but I’m not going to write them all now. This time, we will learn about cardinal and ordinal numbers, followed by grammar rules.
Cardinal Serbian Numbers
Serbian cardinal number convey the “how many”. They’re also known as “counting numbers” because they show quantity. Learning the Serbian Numbers displayed below is vital to understanding the language.
twenty one dvadeset jedan / двадесет један [dva-dyesyet јyedan] 21
one hundred sto / сто [sto] 100
one thousand hiljadu / хиљаду [hil-jadu] 1,000
one million milion / милион [mi-lee-uhn] 1,000,000
one billion milijarda / милијарда [mi-li-jar-da] 1,000,000,000
Memorizing this table will help you add very practical and important words to your Serbian vocabulary.
Cardinal Number Grammar Rules
You can use Serbian cardinal numbers for counting because they show quantity. For example, “Ja govorim dva jezika” means “I speak two languages”. Ordinal numbers, on the other hand, tell the order of things and their rank: “Moj prvi jezik je Srpski” (“My first language is Serbian”). The examples below use numbers in different ways and places to demonstrate how they behave in a sentence.
Grammar + Rules – Serbian + Pronunciation
I have three dogs.
[number + noun] Имам три пса. [imam tri psa]
My daughter has two cats.
[number + noun] Моја ћерка има две мачке. [moјa ćyerka ima dvye machkye]
She speaks five languages.
[verb + number] Она говори пет језика. [ona guovori pet јyezika]
My brother has one son.
[number + singular noun] Мој брат има једног сина. [moј brat ima јyednogu sina]
This is my second lesson.
[ordinal number + noun] Ово је моја друга лекција. [ovo јye moјa droogua lyektziјa]
Did you read the third book?
[ordinal number + noun] Да ли си прочитао/ сте прочитали трећу књигу? [da li si prochitao/ stye prochitali tryećoo kњiguoo?]
The number jedan (one) has forms for all three genders: for male – jedan, middle gender – jedno, female gender -jedna, so it changes as an adjective. The number dva (two) has two forms: for male and middle gender – dva; and for the female gender – dve. Nouns with numbers dva (two), tri (three) and četiri (four) are in the genitive singular and nouns with numbers from pet (five) onwards are in the genitive plural! In complex numbers, the last number conditions the genitive singular or plural.
Hundreds, millions, thousands, and billions are numbers in their function, otherwise they are nouns in form. That is why we call them numerous nouns. There were a million reasons to make such a decision.
Ordinal Serbian numbers
Serbian Ordinal numbers tell the order of things in a set: first, second, third, etc. They do not show quantity. Ordinal numbers only show rank or position.
twenty-first dvadeset prvi / двадесет први [dva-dyesyet i prvi] 21.
If you master this table, you will help to add pretty useful words to your Serbian vocabulary.
Ordinal Numbers Grammar Rules
As already said, ordinal numbers indicate order. They are used to compare or order something or someone.
Example: prva grupa (first group), pri u redu (first in a row), deseta planeta (tenth planet), sedamdeset treća godišnjica (seventy-third anniversary), hundredth year, etc.
Ordinal numbers have forms for all three genders, as well as adjectives. They also change as adjectives of a certain type.
If ordinal numbers are written in Arabic numerals, a full stop is placed after them, while if they are written in Roman numerals, the full stop is omitted.
Example: 23.08.1987. or 23. VIII 1987.
As you can see, the layout of the date is different in Serbian – day, month, year.
Cardinal Numbers and Ordinal Numbers have a very important role in the Serbian language. If you want to learn them and other words so you can speak with someone on Serbian, using language learning apps like Ling App can be a great thing to do.
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