Serbian (BCS): Which case is used after fractions

Discussion in 'Other Slavic Languages' started by Petusek, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. Petusek New Member

    Czech language, Czech Republic
    Hi everyone,

    I've been trying to figure out which case is used after fractional numerals of the 'three and a half' type, i.e. after 'dva i po'. Is it the genitive or the nominative or ...?

    Thanks a lot in advance!


  2. Zeljko Junior Member

    In grammar, the case of a noun or pronoun is an inflectional form that indicates its grammatical function in a phrase, clause, or sentence. You can find some similar examples in English ("I'am eating pizza"), of object ("She kissed me"), or of possessor ("That shirt is mine"). However, Slavic cases can be much more complicated and confusing and you have to learn them by heart. Finally, to answer your question - It is genitive!

    Here are some examples: Kilogram jabuka - Kupio sam kilogram jabuka - genitive

    You may be wondering - why genitive? The main function of genitive corresponds with the question Of whom / of what.
    10 kilos of apples - 10 kilograma (genitive - amount) jabuka (of what)

    Few functions of genitive:

    Descriptive genitive - On je plavih očiju - He's blue-eyed.
    She is long-haired Ona jeduge kose.

    Amount - 200 kg of apples - 200 kilograma jabuka


    Iza kuće - Behind the house


    Ovog jutra sam kupio novine - This morning I bought a newspaper

    Last edited: Jan 10, 2013
  3. Nymery New Member

    You would use the genitive because you're talking about three and a half "of something." So, it's dva i po (čega?) kilograma.
  4. Anicetus Senior Member

    Actually, the simple answer is that the i po addition doesn't change the required form at all. If you have dva i po kilograma, kilograma still grammatically agrees with dva. If you want to say "five and a half kilograms", you'll use genitive plural -- pet i po kilogrāmā -- just as if you only had pet etc.

    By the way, the form agreeing with dva, tri and četiri isn't the genitive case. Masculine and neuter words get the ending -a, which does indeed overlap with their genitive singular, but definite adjectives and pronouns still get -a, even though that's not their G sg. ending (so it's ova dva kilograma, not *ovoga dva kilograma). This form comes from the old dual grammatical number, overlapping with genitive singular is a coincidence. Feminine words simply use nominative plural, which is distinguished from their genitive singular by the lack of vowel length on the ending and sometimes also by accent.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2013
  5. Duya Senior Member

    Not in WR world
    That form is usually called paukal (paucal) in grammars.

    To expand a bit on more general case: after decimal fractions, we usually agree the noun with the fractional part:

    1,1 km - jedan zarez jedan kilometar (singular)
    1,2 km - jedan zarez dva kilometra (paucal)
    1,6 km - jedan zarez šest kilometara (gen. plural)

    though I occasionally hear, if the whole part is greater than four:

    6,1 km - šest zarez jedan *kilometara

    which grates on my ears, but I'm not sure if it is standard.

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