Macedonian: -mina/ina ending


Senior Member

I was wondering what the -mina/ina ending to some words does.

Is it a -mina ending or a -ina ending?

Two words that I have noticed are kolkumina and golemina.

first question: are these two words in the same category? Why I ask is that golem means something, kolkum doesn't. Is it a coincidence that they both end with ina? or is there some grammatical to it that you can't have 2 Ms next to each other, thus making it golemina? (might sound a bit confusing)

Second question: can this ending be put on other words? (all words?), and does these type of words have a name, like noun, verb, adjective etc. ?
  • Duya

    Senior Member
    I can tell you from BCS perspective; it probably applies to Macedonian as well.

    Suffix -ina makes a noun out of an adjective, denoting a quality: velik:veličina, koliki:količina, blizak:blizina, dalek:daljina, jak:jačina. It corresponds with English -ity or -ness. Just as in English, our suffixes are seldom universally productive, thus the relationships have to be memorized. For counterexample, we have dobar:dobrota, snažan:snaga, spor:sporost.

    I presume Macedonian kolkumina derives from adverb (?) kolku, and that -m- is just sort of epenthetic, but a native speaker will tell you better.


    These are two different endings.
    -mina signifies number of people, for example колкумина (how many people), петмина (five people),седуммина (seven people), многумина (many people), etc.
    -ina is a suffix for noun creation, like -ness in English, for example големина ("bigness" = size), здравина (toughness), должина ("longness" = length) etc.

    (I hope all these words I gave as examples do exist)


    Senior Member
    The other suffix, -мина, is in a special category. It's similar to the 'animacy' concept in some other languages; i.e. it specifically refers to human males or a mixed-gender group:

    • Шест жени ('six women'), but never *шестмина жени;
    • Шестмина мажи ('six men');
    • Шестмина работници ('six workers').

    Numbers without the -мина suffix are used equally:
    • Седуммина студенти
    • Седум студенти

    Syntactically, these forms are only used consistently without a noun, e.g. осуммина протестираа пред зградата ('six [people] protested in front of the building') is equal to осуммина студенти протестираа and осум студенти протестираа, but you can't say *осум протестираа.

    From two to four there's a different suffix: двајца, тројца, четворица. From five upwards: петмина, шестмина, седуммина, etc.


    Senior Member
    In your protest example, would it change the meaning if you swapped осуммина for осум луѓе/човеци?

    Christo Tamarin

    Senior Member
    In Bulgarian/Macedonian, the compound suffix -мина/-mina is a merge or contamination of the suffix -ина/-ina and the old dual instrumental ending -(и)ма/-(i)ma.

    Having applied the old dual instrumental ending -(и)ма/-(i)ma, we get двама/трима/четирима/.. exclusively for animated masculine nouns.

    For the numbers 7 (sedem) and 8 (osem), ending in m, a dissimilation occurs: седмина/sedmina, осмина/osmina instead of sedmima/osmima.

    Next, -ina can be applied to the other numbers, too.

    In Standard Bulgarian, двамина/dvamina is the same as the simpler form двама/dvama, and the latter form is prefered.

    On the other hand, for bigger numbers, the forms like деветина, десетина, стотина (devetina, desetina, stotina) mean about 9/10/100 and can be applied to all nouns.

    Thus, we have in Standard Bulgarian десетина/desetina, meaning about 10 and applied to all nouns, and десетима/desetima, meaning exactly 10 and applied to animated masculine nouns only.

    Upon dialects, both endings can simply be mixed.

    And also, these endings have migrated from numbers to quantative pronominals.
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