Serbo-Croatian, Bosnian : related to the subject


Senior Member
The following phrase is from "CRVENI PETAO LETI PREMA NEBU (page 73)" of Miodrag Bulatović.
Čuo je kako Lješnica žubori, preliva se i pretače s kamena na kamen, odnoseći s obala tišinu, korenje trava i mrtve ribe; ...

Who (or what) is the subject of "Čuo je"?
In the English translation, it's Petar. However, should we 100% have to read so?
English enforces us to declare some subject anyway. No exception.

Before this phrase, we can find the following context. ;
i taj riđi Jovan s očima izgubljene ovce, taj četvrtasti i večito otekli đavo što se za njim naturio kao verno pseto, pa mu ne da mira, pa mu neprestano dosađuje i žesti ga uvek istim pitanjima i uvek drukčijom odanošću.
Yes, with this, it is an understanding that it's Petar.

On the other hand, in Serbo-Croatian, it can be fluent in the "grammatical 3rd person".
By the way, in Japanese, we don't care if it's even 1st, 2nd or 3rd. XD
It may be the river, the mountain, the reader, the story-teller, ants on the ground, the ground of Montenegro, whatever.

How do you feel more?
  • Lazar_Bgd

    Serbian - Serbia
    'Čuo je' means 'He (has) heard'. In Serbian, like in Spanish and Hungarian, the subject does not have to be overtly expressed. We know that the subject is a person or thing of masculine gender because of the 'o' ending in the word 'čuo'. In this type of clauses exactly who or what the subject is should be clear from the previous context. The text you provide only mentions a certain Jovan, but maybe a bit further ahead there is indeed a mention of some Petar :)

    In any case, congratulations on using such an advanced level of texts for learning!


    Senior Member
    Well, yes, 'Čuo je' means 'He (has) heard'... Not 'Čula je', 'Čule je', 'Čuli je'... So it seems Petar. I saw this, but still I was wondering. Thanks. :)