Present Tense

Present Tense is created by auxiliary verb To Be – Biti.
The present tense is used to talk about:

  • an action in a present situation:
  • a habbit or repeated action:
  • a wish or command:
  • an action that started at a certain time in the past and continues into the present: 
  • expressing the near future

Long version :

Jesam / I amJesmo / We are
Jesi / You areJeste / You are
Jest / He, she, itJesu / They are

Short version: we can’t start a sentence with using enclitics alone.

sam / I am smo / We are
si / You are ste / You are pl. formal
je / He, she, it is su / They are

Example of sentences using this form:

  • Ja sam dobro. / I am good.
  • Dobro sam. / I am good.
  • Kako si? / How are you?
  • Ko je na sastanku? / Who is at the meeting?
  • Oni su na plaži. / They are at the beach.

Negative form is created by adding ‘Ne’ to the short form of ‘Biti’:

Nisam / I am notNismo / We are not
Nisi / You are notNiste / You are not pl. or formal
Nije / He, she, it is notNisu / They are not

Interrogative form is created in two ways:

Jesam li / Am IJesmo li / Are we
Jesi li / Are youJeste li / Are you
Je li / Is he, she, or itJesu li / Are they

Interrogative form creation of present tense second option:

Da li sam / Am IDa li smo / Are we
Da li si / Are youDa li ste / Are you
Da li je / Is he, she, itDa li su / Are they

Verb conjugation in present tense:

The present tense in Bosnian language is formed by adding corresponding endings to the verb’s base form in 1st person singular.

There are four groups of endings -em, -jem, -am, -im.

A little tip: try to memorize the 1st person singular of the verb in order to create other forms of the same verb (and the same tense) more easily!

For ex. SANJATI; sanj (verb’s base form in present, 1st person sing.) + am (ending) = sanjam

Person ending -em ending -jem ending -am ending -im
Pisati/ To writeBolovati / To feel sickSpavati / To sleepVoljeti / To love
Ja /IPišem BolujemSpavamVolim
Ti /YouPiš BoluješSpavašVol
On, Ona, Ono
/He, she, it
Piše BolujeSpavaVoli
Mi / WePišemo BolujemoSpavamoVolimo
Vi / YouPišete BolujeteSpavateVolite
Oni / TheyPišu BolujuSpavajuVole

note: It is important to keep in mind that some verbs that end on –ati will have -i conjugation.


Bojati seDržati seStajati
To fearTo keepTo stand
Bojim seDržim seStojim
Bojiš seDržiš seStojiš
Boji seDrži seStoji
Bojimo seDržimo seStojimo
Bojite seDržite seStojite
Boje seDrže seStoje

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