Two of the most used prepositions in Bosnian language are ‘U’ (in) and ‘Na‘ (on, at). Nouns that describe closed and visualized places or as tangible three-dimensional space usually will take preposition ‘u.’ Nouns that describe a surface, event, or more abstract destination will take ‘na’ preposition. Nouns denoting cities and countries are ‘u‘ words and nouns denoting part of the city or islands are ‘na’ words.
- Živim u Americi. / I live in America.
- Oni su u kući. / They are in the house.
- Idemo u park. / We are going to the park.
- Djeca su u školi. / Children are in the school.
- Bili smo u Londonu. / We were in London.
- Idemo u crkvu/ džamiju. / We are going to the church, mosque.
- Bili smo u gradu. / We were in town.
Example prepositions U + iz pairs:
- Bili smo u školi i sad se vraćamo iz škole. / We were in the school and now we are coming back from it.
- Oni su u parku par sati i sad dolaze iz parka. / They were in the park for few hours and now they are arriving from the park.
note: Don’t forget that U (in) has a pair Iz (from) and Na (at, on) is a pair with Sa (from).
- Idemo na čas. / We are going to our class. (abstract idea, gathering place)
- Bili su na koncertu / They were at the concert. (gathering place).
- Živimo na Skenderiji / We live on Skenderija. ( using ‘na’ because Skenderija is a part of the city, Sarajevo).
- Na ljeto ćemo iči na more. / In summer we will go to the sea – beach. ( using ‘na’ because going to sea is an open area, abstract idea).
- Idemo na ručak / We are going out to lunch.
- Na kafu. / Out for coffee.
- Idem na odmor na mjesec dana. / I am going to vacation and will stay there for a month.
Example of prepositions Na + Sa pair:
- Davno su otišli na odmor i tek su se vratili sa odmora. / Long time ago they went to their vacation and they just came back from it.
- Vozili smo se u krivom smjeru. Otišli smo na istok pa se sad vraćamo sa istoka. / We drove in a wrong direction. We went East and now we are coming back from (there) East.
note: When we mention general part of the city we will say: ‘U dijelu grada’ but when we talk about specific part of the city then we must use preposition ‘na‘ ie. Na Grbavici, Na Koševu, Na Ilidži…itd.
When we talk about time duration we will use preposition ‘na.’
- Idem na odmor na par sedmica / I am going on vacation and will stay a few weeks.
- Osuđen je na dvije godine zatvora. / He is sentenced to two years in prison.
- Idemo u grad na par sati. / We are going out (in town) and we will stay there a few hours.