Word order

In Bosnian language personal pronouns are (almost) always omitted and the order of the predicate noun or an adjective and verb to be is often reversed. The meaning of the sentence is not derived from the word order but rather from the individual words and from the grammatical case declensions that modify them.

The model of clitic placement:

First significant unitcliticremainder of the sentence

The clitic will always be placed in a second place regardless of what the meaning of the sentence is. The remainder of the sentence could be empty or occupied.

Examples:

  • Ona je Amerikanka. / She is an American. / Je is clitic and is placed in the second place.
  • Šta je? / What is it? / Je is in the second position.
  • Kako ste? / How are you? / Ste is the enclitic and is placed in the second place which makes this correct formation.

When sentence contains more than one clitic they must follow a strict order of placement where the particle li always precede the clitic. If we are trying to form a question we would use Da li + clitic + remainder of the sentence.

Example:

  • Da li si dobro? / Are you feeling okay? / clitic comes after particle li
  • Da li se poznajete? / Do you know eachother? / se comes after li

note:

The first significant unit does not have to be only one word and can instead be a phrase of two or more words. The most used phrase placed in the first significant unit place consists of adjective + noun.

See examples:

First significant unitCliticRemainder of sentence
Takva stvarjerijetka.
Naši ljudisupo cijelom svijetu.

If the adjective portion of and adj. + noun is a question word then that will be our first significant unit and we will move on to the remainder of the sentence.

Example:

First signif, unitCliticRemainder of sentence
Zaštogatražiš?
Čijajeovo olovka?
Koji čovjekje tvoj muž?
Kako sezoveš?
Koliko imašgodina?

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