Conditional Tense

In English, conditional sentences are easily recognizable. On contrary, Bosnian conditional sentences are not only distinguishable by the verb but also the choice of conjunction used. The real conditional sentences refer to a full expectation of completion of some action, potential refers to some possibility but there is uncertainty, and the third is referring to no real certainty that the result will happen – it is hypothetical. The conditional (abbreviation: cond.) is constructed like the past tense, but instead of sämsi, a ‘conditional’ verb is used; it’s a special verb with the following form + participle:

1st per. BihBismo
2nd per.BiBiste
3rd per.BiBi

Negated version:

1st per.Ne bihNe bismo
2nd per.Ne biNe biste
3rd per.Ne biNe bi

Example of conditional mood :

  • Išao/la bih.. / I would go..
  • Radio bih…/ I would do..
  • Jeo bih / I would eat
  • Pisao bih.. / I would write..

Real Conditions:

A sentence involving a real condition articulates a straightforwards casual connection, usually in the form of prediction. Whether the condition stated in the first clause takes place is not relevant. The speaker believes truly believe that the result stated in the second clause will happen. The conjunction used in this case are almost always AKO / IF, but other conjuctions are used such as: UKOLIKO /IF, KAD/IF, SINCE, LI/IF.


  • Ako pada kiša nećemo ići u šetnju. / If it is raining we won’t go for a walk.
  • Ako bude padala kiša, nećemo ići u šetnju./ If it rains, we won’t go.
  • Ako si htio ići, zašto nisi rekao?/ If you wanted to go, why didn’t you say something?

Potential conditions:

Potential conditions are those which may or may not come to pass. The relevant point is that the speaker believes they could possibly come to pass. It is indicated by the presence of the potential mood in both sentences. The conjunctions used is always: AKO/If , KAD/If where to, or DA + present tense.


  • Kad bi došao u dva sata, mogao bi slušati predavanje. / If you were to come/arrive by or at 2 pm you would be able to listen to the lecture.
  • Kad bi bila ovdje, sve bi bilo u redu. /If she was here, everything would be OK.
  • Bilo bi dobro da znam njihov jezik. / It would be good If I knew their language.
  • Ako bi išla u Sarajevo, kupi mi suvenir. / If you end up going to Sarajevo, buy me a souveneer.

Unreal conditions:

Unreal conditions are of two sorts. The first is of former potential condition that is used to be realizable at one point but is now no longer so, because the time frame for its potential fulfillment has run out. It is unreal in the sense that its completion is no longer possible. The second, by contrast, never had potential to become true. It is an imaginary, hypothetical condition which the speaker has constructed in order to make a rhetorical point. Conjunction used is: DA + past (formerly potential), DA + present (imaginary scenario).

Example of unreal sentences:

  • Da je ostala tu, sad bi sve bilo u redu. / If she had stayed, now everything would be alright. (unreal formerly potential).
  • Da je bio bolji glumac, možda bi i osvojio neke nagrade. / If he was a better actor, maybe he would win some awards. (unreal, imaginary)
  • Da sam bio na tvom mjestu, ne bih to učinio. / If I were in your shoes, I wouldn’t have done that. (unreal, formerly potential).

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