Passive voice

Participles are adjectives formed form verbal stems and they obey all rules of an adjective. The active participle is formed from a compound verbal tense or predicate in the sentence. The active participles are formed of verbs of both aspectual pairs where as passive participles use strictly perfective, transitive verbs.

Passive voice formation:

I. Suffixes (n, na, or no) are added to the verbs whose stems end on -a and their infinitive ends in -ati. Example:


II. Suffixes (en, ena, eno) are added to the present tense of the -sti or -ći verbs or verbs that end on -iti which are preceeded by; ć,č,j, lj, nj, dž, đ, d, r, š,ž, and št. Example;


III. Suffixes (jen, jena, jeno) added to the present tense stem of the rest of the iti and jeti verbs. Example:


IV. Suffixes (t, ta, to) added to the verbs whose infinitive stem ends on nu, e, long a or r. Example:


V. Suffixes (ven, vena, veno) are added when creating past participle of a very small number of verbs that end on -i. Example:

DobitiDobiven, Dobijen

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).

‘Future II’ Tense

The regular compound future tense is composed of the auxiliary verb htjeti and the infinitive. Bosnian language also has the second future tense (futur II). Future II is composed of the auxiliary budem + participle. It is used in subordinate clauses after conjunction suggesting future completion of some action but we don’t know for sure if the action will happen (we assume its completion).

 Future II ;

Budem Budemo

Futur II is usually used with KAD / When or AKO / If to express an idea of some action which will trigger another action. Meaning, when you do or complete something, then something else will happen. Kad + future II + Participle + remainder of the sentence. See examples;

  • Kad budem išao na more, povest ću i tebe sa sobom. / When I go to the sea (beach) I will take you with me.
  • Kad budeš imao zabavu, pozovi i mene. / When you have a party, invite me also.
  • Kad budu bili pametniji, bit će pozvani na zabavu. / When they become smarter, they will be invited to the party.

Sentences with Ako / If are created by Ako + Future II + conj. verb in present tense or participle + remainder of the sentence;

  • Ako budu pametni naučit će gradivo. / If they are (will be) smart they will learn the subject matter.
  • Donijet ću ti poklon ako budem išla na Havaje / I will bring you a gift if I go (end up going) to Hawaii.
  • Ako bude sreće, javit će mi se. / If there (will be) is luck, he/she will call me.

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.


  • 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.


  • 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


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.


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