Written by: Olivera Tolimir

So, you’d like to sound more vivid and engaging when speaking Serbian. But you’re wondering if there is a simple thing that can help you. Of course, there is! It’s called adverbs. More specifically, Serbian adverbs.

Adverbs are words that describe a verb in the sentence closer. For example:

  • to walk fast
  • to watch carefully
  • to turn left
  • to talk daily

Now, we’ll go through the most common Serbian adverbs with examples of use. That way, you’ll be able to use them in communication in no time!

How would you say, "I'm walking fast" in Serbian?
How would you say, I’m walking fast in Serbian?

Serbian Time Adverbs

If someone asks about your daily routine, classes, work schedule, or hobbies, it’s handy to know temporal adverbs. There are a few subtypes of temporal adverbs, but we’ll list them all together, regardless of denoting literal time or frequency. Some of the most common Serbian adverbs for expressing time are:

  • danas – today
  • juče – yesterday
  • sutra – tomorrow
  • sinoć – last night
  • jutros – this morning
  • uskoro – soon
  • danju – daily
  • noću – on night
  • ujutro – in the morning
  • uveče – in the evening
  • uvek – always
  • nikad – never
  • (po)nekad – sometimes
  • često – often
  • retko – rarely
  • stalno – all the time
  • dnevno – daily (jednom dnevno – once a day; dvaput dnevno – twice a day…)
  • nedeljno – weekly (triput nedeljno – three times a week; četiri puta nedeljno – four times a week)
  • mesečno – monthly (pet puta mesečno – five times per month; jednom mesečno – once a month)
  • godišnje – annually
  • tad(a); onda – then
  • sad(a) – now.

So, let’s look at the following sentences together:

Uvek perem zube ujutro i uveče. Perem zube dvaput dnevno. (I always brush my teeth in the morning and the evening. I brush my teeth twice a day.)

What do you do every morning and evening?

Serbian Adverbs of Place

As their name suggests, Serbian adverbs of place answer the question where. There are a few variations, such as where from, where to, and so on. But the point remains the same.

Here are some of the most common Serbian adverbs of place:

  • ovde – here
  • tamo – there
  • gore – up
  • dole – down
  • levo – left
  • desno – right
  • pravo – straight
  • blizu – close
  • daleko – far
  • napred – forward
  • nazad – back

Let’s look at the example together:

Skrenite levo, pa idite dve ulice pravo i kod spomenika skrenite desno(Turn left, then go two streets straight, and turn right next to the monument.)

Where does this arrow point to?
Where does this arrow point to?

Serbian Adverbs of Manner

If you’d like to explain how to do something, don’t skip this part. Serbian adverbs of manner are plentiful, but we’ll list some of the most frequent ones. There words will help you give compliments (You play the guitar so beautifully!), and express annoyment (How can you park this terribly?!). Ah… Which one do you use more? And what about an average Serbian?

Anyway, here’s our list:

  • lepo – nicely; beautifully
  • ružno – ugly
  • dobro – well
  • loše – badly
  • brzo – quickly
  • sporo; polako – slowly
  • kratko – shortly
  • dugo – long
  • strašno – scary (we use this one to add extra flavor: strašno lepo – very nice; strašno dugo – very long)
  • prijatno – comfortably; pleasantly
  • neprijatno – uncomfortably
  • glasno – loudly
  • tiho – quietly
  • uspešno – successfully
  • neuspešno – unsuccessfully
  • pažljivo – carefully 
  • nežno – gently
  • grubo roughly; rudely
  • užasno – terribly
  • predivno – wonderfully
  • savršeno – perfectly

Let’s look at the example below:

Marija peva predivno, ali tiho. Milan joj je grubo rekao da je ne čuje i da užasno peva. Marija se loše osećala.

(Marija sings beautifully, but quietly. Milan told her rudely that he doesn’t hear her, and that she sings terribly. Marija felt bad.)

Serbian Adverbs of Certainty

If you’d like to express how sure you are of something, you should use one of the adverbs such as, probably, certainly, definitely, and so on. Here are some of the examples:

  • verovatno – probably
  • sigurno – surely
  • definitivno – definitely
  • neverovatno – unbelievable
  • možda – maybe
  • sasvim; potpuno – completely
  • nema šanse – no way; not a chance
  • sto posto – 100%
  • naravno – of course

Ma Jelena neće doći na žurku sto posto. Kad god kaže da će možda doći, znači da sigurno neće.

(Well, Jelena won’t come to the party, one hundred percent. Whenever she says she may come, it means she certainly won’t.)

It seems like Jelena isn't a party animal!
It seems like Jelena isn’t a party animal!

Serbian Adverbs of Degree

Serbian adverbs of degree are those that express the intensity of someone’s action. They’re very useful if you want to emphasize just how much your friend disappointed you, or maybe how perfect your trip was. For example:

  • jako – very
  • vrlo – very
  • veoma – very
  • baš – very
  • mnogo – a lot; in some contexts: very
  • premalo – too little
  • previše – too much
  • nimalo – not at all
  • potpuno – completely
  • sasvim – entirely
  • više – more
  • manje – less

You may have noticed there are some adverbs in this group with the same meaning (jako, vrlo, veoma, baš, mnogo). The first three words can be used interchangeably, but they’re different regarding the level of formality.

Vrlo and veoma are more likely to be used in professional settings, or when a student talks with their professor. The first word (jako) is the most commonly used, and it’s used in everyday situations mostly.

The fourth word (baš) should be used only with your friends and family. It’s not offensive to use it in formal surrounding, but it has the ćao vibe (it shows relaxations and people mostly use it with their buddies). The fifth word (mnogo) is usually used in dialects to denote the word very. Its usual meaning is a lot. Let’s look at some examples of the use of these words:

  • Jako se dobro provodim! / Baš se dobro provodim! (I’m having such a great time!) *Imagine two young students at a party.*
  • Knjiga je veoma interesantna. / Knjiga je vrlo interesantna. (The book is very interesting.) *Imagine a student and a professor discussing a book.*
  • Supa je mnogo fina. (The soup is very tasty.) *Imagine a daughter talking with her mother.*

Can you remember some more Serbian adverbs? Which ones do you use the most when speaking Serbian?

If you’d like to practice use of all these adverbs in real conversations, we cover them in our self-paced courses!