In today’s blog, we will talk about circumstances when an accusative case is accompanied by the prepositions u or na. In those situations, we find the accusative often standing next to a verb of movement (ići → to go, voziti → to drive, dolaziti → to come, putovati → to travel, etc.) and showing a direction, in which the subject is moving. For instance:
When do we use the prepositions u and na?
The preposition u is used to describe the subject entering a concrete place: a room, a building (pošta → the post office, škola → the school, kuća → the house), a city (Zagreb, Split, Dubrovnik) or a country (Hrvatska, Njemačka, Italija). Here are a few examples:
The prepositions u and na are often standing next to the locative case as well. An important factor in the distinction of the two cases is the fact that the locative describes the place of an action. You can read about other prepositions in use with the locative case in our blog.
The preposition na is combined with verbs of movement as well, although these verbs indicate walking into an open surface or are connected to an abstract term (lunch, coffee, performance):
The following table shows when the prepositions are used in accordance with a verb of movement.
|ići, doći, voziti + accusative|
|ići, doći, voziti u …
||ići, doći, voziti na …
|u Zagreb, u Split, u Berlin…
||na Hvar, na Korčulu, na Krk…
|u Njemačku, u Hrvatsku, u Englesku…
||na Oktorberfest, na Špancirfest,
na božićni sajam (christmas fair)…
When forming the locative it is very helpful to ask: Where am I? (→ Gdje sam?), while for constructing the accusative you would ask the question:
Where am I going? (→ Kamo idem?).
How would you say the following in Croatian?
Where are we going? →
We are going to school. →
Idemo u školu.
I am coming to the café. →
Dolazim u kafić.
You are going to the park. →
Ideš u park.
We are going for some coffee. →
Idemo na kavu.
I am going to lunch. →
Idem na ručak.
Ivan and Marko are going to the restaurant. →
Ivan i Marko idu u restoran.
You are going to the post office. →
Idete u poštu.
We are travelling to Croatia. →
Putujemo u Hrvatsku.
We are driving to the island Cres. →
Vozimo na otok Cres.
He is going to the beach. →
Ide na plažu.