To start with, let's think about the simple questions how much and how many in Croatian ...

How much?

+genitive singular (with uncountable nouns)

– How much sugar do you put in that cake?
– sugar

– How much time does this take?
– time

– salt

How many?

+genitive plural (with countable nouns)

- How many apples are there on the table?
– apple

– How many students wrote their homework?
– student

– How many Croatians live outside of Croatia?
– Croat

Expressing quantity

Generally speaking, almost all words used to express quantity in Croatian require the genitive case. The same rule applies: the genitive singular is used with uncountable and the genitive plural is used with countable nouns.

Here are some of the most common examples:

– a lot of / lots of

.​ – I have lots of friends.
. – I like a lot of sugar in my coffee.

– a little (bit of), some

. – I have a little bit of money.
.​ – I have a little bit of free time.

– more

. – I need more time.
. – More milk, please.

– less

. – You have to watch less TV.​
. – Less sugar, please.​

– too much, too many

! – That's too much cake!
. – You smoke too many cigarettes

– too little, too few

. – I drink too little water.
. – I know too few people.

– without

. – I sleep without a pillow.
. – I like coffee without milk.

Measures and amounts

It comes as no surprise that words such as čaša (glass), kilogram (kilogram) or litra (litre) are also paired with the genitive when used in expressions denoting measurement.

(+gen) – a glass of

(+gen) – a cup of

(+gen) – a barrel of

(+gen) – a box of

(+gen) – a piece/slice of

(+gen) – a spoon of

(+gen) (čajna žlica) – a teaspoon of

(+gen) – a gram of

(+gen) – a litre of

(+gen) – a decilitre of

A common mistake: Nema and Ima

Although it might not be immediately intuitive, the expressions (there's no) and (there is / is there) are also paired with the genitive:

– There’s no sugar (genitive singular)

– There are no apples (genitive plural)

– Is there any sugar?

– Are there any apples?

Test yourself with the grammar trainer!

Nemamo više (šećer).

Good luck!

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