Enrich Your Vocabulary: Top 14 Serbian Antonyms

A building that’s half brown and half blue.

As a Serbian language learner, you probably feel like learning new words is a neverending process. As frustrating as it is, it is true — there’s always room to enrich your vocabulary, no matter how fluent you are. Luckily, there are also ways to pick up words faster, like learning Serbian antonyms.

By memorizing vocabulary in pairs, you’ll not only be learning two words instead of one at the same time —  you’ll also memorize them faster since you’ll have more context to rely on. On top of that, you’ll have a fuller toolkit for expressing ideas and navigating conversations.

With all that in mind, we’ll cover common Serbian antonyms and provide plenty of examples.

Serbian Antonyms

Firstly, there are several types of antonyms in the Serbian language. But, in this article, we won’t follow the classification that you might find in textbooks. Instead, we’ll simplify things by categorizing antonyms into two groups — those formed with prefixes and those with entirely distinct word stems.

With that said, let’s begin!

Antonyms With the Same Word Stem

The antonyms from this group are easy to memorize since you’ll use the same word stem and only change the prefix. Now, many prefixes are used for building antonyms, with ne- being one of the most common.

1. moguće - nemoguće (possible - impossible)

If you already know the adjective moguće, you only need to add the prefix ne- in front of it, and you’ve created the antonym. It’s that simple. 

Sve je moguće.

(Everything is possible.)

Ništa nije nemoguće.

(Nothing is impossible.)

2. prijatno – neprijatno (comfortable – uncomfortable)

The adverb prijatno functions in the same way.

Osećam se baš prijatno u tvom društvu.

(I feel so comfortable in your company.)

Osećam se neprijatno kada upoznajem nove ljude.

(I feel uncomfortable when I’m meeting new people.)

3. otvoreno – zatvoreno (open – closed)

These two words have the same stem, but their prefixes give them the opposite meanings.

Prozor je otvoren.

(The window is open.)

Vrata su zatvorena.

(The door is closed.)

4. ulaz - izlaz (entrance – exit)

Here’s a similar example.

Čekam te ispred ulaza.

(I’m waiting for you in front of the entrance.)

Krećem ka izlazu.

(I’m heading towards the exit.)

Antonyms With Different Word Stems

On the flip side, the words below don’t share the word stem. Therefore, they are trickier to remember than the examples we mentioned previously. Still, it’s easier if you learn them in pairs, just like it is with synonyms, which we’ve covered in this article.

5. ljubav – mržnja (love – hate)

If you like talking about your feelings, this pair will come in handy.

Tanka je linija između ljubavi i mržnje.

(There’s a fine line between love and hate.)

A small cat playing with a big dog.
Ljubav ili mržnja? 🙂

6. voleti – mrzeti (to love – to hate)

Similarly, you can use these verbs to discuss your likes and dislikes.

Volim da gledam horor filmove.

(I love watching horror movies.)

Mrzim crni luk.

(I hate onion.)

7. srećno – tužno (happy – sad)

Here’s another pair of antonyms that’ll allow you to talk about emotions.

Srećna sam kada te vidim.

(I’m happy when I see you.)

Ne volim da čitam tužne knjige.

(I don’t like reading sad books.

Alternatively, you can add the prefix ne- to the adjective srećno and get nesrećno (unhappy). For example:

Ne želim da budem nesrećan.

(I don’t want to be unhappy.)

8. lepo – ružno (beautiful – ugly)

Next, let’s talk about appearance.

Beograd je pun lepih devojaka.

(Belgrade is full of beautiful girls.)

Baš ti je ružan džemper.

(Your sweater is so ugly.)

Of course, avoid using the latter unless you wish to offend someone.

9. malo – veliko (small – large)

Next, let’s talk about size.

Waiter: Da li želite malo ili veliko pivo?

(Would you like a small or large beer?)

You: Veliko, naravno.

(Large, of course.)

Six glasses of various sizes full of beer.
Malo ili veliiko pivo? 🍺

10. laž – istina (lie – truth)

Although telling lies is bad, the truth isn’t always an option. Either way, here’s how to talk about it in Serbian.

On stalno govori laži.

(He always tells lies.)

Istina uvek ispliva na kraju.

(The truth always comes out in the end.)

11. mlado – staro (young – old)

It might be impolite to ask people how old they are, but we still need a way to talk about age.

Sve je je lako kad si mlad.

(Everything is easy when you’re young.)

Stara baka se igrala sa svojim unukom u parku.

(An old grandma was playing with her grandson at the park.)

Stara baka i mlada unuka ❣️

12. dan – noć (day - night)

Since these two often go together, we’ll use them in the same sentence.

Radim po ceo dan i učim celu noć. Treba mi odmor.

(I work all day and study all night. I need a vacation.)

13. zabavno – dosadno (fun – boring)

If you ever need to leave a boring party early but you don’t want to offend the hosts, you can say:

Bilo je jako zabavno, ali moram kući. Ustajem rano ujutru.

(It was really fun, but I have to go home. I have to wake up early tomorrow.)

And here’s what you’ll say to your roommate when you get home:

Bilo je užasno dosadno.

(It was terribly boring.)

As we said earlier, truth isn’t always an option.

14. hladno – mlako, toplo, vruće, vrelo (cold – lukewarm, warm, hot, scalding)

When talking about temperature, we can describe something as cold or warm. But as you know, these aren’t the only alternatives. Namely, if it isn’t cold, it doesn’t automatically mean it’s warm. It could be hot or even scalding. So, in this case, we’re talking about graded antonyms, which describe different degrees of a certain quality.

So, here are the examples:

hladno – cold

Baš su ti hladne ruke.

(Your hands are so cold.)

mlako – lukewarm

Oprala sam ruke mlakom vodom.

(I washed my hands with lukewarm water. 

toplo – warm

Volim da pijem toplo mleko pre spavanja.

(I like to drink warm milk before sleep.)

vruće – hot

Baš je vruće danas.

(It’s so hot today.)

vrelo – scalding

Pazi, supa je vrela.

(Be careful, the soup is scalding hot.)

Keep Learning Serbian Antonyms

There you go — we’ve covered some of the most common Serbian antonyms. Of course, learning these is just a starting point since there are countless other opposites to enrich your vocab.

So, next time you learn a new word, try looking up its antonym as well. That way, you’ll add depth and nuance to the way you express ideas in Serbian.

Finally, if you’d like to speed up the learning process even more, book our one-on-one Serbian lessons and let our teachers support you along your journey towards fluency.

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