14 ways to use “imati”

“Imati” is one of the most commonly used Croatian words. Croatians use it frequently in their daily life and once you understand how to use it, so will you.

The word “imati” is the infinitive verb which means “to have”. It can be used just as it is in English. When learning Croatian, it’s important to find ways to communicate with a limited vocabulary. “Imati” is one of the most important (and easiest) words to understand how to use and construct, which will help you in the early days of learning the Croatian language.

In this post, we cover:

The facts are these…

How to use “imati” when speaking Croatian

“Imati” can be used in the following situations. Although, in practice, you’ll find there are a nearly infinite number of ways you can use “imati”.

#1 To express the ownership or possession of something

Moja prijateljica Kelly ima 16 mačaka.

My friend Kelly has 16 cats.

#2 To possess a certain characteristic or attribute

Njezina odluka da se preseli u Zagreb ima smisla.

Her decision to move to Zagreb has sense.

#3 To be surrounded with something

Andrea uvijek ima sreće u pronalasku parkirnog mjesta.

Andrea is always lucky in finding a parking spot.

#4 To express a certain measure

Najviši vrh planinske staze Via Adriatica ima 1.831 metara.

The highest peak of the Via Adriatica mountain trail has 1.831 meters.

#5 To expressed the years of age

Nogometni klub Hajduk iz Splita ima 109 godina.

Football club Hajduk from Split is 109 years old.

#6 To possess the money, to be wealthy (figuratively speaking)

Ivan iznajmljuje svoje apartmane. Ima se.

Ivan rents out his own apartments. He has the money.

#7 As an answer to a question

Imate li još kave u kuhinji? Ima, ima!

Do you have more coffee in the kitchen? Yes, we have!

“Imati” in all the tenses (glagolska vremena)

Now that you know how you can use imati, we’ll show how it can change through the tenses.

#1 Past Tense

Moja prijateljica Kelly imala je 16 mačaka.

My friend Kelly had 16 cats.

#2 Present Tense

Moja prijateljica Kelly ima 16 mačaka.

My friend Kelly has 16 cats.

#3 Future Tense

Moja prijateljica Kelly imat će 16 mačaka.

My friend Kelly will have 16 cats.

“Imati” in first, second and third person

Finally, we’ll now show how to use “imati” in the first, second, and third person, both singular and plural.

Singular

#1 1st person singular

Ja imam 16 mačaka.

I have 16 cats.

#2 2nd person singular

Imaš li ti 16 mačaka?

Do you have 16 cats?

#3 3rd person singular

Moja prijateljica Kelly ima 16 mačaka.

My friend Kelly has 16 cats.

Plural

#1 1st person plural

Mi imamo 16 mačaka.

We have 16 cats.

#2 2nd person plural

Imate li vi 16 mačaka?

Do you have 16 cats?

#3 3rd person plural

Oni imaju 16 mačaka.

They have 16 cats.

Interested in more Croatian language lessons? We have a plethora. Check them out here.

Please note: All information provided by Expat in Croatia is only for the purposes of guidance. It does not constitute legal or financial advice in any form. For legal advice, you must consult with a licensed Croatian lawyer. For financial advice, you must consult with a licensed Croatian tax advisor or accountant. We can recommend one if you contact us.

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