Sentence structure

Sentence structure and word order are obviously linked, but this page concerns structures like 'I want to do something' or 'if you had this then '.

In other words, larger pieces of the puzzle.

I am not a linguist, not have I studied linguistics. These are merely examples that have helped me wrap my head around some parts of Croatian grammar.

Constructions which are similar to English

The order of these sentences is, or can be identical to the English - depending on the remaining part of the sentence.

Modal verbs

Želim + infinitive (I want + infinitive)
Želim slušati bendove koje .. (I want + infinitive)
Mogu + infinitive (I want + infinitive)
Mogu + ići (I want to go)

Impersonal constructions

These impersonal constructions followed by the infinitive.

Treba se puno ... (There is a lot + infinitive)
Treba se puno učiti (There is a lot to learn)
Nije korisno + infinitive (It is not useful to ...)

There is nothing special about these sentences other than they illustrate where Croatian sentence structure is broadly similar to English.

For these to make sense you might need some familiarity with Croatian, so that you can see the wood for the trees.

Na kraju otkrivamo da je prodavač ... (At the end, we discover that the seller is ...)
Ne znam kako je moguće ... (I don't know how it is possible)
Ne znam kako je moguće odabrati (I don't know how it is possible to choose)
Jedna stvar koju mislim da biste trebali isprobati ... (One think I think you should try is ...)

Constructions using the infinitive similarly to English

Nisam imao vremena završiti (I didn't have time to finish)
Zaboraviti ćeš pogledavati na mobitel (You will forget to look at (your) mobile)
Nisu htjeli putovati s njim (They did not want to travel with him)
Onda smo počeli razgovarati o drugim temama (Then we began to talk about other things)
Imali smo plan putovati u Hrvatsku ove godine (We had a plan to travel to Croatia this year)

Constructions which use the infinitive in English

These examples use 'that' in Croatian, where in English the infinitive is often used or must be used.

Some are *I think* are to do with wanting/wishing people to do things (where you would use the subjunctive in Spanish).

The first clause is in the past or conditional tense, and the second in the present.

Ne bih preporučio turistima da idu na takva mjesta (I would not recommend tourists to go ...)

Trebalo mi je dosta vremena da shvatim odakle je došao (It took me a long time to ...).

Našla sam priču da je ... (I found the story to be ...)

Because it is ...

Zato što je ... (because it is).
Zato što je jesen (because it is autumn).
Zato što je kod mene sve tako malo (because it is all so small at my place).
Zato što je vrijeme bilo idealno (because the weather was ideal).

In order to

Croatian uses kako bi followed by the conditional where the meaning is 'in order to'.

... kako bi napravio život zanimljivijim (... in order to make life more interesting).
Išla si u Keniju kako bi vidjela životinje (You went to Kenya in order to see the animals).

Bits and bobs

These seem to come up again and again.

Kao što

Kao što is used when it is followed by a verb.

Kao što znaš, ja sam ... (As you know, I am ...).

When there isn't a verb it's ...

Kao prije ... (As before ...)