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Collective numbers - dwoje, troje, czworo

SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595  
19 Dec 2009 /  #31
The verb is the same as for feminine nouns (rodzaj niemęskoosobowy), but the numeral is as simple as one can imagine [dwa], although different than in the three preceding examples.

Why not dwie? Dwie biedronki idą do kina.
19 Dec 2009 /  #32
Oh, yes! I just noticed that too. 'Dwie' is generic for all feminine plurals, isn't it?

Derevon 12 | 172  
19 Dec 2009 /  #33
I studied, i.e. learned, Polish while simultaneously dabbling in Russian. At the time, almost twenty years ago, I found Polish a snap but Russian a killer:-) Fast forward twenty years, I'm now starting to learn Albanian, and thought that Polish had the slipperiest of grammar! LOL Well, Polish may have it's numerical nightmares for foreigners, but Albanian for instance, has both definite and indefinite noun endings for both given as well as place names!!!Polish names are conjugated, true enough. But I suppose, every language has its own idiocyncracies:-) Am happy to be of further assistance!

Polish a snap? Yeah right. ;) Russian grammar is significantly easier than Polish in almost every aspect. Definite forms for place names sounds kind of weird, but it's hardly anything that would make a language all that much more difficult. I don't really know anything about Albanian, but of all the languages I know something about, I would rate them like below in terms of grammatical complexity where 1 is as easy as possible and 10 something totally off the charts:

English: 2/10 - Can't get much easier than this. No cases (I don't even count genitive), no genders...
Swedish: 3/10 - 2 genders, no cases, verbs don't have to agree with anything
German: 5/10 - 3 genders, 4 cases, lots of exceptions, but not quite in the same league as Slavic languages
Russian: 7.5/10 - 3 genders, 6 cases, lots of inflections
Polish: 9/10 - 3 genders, 7 cases, 2 plural forms, even more different kinds and more complex inflections. Honestly I don't know how it could get much harder.

I'm sure there are harder languages than Polish, like Navajo, or maybe Basque, but all in all Polish grammar is really among the hardest out there, at least when it comes to major languages.
19 Dec 2009 /  #34
Although I've never much been one for "rating" languages in order of their alleged 'difficulty', (I might have exaggerated about Polish being so simple, by the way LOL)

I'd hotly contest English as being one of the, if not the, 'easiest':-) Our orthography/pronunciation correlation's a bleedin' nightmare, and, apart from no 'case endings' any longer, is our prgressive vs. simple tense really that much more transparent than say, German or even Polish???

Jag talar ocksaa svenska, som du vet, och jag tycker att de tre nordiska spraak (utan islandska, forstaass!), svenska, norska och danska, ar mycket enklare an engelskan. Tidsord bojas inte, som du har sagt, och vardagsspraak ar blevet forenkelt annu mera an i engelska, t. ex. 'Hej!' kan anvands i stallet for 'Goddag!', 'God afton!' osv.... Bara tidsformer i forfluten tid (supinum), som 'Jag har stangt dorren.' / 'Dorren ar stangd.'.... ar lite svaara for utlanningar.

Back to Polish, I think that the aspect system is even more difficult than the counting system. Then again, I always hated verb conjugations in school, but loved maths, so I may be prejudiced. LOL
Derevon 12 | 172  
19 Dec 2009 /  #35
The simplicity is the great strength of English. You can learn to say a lot with a minimum of effort. As for progressive vs simple present, I wouldn't say it's not hard at all to know which one to use. Progressive is for ongoing actions, and the simple present for habitual actions. In Polish it's usually rather easy to know what aspect to use, but I can have my doubts sometimes, for example if it's about both completion and habit.

Swedish is harder than English in that there are 4 different types of verb conjugations, unpredictable genders, and a bit trickier articles, since they are enclitic particles with a few different patterns. And a few different patterns for pluralforms of nouns. And pronunciation of course, but that's not a grammar issue.

I've noticed that it's always the native English speakers who contest that English is easy for some reason. To fully master English is no easy task indeed, but when it comes to reaching a level where you're fully communicative, English is undoubtedly one of the easiest languages. I know there are tonnes of phrasal verbs, and if you look up some words e.g. in you can get a list with a 100 different meanings, but in the end English is a remarkably easy language compared to most others, which is an indication that the language has evolved much farther. ;)
19 Dec 2009 /  #36
If English were as simple as you contend it is, wouldn't it stand to reason more or less (less than more) that foreigners would master our language much better than is usually the case? I'm not talking about bilingual Swedes, Romanians, Spaniards etc.. with one or even two educated US-born parents or who moved to, say, the States or the UK in infancy!

Yes, Deveron. We say that English is difficult for the reasons given prior, because far too often, foreigners treat English as though it were a language spoken by Sylvester Stalone, instead as the common legacy of Shakespeare, Dickens, Emily Dickenson, Edna St. Vincent Millay etc...

To 'get by' in Globish (global English), noooo prob. To communicate on an educated native-Engloish speaker level???

Not so easy!

Jag tror, att for ofta isar svenskarna tycker, att de talar saasom forstaar engelska battre an de gor. Deras engelskkunskaper haaller paa et bestamt punkt och stiger inte langre, unantagan av linguister, som har verkligen last och studerat engelska spraaket hela livet!

As Szwedwpolsce and I have already pointed out, parallels between Russian/Polish and Scandinavian languages include the referent 'sin', 'sitt', 'sina' (his/hers/its) with resp. 'swój', 'swoje', 'swoja'.

Han tog SIN hat... = On brał SWÓJ kapelusz....


While their respective usages are hardly identical, there is sufficient similarity to warrant at least some attention, I think:-)
Derevon 12 | 172  
19 Dec 2009 /  #37
I don't get it why native English speakers somehow get offended if you say English is easy. It's a compliment! ;) The ideal language is as easy as possible, yet with the flexibility and power to express anything you want. To master English at the level of a professor in English literature is of course as good as impossible for most people, but to be honest, almost no one needs that. People generally just need to get by in everyday situations. That's another of the great strengths of English: to deal with basic things you just need basic knowledge, yet the means for higher levels of communication is there for those who need/want it. In Polish you need to know a lot to be able to say even the most basic of things... I can understand that native English speakers are a bit annoyed when some foreigner with terrible grammar and a vocabulary of 200 words says he's fluent and that English is super easy, but that's not really what I was saying... I was merely saying that the grammar is easy. The English orthography is of course very irregular, and the immense vocabulary and richness of phrasals verbs sure makes it difficult language to master, but the simplicity of the grammar itself is a 100% good thing.

I'd correct your Swedish here, but I'm afraid we're straying too much off-topic as it is already. ;) If you want, send me your e-mail or msn or skype or whatever and I'd be happy to help you with Swedish any way I can. :)
19 Dec 2009 /  #38
"......honestly, almost noone needs that."

Och, naaeh du! Jag ar absolut inte enig med din mening. Hur traakig skulle bli' varje spraak, om man ar belaaten med bara minimum uttryckskraft!!!

I couldn't disagree more, but, as you say, we needn't stray from the topic any more than we already have:-)

Back to the original question of numeric quantification in Polish, I suppose the rule is:

Dwaj = nom. masculine or mixed 'living' HUMAN nouns
Dwie = ALL feminine nouns (NEVER genitive!)
Dwóch = genitive/acc. masculine.neuter 'living'/'non'-living HUMAN or NON-
HUMAN nouns
Dwa = nom. masculine and neuter ONLY for either HUMAN or NON-HUMAN
living as well as non-living nouns.

Apropos e-mail, gladly! Garna det, Deveron:


Likewise, anytime you'd like me to correct your English (also quite good though), I'd be pleased to. LOL

Addendum, I know the 'stavningsfel' I made, e.g. 'et' rather than 'ett' etc.. Doubtless interference from Danish:)))))

Incidentally, you seem to have been studying Polish for a while yourself. I'm impressed by your language skills, from a fellow 'linguist' to another lol

Oooops! How cou;d I have forgotten

......'dworo' = collective masc./neut./fem. living or non-living human as well as
non-human nouns.....


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