Return PolishForums LIVE
  PolishForums Archive :
Archives - 2005-2009 / Language  % width 33

Some example sentences using each of the cases in Polish

29 May 2007 /  #1
Ok, I am learning Polish .....very slowly!
Could anybody write out some example sentences using each of the cases so that it is a little clearer for me.
I understand that the ending changes, but I never know which ending to use.
People tell me I need to think of what question is being answered(or something like this) and expect everything to be clear for me, but this just confuses me even more. Nobody seems to have the time to sit down and just write me a few examples of what each case is.

Anybody able to help?

29 May 2007 /  #2
Hee hee! i feel your pain!

Maybe the best way to think of cases is like this: English uses prepositions, eg "for", "to" "with" "by" etc to give meaning to words. eg - "train" - "I go by train", "I'm on the train" etc. Polish has cases to give meaning to the nouns. eg: "To jest pociag" (this is a train) - this is the nominative case and in both languages it tells you that the train is the subject of the sentence. (ask me again if that doesn't make sense). BUT if you say "jade pociagiem" - which is the instrumental case, you're showing that you're going by train. English needs the word 'by' to show that the train is the tool for doing something (ie, travelling in this case). Polish uses a case instead.

Second point - different verbs and prepositions take different cases. You just have to learn them.

OK, here are some examples of each case. It's the "matka" part that changes each time.

NOM: Moja matka mieszka w Polsce. (Your mother's the subject of the sentence, she's doing the living, so she's nominative case."

ACC: Czy znasz moja matke? (The verb "know" takes the accusative case. "Do you know my mother?" - you are doing the knowing; your mother is the object of the verb, so she's in the accusative."

sorry that isn't finished! didn't mean to post it already!
xXlisaXx 8 | 182  
29 May 2007 /  #3
i found spelling mistakes on byki so that confused me. Try this............
29 May 2007 /  #4
ACC: Znasz moją matkę; Widzisz tego mężczyznę; masz problem?

GEN: This is used for certain verbs and prepositions, but also if the sentence is a negative:
after the verb "szukac" - to look for - "Szukam pokoju".
after the preposition "bez" - without - "Bez matki" (without my mother)
curlyspy007 - | 93  
29 May 2007 /  #5
i found spelling mistakes on byki so that confused me.

hi how was the class?
xXlisaXx 8 | 182  
29 May 2007 /  #6
no it's tonight.
29 May 2007 /  #7
Ok super, that should get me started. I'm at the stage where I can understand probably every 10th word, sometimes more, but because of the cases and grammar I don't know the specifics, I know the general subject sometimes but just can't translate it into a full message!
29 May 2007 /  #8
good luck in your class tonight lisa
xXlisaXx 8 | 182  
29 May 2007 /  #9
thanks tele that means more than you could imagine ;-) Curly knows why. lol
29 May 2007 /  #10
its ok hunnie anytime i will be doing those scans for you later this evening so watch for them in your inbox :D

maybe compare notes :)
xXlisaXx 8 | 182  
29 May 2007 /  #11
ok thanks. will be on later to tell curly how the lessons went. around 9-9.30pm.
Michal - | 1,865  
29 May 2007 /  #12
There are quite a few good grammars on the market and if you are in the U.K. your library should have a selection of books on the Polish language, that is, if the library is a main city one. As I have written before, Colloquial Polish by Mazur is a very good book and you will have everything written down. You should be able to order it to on Amazon or maybe e-bay? Free on line courses are a waste of time-very limited and avoid computer discs by Transparent languages ect as I have terrible trouble in downloading the material on to my computer.
29 May 2007 /  #13
Colloquial Polish by Mazur

this is available on both and e-bay as i have seen it though not often listed on ebay!
Marek 4 | 867  
14 Jun 2007 /  #15
Hey, Nick!

Sounds like you're getting into the language more than just casually, if you're seriously interested in how Polish cases work.
My colleagues have given you some good advice. Polish cases can be confusing because not only is gender an issue, but, (as in other Slavic languages compared, say, with German and Latin) the question of whether the noun is "animate" (a living organism) vs. "inanimate" (non-living things; objects ...). Here, case agreement can seem to play tricks on you, i.e. you thought ya got it, then turns out, ya didn't! At least that was the case with me.

Have to run, but again, my colleagues can fill in the blanks until I have more time.
Powodzenia! (Best of luck!)


Here's a quickie example of what I meant. "Widze ten nowy stól." (I see that new table.)
"Widze tego nowego psa" (I see that new dog) (pies=dog). The first sentence uses "widzic" = to see, but what I'm seeing is an inanimate masculine noun (table= stól). In the second sentence, same verb, same case (accusative!) "sees" an animate masculine noun (pies= dog), so the adjective ending changes to the identical endings for the genitive case.

In the beginning, such permutations which native speakers barely think about can seem hoeplessly complex!
Trust me though, they ARE masterable.
Michal - | 1,865  
24 Jun 2007 /  #16
Why is it for example ja pale papierosa and not simply ja pale papieros?papieros? Ja mam psa but ja mam psy and not psow. Sometimes there is no logic. Unless, of course, I have made some mistakes myself here.
Marek 4 | 867  
25 Jun 2007 /  #17
"Mam psa." is accusative masc. singular (animate male noun). "Mam psów" is merely the plural. However, "Mam stól", NOT "Mam stolu", because of course "stól" is an inanimate male noun.

Same for "papierosy" (although perhaps they feel "alive" after having smoked several in succession! -:) ). "Papierosów" would simply be the genitive plural form.

You remember, I assume, that when using the accusative case for animate male nouns, as above, the noun endings ALWAYS take the genitive. For inanimate male nouns, the accusative endings are required!


In the negative, the rule for inanimate male nouns changes, e.g. "Czy masz czas?" - Nie, nie mam czasU." For negations only, the genitive is used for nouns of ALL genders!
Michal - | 1,865  
27 Jun 2007 /  #18
Yes, but why is it for example, ja mam psa but ja mam psy and not ja mam psow? Psy is a living thing too. You do not answer my point at all.
krysia 23 | 3,057  
27 Jun 2007 /  #19
because you use "psów" in a negative plural form.
"masz psy?" - "nie mam psów"
"widziałeś te psy?" - "nie widziałem żadnych psów"
Michal - | 1,865  
27 Jun 2007 /  #20
Yes, but again, you are saying the same as me but are not giving an answer.
Marek 4 | 867  
27 Jun 2007 /  #21
Your question appears to be why does "papierosy" not become "papierosow", but "psy" becomes "psow" with the verb "miec", correct?

Well then, both Krysia and I have answered your query.
Michal - | 1,865  
27 Jun 2007 /  #22
No, my question was why is it mam psa but mam psy when it is mam kolege but mam kolegow. The negative nie mam psa and nie mam psow is understood and is a simple piece of basic Polish grammar. Never mind, when my Polish wife returns home I will ask her. It is not important any more, you do not understand the concept I was trying to convey.

And as a PS Krysia is a good one to aske-I have seen some of her translation work!
Marek 4 | 867  
27 Jun 2007 /  #23

Regrettably I seem indeed to have failed in my understanding of your question. The answer is simply, Polish exception to the rule no. 14_...!!!

"Kolega", "mezczyzna" etc. are instances instead of "masculine animates" with feminine "a"-stem endings, e.g. Znam madrego mezczyzna (with final "a" letter I can't make on my kepboard!).

Does this help a little?
Michal - | 1,865  
27 Jun 2007 /  #24
What is rule number 14? I think actually that it would be znam madrego mezczyzne, I do not think that there would be a final 'a' even if it the Polish 'a' which would be nasal
Marek 4 | 867  
27 Jun 2007 /  #25
Ooops! When you're right, you're right. Sorry, must have been sleeping. In fact, I think it should really be "Znam madrego mezczyzni/kollegi."

Don't quote me, lest I sow even more confusion here!
Michal - | 1,865  
27 Jun 2007 /  #26
No it is not. Ja znam madrego kolegi and znam madrego mezczyzne.
Marek 4 | 867  
27 Jun 2007 /  #27
At least I was correct about the first one!
(Small consolation, I realize)

ella - | 46  
29 Jun 2007 /  #28
Yes, but why is it for example, ja mam psa but ja mam psy and not ja mam psow? Psy is a living thing too. You do not answer my point at all.

Declension of some Polish nouns:
In polish language there are 7 declensions:

Mianownik (kto? co?) pies (singular), psy (plural), kolega (sing), koledzy(plu)

Dopełniacz (kogo? czego?) psa " psow " kolegi " kolegow "

Celownik (komu? czemu?) psu psom koledze " kolegom "

Biernik (kogo? co?) psa psy kolege kolegow

Narzędnik (kim? czym?) psem psami kolega kolegami

Miejscownik (o kim? o czym?) psie psach koledze kolegach

Wołacz! piesku! pieski! kolego! koledzy!

No, my question was why is it mam psa but mam psy when it is mam kolege but mam kolegow

and your answer why:
Biernik (kogo? co?) psa psy kolege kolegow
kogo?co? = whom/what can I see/I have?
Eurola 4 | 1,909  
29 Jun 2007 /  #29
Ella, thanks for the grammar lesson. I think, I had it in 4th, 5th and so on grades...
I would not be able to explain it, like you did. I totally forgot what narzednik is!
Marek 4 | 867  
1 Jul 2007 /  #30
"Narzednik" = instrumental case, much as the Polish word meaning "tool", i.e. "instrument"!

Archives - 2005-2009 / Language / Some example sentences using each of the cases in PolishArchived