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genders in Nouns/ VERBAL NOUNS/ PRONOUNS/ DIMINUITIVES/ CONJUNCTIONS - A brief Polish Grammar lesson

FISZ 24 | 2,116  
8 Nov 2006 /  #1
There are no definite or indefinite articles in Polish. "Dom" means "house, a house, the house".

There are three genders in Polish:
Masculine nounds usually end in a counsonant
feminine nounds usually end in -a
neutral most often in -o or -e.

Some nouns take a plural form for no obvious reason (like scissors or trousers in English)
Skrzypce violin
Dzieje history
Drzwi door
Urodziny birthday

This also is true of many names of countries:
Niemcy Germany
W Nieczech In Germany
Włochy Italy
Chiny China
Indie India
Węgry Hungary
Na Węgrzech In Hungary

And some cities are also in the plural for some reason:
in Poland -
Katowice ...

And elsewhere -
W Helsinkach in Helsinki
W Atenach in Athens

Polish tends to use a noun form of a verb in many instances where a verb would be used in English. They end in:
-anie (for verbs ending in -ać),
-enie (for verbs ending in -eć or -ić or -yć in multisyllabic verbs),
-cie for mono-syllabic verbs ending in -uc, -ić,-yć, and verbs ending in - ać or -nąć.
Czytać-czytanie read-reading
Zobaczyć-zobaczenie see-seeing
Pić- picie drink-drinking
Do you have something to say? Czy masz coś do powiedzenia?

I- ja
You- ty
He- On
She- ona
We- My
You- Wy
They- oni, one


masculine diminuitives end in -ek, szek, -eczek, -ik, -yk, czyk
Kot-kotek cat-kitten
Brat-braciszek brother, little brother
Worek-woreczek sack (little _)
Kon-konik horse-pony
Chłopiec-chłopczyk boy-little boy
Kosz-koszyk basket-(litte _)

Feminine endings -ka, -ska, -eczka, -uchna, -usia
Głowa-głowka head
Mucha-muszka fly
Córka-córeczka daughter
Mama-masusia Mom-mommie

Neutral endings -ko, -sko, (e)czko, -atko
drzewo-drzewko tree
Serce-serduszko heart
Oko-oczko eye
Dziecię-dzieczątko child

The opposite of a diminuitive (rarely used) often confers a pejorative meaning
End in -isko, -ysko, czysko, ina, yan, -ak
Pies-psisko dog-big dog
Biedak-biedaczysko poor man
Pies-psiak dog-cur


There are seven cases in Polish.
NOMINATIVE - the straightforward dictionary entry of a word - used as a subject in a sentence.
GENETIVE - the second most popular case, usually meaning 'of, belonging to', but also must be used after certain prepositions and verbs
DATIVE - 'to' (and after certain prepositions and verbs)
ACCUSATIVE - The direct object of a sentence.
INSTRUMENTAL - 'with, by means of'
LOCATIVE - after certain prepositions - mostly 'in, at, about'
VOCATIVE - used when literally talking to the person or thing in question (this is obviously limited almost entirely to people's names, as most of us do not often find ourselves talking to doors, chairs and cardboard boxes)

lots of this will be familiar to those of you who speak Latin, Russian, German, but there are some strange quirks in the Połish cases.

One of the most curious aspects of Połish grammar is the use of the instrumentał case for the second part of a sentence invołving the verb BE or BECOME, instead of the simpłe nominative.

I am an American - is NOT 'Jestem Amerikanin, but 'Jestem Amerikaninem.'
This has an unusual twist - the sentence 'Jestem samochodem' normally means 'I came by car' (literally "I am with a car"), but grammatically also means 'I AM a car:'

The accusative of words relating to people or animals is identical to the genitive: The accusative of inanimate objects is the normal accusative:

Direct objects after negative verbs don't take the accusative, but the genitive form.

Widzę dom. I see the house.
Nie widzę domu. I don't see the house.
! The word 'nic' is an exception and remains unchanged - Nic nie widzę.


A albo ale (but)
ani...ani (neither...nor)
bądź...bądź (both..and)
Czy (whether, if)
i (and)
jednak (however)
lecz (but)
lub (or)
Skoro, także (also)
też (also)
więc (therefore)
Nie tyle...ile (not as many as)
Nie tylko...lecz także (not only...but also)
podczas gdy (whereas)
To jest (i.e.)
Bo bowiem dyż ponieważ (given that)
Dlatego, że (because)
Dzięki temu (thanks to)
Jak (as)
jak gdyby (as if)
tak jak (just like)
mimo że (even though)
nawet jeśli (even if)
pod warunkiem, że (provided that)
dopóki (until)
jak tylko (as soon as)
zanim (before)

Huegel 1 | 296  
8 Nov 2006 /  #2
Holy smoke FISZ. That's the kind of thing I've been hoping a teach yourself book would provide, and it never want to write a bit more down, send it of to a publisher then move a tropical island with the money you make!

Brilliant. Thanks man, copied to the Hard Drive. :)
OP FISZ 24 | 2,116  
8 Nov 2006 /  #3
That's the kind of thing I've been hoping a teach yourself book would provide,

They don't. From what I've discovered, it's mostly basic sentences and vocabulary. This stuff is a handfull :) It's not mine either. Just thought it would be helpful here.

Hope it is.
8 Nov 2006 /  #4
Really good stuff, cheers Fisz!! :)
8 Nov 2006 /  #5
Great, Fish! Even for a Pole like me.. :)
plg 17 | 263  
8 Nov 2006 /  #6
ale jaja!!!!!!!!!!
Huegel 1 | 296  
8 Nov 2006 /  #7
^^ They're having hosting issues here you know mate...have a shower not a bath type thing...

Hey Fisz, that really is a great read...have you got any more goodies up your virtual sleeve or is that our lot?
Gustaw - | 9  
9 Nov 2006 /  #8
Gee, kind of an effort to do sth like this, respect... But I would correct some typing errors in Polish words, because some people may not notice... :) :

"W Nieczech" -> W Niemczech
"masusia" -> mamusia
"-atko" (suffix) -> -ątko
"Amerikanin", "Amerikaninem" -> Amerykanin, Amerykaninem
"dyż" -> gdyż

"! The word 'nic' is an exception and remains unchanged - Nic nie widzę."
Actually, you're not right. The gramatically correct form is "Niczego nie widzę", so this is absolutely regular, BUT, in everyday language, we all sometimes say e.g. "Nic nie widzę", "Nic od ciebie nie chcę" ("I don't want anything from you"), "Nic dla ciebie nie mam" ("I don't have anything for you"), etc.

"rispekt" again, :)
OP FISZ 24 | 2,116  
10 Nov 2006 /  #9
Gustaw- Any corrections would be appreciated. I'm also in the learning process, so please correct errors.

wozzy 8 | 206  
10 Nov 2006 /  #10
This is absolutly great you guys, it brings back a lot of what I've forgot over the years.

This should be a daily read......First class!
rafik 18 | 589  
10 Nov 2006 /  #11
Gdzieżeś był? (Usually you would put the ś at the verb był)

Przestańże. (Stop it.)

this are very old-fashioned words.i would say
1.gdzie byles?
2.przestan juz! or no przestan juz!

Czy kochasz mię? (Do you love me?)

correct me if i am wrong but i would say "kochasz mnie?"
belial - | 8  
1 May 2007 /  #12
ect me if i am wrong but i would say "kochasz mnie?"

OP FISZ 24 | 2,116  
1 May 2007 /  #13
Thanks for bumping this belial :)

and corrections
HAL9009 2 | 323  
2 May 2007 /  #14
Thanks indeed for this :) I hadn't noticed it before now.
Nice one Fisz.
2 May 2007 /  #15
Excellent.. As said before the books do not give you what you need. This is absolutely enlighting stuff!!
davidpeake 14 | 451  
2 May 2007 /  #16
how about polish for dummies, anyone got some suggestions, having trouble picking it up.
HAL9009 2 | 323  
17 May 2007 /  #17
Here's a website I just found that gives a basic intro to Polish grammar, and some self help tests..., not quite for dummies ;) Doing the questions now.

xXlisaXx 8 | 182  
17 May 2007 /  #18
not quite for dummies ;)

Well Hal that lost me so i'm definately a dummy lol
HAL9009 2 | 323  
17 May 2007 /  #19
No, really, try it. 1000 questions to test and teach the user grammar. Multiple choice questions, just point the mouse and shoot, one in four chance of getting the right answer, heh.
plg 17 | 263  
17 May 2007 /  #20
i get depressed leaning polish as its such a gobbledegook langauge for me or maybe im dense
18 May 2007 /  #21
im learing the words but cant say a sentence
xXlisaXx 8 | 182  
18 May 2007 /  #22
snap janice. it's when they use male and female for things that throws me.
i'm starting to pick out words so time will tell.

Hal i just did the questions. I didn't do too bad, suprised myself.
OP FISZ 24 | 2,116  
19 May 2007 /  #23
Infinitives. Aspect. Future Tense

This may be better: All lessons
HAL9009 2 | 323  
19 May 2007 /  #24
Hal i just did the questions. I didn't do too bad, suprised myself.

All 1000!
Well done, I've just barely done a little over a hundred so far...
So, Polish isn't so difficult after all :)
29 May 2007 /  #25
This is very helpful, one of the best articles on here, the conjunctions especially, i use them a lot in english, so, this has really helped!!! .... po polsku, nie wiem!!!
29 May 2007 /  #26
i have a book that has all polish verbs fully conjuncted :) massive help and its on amazon :)
xXlisaXx 8 | 182  
29 May 2007 /  #27
All 1000!

wot!!!!!!!! only did 100 where are the others?
mindsigh - | 3  
22 Jun 2007 /  #28
Hi Fisz
I learnt recently that "I love David" translates as Ja kocham dawida - why is there an 'a' and the end of dawid? Also if a persons name ended with the letter a (for example Marta) would you have to write Ja kocham martaa?

6 Aug 2007 /  #29
Hal9009, Polishgrammar is awful. don't use it. My wife is Polish and we were looking for something so I could learn. We also found it and it looked great. but as we got going, found it's loaded with errors. be careful
witek7205 1 | 65  
7 Aug 2007 /  #30
Nouns change ending depending on verb used. (Case ending)

Kocham (who, what, kogo, co) )must use word in accusative
(f) (m)
nominative: Marta David
genitive: Marty Davida
dative: Marcie David
accusative: Martę Davida
instrumental: Martą Davidem
locative: Marcie Dawidzie
vocative: Marto David

Ja kocham Martę. Ja kocham Davida.

I don't see... Ja nie widzę (kogo, czego - genitive) Marty, Davida

We are talking about , My rozmawiamy o (o kim, o czym - locative) Marcie, Dawidzie.

You touched the most difficult thing in Polish grammar.

Similar thing applies to verbs
to love - kochać
(present tense) (past)
I - ja kocham kochałem
you - ty kochasz kochałeś
he,she - on, ona kocha kochała
it - to kocha kochało
we - my kochamy kochaliśmy
you - wy kochacie kochaliście
they - oni kochają kochali

Ja kocham Martę. I love
On kocha Martę He loves
my kochaliśmy Martę We loved ...

Good luck.
And don't learn that to hard. It will come by itself.
My two years old daughter speaks Polish correctly even if nobody teaches her Polish grammar. Just listen a lot.

My wife is Polish

Zaneta is a female name, and you have wife !!!! :)

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