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Help with Sentence Structure!


FoxxiGold 5 | 30  
30 Apr 2008 /  #1
Can anyone help with rules/principles of good Sentence Structure? I've just started learning Polish - it is sooo hard! Its one thing to try and remember meanings and phonetics but I can't even have a good guess at short sentences as I don't understand simple sentence structure. Please help!
lowfunk99 10 | 397  
30 Apr 2008 /  #2
I am in the same place as you Foxxi. The sentence structure is the same as English.

subject verb object

However adjectives can come before or after the noun.

What gets tricky is that adjectives have to match nouns for gender.

Then verbs have to be declined. I made the mistake of buying 301 Polish verbs and it confused me.
OP FoxxiGold 5 | 30  
1 May 2008 /  #3
thank you lowfunk for your reply, I have printed it off for future reference, don't think i've ever been so excited talking about sentence structure! thank you.
Saja - | 9  
1 May 2008 /  #4
Post your problems (details). I will help you.
OP FoxxiGold 5 | 30  
1 May 2008 /  #5
thank you Saja, I don't have anything specific at the moment to discuss, but if I come across anything I will be keep you in mind. Thank you.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446  
1 May 2008 /  #6
Polish is an inflected language and that means that word order is far more flexilble than in positional languages such as English or Chinese. That is because the ending tells you which function a word performs.

Usually, one does use the standrad word order in Polish (as in English): subject, predicate and object. eg: On widzi psa (he sees the dog). However, for the sake of emphasis things can be switched about.

Psa /on/ widzi (which in English would be translated as: It's a dog he sees /not a cat or horse/).
In other words, it is important to learn your endings. On the other hand, in practical terms, Poles (unlike the French) are quite tolerant of foreigners butchering their tongue and bend over backwards to try to understand. So even if you engage in Kali-speak (me go, me want, etc.), named after a savage in Sienkiewicz's 'In Desert and Wilderness', you should be able to get by with a pocket dicionary and phrase book at your fingertips.
OP FoxxiGold 5 | 30  
1 May 2008 /  #7
thank you, that was a very informative and comprehensive reply. I will take on board your suggestion and try to recognise and remember word endings. Rome wasn't built in a day, and Polish wasn't learnt in a week! ....
ArcticPaul 38 | 233  
31 Jul 2008 /  #8
Merged: When do adjectives preceed nouns....

My latest assignment is 2 lists of adjectives and 1 list of nouns.
I must 'connect the adjectives with nouns in a logical way - some should go before a noun, some after.

duże------zupa-------polski
zimna-----woda-------nowe
mineralna--kurs--------nowoczesny

Ezample- zimna woda mineralna.

So what governs the correct placement of adjectives?

WELL?
MrBubbles 10 | 614  
31 Jul 2008 /  #9
dude, are you learning to speak the language or is this a course of descriptive grammar?

Sounds like the difference between fact and opinion or something.

English course - Course of English
Mineral Water - Water of minerals

Hmm tricky
ArcticPaul 38 | 233  
31 Jul 2008 /  #10
I'v found an answer to my original question in 'Polish Grammar in a Nutshell' by Oscar E Swan. It's all free over the net from the Uni of Pittsburgh.

Basically I want to learn when an adjective should follow the noun. It's usual for the noun to follow the adjective but there are exceptions

Zimna Woda (Adj-No)
Woda Mineralna (No-Adj)

When dealing with titles such as 'National Bank' the noun comes first.

I'm trying to learn Polish, dude.
I'm not sure whether your being sarcastic but mineral water is just bottled water.
benszymanski 8 | 465  
31 Jul 2008 /  #11
I think someone like Krzystof posted about this exact topic a while ago. I remember reading it but I can't find it using the search tool...

My understanding is that it's Adj-No like in English a lot of the time, but No-Adj when the adjective limits the noun. E.g.:

letnia skoła - here the adjective says something to describe the school - it is "summery". So a "summery school" (which doesn't make sense, I am just using this as an example).

skoła letnia - here the adjective quantifies/restricts the school. It says something about the type of school - i.e. it is a school only open in the summers, a summer type of school. Thus "summer school".
MrBubbles 10 | 614  
31 Jul 2008 /  #12
I'm not sure whether your being sarcastic but mineral water is just bottled water.

I was just thinking about adjective order. As you correctly point out, it's mineral water not water of minerals. Perhaps it would be better to just remember examples from real life rather than learning abstract rules that are bound to have a dozen exceptions.

I'm trying to learn Polish, dude.

You ought to tell your teacher that. I had a year of 'lessons' like this and didn't learn sh1t. I wasted a lot of time and money. Friendly advice that's all.
benszymanski 8 | 465  
31 Jul 2008 /  #13
just realised I can't even spell - should be szkoła of course...
osiol 55 | 3,922  
31 Jul 2008 /  #14
Perhaps it would be better to just remember examples from real life rather than learning abstract rules that are bound to have a dozen exceptions.

I say try to learn both.
Krzysztof 2 | 973  
31 Jul 2008 /  #15
I think someone like Krzystof posted about this exact topic a while ago

Yep, but I don't remember who was the thread starter and what was the topic :(

EDIT:
OK, found it (I thought it was an older thread), guess who was asking .
ArcticPaul :)
ArcticPaul 38 | 233  
31 Jul 2008 /  #16
I knew I'd asked about it before but couldn't find it!

I seem to forget 75% of what I learn and it only sticks after several attempts.

You ought to tell your teacher that. I had a year of 'lessons' like this and didn't learn sh1t. I wasted a lot of time and money. Friendly advice that's all.

I'm very happy with my teacher. She really pushes me.
For the first few months we've been concentrating on beginner theory/basic vocab but now she's making me converse with her and actually use what I have learned. The pronounciation can be problematic but I feel I'm making real progress.

Like karate Kid doing all that cleaning and waxing floors....then when he thinks he's learned nothing Mr Miaggi shows him just what he's learned

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