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Does this look right? (Cases reference); co? kto?/ czego? kogo?


Lefty 13 | 124  
9 Oct 2009 /  #1
I'm teaching myself about cases and want to prepare a kind of reference and am wondering if everything on the below section looks ok?

Polish has seven cases. Here's the basic idea:

The nominative case indicates the subject of a verb:
The man went to the store.

Nominative (Mianownik)
co? kto? (what? who?)

The genitive case indicates the possessor of another noun, which in English is indicated by 's or of.
The genitive is also used for the direct object in negatives sentences:
A country's citizens must defend its honour.
I did not buy the car.

Genitive (Dopełniacz)
czego? kogo? (what? who?)

The dative case indicates the indirect object of a verb:
We told her the truth.
The man gave his daughter a book.
I made them dinner.

Dative (Celownik)
czemu? komu? (to whom? for whom?)

The accusative case indicates the direct object of a verb:
I bought the car.

Accusative (Biernik)
co? kogo? (what? who?)

The instrumental case indicates a tool/means with which an action is performed:
He shot it with the gun.

Instrumental (Narzędnik)
z czym? z kim? (with what? with whom?)

The locative case indicates a location:
I live in China.

Locative (Miejscownik)
o czym? o kim? (about what? about whom?)

The vocative case indicates the person you are addressing:
Professor, are you O.K.?

Vocative (Wołacz)
functions de facto as nominative

Basically I think my translations are a bit dodgy, please correct me.

Thanks.
osiol 55 | 3,922  
9 Oct 2009 /  #2
The accusative case indicates the direct object of a verb:

Kupiłem ten rower. (same ending as nominative)
Skręcz mi jednego papierosa.
Już kupiłeś tę dużą książkę?

Masculine:
confusing, so I'll let someone else explain and maybe I might learn something
sometimes it's the same as the nominative, sometimes the same as the genitive, but with grey areas in between.

Feminine
adjectives -ą
nouns -ę

Vocative (Wołacz)
functions de facto as nominative

There are differences.
You will hear kids call to their Mum the vocative "Mamo" rather than "Mama" which would be the nominative. This a > o change is quite common. I'm not sure if it works for all feminine nouns (and masculine nouns with the nominative ending in -a, eg. poeta > poeto).

If you call someone a dick, you call them the vocative ch**u rather than just ch**.
Ksiądz is priest. To address a priest vocatively, the word is księże. Once again, masculine nouns are more confusing. For names, it seems common enough to use the nominative.
Leopejo 4 | 120  
9 Oct 2009 /  #3
I know this is just the "typical" use of each case and without prepositions, but I'd add the instrumental in the "nominal predicate" (?): on jest doktorem/bratem Marka.

Remember that the locative is only for "static locations": to be somewhere vs. to go somewhere.

Genitive czego? kogo? I'd translate "of what/whom?"

Dative czemu? komu? means "to (for) what/whom?"
sausage 19 | 777  
9 Oct 2009 /  #4
The instrumental case indicates a tool/means with which an action is performed

Also at regular time periods, such as
Wieczorami (in the evenings)
Latem (in summer)
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595  
9 Oct 2009 /  #5
The instrumental case indicates a tool/means with which an action is performed:

Also after preposition z, but only when it means with.
Idę do kina z koleżanką. (I'm going to cinema with my friend).'

And also when it defines some things, like nationality, occupation and other things.
On jest Polakiem.
Jestem lekarzem.
Leopejo 4 | 120  
9 Oct 2009 /  #6
Also after preposition z, but only when it means with.

I think Lefty only wrote the "basic meaning" without prepositions - apart from locative, which doesn't exist without prepositions (right?).
Otherwise he should write two pages on the uses of the genitive...
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595  
9 Oct 2009 /  #7
I think Lefty only wrote the "basic meaning" without prepositions

Yes of course. I just added the most important prep. of the instrumental case.

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