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Masculine Accusitive / Genitive - fruit, vegetables...


czarnykot 16 | 28  
8 Sep 2009 /  #1
Re masculine fruit, vegetables, vehicles (makes of car), units of currency (dolar, funt), games and dances...

In modern Polish do words such as ser and pomidor still add 'a' in the singular Accusative case? Grammar books are inconsistent on this point of grammar.

Examples:

Pomidor (Nominative singular) = Tomato

Pomidor jest czerwony
Jem pomidora
And therefore: Jem czerwony pomidora
And: Nie jem czerwonego pomidora, ale jem zielony pomidora

Accusatve tomato in Polish looks the same in both Accusative and Genitive. But in Accustive is tomato still qualified by Accustive adjective, as in above examples? Most importantly is the sentence Jem czerwony pomidora correct?

Thank you in advance for any clarification.
Pozdrawiam, Czarnykot
Ziemowit 13 | 4,535  
8 Sep 2009 /  #2
There is an ongoing battle between the genetive and the accusative case in Poland. Thus:
some users (most of them) will say: Jem czerwonego pomidora;
others (usually younger ones, but still in a minority) will say: Jem czerwony pomidor.

The correct one is the former since the latter hasn't been recognised officially as yet as a parallel option to the use of the genetive with certain verbs. Nevertheless, you may even spot the "new" usage in public places such as trams in Warsaw where you can read: "Proszę, ustąp mi miejsce" (istead of "miejsca").
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595  
8 Sep 2009 /  #3
Which grammar book prefers accusative case?
Pio - | 16  
9 Sep 2009 /  #4
Every grammar book says that the verb jeść governs the accusative case, e.g. Jem (kogo? co?) gruszkę/zupę/cebulę.

The problem here is that the accusative form of masculine nouns does not have its own ending. It equals either the genetive or the nominative.

There are ANIMATE nouns like człowiek, strażak, Murzyn, Chińczyk, koń, pies. They all have Acc.Sg. = Gen.Sg. (E.g. Widzę człowieka/Murzyna/konia.)

There are also INANIMATE nouns like stół, młotek, kamień, drzewo. They have Acc.Sg. = Nom.Sg. (E.g. Widzę stół/kamień/drzewo.)

Unfortunately there is a large group of nouns that are inanimate by the meaning but decline like animate nouns. The most frequent examples of these are: names of dances (walc, mazurek), names of money (dolar, rubel), names of cars, cigarettes, alcohols (mercedes, opel, pilzner). They have Acc.Sg. = Gen.Sg. (E.g. Tańczę walca. Mam dolara. Kupiłem mercedesa. Wypiłem pilznera.)

The problem is even bigger that as the language changes there are more and more nouns that fall into the third group. Sometimes both forms are correct but in many cases the Acc. = Nom. form is preferred in formal and careful language. Besides exceptions are numerous - this is Polish :)

If an adjective is used it should be in the same case like the noun:
Nom.Sg. wysoki człowiek, twardy kamień
Gen.Sg. wysokiego człowieka, twardego kamienia
Acc.Sg. wysokiego człowieka, twardy kamień
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446  
9 Sep 2009 /  #5
I thought 'ustąpić komuś miejsca' was correct, because the verb ustąpić governs the gen. case (ustąpić komu czego according to Szober).
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595  
9 Sep 2009 /  #6
Every grammar book says that the verb jeść governs the accusative case

Of course, sorry, my brain wasn't woring properly.

Unfortunately there is a large group of nouns that are inanimate by the meaning but decline like animate nouns.

So far I decline all inanimate nouns as acc=nom, and all animate acc=gen. When I get energy to learn which inanimate decline as acc=gen, maybe I'll do it. But people haven't been laughing at me yet.
Ziemowit 13 | 4,535  
9 Sep 2009 /  #7
I thought 'ustąpić komuś miejsca' was correct, because the verb ustąpić governs the gen. case (ustąpić komu czego according to Szober).

I didn't say it was incorrect. I did say that in trams in Warsaw you could see official urgings to give up your seat to an elderly or a disabled person using with the verb "ustąpić" the accusative case instead of the genetive case ("ustąpić komuś miejsce - accusative"). I was just illustrating the thesis that the accusative shows expansion in the modern Polish language by tending to replace the genetive case in positions where the verb have only been taking the latter until quite recently.

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