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Plural forms 2-4 and =>5


CZERESNIA 1 | 16  
5 Feb 2009 /  #1
I understand from the Pimsleur course that Polish has different plurals for different amounts of something.
Unfortunately I haven't been able to find more info about this.
What are the plural forms called?
Do all words have double plurals or are there exceptions?
Take palec (finger): the online dictionaries give palce as the plural, is that the plural for 5 and more fingers? and how do I find the plural for 2-4 fingers?

one of a million questions...
Elssha - | 123  
5 Feb 2009 /  #2
1 palec
2-4 palce
5+ palców
OP CZERESNIA 1 | 16  
5 Feb 2009 /  #3
Thank you Elssha!

but why do the dictionaries give me only palce, and not palców?
Marek 4 | 867  
5 Feb 2009 /  #4
Usually dictionary entries will give only the most common 'nominative' forms of a noun in the plural. Considering the degree of complexity noted in the Polish language, no single volume, practical student or pocket dictionary could possible provide all the myriad permutations for nominal endings!! -:)
osiol 55 | 3,922  
5 Feb 2009 /  #5
1 (jeden) palec is singular (that's the easy bit)
2-4 (dwa-cztery) palce are plural (so far so good)
5+ (pięć+) palców are plural genitive.

I'd like to be able to explain this a little better, but the point is that for five upwards, you use a different grammatical case (ie. genitive) in the plural, but rather than say there are (są) so many of whatever, you say there is (jest) so many of whatever.
Kamil_pl - | 59  
5 Feb 2009 /  #6
but why do the dictionaries give me only palce, and not palców?

Because palce is plular form of palec. For egzample if you would see 8 cutted fingers on the sidewalk you would call them palce, not palcow.
Marek 4 | 867  
5 Feb 2009 /  #7
For instance, "Dwaj panowie BYLI.." vs. "Pięciu panów BY£O.." Perhaps the reason why Poles, as well as many other Slavic native speakers, have no end difficulties with 'much'/'many' persons/people in English.
cinek 2 | 345  
5 Feb 2009 /  #8
but why do the dictionaries give me only palce, and not palców?

'palców' is just Genetiv for 'palce'.

The general rule for numbers in Polish say:

1 : use singular nominative
2 - 4 : use plural nominative
5 - ... (with some exceptions) use plural genetive

and the exceptions (main) to the third rule are:
22-24, 32-34, 42-44 etc. where the 2-nd rule may apply (depending on the gender).

Cinek
Marek 4 | 867  
5 Feb 2009 /  #9
..use plural genitive (...but often with SINGULAR verb endings, e.g. 'było' vs. 'byli'/były')
osiol 55 | 3,922  
5 Feb 2009 /  #10
Perhaps the reason why Poles, as well as many other Slavic native speakers, have no end difficulties with 'much'/'many' persons/people in English.

Here is a classic exmaple:

anyone of poles remembers this book?

I hope McCoy doesn't mind me quoting this from another thread.

Any Poles remember this book?

Marek 4 | 867  
5 Feb 2009 /  #11
Exactly!
McCoy 27 | 1,275  
5 Feb 2009 /  #12
I hope McCoy doesn't mind me quoting this from another thread.

i dont mind.

Any Poles remember this book?

so why do you say: anyone of you remembers ...
Marek 4 | 867  
5 Feb 2009 /  #13
McCoy, the quote was 'Any Poles remember..' which is correct English, since 'Poles' is plural and the verb 'remember' requires no 's'-:)

'Any of you rememberS..' is incorrect English and I for one do not say it.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
5 Feb 2009 /  #14
The irregular ones are a bit tricky. For example, those that don't take ów and ek.

Logically, I'll start with sheep. Sześć owiec, 6 sheep. Dwie owcy, 2 sheep.
McCoy 27 | 1,275  
5 Feb 2009 /  #15
McCoy, the quote was 'Any Poles remember..' which is correct English, since 'Poles' is plural and the verb 'remember' requires no 's'-:)'Any of you rememberS..' is incorrect English and I for one do not say it.

ok, i got it. but why phrase "anyone of poles" is wrong if "anyone of you" is ok?
Marek 4 | 867  
5 Feb 2009 /  #16
'Anyone of Poles' sounds in English as though 'Poles' were a singular or collective (zbiorowy!) concept, which it isn't. 'Anyone of THOSE Poles..' etc. would be perfectly correct, again, because of the 'THOSE' indicating a plural marker. Better still, 'Any Poles..' etc.

Make sense yet?
McCoy 27 | 1,275  
5 Feb 2009 /  #17
Make sense yet?

yuup. makes perfect sense. dzieki.
OP CZERESNIA 1 | 16  
5 Feb 2009 /  #18
Because palce is plular form of palec. For egzample if you would see 8 cutted fingers on the sidewalk you would call them palce, not palcow

I'm really sorry, i still don't get it.
When would you use palców then, seeing as they're more than 5?
Would they be palcow if not cut off buy still on the hand?

Could somebody please give me 3 simple sentences?

And maybe a link to some grammar page that explains it (I could't find any).

:)
osiol 55 | 3,922  
5 Feb 2009 /  #19
Logically, I'll start with sheep. Sześć owiec, 6 sheep. Dwie owcy, 2 sheep.

Jeden osioł.
Dwa osły.
Trzy osły.
Cztery osły.
Pięć osłów.

ok, i got it. but why phrase "anyone of poles" is wrong if "anyone of you" is ok?

"Any one of you" not "Anyone of you"
Probably! The more you look at things like this, the more even obvious things start to look wrong.
Elssha - | 123  
5 Feb 2009 /  #20
For egzample if you would see 8 cutted fingers on the sidewalk you would call them palce, not palcow.

I do believe it would still be
8 odcietych palcow....

for a non-indicated # you might use palce... 'odciente palce' but if you mention many (or a pile of) you'd still switch to palcow 'kupa odcietych palcow'
Kamil_pl - | 59  
6 Feb 2009 /  #21
When would you use palców then, seeing as they're more than 5?
Would they be palcow if not cut off buy still on the hand?

Look at cinek's #8 post.

for a non-indicated # you might use palce

That's what I was talking about :)
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
6 Feb 2009 /  #22
Jedno okno, dwa okna i sześć okien (ń?).
Kamil_pl - | 59  
6 Feb 2009 /  #23
Yes, it's correct. Sześć okien.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
6 Feb 2009 /  #24
I thought so, I just wasn't sure. It doesn't have the same sound as the ń in Poznań right enough.

Thanks for the confirmation, Kamil :)
OP CZERESNIA 1 | 16  
6 Feb 2009 /  #25
Elssha:
for a non-indicated # you might use palce

That's what I was talking about :)

Thanks I think I got it. The cut off fingers are palce because you don't specify how many, but if you say there are 8 cut off fingers they are palców.

right? like this:
1 palec
2 palce
5 palców
many palce
Kamil_pl - | 59  
6 Feb 2009 /  #26
The cut off fingers are palce because you don't specify how many, but if you say there are 8 cut off fingers they are palców.

Right.

many palce

Wrong :/ many fingers = wiele palców. You use palce when talking about finger in plular form.
8 fingers - 8 palców
many fingers - wiele palców
(just) fingers (doesn't matter how many, cutted off or not :)) - palce.

I won't go to that room, because there are fingers - Nie pójdę do tamtego pokoju, bo tam są palce (there may be 2 fingers in that room, but there may be 8 fingers in that room, or any other number).
Elssha - | 123  
6 Feb 2009 /  #27
palce is used for a low # (2-4) or when there is no quantity specifier like
for many ____ a few _____ or other indirect #
(pare___ wiele___ niewiele___ kilka _____ etc)
Otherwise you use palców for any quantity other than 1-4

"Uwarzaj na palce" (like when someone's closing a car door) vs "Ile palców widzisz?" (like when checking eyesight)
Kamil_pl - | 59  
6 Feb 2009 /  #28
(pare___ wiele___ niewiele___ kilka _____ etc)

palców.
OP CZERESNIA 1 | 16  
7 Feb 2009 /  #29
"Ile palców widzisz?"

2. 10-8 is 2.

At least I know my math.
Elssha - | 123  
7 Feb 2009 /  #30
Yesterday, 20:17 Report #28

Elssha:
(pare___ wiele___ niewiele___ kilka _____ etc)

palców.

Ooops... guess when I reordered my post my explanation turned confusing >_<

All those are my examples of indirect quantity specifier (non-numerical counting)... aka if you don't use one of these or use 2-4 you use palce

and if you use a higher number (5+) or such an indirect quantity specifier you use palców

Yesterday, 20:08 My Threads #27

palce is used for a low # (2-4) or when there is no quantity specifier like
many ____ a few _____ or other indirect #
(pare___ wiele___ niewiele___ kilka _____ etc)


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