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Adjective endings and masculine-personal in the Polish language

kgoess 8 | 11
11 May 2011 #1
Trying to puzzle out adjective endings, I think I've got the rules figured out but I'm not finding enough examples to be sure. Could somebody tell me if I've got these right?

1) Widzę czerwony dom.
2) Widzę czerwone domy.

3) Widzę czerwonego kota.
4) Widzę czerwone koty.

5) Widzę czerwonego ojca.
6) Widzę czerwonych ojca.

(Funny, I was unable to come up with an adjective that would apply well to all three classes of nouns, "czerwonego ojca" is kind of silly.)

gumishu 11 | 5,512
11 May 2011 #2
6) Widzę czerwonych ojca.

rethink this one - should be easy - let know if it is not
OP kgoess 8 | 11
11 May 2011 #3
Gaah, I was just in the shower and realized I'd done that one wrong.

6) Widzę czerwonych ojców!

11 May 2011 #5
That "-ów"- masculine animate or inanimate ending in the genitive plural doesn't always apply though, FRUSTRATINGLY!!

For example: Marku, jesteś wśród przyjaciÓ£. (not: "przyjacielów"!!!)
Nasza szkoła ma dobrych nauczycielI (not: "nauczycielów")

Often, as in English orthography, the case ending must be learnt word by word, not necessarily class by class-:)

Yet, Polish shares this almost sadistic irrgeularity with Icelandic noun declensions LOL
13 May 2011 #6
...not to mention yet another super-irregular one, "laty", plural of "rok", which is IDENTICAL in both Accusative and Genitive pl.

"Wiele latY"
"Przez laty do laty"

gości..... itd...


Whoopsidaisy, "wiele lat" (as well from 5 on!)
Koala 1 | 332
13 May 2011 #7
Ale 21-24 lata, 31-34 lata itd, z tym że 11-14 lat :)
13 May 2011 #8
Wiem, wiem-:))
Koala 1 | 332
13 May 2011 #9
Jesteś pilnym uczniem :)
13 May 2011 #10
No, dziękuję!! Tak, jestem dumy-:))

....jednak muszę być tylko ostrożniej :)
Koala 1 | 332
13 May 2011 #11
ostrożniejszy :P
13 May 2011 #12
Tak, to też!

"Najbardziej ostrożnie"??? Nie!! Gramatycznie straszny polski-:)
OP kgoess 8 | 11
14 May 2011 #13
Ok, I've put together a little drill program to help me study this (it's way smarter than I am at this point). It uses a list of fifty nouns, thirty adjectives and a half a dozen verbs to make random sentences in English where you have to figure out the equivalent in Polish. It generates sentences like this:

- Szara ryba je bliskie marchwie.
- Czyta nowe listy.
- Chory mąż chce różowych dziadków.
- Pani bierze niebieskie znaki.
- Mała kobieta bierze szare zwierzęta.
- Pani chce czysty sklep.
- Nowe żony biorą szybkie buty.
- Zimne konie lubią gorące krzesło.
- Polscy ojcowie biorą czystą kapustę.

Unfortunately, my javascript is better than my Polish at this point, and I'm not completely sure I've got the grammar right. I don't suppose anybody would mind kicking the tires on it? I would sure appreciate it.

(If you hit "new test" and "tell me the answer" it's an easy way to run through a bunch of iterations.)

All the data and logic it uses is right there on the html page if you want to see what I'm doing. Thanks for all the help.
Koala 1 | 332
14 May 2011 #14
I won't discuss your code, but I'm pretty sure this result is not correct.

Pani chce czysty sklep.

Chcieć goes with dopełniacz (kogo? czego?) and the correct sentence would be:
Pani chce czystego sklepu.
Otherise everything seems fine. Nice sentence generator :)

Scratch that I'm not sure anymore. I think chcieć can go both with dopełniacz and biernik, nie chcieć goes with dopełniacz only though.
14 May 2011 #15
As I learned it, verbs in the affirmative, i.e. indicative, may be governed by either case, but the genitive governs ALL verbs in the negative, e.g. "Mam czas.", but Nie mam czasU." etc..
OP kgoess 8 | 11
15 May 2011 #16
Koala, you might be right on that chcieć takes the genitive/dopełniacz, but I'm nost sure. Swan's "Grammar of Contemporary Polish" says

d. Verbs of need, want, desire, demand:
- chcieć want
- ...

On the other hand, the examples I have in Rosetta Stone are inconsistent:

- Czy chcesz tortu? [genitive/dopełniacz]
- Dziewczynka chce czekoladę. [accusative/biernik]
- Czy chciałaby pani herbaty? [genitive/dopełniacz]
- Chciałabym soku pomarańczowego. [genitive/dopełniacz]

Can anybody clarify what's going on there?

That's an interesting wrinkle that some verbs take the genitive instead of the accusative. I'll have to build that into my little quiz program. What fun!
15 May 2011 #17
Your question's really at the heart of what can make Polish confusing for foreigners-:)

Masculine accusative endings are identical with genitive ones for all living (animate) male nouns ONLY!
I too have seen conflicting information regarding precisely the issue you've raised.

Apologies if this doesn't help that much!
Koala 1 | 332
15 May 2011 #18
I thought about the issue and came to the following conclusion:
Chcieć goes with dopełniacz if you could swap any of the following words and the meaning would remain unchanged: pragnąć/żądać/życzyć sobie etc. (basically what the rule above states)

However, there might some phrases that are implied, but are not actually spoken/written and if the implied phrases go with biernik, then going with biernik is also correct.

I'll take your above example. I'll insert implied phrases in square brackets [ ]
Pani chce czysty sklep. <- It might imply that she wants to possess a clean shop:
Pani chce [kupić] czysty sklep.
Pani chce [mieć] czysty sklep. etc.

Pani chce czystego sklepu. <- this grammar construction might imply that she already possesses a shop and wants it to be clean. It'd be equivalent to:

Pani życzy sobie postrzątania sklepu.

Other examples:
Czy chcesz [więcej] tortu? [genitive/dopełniacz]
Dziewczynka chce [zjeść] czekoladę. [accusative/biernik]
Czy chciałaby pani [napić się] herbaty? [genitive/dopełniacz]
Chciałabym [napić się] soku pomarańczowego. [genitive/dopełniacz]

I hope this helps a little bit. :)
cinek 2 | 345
16 May 2011 #19
I'd like to add to Koala's explanation my 3 grosze.
If you're saying: 'chcę coś' (biernik) you generally mean that you want it as a whole and you're not saying what is it needed you for.

On the other hand, saying 'chcę czegoś' (dopełniacz) usually indicates a part (or a portion) of it or suggests your intention of the usage (usually the most typical usage for given thing).

Some examples:
You're entering a store and saying:
Poproszę wodę. -> you mean that you want to buy a bottle of water.
Poproszę wody. -> you mean that you want to DRINK some water, e.g. because you're feeling bad

You're asking someone:
Potrzebuję młotek -> you mean you want someone to give you a hammer
Potrzebuję młotka -> you mean you're doing something that requires using a hammer to do it

a girl enters a room full of people and says:
potrzebuję mężczyznę -> she means a man (not a woman) is needed
potrzebuję mężczyzny -> she means she want's a man to... (so boys, get prepared if she's pretty, and beware otherwise ;-) )

Koala 1 | 332
16 May 2011 #20
Our explanations aren't exactly compatible. :D But I think there's no encyclopedia definition to the issue at hand, a lot of depends on your intuition here moreso than strict rules.
OP kgoess 8 | 11
17 May 2011 #21

Our explanations aren't exactly compatible.

They're not *in*compatible either, I think I get it, I really think I do. What a great language. I'll take chcieć off my grammar driller for now though, just so I don't drill myself in the wrong thing. Also because I haven't learned genitive/dopełniacz yet ;-)

Thanks for the help!
cinek 2 | 345
17 May 2011 #22
I think I get it, I really think I do. What a great language.

The specific usage of biernik/dopełniacz as well as making a inanimate nouns animate (which is very similar to the former) allows for creating a whole palette of different 'colors' of your language but requires very good feeling of the language. You can make yourself sound old fasioned or very coloquial or slangy just by the selection of the case.

But dont' worry about it now, it will come to you later :-) You just need to know that when you see a case that is different to what you've been taught it's not necessarily a mistake.


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