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Polish Grammar - ile - ilu ?

11 Aug 2014 #1
hi again , thank you all for you help on the Jest / sa' issue

Now its ile and ilu ........... i have been told that ilu is for use with People . ie " how many guest are coming " etc . but i am now seeing a " ile tu yest dzieci" in Rosetta ??

hope you can help .

Cave man answers only please

cheers / djienkuje
Marysienka 1 | 195
11 Aug 2014 #2
ilu is for human males, ile for females, children, animals and unanimated (there may be exceptions)

It goes with Polish Plural dividing nouns between masculine personal , and other.

And I never was learning Polish as it's my first language , but from this website and number of questions people ask while learning from Roseta Stone , please don't use it as your only resource, Polish is so grammar driven, you will be more confused if it's not explained.
OP indy912
11 Aug 2014 #3
and ilu for guests i guess ?

and what about " how many people are coming " ?
Marysienka 1 | 195
11 Aug 2014 #4
Ile osób przyjdzie osoba is female osoby are not masculine personal
Ilu gości przyjdzie gość is male goście are masculine personal
OP indy912
12 Aug 2014 #5
so it depends on if the noun is female or male or a thing , ? like with on ona one ? except its ilu and ile ?? but its ile if it is a thing ( ie a noun ending wiith e o or um ? is that correct ?
Szczerbaty 4 | 49
12 Aug 2014 #6
Look at pages 194 and 205 of Swan's Polish grammar in the following link. You may find something.
Ziemowit 14 | 4,230
12 Aug 2014 #7
so it depends on if the noun is female or male or a thing , ? like with on ona one ?

No, it depends on whether the noun is male humans or other than that. It is commonly said Ilu przyjdzie gości?, but I'm sure people will also use Ile przyjdzie gości? here as well. The former is better, I believe, as the noun describes male humans, technically speaking, and there is no feminine counterpart of it (in common speech one may sometimes hear the feminine term gościówa, but it denotes "a woman" rather than "a female guest") . Likewise, if you wanted to ask: How many doctors will be present at the conference?, you would say: Ilu lekarzy będzie na konferencji? knowing well in advance that there will be both male and female doctors among them. But again, people may also say; Ile lekarzy będzie na konferencji?, but I truly don't know if the latter is considered correct or not by the linguists. Anyway, the former sounds to me much more typical and much more elegant.


Ile kobiet jest w haremie wezyra? (feminine animate noun, personal)
Ile gęsi jest w gospodarstwie? (feminine animate noun, non-personal)
Ile słoni jest w zoo? (masculine animate noun)
Ile okien jest w tym domu? (neutral inanimate noun)
Ile książek jest w księgozbiorze? (feminine inanimate noun)
Ile sklepów jest na twojej ulicy? (masculine inanimate noun)

As you can see, the exceptional ilu? is applied only to nouns that denote male humans (or nouns used to denote them in the past).
OP indy912
12 Aug 2014 #8
so male human group , and with groups of people most likly to contain males .? " guests " persons " " workers" ? because.... marysenka says : " Ile osób przyjdzie osoba is female osoby are not masculine personal " ?

i will go with male only groups and guests and people that will contain men . and not take up any more of your time on this one because im sure there will be another grammar question later.
Marysienka 1 | 195
12 Aug 2014 #9
I'd say mixed groups are mostly ilu but osoby, dzieci and niemowlęta are exceptions.

It's because usually there is a singular male form and sometimes female counterpart but singular "osoba" is feminine but means person regardless of sex, while children and babies are neuter.

The cited above book claims some specific rules but they are complicated. You can come back to them in few years when you will like to sound more natural, for now I'd say :

men and most mixed groups - ilu
women animals and inanimated objects ile

exceptions from mixed groups:
osoby- people
dzieci- children
niemowlęta- babies

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