The BEST Guide to POLAND
Unanswered  |  Archives 
User: Guest

Home / Language  % width posts: 15

Having a really hard time with Polish cases

terenia 2 | 2
3 Oct 2007 #1
I generally do really well in my Polish course, but lately I am having a real hard time trying to determine when to use which case. I understand how to change the case endings, however when to use them is becoming a nightmare. I have just started my third Polish course and it is becoming increasingly difficult because I do not understand how to do this. We are writing stories and what not and my cases are all over the place. If anyone can give me an explanation or a thorough reference book I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks :)
Michal - | 1,865
3 Oct 2007 #2
There are plenty of good books on the market and Colloquial Polish by W Mazur is a very good buy should you not already have a copy.
kochanie 3 | 58
3 Oct 2007 #3
Michal, this was so polite!! x
z_darius 14 | 3,968
19 Oct 2007 #4
The rules of Polish grammar in tabular formats (at least most of them). The rules are explained in both Polish and English.

Good luck:
Marek 4 | 867
19 Oct 2007 #5

For my two zloty, i.e. euros, worth, cases in any language are not transparent in the beginning to intermediate stages (just try German, for instance, much less Finnish or Hungarian, with respectively 32 such cases, on for size!!!).

Attempt instead to learn them in context. I don't know either your Polish level or your instructor's method, but I dare say, that just drilling cases all class long, is clearly drudgery and NOT the best way to do things. In the long run too, it is mostly likely not the most productive.

Admittedly, memorization/repetition, should be contextual, i.e. showing situations where, for example the instrumental vs. the dative case are used, rather than merely through dry charts or tables. The latter is a supplement rather than a subsitute, for more use-friendly learning.

HAL9009 2 | 304
22 Oct 2007 #6
Try these two grammar books, both free downloads. You may find them useful:

Small grammar book about the Polish language:


big grammar book

The larger book goes through the cases in some detail.

The remainder of the material on the web site is also well worth a look.

...oop, forgot the website url:
OP terenia 2 | 2
23 Oct 2007 #7
Thank you all so much for your help and information, I will check it all out and hopefully get a better understanding when to use the cases. I am so excited to finally have some helpful guides. Thank you again!

porta 18 | 297
23 Oct 2007 #8
I understand your problem ,identifying the cases is my biggest problem also. :)
24 Oct 2007 #9
I am so excited to finally have some helpful guides

its amazing what you can find :) try the videos by janusz
patryk_sudol 6 | 23
6 Dec 2007 #10
If I use the verb byc, what do I use as the direct object with pronouns?
z_darius 14 | 3,968
6 Dec 2007 #11
do you mean conjugation?
See this:
30 Apr 2010 #12
I have just dicovered some lessons with polish cases. Have a look at this:

I hope it helps
AdamKadmon 2 | 508
30 Apr 2010 #13
Try A Grammar Of Contemporary Polish by Oscar E. Swan, page 327 - Uses of the Cases


There are too many possible noun-functions in sentences, and too few
Polish cases, for each noun-function to be associated with a specific case.
Instead, the same case may be used to express different functions, and dif-
ferent functions may be expressed not only by case-endings alone but also
with prepositions plus cases. By and large, prepositions serve to make general
case meanings more specific. As a rough characterization, one may dis-
tinguish among (a) "bare" or basic syntactic uses of cases; (b) governed uses
of cases, including especially uses after prepositions and verbs; (c) idiomatic
uses of cases, often figurative extensions of the basic case-use, used to express
adverbial ideas. For example, the Genitive case is used BASICALLY to express
noun-to-noun relationships, as in dom ojca house of father, father's house.
Additionally, the Genitive is GOVERNED (required) after certain prepositions
and verbs, as in bez wody without water-G, or s∏ucham muzyki I'm listening to
music-G. Finally, the Genitive occurs IDIOMATICALLY, as in the expressions of
dates; see pierwszego maja on the first of May.

You can find more detail in the book.
Witamy 1 | 1
22 Jan 2012 #14
Merged: Polish noun cases

Can someone explain the different endings cases and genders because I'm totally lost
catsoldier 62 | 595
22 Jan 2012 #15
Can someone explain the different endings cases and genders because I'm totally lost

You need a book and maybe a teacher really. I recommend Hurra Po Polsku 1 which covers 5 of the cases with exercises, rules and examples etc. This video may help you:

There are 3 genders.

There are 7 cases.

There are rules for declining nouns and adjectives based on gender and case, of course there are exceptions also which need to be learnt.

So for butelka there are 7 possible endings in singular and 7 possible endings in plural.

The video left out the case wołacz.

Gumishu has an explanation about cases here that I found interesting:

Home / Language / Having a really hard time with Polish cases
BoldItalic [quote]
To post as Guest, enter a temporary username or login and post as a member.