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Help with the Polish plurals and describing of objects?


maddieruby 1 | -
26 May 2012 #1
I have been using a website but sometimes their lessons don't have all of what they ask you to do after it.
What I've been doing at the moment is describing objects and numbers and they want me to write sentences on it.

For example "There are five buildings"

I can say 5 (Pięć) and building (budynek) but how would I write it. I assume the form of budynek changes because that's what was happening in the lesson but I don't understand why? (budynków, budynki?)

And also, would I just use "są" for the 'there are'?

Są pięć budynek(?)

Also "Three buildings are not green"'

'are not green' = nie są zielone

What form would three budynek take?

I've been getting confused with how they used the word for dog and how it changes -
1 dog = Jeden pies
2 dogs = Dwa psy
3 dogs = Trzy psy
5 dogs = Pięć psów

And then the numbers keep changing eg - jeden to jedno, dwa to Dwie, trzy to Trzech etc.

Please help explain all this to me because I'm soo confused!
Lenka 3 | 2,205
26 May 2012 #2
I'm not suprised you're confused.
When you talk about dogs it's similar to russian:
One-pies,talerz,widelec
Two,three,four-psy,talerze,widelce
Five- psów,talerzy,widelców
I don't remember why it's that way but you have to just remember that there's a difference.

And then the numbers keep changing eg - jeden to jedno, dwa to Dwie, trzy to Trzech etc.

Numbers in Polish change according to gender.If the webside is any good you should have lesson about it

I can say 5 (Pięć) and building (budynek) but how would I write it. I assume the form of budynek changes because that's what was happening in the lesson but I don't understand why? (budynków, budynki?)

Pięć budynków

And also, would I just use "są" for the 'there are'?

Not "są" but "jest"
Tam jest pięć budynków but:
Tam są trzy budynki - this is again connected to the difference one,two,three,four---five

Also "Three buildings are not green"'

'are not green' = nie są zielone

What form would three budynek take?

Trzy budynki nie są zielone
catsoldier 62 | 596
26 May 2012 #3
For example "There are five buildings"

I think that it is livemocha that you are using. It is good for practicing pronunciation but it doesn't teach you grammar. It is good for pronunciation because native speakers rate your pronunciation, usually I get done for not rolling my Rs, or not pronouncing the 2 kks in lekka etc. and many other things.

If you are a beginner and you are trying to write these sentances it is too difficult in my opinion.

I would reccomend that you buy Hurra Po Polsku 1, both the textbook and the exercise book and get a Polish teacher(there is a teacher book for the teacher) who teaches Polish to go through it with you.

Each one of these sentances contains several grammar problems which should be learnt first before writing these sentances.

You must learn about the cases below:
When you put a number before a noun there are 3 possible cases that you could use to decline this noun, nominative, accusative or genitive.

You must learn about making plurals of nouns: This isn't in Hurra Po Polsku 1, as far as I know it is in book 2.

I haven't done much with numbers but there are supposed to be approx 22 different ways of saying the number 2. I have been through Hurra Po Polsku 1, numbers are not covered in it as far as I can remember.

My opinion is that you should start with some more basic stuff and work up to the difficult stuff.

Powodzenia
Lyzko
13 Jun 2012 #4
Confusion for non-Slavic learners of, in this case Polish, usually stem from similar problems: hesitation between singular and plural from FIVE (pięć) onward, word order and the sheer vague menu selection of lural forms which seem to have neither rhyme nor reason -

pies - psy
przyjaciel - przyjaciele
kolega - koledzy
mężczyzna - mężczyzni
lustro - lustra
dziecko -dzieci

etc...

They simply must be learned one at a time, at the SAME time, much like German gender articles! Learning for instance "Buch" (book - książka) by itself is pointless if only later you've got to practically RE-memorize that it's "das Buch" in the singular is an exercise in total frustration, a waste of both time and money invested!!! LEARN ALL NOUNS PLUS PLURALS TOGETHER!!!

A word to the wise:-)
Ziemowit 13 | 4,204
14 Jun 2012 #5
They simply must be learned one at a time, at the SAME time, much like German gender articles! Learning for instance "Buch" (book - książka) by itself is pointless

Well said. I was making this mistake of neglecting the gender of the noun while learning French. Then I realised how wrong I was! In Polish it may be the plural of the noun that is similarly important.

For a Slavic learner of a language with articles like English, German or French, it is extremely vital to perceive the reality through phenomena that can either be "isolated" as separate entities or not. The Slavic learner is completely "blind" to such a reality, so he doesn't apply articles (properly) to nouns as a consequence. For example, he can't perceive "furniture" as something other than a single object or several objects as he has either "mebel" (singular) or "meble" (plural) in his own language, thus being inclined to employ the stupid form "a furniture" for a piece of furniture, or even "furnitures" for several pieces of furniture (then what "furniture" is for him? - one may ask). Another typical example of that kind will be "advice", for which the Polish learer has either "rada" (singular) or "rady" (plural). The closest in original meaning to this English uncountable noun could perhaps be "radzenie/doradzanie", a noun formed on the verb "radzić/doradzać".

Dobre rady (Ziemowita) zawsze w cenie!
Lyzko
14 Jun 2012 #6
Nice addendum, Ziemowit!

It gets even "worse" when such a student attempts to find an iron-clad pattern to both plurals, not to mention the case declension endings. Best in Polish (as opposed to German) to learn EACH noun individually, or it's simply turn into a nightmare of endless frustration:-)
Lyzko
14 Jun 2012 #7
Much the same way, it's nearly impossible for Russians or Poles for instance to "visualize" (and then to APPLY!!!) definite vs. indefinite articles. Aspectual issues further compound the confusion in the learner's mind, since the Anglo-Saxon/Latin speaker perceives in terms of tenses, the Pole, in terms of aspects, put differently, duration as opposed to re-ITERATION!!!

One could go on and on here, couldn't one....
malydzik1
15 Jun 2012 #8
maddieruby

So, for the first poster. Welcome to my favorite part about Polish, the grammar! It's so fun, it's like a game every time you want to make a sentence. I will answer all your questions.

So, you start with the nominative case, called mianownik. This is often referred to as the 'to jest' case, or the 'tam są' case if plural. Also known as, the there is/are. This is how almost all nouns appear in the dictionary in their single and plural form. For your example, budynek. One budynek is jeden budynek, two is dwa budynki. Two things going on here. First of all, it is not a masculine personal noun (this is usually people, like Kevin, Marek, czlowiek, pan, etc). This is why it is dwa, and not dwie. Dwie is the feminine version or dwa. Secondly, the changing of budynek. This is a harder word to start off with because it has a floating e between two consonants, 'nek'. If you were to do it improperly it would be budyneki, which sounds totally weird. So, the e drops out, the n and k come together and you make it plural with an i on the end. Same with smoczek to smoczki, garnek to garnki, etc. Now, why the i to make it plural and not a y? Well, this is simple. Works that end in the hard sound take an i instead of a y. What's this list? It is g,k; so it's short (this also applies to adjectives n.p. brzydki (ugly)).

pies - psy
przyjaciel - przyjaciele
kolega - koledzy
mężczyzna - mężczyzni
lustro - lustra
dziecko -dzieci

For example "There are five buildings"

I can say 5 (Pięć) and building (budynek) but how would I write it. I assume the form of budynek changes because that's what was happening in the lesson but I don't understand why? (budynków, budynki?)

And also, would I just use "są" for the 'there are'?


Ok, this is ground work for your next question. Five buildings. Numbers are hard, even for us hardened Polish language veterans. Ready? 1-4 use mianownik. 2 is tricky because of dwa for neuter and nonmasculine personal, dwie for feminine nouns. 3 and 4 are mianownik. 5-20 are dopelniacz, or possessive (genitive) case. Then 21-24 mianownik, 25-30 dopelniacz, 31-34 mianownik, 35-40 dopelniacz, etc, etc, until you get to 100, which is also dopelniacz. then it just recycles! It's not too bad unless you start throwing in prepositions. For right now, just work on a couple of cases.

In addition, you thought it was going to be easy? It's not, it's Polish. 1 goes with jest, obviously, a good translation is 'is' jest tam jedna kobieta, jest tam jeden budynek (adjectives have to agree with the nouns). Then, all other mianownik take są and all dopelniacz take jest. Tam jest siedem kobiet. Tam jest siedem budynkow. Forgive my laziness in not using Polish letters. One (jeden) is always treated and gets cased as an adjective. And a gross over generalization is that dwa applies above, and all other numbers don't change in these examples....they change when cased or with masculine personal.

Są pięć budynek(?)

Next is declination of nouns in dopelniacz. Except for the exceptions, which are plenty in Polish, masculine personal and masculine nouns (those that almost always end with a consonent) take the ending -ów. So, 5 budynków! 5 puts the following word into dopelniacz (as stated above)

Also "Three buildings are not green"'

'are not green' = nie są zielone

What form would three budynek take?


See above, put 'budynek' in mianownik (numbers 1-4 and you have 3 budynki).

I've been getting confused with how they used the word for dog and how it changes -
1 dog = Jeden pies
2 dogs = Dwa psy
3 dogs = Trzy psy
5 dogs = Pięć psów


Remember what I saw about the floating 'e' well, I guess it's the floating 'ie' as well! But, if you learned up above, you'll see that 1 pies is singlular mianownik, 2-4 is plural mianownik, and 5-20 would be dopelniacz, so 5 psów.

And then the numbers keep changing eg - jeden to jedno, dwa to Dwie, trzy to Trzech etc.

They sure do keep changing! One step at a time jeden (masculine singular, masculine personal singular) jedna (singular feminine) jedno (singular neuter, almost always nouns ending in 'o' like mleko, dziecko, etc).

My advice, learn the cases. Make yourself a case card. This has a full case card on page 20 h t t p ://polish.slavic.pitt.edu/firstyear/nutshell.pdf Study your cases, work the words in, learn what verbs are case specific, learn your case specific prepositions, and work them in!

pies - psy
przyjaciel - przyjaciele
kolega - koledzy
mężczyzna - mężczyzni
lustro - lustra
dziecko -dzieci

pies, see above.
Przyjaciel -przyjaciele (plural nominative maculine personal with an l on the end)
kolega -koledzy (masculine personal plural nominative case softens the g to a dzy)
mężczyzna - mężczyzni (maculine personal plural nominative case softens n to ni, even though it ends with an a it is still masculine personal)

lustro -lustra (neuter plural nominative with o always goes to a)
dziecko -dzieci (neuter pleural nominative, exception! Get used to a lot of exceptions)

Hope this helps you guys out! Have fun learning Polish, if you learn your cases, then the vocab, you'll do fine. I was communicative at six months (LDS missionary) and fluent after two years. Went back to teach English and got my proficiency certificate while there.
Lyzko
15 Jun 2012 #9
You seem to have confirmed much of what I'd posted:-)

Difficult for Poles, is precisely this distinction between singular and plural in English. Typical Polish-English interference, that is, transference error(s):

Today comes much people. vs. MANY people are arriving today.
There is much of woods...... vs. There are many forests/There is a lot of forested area/woodland...
Ziemowit 13 | 4,204
15 Jun 2012 #10
You seem to have confirmed much of what I'd posted:-)

You are a very brave man, £yżko. I did not manage to even get through the first half of his post.

Na litość Boską, ludzie, nie piszcie takich długich postów!
malydzik1
16 Jun 2012 #11
Na litość Boską, ludzie, nie piszcie takich długich postów!

All questions answered. No good providing an answer if you don't understand producing the solution to the problem:)
rybnik 18 | 1,462
16 Jun 2012 #12
Kudos to you Małydzik! That was one hell of an answer. I maintain that this site has some great gramarians, bar none!
Lyzko
16 Jun 2012 #13
JednA kobieta przyjechała. = A (one) woman arrived. plural

Dwie kobiety przyjechały. = Two women arrived. plural

Dwaj ludzie przyjechali. = Two people arrived (possibly mixed male and female!) plural

Dwóch Niemców przyjechało. = Two Germans (either sex) arrived. sing. form though more than one indicated!

Dwoje dzieci grali. = Two children (either sex, though "child" (dziecko) is neutral, i.e. NO gender!) were playing. plural

.....plus it gets trickier with collective numerals:-)
Lyzko
16 Jun 2012 #14
Whoops, I meant obviously "singular" for example no.1LOL
Ziemowit 13 | 4,204
17 Jun 2012 #15
I think the numerals still pose a problem. While you are almost perfect at this, Lyzko, you got it wrong in the last sentence. To help you memorize it, let me put it as follows:

Jedno, dwoje, troje, czworo, pięcioro ... dwanaścioro --> p-r-z-y-j-e-c-h-a-ł-o. All numerals, except for the numeral 2 and 3 where the ending is -e, have the ending -o.

Then you put the noun dziecko which has an -o ending for the numeral one and the ending -e for all the rest. .
So, it is quite easy, as you can see ...
strzyga 2 | 993
17 Jun 2012 #16
Dwóch Niemców przyjechało. = Two Germans (either sex) arrived

Dwóch is for masculine. Dwoje Niemców przyjechało would be mixed.
Ziemowit 13 | 4,204
17 Jun 2012 #17
Here's another one to add to the collection:

Dwaj Niemcy przyjechali would be zwei Herren (nicht zwei Damen, und nicht ein Herr mit eine Dame).
Lyzko
17 Jun 2012 #18
.....cf. Dwaj panowie przyjechali itd. [...only up to number five], then "switching" to Pięć(-iu) panów przyjechało, as a German might of course be logically male or female, yet a 'pan' (gentleman) can ONLY be masculine, correct??
strzyga 2 | 993
18 Jun 2012 #19
Dwaj panowie/Niemcy, dwóch panów/Niemców, pięciu panów/Niemców is only for the male.
Dwoje Niemców, pięcioro Niemców - mixed
Dwie Niemki, pięć Niemek - female

Dwoje, pięcioro etc. is always for mixed/neuter gender. Dwaj, dwóch, pięciu is male.
Lyzko
18 Jun 2012 #20
Always appreciate the (gentle) reminder, Strzyga!
Manuscriptedit - | 1
8 Sep 2012 #21
I must say that elements you put here look awesome..I’ll be checking in on a regularly
pam
8 Sep 2012 #22
Hope this helps you guys out!

WOW!!!! Thanks for this really informative post. Many things have become much clearer to me now.
I still have a very long way to go, but just this one post has helped enormously:):)


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