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Help with understanding how verb governance is notated in Janecki's 301 Polish Verbs

5 Jul 2014 #1

I am a Norwegian trying to learn Polish and I am currently trying to understand the usage of verbs better. I am relying much on Klara Janecki's book 301 Polish Verbs, but I have a problem with understanding how exactly to read how the verb governance for each verb is to be. It is easy when it comes to after prepositions, but otherwise I am getting confused.


"podobać się" has this verb governance: kto, co; komu

"lubić" has this verb governance: kogo, co

"chcieć" has this verb governance: co; czego

I would appreciate if anyone could help me with how to read these verb governances so that I could know just by looking in this book which verb demands which case and in which situation. It's probably simpler than I make it out to be, but I'm just not getting it.

Thanks in advance if anyone can assist me with this.


RichSP - | 2
6 Jul 2014 #2
I have this book and I don't think that it's so straightforward to determine which case a verb takes from this kind of notation.

Whilst lubić will always take the accusative, the situation of chcieć is more complicated and depends on the type of noun being wanted - this isn't covered in the book. See a discussion here:

Likewise, it's not immediately obvious from the entry on podobać się that the 'liker' is in the dative and the 'liked' is in the nominative.

I'd only use this book in conjunction with a good dictionary which provides more detailed examples of usage.
OP KennethSH
6 Jul 2014 #3

Thank you very much for your enlightening reply! Are there any good Polish/English dictionaries you might recommend to me? I only have the Hippocrene Polish Dictionary (Fisiak et al).


RichSP - | 2
6 Jul 2014 #4
I haven't come across the dictionary you mentioned - but of the three that I own, I find the Collins Polish-English dictionary to be the best, particularly for giving examples and solving problems like the one in your original post.

I also have the Collins dictionary as an iPhone app, and I'd recommend that as it hasn't lost a lot from the book edition.
Szczerbaty 4 | 49
6 Jul 2014 #5
I believe there are two versions of Collins; compact and a two-volume set. Of course the two-volume set is going to be more thorough, although I did find examples in it where it was difficult to piece together an unknown grammar point based on their examples. Unfortunately I don't have it with me to cite an example. Personally I find Google a great place to find answers.

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