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Instrumental and byc - Polish grammar issue


Sandie
22 Aug 2014 #1
Do you always use the instrumental with byc if you're talking about profession or relationship?
Pawel jest sympatatycznym naucycielem
And it would be in nominative if it's not about profesion ?
Pawel jest sympatyczny meczyzna?
Is that how it works?
Marysienka 1 | 195
22 Aug 2014 #2
We use instrumental in the "I'm a/an ...(noun)" Jestem mężczyzną, Jestem nauczycielem, Jestem Anglikiem, Jestem nastolatkiem, Jestem ateistą. ( man, teacher, English, atheist)

Disclaimer: I'm a Polish native speaker who had last Polish grammar lessons 15 years ago, I might mess sth up regarding some rules, and Englis words for grammar. or forget some exceptions , but my examples are 99,9% correct.
OP Sandie
22 Aug 2014 #3
Thank you! And it's only with byc?
Pawel to sympatyczy Nauczyciel? Would that be correct?
Ziemowit 13 | 4,116
22 Aug 2014 #4
Pawel to sympatyczy Nauczyciel? Would that be correct?

It would as it contains the "hidden" verb jest in it.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
In other words, we say:
- Paweł jest sympatycznym nauczycielem.
or
- Paweł to jest sympatyczny nauczyciel ---> Paweł to sympatyczny nauczyciel.
OP Sandie
22 Aug 2014 #5
It would as it contains the "hidden" verb jest in it.

Okay thanks. It's starting to make more sense now.
Tdx
9 Feb 2015 #6
Merged: Być + nominative/instrumental and possessive pronoun

Hello,

I have some troubles with Być... I hope this hasn't been asked before (didn't find anything about this ) :

First, if I'm right we use Być + instrumental if it's for a profession or when you present yourself
Ex : On jest lekarzem or Jestem mężczyzną

and

Być + nominative when there is only an adjective (or noun + adjective), or when you present an object to somebody
Ex : Jesteś (kobieta) piękna or To jest samochód

But I saw in Rosetta (language learning software) : "To jest moja matka" (byc + nominative) (A girl was pointing at her mother), and after that "Pan jest moim nauczycielem" (byc + instrumental), a boy was in front of his teacher.

So if I understood correctly you should use Być + nominative also when you present someone to somebody else? like in "To jest moja matka". That's what I presume because I saw "Jesteś moją żoną" (instrumental) (Where there is no "presentation" to somebody else)

About the teacher example I read in a book that you can say "To jest profesor" (nominative) and "On jest profesorem" (instrumental), translated as "This is the teacher" and "He is a teacher", so I'm not sure why it's "moim nauczycielem" and not "mój nauczyciel", did I miss something concerning possessive pronouns?

Thanks in advance for your explanations, and sorry for the long post!
DominicB - | 2,709
9 Feb 2015 #7
To jest + nominative.
Anything else jest nominative free-standing adjective.
Anything else jest instrumental noun.
Anything else jest Instrumental adjective + instrumental noun.
Jest + adverb for things like weather and some others: Jest chłodno,jest ciemno, jest dobrze, jest pożno.
kpc21 1 | 763
9 Feb 2015 #8
Ex : Jesteś (kobieta) piękna or To jest samochód

Wrong. I mean "To jest samochód" is OK, but "Jesteś (piękna) kobieta" is wrong. "Jesteś (piękną) kobietą". Nominative is only with "to". "To jest (piękna) kobieta" would be OK, but in this case meaning is changed (from "You are a [beautiful] woman" to "This is a [beautiful] woman").

If you are talking about somebody or something in the third person then you can replace "jest" with "to" ("to jest" sounds rather innatural), and then you use Nominative instead of Instrumental. But in the second person it doesn't work.

You can do something like this (and the meaning is still the same):
"Anna jest piękną kobietą" -> "Anna to piękna kobieta"
Maybe the version with "to" is a bit more formal.

If you really would like to do it in the second person, it would be something like this:
"(Ty) jesteś piękną kobietą" -> "Ty to piękna kobieta"
But don't even try to do anything like this! This sentence (meaning the second one) is ugly, innatural and nobody would like to be addressed in such a way. It's horrible.

The first one (I mean with "Ty" included) is OK if you want to emphasise that beautiful is just the woman you are talking to and nobody else.

But I saw in Rosetta (language learning software) : "To jest moja matka" (byc + nominative) (A girl was pointing at her mother), and after that "Pan jest moim nauczycielem" (byc + instrumental)

"To jest moja matka" - "This is my mother"
"Pan jest moim nauczycielem" - "You are my teacher" ("You are" in the polite form, so it is the third person in fact, but it changes nothing apart from the verb form)

After "to" you have nominative.

did I miss something concerning possessive pronouns?

It seems so :)

So, concluding:
- the object after "to be" normally is in the instrumental case
- after the pronoun "to" it is in the nominative
- in the third person (both singular and plural) the verb "to be" can be replaced with the pronoun "to" (which don't have the meaning "this", it means just "is"/"are") and then the object is in nominative

Some people try to extend this last use of "to" as "to jest", but as for me (as for Polish native speaker), it looks a bit strange and it rather isn't used in practice. The only place where I saw it were some definitions given by teachers at school (especially those teaching biology). Even there it looked weird and taking notes I replaced it with just "to". "To" (or maybe this strange "to jest", which keeps the behaviour of the rest of the sentence such as with "to" only) is preferred to "jest"/"są" in giving definitions, just because of the fact you continue it in the nominative, so the whole is less messy. Of course, in definitions you can also use just a dash.

Like, let's take one from the Polish Wikipedia (or, at least, its beginning):

Proxima Centauri (łac. proxima - najbliższa) - gwiazda typu czerwony karzeł znajdująca się około 4,22 lat świetlnych (40 bilionów km) od Ziemi, w gwiazdozbiorze Centaura.

(here it's with a dash)
which means

Proxima Centauri (from Latin proxima - the closest) - a star of the red dwarf type located about 4.22 light-years (40 trillion km) from the Earth in the Centaurus constellation.

If you use "to" (or "to jest", but I don't recommend it):

Proxima Centauri (łac. proxima - najbliższa) to (jest) gwiazda typu czerwony karzeł znajdująca się około 4,22 lat świetlnych (40 bilionów km) od Ziemi, w gwiazdozbiorze Centaura.

Everything remains like it was with the dash - in Nominative.

If you want to apply "jest", then it gets a bit messy (here it's OK because it's quite short, but were it longer, it would be worse):

Proxima Centauri (łac. proxima - najbliższa) jest gwiazdą typu czerwony karzeł znajdującą się około 4,22 lat świetlnych (40 bilionów km) od Ziemi, w gwiazdozbiorze Centaura.

Generally speaking, the form with "to" is preferred in long, complex sentences.
Tdx - | 6
9 Feb 2015 #9
Thank you very much for your complete answers.

Jest + adverb for things like weather and some others: Jest chłodno,jest ciemno, jest dobrze, jest pożno.

That sum up very well, I saw the same explanation in another post but it was about "Jestem" , but nothing about the evil "To" :), so I was confused!

I already read about the ellipsis of "jest" in "To jest", but I thought "To jest" simply meant "This is", and that "to" was a simplification...

However we can't do that for "Co to jest?" Right? (Maybe because "to" has really the meaning "this" in this sentence and not "is"?)

"Pan jest moim nauczycielem" - "You are my teacher" ("You are" in the polite form, so it is the third person in fact, but it changes nothing apart from the verb form)

Yes, so it's conjugated like 3rd person, so could we replace "jest" by "to" and say "Pan to mój nauczyciel" (nominative) with the same meaning "You are my teacher"? or it's rude like "Ty to piękna kobieta" because it's direct speech? (I'm just wondering as "to" seems "reserved" for 3rd person), I guess it will be the same answer for "Państwo".

"Ty to piękna kobieta" => "rude"
"Anna to piękna kobieta" OK

If somebody says "Anna to inteligentną kobieta" and I want to approve by answering something like "Yes, she is", is it wrong to say "Tak, to jest"? I mean it's just re-using the "to" of the 1st sentence. Or maybe "Tak jest"? I already saw this in some sentences but I'm not sure about the meaning and use. Or just... "Tak"? :D. Does the same answer apply if Anna says "Jestem inteligentną kobietą" , can I answer "Tak, jesteś"? (It's a bit off topic, but I wonder)

So about plural form, replace "są" and say "To samochody" is correct too, isn't it?

I'm not sure why it's "moim nauczycielem" and not "mój nauczyciel", did I miss something concerning possessive pronouns?
It seems so :)

I just have been confused because of 3rd person, not knowing that in fact it was because of "To" we use nominative, and not "jest" ^^, no connexion with possessive pronouns right?

"To profesor" vs "Jest profesorem", it's crystal clear that "to => nominative" and "jest => instrumental", however in this example instrumental is used to focus on the profession, so that "to" and "jest" aren't interchangeable without altering the meaning (because we could use nominative and it wouldn't focus on the profession anymore). Is it really important? I mean if somebody asks me "What is this guy job?", does it change a lot if I answer "To profesor" or "Jest profesorem"? I don't really see the difference...

Anyway, replace to jest/to są by simply "to" is a nice trick to keep using nominative form!
Sorry for all these questions even if I think it stays in the "Być + instrumental" topic", it's not as simple as it seems

Thank you again for your time and explanations :)
kpc21 1 | 763
9 Feb 2015 #10
However we can't do that for "Co to jest?" Right? (Maybe because "to" has really the meaning "this" in this sentence and not "is"?)

You can ask "Co to?" and it's enough. Although "Co to jest?" is also very OK. But in such sentences the object is always in Nominative. Continuing the topic of stars from my previous post :) : "Co to biały karzeł?" = "Co to jest biały karzeł?" = "What is a white dwarf?".

Yes, so it's conjugated like 3rd person, so could we replace "jest" by "to" and say "Pan to mój nauczyciel" (nominative) with the same meaning "You are my teacher"?

Looks considerably better than "Ty to mój nauczyciel", but still I don't recommend to use anything like this with respect to anybody, especially taking into account that if you use "Pan" you want to be polite. Although... "Pan to bardzo miły człowiek" looks OK. It's a thing of very tiny nuances.

If somebody says "Anna to inteligentną kobieta"

Anna to inteligentna kobieta.
or
Anna jest inteligentną kobietą.

I want to approve by answering something like "Yes, she is", is it wrong to say "Tak, to jest"?

I would say "Zgadza się" (something like "Right"). If you really want to use your version (but it's not too good) - it would be "Tak, jest". "Tak, to jest" can mean only "Yes, this is". Comma is important because "Tak jest" without it is an answer to a command. Something like "OK, I will do it". I may imagine a soldier having been given an order, saluting and saying "Tak jest" for confirmation.

In "Tak, to jest" comma is also important. Otherwise it would be "Tak to jest" - "It's just so". And "Tak, to jest" rather isn't used without any continuation.

Generally speaking, in Polish it's enough to answer "Tak" or "Nie" to a question, you don't have to add anything like "she is" or "she isn't" and it's not natural for the language.

Does the same answer apply if Anna says "Jestem inteligentną kobietą" , can I answer "Tak, jesteś"? (It's a bit off topic, but I wonder)

Yes, you can, but I would say just "zgadza się".

So about plural form, replace "są" and say "To samochody" is correct too, isn't it?

Perfectly OK, a longer version is "To są samochody".

"To profesor" vs "Jest profesorem"

"Jest" doesn't have the meaning "this is" included, so without any introduction only the first one is correct ("This is a professor"). But if somebody asks you for example "Kim jest Mateusz", you may answer "Jest profesorem" (with default subject, of course you can add "Mateusz" in the beginning; "On jest profesorem" I would translate as "It's he who is a professor"). Or even shorter: "Profesorem" ("Who is Mateusz?" "A professor.").

I mean if somebody asks me "What is this guy job?", does it change a lot if I answer "To profesor" or "Jest profesorem"?

"Jest profesorem" is better because you continue the form from the question. "To profesor" is worse stylistically but it will also work (as something like "Ten facet to profesor" with the subject cut out because we know about whom we are talking).
Tdx - | 6
9 Feb 2015 #11
Ok, so I will use Tak/nie (or Zgadza się maybe!) it's easy to remember, sounds more correct and "natural"!
The part about "To professor" vs "Jest profesorem" is clear too.

Thank you very much for your explanations :)
md33 - | 5
18 Feb 2015 #12
Hey, Tdx! Don't worry, that's not that illogical. DominicB posted a great TL;DR version.
Here's some background about usage:

1. You can think of "to (jest) + noun" as a verbal gesture - you're introducingsomething or someone. (like here usnews.com/pubdbimages/image/37741/FE_DA_120911iPhoneJobs425x283.jpg). That's why it makes some sense that introduced person/topic/animal/thing is in nominative case. You use it mostly when you meet someone "To (jest) mój mąż, Marek. Poznajcie się" or point something out "Patrz, to (jest) mój dom". You won't need that construction that often, but it's good to know.

2. "to (jest) + noun" is very important in learning Polish, because that's what you use in many questions. When you see a strange object or a noun you don't know you should ask "Co to jest?". For example: "Co to jest 'noc'?", "Co to jest?" (and point to the strange object) or "Co to było? (something's just happened and you don't have any idea what that was). You can also ask "kto to jest" about a third person you don't know, let's say you've heard name in a conversation and you don't know that person or you see a guy on the other side of the room at a party and you want to learn more about him.

3. "Noun to (jest) noun" is like noun = noun. it's the simplest form you can use to explain one thing with another. In writing "noun to (jest) noun" can be even replaced by a dash "noun - noun". That's used in definitions. Every article in Polish wikipedia begins with "XYZ - noun".

4. "To (jest) + adjective" is used all the time, because that's how you state you're strong opinion about something or react to something. "To głupie", "to fajne, że.." (it's cool that..), "to tak głupie, że aż fajne" (it's so stupid that it it's cool). Notice that the adjective agrees with "to" - it is in nominative neuter.

5. Let's combine points 1 and 4. "To (jest) + adjective + noun" is mainly used in descriptions: "To była ciemna, listopadowa noc.." It is also used to point something out and make an opinion at the same time. "To (jest) najlepszy dzień w moim życiu" or "To jest paskudna pogoda" (This is a nasty weather), "To jest fajny pomysł" (This is a cool idea). Notice that here the adjective agrees with the noun (it's in nominative case and gender is the same as the noun).

Remember: "To (jest)" is a verbal gesture. You use it whenever you're, the boss, the master of a certain situation - you have the knowledge and now everybody else learns. E.g. you're a host introducing a third person, a guide describing your surroundings or a writer and you desribe your world (usually in the past tense). Let's say you have some priviliged knowledge and you want to share it with others (e.g. make a dictionary definition). Also when you have a strong opinion you think everybody should know. You are Steve Jobs, you have this funny little thing and you're about to share it with the rest of the world. Frequently "to (jest) + adjective" is followed by exclamation mark ("To głupie!")

By the same logic, in questions you're pretty much asking somebody else to take on the role of the host, the boss. You're lost and you expect that person to know something about the world or about other people. ("Co to było?", "Co to jest", "Kto to jest?"). You don't pretend to have a faintest idea what's going on.

EVEN MORE BACKGROUND:

Compare all that with "być + instrumental". "Być+intrumental" is much more frequently used because here you expect the person you communicate with to know something basic about the subject of conversation and you focus on the place that thing or person take in a web of relations. When you see somebody at a party you can ask "Kto to jest?" but also "Kim on jest?", because you want to know thing like: his job, where did he come from, whose friend is he etc. That's why the aswer "On jest profesorem" sounds natural and "To jest profesor" not always. By saying "To jest profesor" you imply some sort of a definition or a description. You're telling that you have some important and revealing information about the nature of the person described. In English I'd translate this as "This is THE Professor". "Look! Let me introduce to you this amazing creature: THE PROFESSOR". (by the way, saying "To jest profesor Nowak" or "To jest mój profesor" makes more sense because you're sharing some information that makes him distinct).

Both questions ("Kto to jest" and "Kim on jest") are fine. But you ask either about the person him/herself (Kto to jest) or his or her place in the whole scheme of things (Kim on/ona jest). That's why you will frequently hear "On jest Polakiem" and not "To jest Polak". The latter sounds like you're a guide in a zoo and show some strange species: "Patrzcie! To jest małpa. To jest Polak. To jest profesor."

"Co to jest?" means "What is it?" but "Czym to jest?" is closer to "What is it used for". Sounds artificial. If you want to know a purpose of something ask "Do czego to jest?".

"Co to było?" can be useful. It can be used when you don't understand a situation that's just taken place or there was a loud noise and you don't know what's caused it. "Czym to było?" is very artificial. I can't even think of a context where you'd use such a structure.

"Co to jest 'noc'" is a great question because it is obvious for a native speaker that you are asking about the word - you need a definition. If you aks "Czym jest noc" they will know from context that you want to know the meaning of the word, but it can be also understood as a philosophical or poetic question about the night. Like: how does "the night" fit into the general scheme of things?
Tdx - | 6
22 Feb 2015 #13
Wow, thanks a lot for the clear and long post, I think almost all the uses of "byc" have been covered now :D
MowPoPolsku - | 6
23 Feb 2015 #14
Here are some games to help you practise Instrumental.
Enjoy

purposegames.com/list/polish-noun-declensions-instrumental
md33 - | 5
23 Feb 2015 #15
Phew! I am glad it was useful:) Fun fact is that in written Polish you won't see "być" too much! That's a question of style. Check out any news site, for example wiadomosci.wp.pl/kat,18032,name,wiadomosci,kategoria.html and try to count all the "jest"s on the page. Forms of "być" are considered not very elegant in written language and using "być" a sentence right after another is a big no-no. Journalists and writers do anything they can to avoid that unless they want to sound unsophisticated (although sometimes "być" is unavoidable - for example when using passive voice)

On the other hand in spoken language "być" is used all the time, even by politicians, artists and other public figures.

Consider this example: you're having borscht at your aunt's place and you are about to say that you really, really like the soup. You want to make this verbal gesture we talked about and introduce your opinion, so you use "to jest + adjective" or "to jest + noun". Therefore you say "Ciociu, to jest pyszne" or "Ciociu, to jest pyszna zupa" (Dear Aunt! This is delicious or This is a delicious soup). But if you would then describe that whole situation in a letter you woud't write "Na obiad była zupa. To była pyszna zupa" (we had a soup for the dinner. It was a delicious soup) or "Na obiad była zupa. Zupa była pyszna". You'd try to avoid repetition, for example like this "Na obiad była pyszna zupa" or use some other verb than "być" - "Ciocia dała mi pyszną zupę" (Auntie gave me some delicious soup).
Tdx - | 6
3 Mar 2015 #16
Thanks again md33!

Here is another question, linked to "byc".

I saw "To nie (jest) ptak/książka" (or whatever else). But there is the negation "nie", so shouldn't it be genitive (ptaka/książki) instead of nominative? Or the "To jest + nominative" rule wins over negation?

Does it apply to something like "On nie jest kobietą (or kobietą?)" (I know it's a stupid example but it's for learning :D)
Lyzko 25 | 7,009
3 Mar 2015 #17
Stupid?? It's an excellent question, in fact. No question is stupid if you're learning:-)

I would say "On nie jest kobietą." is correct. Then again, I'm not a native speaker! Not even close and so I'd have to rely on my native colleagues for the last word on that one.

A final note though to your last question. It IS true, that when negating in Polish, even if, say, the sentence were an accusative "I have a book.",[Mam książkę.], if the sentence were instead, "I DON'T have a book." [Nie mam książki.], the latter would always have to stand in the genitive case!

Why that is, I'm not certain.
Tdx - | 6
3 Mar 2015 #18
Yes the rule is Negation + genitive I read, so it seems the only exception is when there is "To" like in "To nie "noun" (nominative)"?

Although I kept searching and I found a sentence "Nie jest prezydentem", so it seems the nie + genitive didn't apply?

Thank you, and thanks to MowPoPolsku, I forgot to thank her for her amazing games, it's funnier to learn with that!)

Oh I wanted to ask (Can't edit my previous message anymore), can you say "On/Ona" for an animal? (I read somewhere that you can for a personal object like your car etc... even if it's informal) It may seems strange but well in french we can :D
jon357 63 | 15,207
3 Mar 2015 #19
You can if you want - I know plenty of people who refer to their pets using those pronouns. A pig on a farm, a fish in a tank (unless you really want to) or a lizard in the zoo is a bit different.
md33 - | 5
3 Mar 2015 #20
You can think of "To (nie)(jest) noun in nominative" as a fixed expression. Sure, "To" means "this thing here that I can't really tell the gender of", but you're really using this in a more abstract sense when you say "To jest książka" or "To książka"

Think of the English expression "used to do something", like "I used to swim a lot". You can say "I used a keyboard", but it's completely different structure.

In "To nie jest kobieta" or "To nie kobieta" the word "to" doesn't really have a meaning on it's own, it's just a placeholder, it's part and parcel of the expression "to (nie) (jest) noun in nominative".

In negation you use it in the same context that I already talked about (introduction, pointing out something in the surroundings, question about something you have no idea, giving a strong opinion).

In the sentence "On/ona/ono nie jest kobietą" On/ona/ono does have a meaning. It's not part of a fixed expression, therefore it follows all the normal rules. You can substitute a lot of things for on/ona/ono here, like - "ten człowiek nie jest kobietą", "ten pies nie jest kobietą", "mężczyzna nie jest kobietą", "ten tu nie jest kobietą" (this one here is not a woman), "tamto nie jest kobietą" (that thing of a indetermined gender over there is not a woman), "to coś nie jest kobietą" (this noun refering to a thing in our immediate surroundings that I don't know how to call is not a woman) etc. Notice that in the final example "to" is not part of fixed expression, it's a particle in neuter gender that gives additional information about "coś" (noun of a neuter gender), a very similiar thing as "ten człowiek nie jest kobietą", "ta kobieta nie jest kobietą", "to dziecko nie jest kobietą" ("to" means "this here").

If you say "To nie jest kobietą" you don't really use the word "to" as part of a fixed expression. Fixed to belongs to "To+(nie)(jest)+nominative" and here you don't have nominative. Sure, you can say that. But the only meaningful context I can think of is if you see a monster from outer space that is neither on/ona/ono, you can't really say anything about it, but you want to say that it's not a woman:) And even then, more natural would be to say "To coś nie jest kobietą".

So, you can remember that whenever you want to make the verbal gesture you use "to + (nie)(jest) + noun in nominative" and that it's just a chunk of language. In all other cases normal rules apply. That's why you say "To nie jest prezydent" but "On nie jest prezydentem"
Tdx - | 6
3 Mar 2015 #21
Ok, thanks, it's perfectly clear (the part about the monster from outter space is epic :)).
So "To nie + anything(noun/adjective) in nominative form", exactly the same as the affirmative form, well it simplifies things a lot once you know it's a fixed expression.

Thanks again
Lyzko 25 | 7,009
3 Mar 2015 #22
In my learning experience, the Instrumental Case ("Narzędnik") causes some of the biggest headaches for many students of Polish, as it does not seem to even remotely correspond with anything in English! Certain verbs which require this case don't quite compute with English learners trying to grasp the very concept of case, e.g. "interesować" [Interesuję historią Polski. = I'm interested in Polish history] etc.

All too frequently, we foreigners ask "why" something is a certain way, rather than accepting it as it is!
kpc21 1 | 763
3 Mar 2015 #23
Interesuję się historią Polski.

But it's just a construction that must be remembered. In German it's yet different: Ich interessiere mich für polnische Geschichte. Something like "I interest myself for Polish history". Interestingly, the Polish version translated literally would be something like this: "I interest myself with the history of Poland" - so similar to the German one :)

Although the Germans have also a version resembling the English one: Ich bin interessiert an polnischer Geschichte. Translating very literally into English: "I am interested on Polish history".

If you aren't a native speaker of a very exotic language, like for example Chinese, it's sometimes worth to look for similarities between Polish and the language you speak, or know as another foreign language.
Lyzko 25 | 7,009
3 Mar 2015 #24
The missing "się" was actually a typo. Indeed, German also uses reflexives in situations where English wouldn't:-)
md33 - | 5
4 Mar 2015 #25
Oh, I think that asking "why" is the whole fun of learning! And because many European languages come from the same root, it's even more interesting. There was an intrumental case in Old English and Old German, there was one in Sanskrit and even Latin had "instrumental ablative", a different case conveying the same meaning. I probably don't need to mention that in Russian you use intrumental pretty much the same as in Polish.

If you look at a handy grammar table (such as this excellent little thing here - lsa.umich.edu/slavic/dept/WebBasedLanguage/Polish/Grammar/CaseSummary/Instrumental.htm) it's hard to show any logic governing usage. Like what's the similiarity between intrumental in the sentences "Idzie z mamą", "Pisze piórem", "Stoi na ławce" and "Jest kobietą"? I don't really think that it's just arbitrary. Otherwise all those people in different languages wouldn't bother to copy that in their speech. It seems there must be something - it's just that I didn't find it yet:)
Lyzko 25 | 7,009
4 Mar 2015 #26
Fun it may well be, though not terribly useful! This is because the native speaker of the language from whom you're trying to learn probably themselves never learned the "whys" and "wherefores" either, hence will most likely be at a (not so) gentle loss to explain the reasons for a given structure, case ending etc.

A foreign-born linguist however, might indeed be able to gladly explain why something is the way it is:-)

Furthermore, when posting a link, please make certain it is still activeLOL

))

You can always paste the link into the address bar :)
KrzysiaL 1 | 3
11 Dec 2015 #27
Merged: Byc- instrumental in all cases?

If I were to say "I am a rock", "She is a beauty", or "You are a Christmas tree", would I place rock, beauty, or Christmas tree in the instrumental?

I ask this because I want to check whether ALL nouns (besides profession) become instrumental after byc.

Also, I realized that there was a very similar sounding thread besides this.
I read through it and it doesn't answer my question, although it does explain other questions very well.
I apologize if I should have combined this thread, but any help would be appreciated! Thank you!
Wulkan - | 3,251
11 Dec 2015 #28
If I were to say "I am a rock", "She is a beauty", or "You are a Christmas tree", would I place rock, beauty, or Christmas tree in the instrumental?

Yes. skałą, pięknością, choinką.
Lyzko 25 | 7,009
11 Dec 2015 #29
On the other hand, when commenting, e.g. "What a rock!" or "What a beauty!" (Jaka śliczna!/piękność!..), the NOMINATIVE, not the Instrumental is used:-)

This case (narzędnik) has no rough equivalent in English, certainly not as is used in the Polish language, i.e. when introducing one's profession etc.)
KrzysiaL 1 | 3
11 Dec 2015 #30
Ok, thank you very much, lyzko! That clears up a lot of things for me!

Oh, another question. In conversation, do Poles sometimes mix up cases? I asked a family member who speaks Polish how to say, "I am a cat", and he said "Jestem kot".

Is it normal for Poles to be a little lazy with grammar, when talking?


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