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I am struggling how to determine which case to use in Polish, can anybody help?


eyenonathin 4 | 7
19 Mar 2012  #1
I have the definitions of all the cases and the description of when to use them, but I am confused by some of the cases, such as:

pod stołem (under the table) uses the instrumental case, I understand this case to demonstrate the 'tools or means' of the sentence, but I don't understand how that sentence fits into this description.

'interesuję się sportem' also confuses me, as what is the tools or means here? I can see this case working with 'przyjechałam somochodem' as the car is the tool in the sentence, but I don't understand it with the other examples. I think I just need a clearer description of the instrumental case than 'by the tools or means' and after prepositions such as 'z' 'za' 'być' and 'zostać' can anybody help?
a.k.
19 Mar 2012  #2
some of the words/pharases you have to learn by heart and not think too much why there is used such case and not other. the definition you've provided is just a general description of the meaning of the case but not all of its usage falls into this category.
Space Cadet 1 | 19
19 Mar 2012  #3
In Latin there is only 5 declensions. Polish has 16 of those and tons of exceptions.
The cases answer questions:
1. who or what is it? lampa
2. whose or what's? lampy
3. to whom? lampie
4. whom? lampę
5. with whom? z lampą
6. about who? o lampie
7. calling lampo!
I admire those African students that I knew in Warsaw, who mastered Polish language in 1 year with all its declensions, conjugations, gradations, diminutives etc.
Cadet
catsoldier 62 | 596
19 Mar 2012  #4
As far as I know some verbs use certain cases:
Interesować się always takes instrumental.
Uczyć się always takes dopełniacz.

Certain prepositions also use certain cases but sometimes they can be a choice of 2 cases(there could be more choices but I haven't got this far) depending on what you want to say.

Czy tylko ja mam problem co kupić dziecku pod choinkę,macie jakies ciekawe pomysły na prezent dla 3latki? Here the bold part means for Christmas, use accusative.

JEDNA rzecz, którą chciałbyś/chciałabyś zobaczyć pod choinką? Here the bold part means literally under the Christmas tree, Pod in this case takes instrumental.

There are many things on the internet but you really need a book like Hurra Po Polsku 1 or some other book and a teacher.

Both examples copied from the internet :-)
OP eyenonathin 4 | 7
19 Mar 2012  #5
with whom? z lampą

this is the case I have trouble with, as 'interesuję się sportem' and 'Gertha jest Niemką' are not 'with' anybody- I can't see the tools or means in this sentence. I just wondered if anybody could give a clearer explanation of that one case for me. Not the rest I am doing just fine with them.

Interesować się always takes instrumental.
Uczyć się always takes dopełniacz.

Thank you, now I have been told I will have no trouble remembering it. It would have been great if I could have found this information somewhere on the web, it's so awkward trying to gather learning material.

I will definitely look into purchasing an academic book, in the meantime however, I am trying to cram as much learning in as possible before my trip to Poland in 6 weeks!
catsoldier 62 | 596
19 Mar 2012  #6
'Gertha jest Niemką'

Like spacecadet said about sometimes you need to ask a question to find out what case you should use?

Here the question is:

Kim jest Gertha?
Gertha jest Niemką.

Questions with Kim, Czym, Z Czym are ansered in the instrumental
OP eyenonathin 4 | 7
19 Mar 2012  #7
Kim jest Gertha?
Gertha jest Niemką.

Thanks! it has finally clicked! (I think) I didn't think about asking the question first to get the answer, now I feel silly!

thanks for the advice!

pozdrawiam
Peter Cracow
20 Mar 2012  #8
We use instrumental case in a few situations:
1
describing tool or method:
tool - I am riding a bike. - Jadę rowerem. (plural - rowerami)
means/way/method - I am seducing him with my charm. - Uwodzę go wdziękiem. (plural - wdziękami)
2
after prepositions: z, ze, za, pod, nad
With Polish language teacher. - Z nauczycielem polskiego. (plural - nauczycielami)
With/Behind/In front of/Under/Over a table. - Ze/Za/Przed/Pod/Nad stołem. (plural - stołami) BUT! On a table. - Na stole. (locativ)

3
with verbs: być, zostać, interesować się
I am/became/am interested in a priest. - Jestem/Zostałem/Interesuję się księdzem. (plural - księżmi)

Mmmh... Fortunately I don't need to learn Polish.
Lyzko
20 Mar 2012  #9
Kim jest + Instrumental, Kto jest as well: Kim jest Zbyszek? Zbyszek jest Polakiem.
Kto jest Zbyszek? Zbyszek jest moim przyjacielem.
FlaglessPole 4 | 669
20 Mar 2012  #10
Kto jest Zbyszek? Zbyszek jest moim przyjacielem.

Kto jest Zbyszkiem?

;)
a.k.
20 Mar 2012  #11
Kto jest Zbyszek?

A correction:
Kto to jest Zbyszek? Zbyszek to mój przyjaciel.
Lyzko
21 Mar 2012  #12
Ahaaaaa! Ślicznie dziękuję, a.k.!

:-)))


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