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7 Jul 2012 #1

I'm studying polish through rosetta stone and have come across the sentence "kocham swoją matkę." The program says that it means 'I love my mother' but I learned from a grammar book that swoj and it's forms mean something like 'your own' so would that sentence mean I love my mother, or I love your mother?

Vincent 9 | 941 Moderator
7 Jul 2012 #2
so would that sentence mean I love my mother, or I love your mother?

"I love my own mother" would be correct.
7 Jul 2012 #3
Often a tricky concept for learners, Krow!

"Swój, swoja, swoje etc." refer to the person speaking about THEMSELVES, as opposed to another person. It is NOT a reflexive structure, however:-)

The form you list, "swojEGO" is a Genitive masculine/neuter case ending, e.g. "On czyta książkę SWOJEGO brata." = He's reading his (own, and NOT someone else's...) brother's book.

(Ja) czytam moją książkę. = I'm reading my book.
(Ty) czytasz Twoją książkę. = You're reading your book.
(On/ona) czyta swoją książkę. = He/She's reading his/her (own) book.

If you wish to indicate in Polish, e.g. "She's reading her, i.e. somebody else's, book.", then you would say/write "Ona czyta JEJ książkę.", here, making the referrent inspecific:-)

This, but only a partial answer for the time being. Much more can posted on this subject, more, regrettably, for which than I presently have the time.
OP Krow
7 Jul 2012 #4
Thank you!
7 Jul 2012 #5
Further everyday applications for this pronoun are:

"Przepraszam, panienko! Panienka zapomniała swoją gazetę!" = Pardon me, young lady! You forgot your (not repeating "Panienka" twice) paper!

Occasionally too when referring to someone in a formal context, the third person will commonly be used. "No, czy pan już ma swój dom? Tylko od dwóch lat pracuje". = Well now, you already have your own house? You've only been working for two years.
peter_olsztyn 6 | 1,098
8 Jul 2012 #6
swoj and it's forms mean something like 'your own'

Nie zabieraj mi długopisu. Nie masz swojego?
Hey man. Don't take|steal my pen. Don't you have your own?

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