Polish nouns and adjectives have 7 cases, they answer different questions, unfortunately these questions are hard to translate into English, but I will try: 1. who?/what? - mężczyznA (a man); 2. whose?/of what? - mężczyznY (man's/of man); 3. to who(m)?/to what? - mężczyźnIE (to a man); 4. whom?/what? - mężczyznĘ (like in "widzę mężczyznę"-"I see a man"); 5. (with) who?/(by) what? - (z) mężczyznĄ (with a man or "man" in "I am a man"); 6. about who/what? OR where?- o/w mężczyźnIE (about a man or in a man) 7. this one has no question, it's used for calling - mężczynO! (you, man!).
In sentences like "I am X"/"He is Y" we use the fifth case, in English it may seem illogical, but in Polish the fifth case answers two questions: 1. "z kim?" (with who?) OR 2. "kim?" (and here English has no simple translation, it's something like "who (am I)?"/"who (is he)?" etc. - hence "Ja jestem mężczyzną".
Yes, I know, it's really hard, but all Indo-European languages had similar cases, later many of them lost it at some point of their development - in this regard Polish is very archaic, it even has that seventh case (vocative) like in Latin.
I think I'll wait for the chinese course is released...it might be easier haha
Chinese is indeed much easier! All is invariant in chinese. The only two challenges are the tones, which one must hear (they are a completely new thing to us) and memorise, and the characters, which are a true challenge to the momery
Seven cases??!!! I swear, cases will be the death of me, I even have trouble with GERMAN cases... oh dear
I just realised that I also plan on learning Hungarian, which has even more cases... why do I do this to myself?
Polak, Węgier – dwa bratanki,
i do szabli, i do szklanki
Oba zuchy, oba żwawi, niech im Pan Bóg błogosławi.
Lengyel, magyar – két jó barát Együtt harcol s issza borát Vitéz s bátor mindkettője Áldás szálljon mindkettőre.
But the Hungarian case system is much easier, you basically take a noun and then you add some particle, so it's something like: house-in, car-by, friend-with etc., while in Polish it's like: in house+proper case ending.
7 this one has no question
It is called the "vocative" case (the calling case). We used to have it in Russian, but in modern Russian we use the nominative instead. We still use the vocative forms of personal names though :)
А в украинском до сих пор есть! Только наблюдается тенденция на отмирание.
I started all over after getting totally lost in those cases. Thank you for this list.
So, the first case is nominative, the fifth instrumental, the fourth accusative and the seventh vocative. Am I right so far?
That leaves me with genitive, dative and one more. Can anyone help me here?
Thanks User A. I've learned several languages so far. Mostly I'd get along with some basic grammar, the rest would come naturaly with a little exercise. Polish though requires digging deeper. After I posted my question I searched further. I've now made some more detailed notes using the info on https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Polish. Maybe also a good tip for other who struggle with cases. Now see that I get some feeling fot the endings.
I am native Czech speaker and Cz cases are the same, just we use different numbers. What you wrote looks right to me.
I'm still confused but this deserves a lingot donation from me to you. Thanks!
Yes, it's almost exactly like in Russian. The main difference is that Russian lost the vocative case. There are also many minor differences, when the same verbs "trigger" different cases.
As far as I know, among modern Slavic languages only Bulgarian and Macedonian don't have this type of case system.
Which makes even the closest language to mine hard to master (Serbo-Croatian). So Bulgarians (who don't speak Russian) and Macedonians just freeball their sentences and use whatever case sounds nicer to our ears :D We know, it's terrible.
Which is why when we speak English we know where to (not) put the definite and indefinite article, unlike our Serbian and Russian brethren (e.g. I take car tonight).
Even makes Swedish and Danish easier too!
Well, on the other hand you have those unique articles or the inferential mood that are quite difficult for other Slavs.
I wonder why the instrumental case? Historical linguists that specialize in Slavic languages of Duolingo, can you help us out here? I find it too interesting NOT to know.
In general, keep in mind that thanks to the declension (change of cases) the word order in Polish can be very flexible. While in some languages, like German or Swedish, you NEED to keep a certain word order, and you need to be pretty careful about it in English too, in Polish, thanks to declension, you have more freedom (of course, some variations are more natural, and some of them are less natural). Poles often use different cases, when English people have to use prepositions instead. Some example of this sentence freedom: the sentences Dziewczyna lubi chłopaka and Dziewczynę lubi chłopak, although seemigly similar, mean something else. The first one means "The girl likes the boy" and the second one "The boy likes the girl". The second one is not a neutral sentence (Chłopak lubi dziewczynę" would be neutral), but it still conveys the meaning
(neutral - you mean natural?) ...the freedom in moving the words around is great for poetry, btw ;)
Both neutral and natural. Neutral, meaning, it does not sound like an unusual way to say something. I believe the issue might be related to the so-called "markedness" in the language, but I do not remember anymore whether it applies only to words, or to the order in sentences too.
Often, although not always, the use of the Instrumental case with an object or compliment of a Subject can indicate that the object or compliment is indefinite (e.g. a man).
There are likely exceptions to this. I've simply read about this once upon a time.
In Russian we have a synonym of the verb "to be" in terms of "to be someone or something" - "являться" (a kind of "to appear" in English), that always works with the instrumental case. I am not a linguist, but my guess is:
Someone or something can "be" or "appear" in (by) different ways, so the "appearance" acts here as an "instrument".
- I am a man, I appear by the way of a man.
UPD. The instrument is "a way of being".
A sound comment from a fellow user:" All "Y-nouns" in sentences like: "X-noun is Y-noun" or "X-personal pronoun is Y-noun" take the instrumental case, while "Y-nouns" in sentences like "X-demonstrative is Y-noun" take the nominative case, so "Ja jestem kobietą", but "To jest kobieta"."
Yes, to my understanding, predicate nouns take the instrumental case in Polish.
I have a personal mission to learn all the languages of my ancestors. I know, I'm weird. But I have to learn Polish, German, Italian, Irish, and Scottish. As well as French for college and Romanian for Archaeology. Good luck me..
Życzę ci powodzenie! I wish you luck! I have the same goal. I am trying to learn Polish for the same reason!
Why Romanian for Archeology - are you focused on a certain site, or culture?
I am trying to learn my ancestors' languages, also (except German because I am afraid I will never catch on to it, buf now that I've typed it, Ifeel Ishould give it an honezt try...), so you are not alone. I am also trying to learn Lithuanian, because my husband's biological father is from Lithuania. I need to learn it to help him learn it lol. If that makes me weird to want to know my ancestral languages, so be it!
Yes. It's exactly like the Portuguese nasal. That little tail below the vowel signifies that sound.
I do not know if it is as in Portuguese, but it sound like the nasal u in French, "un homme"
To my surprise I find similarities to Turkish, more than to any European language I know. Does that make sence?
Yes, it does - the Polish Commonwealth's longest border was, for a long time, the one shared with Turkey, and the cultural exchange proved inevitable. <br><br> More so, from the alternate linguistics' angle (and how it is that it's only the alternate linguistics that acknowledge that the standard test of checking how alike counting system is - marks a strikingly high likeness between Slavic languages and Sanskrit) - Turkish is still notably different from Slavic languages, but closer to them than to any of the West-European language groups, as it shares a lot of phonemes.
Is it necessary to include the pronoun Ja"? In Spanish, we can say, "Soy un hombre" or "Yo soy un hombre." In English we must say, "I am a man" and in French we must say, "Je suis un homme."
I don't quite understand why do I have to put it in a case other than nominative. Since in Serbo-Croatian I would've said "Ja jesam muškarac", the "male" noun would be in nominative, not acousative or instrumental :/
Well, so while we're still in the Slavic family, apparently they work differently here. When you have an "X is Y" sentence, there are usually two options: X + a form of "być" + Y in Instrumental, and X + to + Y in Nominative.
But the second option doesn't work when X is a personal pronoun, and seems rather clumsy (but acceptable when X is a person, like "My brother".
You can read more about it here: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/16373167
Whoa this is really funny to me because in Czech we normally use 1st case, or the 7th (seems like you have different numbers for them, but meaning if the case is it same) - but to say it in 7th is very old fashioned, archaic even. I think I am going to have a lot of fun with Polish :)
In Poland less and less people use it to refer to others, except two situations: Panie/Pani X, nominative doesn't fit here and when one wants to insult someone personally.
So is the "Ja" optional/implied with the tense of "jestem" just like it would be in Spanish or is it more grammatically correct to use "Ja"??
ą? It's best if you treat it as a completely different letter. It doesn't really have much to do with "a", it's a nasalized "o". It gives the 'ou' sound, like 'o' in "rose".
Similarly, ę is a nasalized e. 'eu' like in Spanish for "Europa" or "euro".
It changes pronunciation, as well as the grammatical case of the word. This verb requires the object to be in instrumental case.
if ja = i and jestem = I am why do you need to put ja? or does jestem become i am after the ja.
Ja means I, but jestem is only 'am' Since in Polish every person(grammatical) has it's own word (jestem, jesteś, jest, jesteśmy, jesteście) there is no need to say the subject too. It's like me saying 'Am running' in English, you know that it's me running, but that's just not natural for English speakers to do. In Polish that is natural and used often.
Confused in the sentence mężczyzna, mężczyzną because its have many meanings like 1 is man 2 is male . Please tell me what is it.
Mężczyzna and mężczyzną and just two shapes of the same word, one is in nominative, and other in instrumental grammatical case. It depends on a function that the noun has. Nominative is used for example when noun is a subject, and accusative when it has a function of an object in the sentence. You can find declention for most of the word on wiktionary. Here is for mężczyzna https://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/mężczyzna
"male" may be accepted somewhere, but generally if it works, it sounds like medical/scientific usage.
They don't allow written feedback yet, so I'm just going to point out that the word for "man" sounds incorrect in the audio. They didn't pronounce the nasalization of "e," and the nasal "a" sounded like "ym."
"jest" = 3rd person singular (he/she/it is)
"jestem" = 1st person singular (I am)