"Ja jestem mężczyzną."

Translation:I am a man.

December 10, 2015

87 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/alantrousers

"I'm the man!"

December 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/AlpacaGodess

lol

February 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Baru37706

Yes

July 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/neio75

why that ending?

December 10, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/JAndrzej

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.

December 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/neio75

I think I'll wait for the chinese course is released...it might be easier haha

December 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/PekS18

I can tell you it IS!! i need triple the time i needed to learn chinese!!

January 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/brunomi_fr

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

October 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/mufasaag

Nice one lol

October 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ConnorMaichle

Seven cases??!!! I swear, cases will be the death of me, I even have trouble with GERMAN cases... oh dear

December 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ConnorMaichle

I just realised that I also plan on learning Hungarian, which has even more cases... why do I do this to myself?

December 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/annierose5000

Why? because

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.

December 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/mskycc3

I have no idea what you said, but I liked this comment anyways. :)

August 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/GrzegorzCh212979

Fazowo sie uczyc polskiego bedac polakiem :)

March 5, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/BaciLacsi

That's a little "Strong"... (o:

August 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JAndrzej

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.

December 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ConnorMaichle

Really? Oh that's awesome!

December 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/RomanRussian

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 :)

December 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/JAndrzej

Да, я знаю. :)

December 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Ilona.Chaichenko

А в украинском до сих пор есть! Только наблюдается тенденция на отмирание.

April 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/susannah07

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?

February 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/A_User

The other is locative, I believe, which I think is the sixth.

February 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/susannah07

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.

February 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/TheNameIsAneta

I am native Czech speaker and Cz cases are the same, just we use different numbers. What you wrote looks right to me.

July 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/passionfruit12

I'm still confused but this deserves a lingot donation from me to you. Thanks!

May 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/IforGot2

Seems similar to Russian grammar. Thanks for writing it out.

July 16, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/JAndrzej

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.

July 17, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/martin.mk

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.

July 17, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/martin.mk

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!

July 17, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/JAndrzej

Well, on the other hand you have those unique articles or the inferential mood that are quite difficult for other Slavs.

July 17, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Zeynep890590

Great explanation, thanks for your time snd effort

June 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/daaaandi00

Thanks for your explanation! :)

September 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Jacobswood

Are you from poland or just are you just fluent in it

May 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Ina910713

Wow amazing detailments ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤ cow

April 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Ina910713

What a ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤ Dick comment i am queen Elizabeth of britain

April 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/malmi5

Napisz to po Polsku!XD En Polish pleas!XD

May 4, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut

Disclaimer: I am not a Polish speaker, I am just a learner with knowledge of other Slavic languages. I'm guessing the verb 'to be' takes the instrumental case in Polish.

December 10, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/otakufreak40

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.

December 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Bearneard

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

December 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Gumiennik

(neutral - you mean natural?) ...the freedom in moving the words around is great for poetry, btw ;)

December 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Bearneard

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.

December 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Brijsven

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.

December 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut

You know, I've no idea, now you've made me curious, too...

December 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/RomanRussian

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".

December 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/HansOder

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"."

December 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/jeshhurse

Yes, to my understanding, predicate nouns take the instrumental case in Polish.

December 10, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/gatekeeper22

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..

December 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/listkiewski

Życzę ci powodzenie! I wish you luck! I have the same goal. I am trying to learn Polish for the same reason!

June 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/cosmo-pedant

Why Romanian for Archeology - are you focused on a certain site, or culture?

April 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Denise763738

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!

April 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Denise763738

Good luck!!

April 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/PakPolyGlot

Did she pronounce "ną" at the end of "mężczyzną" like Portuguese nasal?

December 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/MarkBennett6

Yes. It's exactly like the Portuguese nasal. That little tail below the vowel signifies that sound.

February 15, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/MardukSky

I do not know if it is as in Portuguese, but it sound like the nasal u in French, "un homme"

December 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Nadiros2

Is it possible to omit the Ja here?

December 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Bearneard

Yes.

December 15, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Nadiros2

Thank you, kind sir!

December 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Bearneard

You are very welcome!

December 17, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/susannah07

To my surprise I find similarities to Turkish, more than to any European language I know. Does that make sence?

December 30, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Gumiennik

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.

December 31, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Michael_Edwin

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."

December 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Bearneard

No, see one post above. ;)

December 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/trackyack

Mezczyzną what does ą indicates In it

October 10, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/immery

it is instrumental case. you need instrumetal case. I suggest reading

https://www.duolingo.com/skill/pl/Defining for short answer

https://www.duolingo.com/comment/16373167 for longer answer

October 10, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/MiloPaunov

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 :/

February 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Jellei

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

February 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/gmokry

" I am a man " or " I'm a man "

March 31, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/TheNameIsAneta

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 :)

July 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Okcydent

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.

July 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/garrettjon2

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"??

September 14, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/immery

it is optional and implied. you only use "ja"/"ty" "my" "wy" for emphasis

September 14, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/ChepeTopsify

Is " i am a man "

June 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Chloe73062

What does the mark under the "a" change about the word?

August 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Jellei

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".

August 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/MiloPaunov

It changes pronunciation, as well as the grammatical case of the word. This verb requires the object to be in instrumental case.

August 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/MarcoDelpo

if ja = i and jestem = I am why do you need to put ja? or does jestem become i am after the ja.

October 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/MiloPaunov

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.

October 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/jagvi3

Confused in the sentence mężczyzna, mężczyzną because its have many meanings like 1 is man 2 is male . Please tell me what is it.

January 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/MiloPaunov

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

January 24, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Jellei

"male" may be accepted somewhere, but generally if it works, it sounds like medical/scientific usage.

January 26, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/GraceandRu1

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."

May 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Jellei

Sounds fine to me. Maybe 'ą' is a bit too much like 'om'.

May 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/sagar268742

What the different between jest or jestem?

July 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Jellei

"jest" = 3rd person singular (he/she/it is)

"jestem" = 1st person singular (I am)

July 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ASPIECHICK

I'll get my coat

December 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Say545965

Why a man? What about "I am next to a man"?

January 22, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Jellei

Eee... what?

"Jestem obok mężczyzny", I guess?

January 23, 2019
Learn Polish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.