1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Polish
  4. >
  5. "Ja jestem chłopcem."

"Ja jestem chłopcem."

Translation:I am a boy.

December 10, 2015

111 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/roboticism

Every single time I have a heart attack, because my immediate translation (as a slavic language speaker) is "I'm eating a boy".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/araruney

I get you,it can get confusing,in Croatian ˝je˝ would be ˝is˝. -Ona je djevojčica (She is a little girl) -Ja jedem kruh/hljeb (I am eating bread/i eat)

The Polish suffixes are a nightmare,although so far i can always guess the meaning without peeking.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/va-diim

Russian хлеб :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Medvediev95

on language Ukraine is "Хліб"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RussNitali51106

I think its like the same "basics"... Oh.. Boy is 'bread eater' to me.. But you think eating bread is the backwards version?... I been studying russian on here for 3,000 xp.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/UneJamKuqEZi

So whenever you use "być" (to be), do you always use the Instrumental case?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gabriel_Bach

Isn't the accusative case used in "Ona jest kobietą"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2434

The copula (also called a stative verb or a linking verb) never takes the accusative because only active verbs that are transitive take the accusative. Many languages simply use the nominative there because the subject and the predicate are being equated or compared in some way.

For whatever reason, though, some Slavic languages use the instrumental case after "to be" and "to become" (except in a small number of cases where it uses the nominative). The link in my previous comment gives a brief list of cases in Polish.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/shrikrishna1

Does all Slavic languages use Instrumental case after "to be" and " to become" ? I do not find it in Russian and Ukarinian . In both languages Nominative case is used. Correct me please, if I am wrong!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/va-diim

You're correct about Russian and Ukrainian, "to be," in the present tense, ru: Я мальчик (ja maľcik), ua: Я хлопчик (ja chlopczyk), because the verb "to be" (am/is/are) is omitted in Russian and Ukrainian in the present tense, but the instrumental case is used in the past and future tense of "to be," ru: Я был/буду мальчиком (Ja byl/budu maľcikom), ua: Я був/буду хлопчиком (ja buw/budu chlopczykom).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/theredcebuano

Not all. Even Czech doesn't use the Instrumental case.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marko195

No, my native Serbian never uses the instrumental case but rather the nominative for "to be" and "to become".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pia147211

What is an instrumental case?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2434

If English marked cases, then in the sentence "I hit the ball with the bat", "the bat" would be instrumental ("the ball" would be accusative, since it's the direct object of "hit"). That's a very simple example, though.

In Polish, they also use the instrumental after "to be", "to become", and "to be interested in something". https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Polish/Noun_cases#Instrumental


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tadzu

Can't find a way to 'reply' I probably did mean what you suggested, was it 'declension'?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/va-diim

Yes, nouns and their respective adjectives are declined into the proper case, gender, and number. That's declension


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cwks-legia

I like to think of the instrumental case in this sense as the renaming case. I (the subject) is being renamed to "the boy". Anytime you rename something it will take accusative case.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ylse12

What does "instrumental case" means?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/va-diim

Other than the nail being hit "by a hammer," młotkiem (a hammer is młotek), instrumental case after the verb "to be" (być) is also used to mean "in the state of being."

Ja jestem chłopcem. = I am [in the state of being] a boy.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nyamkaaaa

Jestem means "I am". So i think, it should be Jestem chłopcem. I don't comprehend.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/va-diim

Jestem chłopcem, is correct. But in these introductory lessons, Duolingo is still teaching verb conjugation. That's why it still includes the pronoun. But you're right: Ja jestem sounds a bit redundant, or that ja is being purposely emphasized.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2434

Typically, it marks the means by which an action is taken. If I hit a nail with a hammer, the nail takes the accusative because it is the direct recipient of the action, and hammer takes the instrumental because it was used to carry out the action.

In most languages, nouns take the nominative (subject) case after stative verbs (verbs describing the state of a thing, not any action). But in Polish for whatever reason, nouns take the instrumental after "to be" and "to become".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/va-diim

Yes, but not after "to jest" or "to są." The object stays in nominative in these two cases.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cassiix

When is "chłopcem" and "chłopiec" used?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/timstellmach

"Chłopiec" is nominative case, used for sentence subjects.

"Chłopcem" is instrumental case, used after verb copulas (the "to be" verb which equates the identical nature of subject and object instead of expressing action). Instrumental case is also used for various other things, but that's beside the point just now.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cassiix

thank you so much!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Weird_Ed

As a Russian speaker, I find this language nice and easy to learn.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/patriciorullamas

Im a polish speaker and find it easy to learn Russian


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vnucko7

It's funny, because my native language is slavic, but this translates to in Slovene, I eat workers


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/va-diim

LOL! :-D I truly "laughed out loud"!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vnucko7

I'm not joking! xD


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/va-diim

Your nickname almost means "granddaughter" in Russian :-) vnučka внучка


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vnucko7

Also in mine, except that it means little granddaughter and also it can be little grandson


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/va-diim

In Russian, grandson is vnuk внук but "little grandson" or its term of endearment can be vnučok внучок. I love Slavic languages, but Slovenian is the hardest for me to understand. I think it's the most distantly related to Russian.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SaraTraczyk

Interesting. I've always known "chłopak" to mean boy.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/timstellmach

"Chłopiec" is a diminutive version of "chłopak," which itself is a diminutive of "chłop" (which formerly meant "adult person," but now means "peasant").


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SaraTraczyk

Ahh. Thanks for the clarification.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/starksc

I am having trouble understanding her when she says chleb. Is it pronounced klep or shleb?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/timstellmach

Neither. It's "χlep" or "χleb," depending on what sounds (if any) follow it.

(I'm using a Greek chi there, not an English x, because the Polish "ch" sound doesn't have a standard English spelling).

The "ch" sound is an "h" formed in the back of the mouth (like a "k," but you don't close the airflow entirely), as in the Yiddish "chutzpah," the German "ach," or the Greek "χρήστος" ("Christos," Christ).

In general, "b" is just "b," the same as in English. However, when certain Polish consonants appear at certain positions, they are devoiced. When the "b" is devoiced, it will be pronounced "p."

The same process occurs with any consonant that is formed by obstructing the airflow, including (but not limited to) "d," "g," "w," "z," and "ź" (which devoice to "t," "k," "f," "s," and "ś," respectively).

These consonants are devoiced at the the end of a sequence of words, so the word "chleb" all by itself is pronounced with the "b" devoiced to "p." In a cluster of consonants, even across word boundaries, they are either all voiced or none of them are, depending on the final consonant in the cluster (not counting "w" or "rz").

Yes, that voicing/devoicing stuff is complicated. The TL;DR version is "do it the way that makes things less effort to say; you get a feel for it."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KMAung

Thank you very much. But please, would you like to explain about Ł?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/timstellmach

"Ł" is just pronounced like the English "w."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SteveLamb2

I was told to pronounce the ch like in the scottish word loch?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

Yes, I went on YouTube and it sounds fine. Also 'h' and 'ch' have the same pronunciation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/va-diim

There is no "chleb" in this exercise. :-D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yadwinder_gadari

Shouldn't it be "Ja jestem chłopcemą." ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/timstellmach

The "-ą" ending would by typical in the instrumental case for feminine nouns.

Masculine nouns in the instrumental case, with some exceptions, take the "-em" ending (or "-iem" after a soft consonant).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tadzu

Now that sounds like what I heard! Never got into delineation, etc. even the school classes were very rudimentary. But the masculine/feminine aspect of the language was important.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2434

Never got into delineation, etc.

I think you mean "declension".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2434

No, that's not how this noun class declines. According to timstellmach in the comment above, "chłopcem" is the instrumental case. The nominative is "chłopiec".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gcabildo

I thought it was " Ja jestem chłopiec"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/va-diim

The quick answer is that when something is something else, the "something else" nouns after the "is/are" decline into the instrumental case after the verb być (jestem jesteś jest jesteśmy jesteście są etc.)

Chłopiec is the nominative case.

Chłopcem is instrumental case.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2434

Please read the rest of the comments. It's been explained a few times already.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nomen11

What is the difference between chłopcem and chlopiec?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/va-diim

chłopcem is in the instrumental case, which it should be after the verb "I am," jestem. Chłopiec is in the nominative case, which it would be in, when it is the subject of the sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2434

Polish uses the instrumental case after both "to be" and "to become". It takes a little getting used to, because the Western European languages use the nominative case after all copulae.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PabloRetan

I speak Spanish. This is HARD!!!! ×(


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Alina670498

This is pretty easy


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PolskaMonia1234

Why the heck isn't it chlopiec this time. This is so confusing seriously


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/va-diim

After the verb "to be," być, in this case jestem, "I am," the noun takes the instrumental case.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kacper714430

Sounds like

Ja JESTEŚMY chlopcem


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

I checked all the voices and nothing sounds even remotely similar to "jesteśmy" to me.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/va-diim

I think @kacper714430 meant "jestemy" rather than jesteśmy. There is some slight vowel sound attached to the M with the male voice.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

Maaaaybe a very slight one...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/benmeh1

why we didn't say chlopiecem


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/va-diim

The declension of chłopiec in instrumental case is chłopcem.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SteveLamb2

It seems that there is a pattern to words that have "ie" in that it seems to be dropped for the instrumental:

Chłopiec - Chłopcem

Pies - Psem


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ha_nia

correct sentence - "Jestem chłopcem"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Prashanthi64525

Can someone please split up chłopcem pronunciation?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/va-diim

IPA /'xwɔp-tsɛm/


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/luca887846

But what is the difference between clopcem and clopiec?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

Well, firstly, you lost the 'h' in 'ch'. It is one sound, identical as 'h'. The lack of Polish 'ł' is a different thing, I'd really recommend using a Polish keyboard.

Chłopiec is the basic, Nominative case. Chłopcem is Instrumental case. Apart from other meanings, you need the noun phrase in Instrumental after a form of 'być' (to be). If the notion of 'cases' is new to you, my advice is to check this post for posts about it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gwenviere

I got an error message saying i was wrong and that the correct answer is i am a "small" boy


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

Wait... OK, "small boy" would make sense ("chłopiec" is used for children, after all), but the only currently accepted versions are either just "boy" (accepted) and "little boy"...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/HeikoMoeller

Why is there "cem" at the last?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

It's Instrumental. "chłopiec" changes into "chłopcem". Generally -em will be the most common Instrumental ending for masculine nouns.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CameronSne5

I entered "I am a boy" (no full stop) and it was rejected. Also the 'my answer should have been accepted' is missing from the report button. If anyone reads this...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

Punctuation isn't marked, so it must have been a bug. I don't know about the reports... what platform are you using?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CameronSne5

Missed this! Sorry - might not be relevant any more but I was using Chrome at the time (I'm on Firefox now, Mozilla ftw)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JerryMcCarthy99

FWIW I have been using Chrome on Duo for a couple of years now, and I've not noticed any problems like those reported.....


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Omar306606

Why not Ja jestem chłopiecem???


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/va-diim

If the root word is "happy," why is it "happiness" not "happyness"? Same idea.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alik1989

It's not that easy to explain why, just remember that this declension is a bit irregular

Here's the full declension table, I hope it helps:

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/ch%C5%82opiec#Declension


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Logan212526

Whats the difference bewteen chlopiec and chlopiecem and what is the proper grammer?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/va-diim

After the verb jestem/jesteś/jest/jesteśmy/ jesteście/są ("am/is/are"), the object takes the instrumental case. In this example the noun chłopiec in the nominative case becomes chłopcem in the instrumental case.

You can find the "declension of chłopiec" link on this page:

https://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/chłopiec


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Petergodman

I don't get it, why is it not ja jestem chtopiec?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JerryMcCarthy99

(Copied from another reply on this very page (большое спасибо))

After the verb jestem/jesteś/jest/jesteśmy/ jesteście/są ("am/is/are"), the object takes the instrumental case. In this example the noun chłopiec in the nominative case becomes chłopcem in the instrumental case.

You can find the "declension of chłopiec" link on this page:

https://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/chłopiec


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NORAGAMIYUKINE

what is the difference between chlopcem and chlopiec


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JerryMcCarthy99

(Copied from another reply on this very page (большое спасибо))

After the verb jestem/jesteś/jest/jesteśmy/ jesteście/są ("am/is/are"), the object takes the instrumental case. In this example the noun chłopiec in the nominative case becomes chłopcem in the instrumental case.

You can find the "declension of chłopiec" link on this page:

https://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/chłopiec


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Petergodman

Thanks for the reply and the link - I will read discussion. I just did the review for this phrase, and the first translation of Jestem chtopcem was I am a boy. The example immediately following was Ja Jestem chtopcem - I am a boy. So confusing for the novice. :-(


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/va-diim

Jestem already means "I am," so you don't need ja unless you're emphasizing "I."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joo157320

What is the difference between chlopcem and chlopiec?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/va-diim

You posted a comment without reading any of the other comments.

You can find the "declension of chłopiec" link on this page:

https://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/chłopiec


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/UcrAmer

зачем слово jestem, так не говорят Ja jestem chtopcem


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JerryMcCarthy99

I don't know exactly which language you are writing in, but Polish, unlike Russian (and perhaps Ukrainian - IDK) requires the presence of the present tense of the verb "to be".

By the way, "chtopcem" is not a word. You need "chłopcem" here. The third letter is a version of "л", not of "т".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NORAGAMIYUKINE

whats the difference? not to be rude or anything but if you're going to explain please make it simple. my brain is small :(


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2434

Someone already explained it to you, and there are other comments on this page that also explain it. Please take the time to read before you repeat questions.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ingrid994585

The next sentence can't be answered Duo please fix it !!!!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Rae.F
  • 2434

This user forum is not the place to report errors. Even if it were, you provided no details whatsoever.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tadzu

Don't know this 'instrumental/nominative stuff, but 'ja jestem chlopiec' "sounds right".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/va-diim

No, it doesn't sound right. It sounds broken, like in English "I am boy," sounds broken. This "nominative/instrumental stuff" is an integrative part of Slavic languages. Without noun cases, meaning is difficult to ascertain, due to there being no articles, limited prepositions, and because of flexible word order. English meaning is determined by exactly the opposite. Ridgid word order/sentence structure, numerous prepositions in use, and definite/indefinite articles.

I am a boy. I am the boy.

Jestem chłopcem. Chłopcem jestem. Ja jestem chłopcem. Chłopcem jestem ja. Chłopcem ja jestem. etc.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tygrys_kotem

This is the best answer so far. My user name was chosen to remind me. Use instrmental because a tiger is a cat, but it does not follow that a cat is a tiger. The instrumental ending preserves the meaning, even if the order is changed. (Tygrys jest kotem. Tygrys kotem jest, etc.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/UcrAmer

все говорят: Ja chtopcem


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JerryMcCarthy99

I don't think that they all write that at all.

Learn Polish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.