It's just the name of a case. It's often used to mean how something was done; in Russian, for example, the instrumental case on its own is used to mean "with/by means of": I ate with a spoon, I cut with a knife; it's the instrument by which an action was performed. This is not its only use, but I believe it's where the name comes from.
In several Slavic languages it is used with verbs of being or becoming. It seems like Polish uses it a lot. I am sure it will get explained in more detail later in the course. Don't worry about it!
Being a Russian native speaker, I got a mistake here ))) In Russian we use the nominative with a Present tense form of "to be", but the instrumental - in other tenses))
It's not 100% correct. In russian we drop "to be" getting the "я - мальчик" (i (am a) boy) form, although the form that saves "to be" requires the instrumental: "быть мальчиком" (to be a boy).
But you guys also say "Hochu stat' yuristom/direktorom/prezidentom", so I kinda linked it the same way here
Yes, in Russian the instrumental case is used when becoming or staying something or after "to be" (though "to be" is mostly omitted") as well as in some other situations. It's very difficult! :-)
Oh, well. I've realized that my language is a complicated one, but not so much I would struggle to explain the syntax of a very basic verb! You're right, we'd say "To jest chłopiec" (This is a boy).
Yes, it's very complicated. :-) Thank you, that means that I didn't learn something completely wrong. :-)
Thanks! I don't think they were there yet when I asked, or maybe I just missed them.
Bo boy to chlopiec, ale mòwi się, że jestem chłopcem. I am a boy - jestem chlopcem.boy-chlopiec.
No, they're different declensions. It's like "I, he, she, we, they" and "me, him, her, us, them" not being interchangeable.
Generally, chłopiec is younger and chłopak is older. However, the 'border' between them is totally subjective. One can say that it's 8 years old, another can say that it's 13... rather not later.
"chłopak" can also mean "boyfriend".
Frankly, "Jestem chłopakiem" on its own would sound strange to me. The sentence after all seems like something a child would say. Still, that's technically correct and accepted.
I would only use "ja" when emphasizing that it is me that does something/is something.
In languages where the verbs conjugate uniquely, it's usually acceptable to omit the pronoun in many contexts.
"Chłopiec" is masculine, it's feminine nouns that take the -ą ending in Instrumental.
Yes, some masculine nouns look as if they were feminine. Still, those are only exceptions.
See also (just a few quick examples): tata (dad), artysta (artist, vs female artystka), turysta (tourist, vs female turystka), poeta (poet, vs female poetka)... but the number altogether isn't too big.
I wonder whyit's "Jestem chłopcem", "Jestem dziewczynka". Why dziewczynka is in nominative, while chłopcem is in instrumental?
It's not in the nominative - it's dziewczynką, which is the instrumental. The little hook on the a is called an ogonek. If memory serves (it's been a while) the lack of it is probably just marked as a typo on Duolingo, but "Jestem dziewczynka" is actually wrong.
(Disclaimer: Not a native speaker and it's a long time since I did the course here.)
Cases. "chłopiec" is Nominative, "chłopcem" is Instrumental.
Nominative is mostly used for the subject of the sentence (Chłopiec je chleb), in "This is Y" sentences (To jest chłopiec) and it can be used in "X is Y" sentences (Adam to chłopiec).
Instrumental, apart from the meaning of "with sb/sth", is used in such sentences as here - "X is Y" (Ja jestem chłopcem).
The object is either in nominative orinstrumental case; the former is often used when introducing oneself, and implies the object to be definite (Ja jestem Czesław, a to jest Marysia), in the latter the object is usually indefinite (Ona jest studentką "She is a student), although not exclusively.
"To be" and "to become" are stative verbs, and as such do not take objects at all, but rather subject complements.
Generally, the subject complement is in the nominative, but in Polish, it's in the instrumental after "to be" or "to become".