"On jest mężczyzną."

Translation:He is a man.

December 10, 2015

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Why is the instrumental case used here?


Apparently, Polish (among some other Slavic languages) use the instrumental case with "to be" and "to become".


The use of Instrumental in this sentence is kind of weird for Russian. 'To be' can take Instrumental, and, now that I think of it, it only doesn't take instrumental in the Present-Tense Indicative-Mood forms, where it has to be Nominative.

Taking the Wikipedia examples, this:

To jest moja żona. - This is my wife.

is the only construction you can use in this situation in Russian (although it would be Instrumental in Past/Future Indicative, in Conditional and Imperative). It might have something to do with the fact that 'to be' is almost always omitted in the Present Tense in Russian.

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No, it's not the only constriction you can use in this situation in Russian.

Он является мужчиной.

This is Present Tense + Instrumental


Правда? Does this have a slightly different meaning or nuance from either "Он - человек" or "Он мужской" ? I don't remember this expression as being in common usage.


It is very formal, so «он является мужчиной» is not a great example, but otherwise it is rather common legalese.

Also, it’s «он — мужчина», not «*он мужской».


I am polish and yes


Serbian uses nominative


Good to know, thanks.


It is realy hard to understand for people who are not from Poland or it is sometimes even hard for Polish people


I love your profile pic


I see the word and I read it... But I can make no connection between them! Just wow...


Agreed. Is there a pronunciation guide anywhere? Would be very helpful.


They will probably supply it with time. It is in beta now and a lot of corrections are necessary at such a stage. It will be easier, when you learn how to pronounce individual sounds. Believe it or not, we write word as we can hear them in Polish. You just have to know what represents what. "ę" and "ą" are pretty easy, if you know French, as they are longer versions of two French sounds. "ż" is a bit like "s" in leisure, and "cz" is like "ch" in champ. Good luck!


What about dz and cz?


Sorry, I made a mistake in my post, it was late and I was tired. Now it has been edited. So "cz" is pronounced like ch in champ, while ch is pronounced like normal h. (there is, theoretically, a small difference, but people do not differentiate it anymore; it is the same with u and ó - they used to sound a bit different, but now people pronounce them the same way). It is tricky to describe "dz" - it is as if you wanted to pronounce d and z at the same time. The pronunciation of "ds" in the word "lads" comes very close to it. Check this out to get some idea (w is pronounced like v) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pl-dzwon-2.ogg


While 'ch' and 'h' are indeed pronounced the same in (most dialiects of) Polish, that sound is not the same as the English 'h'. It's like the Yiddish 'chutzpah' or the Scots 'loch.'


In response to the question "Isn't the Scottish ch more throaty?" (which for me is too deep in the reply chain to have a "Reply" button).

In my admittedly limited experience, that tends to get exaggerated. It's easy to overdo and sound like you're coughing something up.

In any case, the point is that the sound is produced by approaching the roof of the mouth with the back of the tongue (whereas the English 'h' uses the front for words like "huge", and an open, breathy sound for words like "hat").

Wikipedia has a thorough article about it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voiceless_velar_fricative


Isn't the Scottish ch more throaty?


No problem at all, good luck! :) BTW, about the way we write words as we read them. There are several exceptions to this rule, only several ones, I believe, e.g. word with "auto" (u is pronounced like "ł", which is pronounced almost like English "w"). We have ortography variants which both sound the same these days, unless you are an actor from the old school, and while they are written as they are spoken, you just have to learn when a particular variant is used. There are rules for their usage in most cases, they just have to be memorized, but this is important only in writing, naturally. A lot of people in Poland have problems with it and generally the more you read, the better you write. Only in a selected number on cases it can influence the meaning, e.g. żyć (to live) and rzyć (old-fashioned, vulgar and not used anymore -a person's behind) sound the same. But do not worry about it, it just try to learn the word's spelling as you learn them and the rest comes with reading. I have also found a decent webpage that might be useful to you and to others too http://grzegorj.w.interiowo.pl/gram/en/gram00.html


I'm confused between jest and jestem. Can someone explain?


Polish language will have different forms of verbs for different persons, which is obviously not usually present in English, although it is with this particular verb: I am vs He is. And "jestem" is exactly "(I) am", while "jest" = "(he/she/it) is". Because of this conjugation, the personal pronoun is very often dropped, because the form of the verb makes it quite obvious what person we are talking about.

Check wiktionary for more details.


Jestem - is normally when you're talking about yourself. Means " I am"

Jest - Normally used when speaking about other people , Can be used for "She/he is"


Can someone give me link where the pronounciation of this language is explained?


Must we use "On" in this case, or can we simply say, "Jest mężczyzną"?


It is more natural with "on". In the third person we omit personal pronouns only in very specific situation, e.g. when we stress something or the person is mentioned in the preceeding sentence.

[deactivated user]

    Why does it not have the special letters to type?


    why / when do we use the a, with the tail on the end of a noun, like man.?


    ą is pronounced with a nasal sound like the French "on".
    This link explains why the noun is declined into the instrumental case:
    This link explains how to decline different nouns into the instrumental case:


    Why not "he is the man"?


    Normally we accept both 'a' and 'the', but here... well, I don't see a reason for any native English speaker to say "He is the man" unless it's "He's the man!" as in "This guy rules!"


    Well, or maybe in context you were talking about a man, and now you're saying that he's that one.

    In any case, if you say "He is the man" in Englsh, the emphasis of "the" is probably on the fact that you're being specific, when lots of people are men. Those are the cases where Polish is more apt to say "On jest ten mężczyzna" (he is that man).


    Okay, I guess it won't hurt to accept "the man". But mostly it will be "He is this/that man" (On jest tym mężczyzną) both in timstellmach's and Rae.F's comments. Anyway, added.


    What about "He is the man you want to see about your question"?


    Hi! Why is different...mężczyzna and mężczyzną? Why the last letter (a - ą) changes? I can't understand...please help me....


    As usual... cases. "mężczyzna" is Nominative, so it's the basic - dictionary - form. "mężczyzną" is Instrumental.

    The main usage of Nominative is as the subject of the sentence, on in a sentence like "X to Y" where both X and Y are in Nominative.

    The main usage for Instrumental is in sentences like "X + a form of 'to be' + Y", where Y is in Instrumental (if it's a noun phrase).

    More information here: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/16373167


    Dziękuję bardzo!


    "Nominative"...what are some other words that can help me understand its function using its roots. Do Polish ppl learn the cases using that word or a different one?


    The Polish names for cases are completely different. I know that to most learners the English names sound completely foreign as well, but it's still easier to learn those than to learn the Polish names.

    https://mowicpopolsku.com/polish-grammar/ - perhaps this can be of help.


    It confuses me. In Czech (my native language) "jest" is an archaic form of "he is" and "je" is the today's form. And "he is eating" is "jí"


    Where is the t sound coming from?


    Like Hast ( is ) in Persian


    Sounds like mezhtuzna. Is it supposed to sound like t mezvTuzna? Is the c pronounced as a t?


    Technically you don't have "c" here. It's a part of "cz". Roughly the first sound in "charm". Often transcribed into English as 'tsch'.

    So... "meushtschyznou", if I were to adapt it to English speakers... only that Polish 'y' doesn't have a good equivalent, I think.


    По русски как задания получать? Почему только английский - польский?!


    Потому что ещё никто не создал такого курса... большинство языков можна изучать только с английского.


    Is Narzędnik case always used after the verb Być?


    For a noun phrase, yes. But if you just had a standalone adjective, then it stays in the case the rest of the sentence needs (usually Nominative).


    Good to know, thank you!


    He is man doesn't work - Keep forgetting to add A


    On jest "mężczyzną" or "mężczyzna"?


    In this sentence it has to be "mężczyzną", the Instrumental form.

    "mężczyzna" is Nominative, the basic form. E.g. "Mężczyzna je chleb" (A man is eating bread).


    There was no "HE" where... among the tiles that you have to create the sentence from? We'd need to see a screenshot, that would be a new and very serious bug.


    Hey guys! I was going to read up an article on the Instrumental case (which, after learning Romance languages for so long is a completely foreign concept to me) but is there anyone here who could explain it instead? Thanks!!


    In general, you can think of the instrumental case as marking the instrument that was used to do a thing. "I hit the ball with the bat." If English had the instrumental case, "the bat" would be marked that way.

    Usually, anything that comes after a copula like "to be" is in the nominative, so Polish is slightly unusual in its use of the instrumental case in this context. The way it was explained to me, think of it as "He does his be-ing in the manner of a man." That's not really the best way to convey the instrumental case, but it's the closest we can come in English and still have it make any kind of sense. Perhaps "He exists with manhood" or "He exists by means of manhood".

    But that kind of stretches English-language sensibilities, so you just need to remember that Polish uses the instrumental case after "to be" and "to become".

    Now go read some articles on the topic! :)


    I need help i do not no how to say some words


    Аааа почему meszysna не засчитал?


    Слишком много опечаток. Я понял, что вы имели в виду, но это слово: "mężczyzna".

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