Actually this is an exception. Its not that "pomidor" is being used as an inanimated object but rather that its been declined as an animated being. Thats why, for example, we say "Kupiłem wazon". We do not say "wazona". Pomidor is declined as kot "lubię kota". The same happends with some foreign words like szampan or mercedes. "Piję szampana" or "lubię mercedesa" even though they are not animated.
"Jem pomidor" is the technically correct thing. However, while it's 'technically correct', such usage seems really rare. Most foods have become grammatically 'animate' during the decades, and treating them differently seems strange to most users.
"Pomidor" is the 'proper' Accusative for a non-animate masculine noun, but it's rarely used. It seems probable that you could live in Poland for years and never hear "Jem pomidor" or "Mam pomidor".
"Pomidora" is the 'theoretically wrong' Accusative, treating the tomato as an animate thing, but you'll probably encounter almost only this version.
The people that created the sentence here and the sentence you link to were probably not the same people, so it's also a matter of opinion. It's not that problematic to have that unnatural sentence in the course for Polish learners, although that's a problem that people doing the reverse tree will encounter it. And of course it's a correct one, but not really natural.
Just so you know, it's not that rare – me and my whole family uses „pomidor”, for example :P
But it is rare, IIRC only about 7% of Polish speakers use that form and I barely know anyone who does beside my family – maybe 2 or 3 other people I've met, throughout my whole life.
Of course it should, I'm surprised it hasn't been. Added.
Good to know that it's not that rare ;)
well I remember there being also a "select the correct word" exercise which had jem pomidor/pomidora, so that should be removed then too
Oh, this one, okay.
Did you make these print screens after I added this answer in the database? Also even if, it may have not been implemented that quickly...
yes, shortly after you asked about a print screen
btw don't reply to your own comment, this way I don't get a notification
You mean "select one out of 3"? I didn't know Polish has such exercise, I've never seen one like that for Russian.
If you encounter that exercise and problem again, please report it, and a print screen would be helpful.
no... the one where you have a complete sentence and 1 word is missing, and you have to select it from the list (the one where you press space to show the list if you use the shortcuts)
here it is btw
I wonder what news anchors say, for example (those people are taught to speak correct language). Haven't found anything relevant on the youtube, unfortunately.. =(
I also cannot imagine any news anchor say "Jem pomidor". We usually try to disregard "what people say" in favor of the grammatically correct option, but here... the 'correct' option is just weird.
In this word, the Accusative and the Genitive forms are the same :)
I'm eating a tomato – Jem pomidora (Acc.)
I don't see a tomato – Nie widzę pomidora (Gen.)
Why does the verb to see take the genitive? Is the genitive not just for Possession in Polish?
This is a quirk of Polish - sentences that take the accusative take the genitive when negated. Since this is NIE widzę ... the object takes the genitive.
Dziękuję! When I looked it up, the website I saw said that the accusative was pomidor, so I got confused. Thanks for clearing it up!
In this case, genitive is not used. "Pomidor" is considered an animate noun, and that is why it takes the ending of "a" in accusative.
Why is it considered animate? It's hard to know what is what since it's not logical based on actual state of animation.
for some reason, many food related (countable) nouns are animated.
Also read below DorotaSiec wrote a great answer.
jem pomidor , jem ogórek, widzę laptop, podaj mi kartofel, przynieś mi but - this is pure polish language. However, unfortunately, the majority not caring about pureness imposes changes. http://www.ekorekta24.pl/jesc-banan-czy-banana-pomidor-czy-pomidora-ogorek-czy-ogorka/
All fruit and vegetables are considered animated nouns (except: czosnek and groszek), so we say: jem banana, kup ogórka. The other groups of words that have an ending -a in accusative although they are not animates are (of course we say only about masculine nouns): - meat and fish (jem kurczaka, tuńczyka) - small food (jem pączka, hamburgera, loda, lizaka) - games (gram w tenisa, golfa) - dances (tańczę walca) - currencies (mam jednego dolara, funta) - brands (mam Opla, Mercedesa, Samsunga) - and "new technology (only in spoken language - it is not acceptable in dictionaries but people do say so) - mam facebooka, tweetera, piszę smsa, maila.
If "jem pomidor" is technically correct it should be accepted. My school teaches this 'correct' form.
I habe a problem with the answer "I eat tomato". This sounds wrong to me. Shouldnt it be either plural or "the tomatoes"?
I think I am eating a tomato would be the best.
The sentence in Polish is about one tomato. We do not distinguish between a tomato and the tomato, and between I eat and I'm eating.
From previous comments, I understood that when I want to say that I'm eating some food, I treat the food like an animate being. But how do I say "I eat tomato" ("eat" like in "I eat tomato because my doctor told me to") in Polish?
[EDIT: Haha, my mistake. I would say "I eat tomatoes" in English, not "I eat tomato". I got temporarily confused because in Serbian we say "Jedem paradajz" (paradajz from Austrian German "Paradeiser"). "Paradajz" is an exception, for other masculine foods we use plural, for example "Jedem oraje (orahe)" - "I eat walnuts" :)
The question still stands - how do I say that I eat some food in Polish? Do I use plural like in English? Is "Jem pomidory" correct?]
First, I might not be the best advisor about it (since I belong to that part of the Polish speakers that do not animate those nouns, for the most part), but I think it's really not so simple as "masculine food is always masculine animate" – „Jem ryża” instead of „Jem ryż” sounds really wrong, I think it only involves vegetables, but as I said, I'm not sure („Jem selera” instead of „Jem seler” sounds just as wrong to me or in fact, ”jem pomidora”. :P).
As for present simple, it's just translated to Polish „czas teraźniejszy”, there is no real distinction (excluding Verbs of Motion, which also include senses), but if you wanted to say that you eat in general as opposed to eating now, you would indeed go with the plural (where applicable, food generally involves a lot of uncountable nouns, and Polish is no different here).
Also, if you wanted to state that you generally eat some type of food (like stating you aren't a vegetarian by saying "I eat meat"), the best option would be to use habitual version of the verb, so „jadać” – „Jadam pomidory”. It can be said with normal verb („Jem pomidory”) too though, so some Poles never use the habitual verbs – choice of one or the other is a matter of style, mostly.
Unfortunately, there's no clear rule about what food we treat as animate and what not. And about some of them, people could argue (Jem kotleta vs Jem kotlet (a pork-chop, usually) always causes a debate).
Most of those that are treated as animate are indeed fruits and vegetables. But also such things as szampan (champagne), for example. Or hamburger, or kebab.
Animacy isn't tough enough for us poor learners, native speakers need to disagree about what is and isn't animate too...
In Polish we animate COUNTABLE dishes. So you can't say: Jem bigosa, rosoła, gulasza, krupnika, ryża, obiada etc :)
I think that not alive things that we mostly throw in this category are things that we can easly (and often) carry. They are ‘born’ when we say – Podaj mi jednego ‘give me one’.