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  5. "Mężczyźni i kobiety"

"Mężczyźni i kobiety"

Translation:Men and women

December 11, 2015

13 Comments


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

Why are chłopiec and kobieta pluralised with a "y", but mężczyzna and dziewczynka with an "i"?


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

That's actually complicated, you hit several phonetic and grammar rules at once here.

Kobieta is the most regular – nouns ending with -a after a hard consonant get -y: kobiety. The definition of hard consonants is quite complicated, I'll omit it for now.

Dziewczynka is also regular, but in Polish you never put y after k or g, so it's dziewczynki.

Mężczyzna appears as if it would be mężczyzny, but it's masculine personal noun, which have the following rules for nominative plural:

  • either add -owie, or

  • if the final consonant is hard, instead or -y use -i, with appropriate palatalization rules

  • if the final consonant is not hard, form the plural as usual

Since n is hard, you add -i and get mężczyźni.

There are no hard rules when you use -owie and when -i, so the plural of masculine personal nouns is preferably always remembered.

Chłopiec–chłopcy is simply irregular.

The details would form a several-page long essay, and I don't think this is an appropriate time for that.


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

What about the conversion of z to ź?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Duan
  • 641

I've never noticed the ź when pluralizing mężczyzna before. Does this happen in any other words? Usually the ź would just be conversion from "zi" due to grammar rules, but that's not what's happening here, is it?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nicodemus13b

Chkopiec/ chlopcy also follows a rule. Masculine animate nouns ending in -iec, -ies, or -ek, lose the ie/e when a case ending is added, so chlopiec -> chlopcy, pies (dog) -> psy, Marek (a man's name -Mark) -> Marki. One would expect 'chlopci', however, it's altered to 'chlopcy' in order to retain the phonetic sound of 'c', rather than 'ci', which is a different phoneme from 'c' and 'i' separately. Remember the written grammar will follow what's spoken (and easier to say), so many things that look weird when written are like that because either it's easier to say, or fits in with how similar forms are spoken. (e.g. in English we have 'an' instead of 'a' for nouns beginning with a vowel because it's difficult to repeat vowel sounds- but remember, it's before a word that starts with a vowel sound, not a written/ letter vowel, i.e. we say 'this is a unique book', not 'an unique', because the 'you' sound (in 'unique') is consonantal, even though it's written as a vowel.


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

Could 'Ladies and Gentlemen' be an ok translation?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/greg.mort

'Ladies and Gentlemen' would be 'Panie i Panowie'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Diana14283

I don't hear a pronounced difference in kobieta and kobiety. Is their one?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Duan
  • 641

Yes. The sound at the end of kobieta should sound like the 'a' in father, while the sound at the end of kobiety sounds more like the 'i' in fit.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Susanne926730

why is it kobieta and not kobiety? in the practice sentence?


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

Sorry, what do you mean? We have "kobiety" here as it's the basic form of the plural noun "women".

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