"Nowi chłopcy mają stare psy."

Translation:The new boys have old dogs.

December 11, 2015

26 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/AlexinNotTurkey

Why is it "nowi" instead of "nowe?" I was shocked to see nowi with chopcy yet stare with psy, seeing as they are both masculine and plural.

December 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Szparag

Probably I'm not the right person to explain this as I'm not a teacher and I feel like all my grammar knowledge just disappeared since I was going to school... ;) Anyway, plural nouns can be masculine or feminine and masculine plural nouns can be personal (chłopcy) or non-personal. (psy). When it comes to non-personal nouns the adjectives bahave like the feminine ones. That's why it is "nowi chłopcy" (masculine personal) but "nowe psy" (masculine impersonal) and "nowe dziewczynki". (feminine) Check out this article. Scroll down to "Adjectives", there's a nice table showing the declension of "dumny". Wikipedia

December 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexinNotTurkey

Thank you!

December 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/bluthbanana87

By "personal" do you mean literally "describing a human person"? I've always thought that plural adjectives were categorized as either masculine animate and masculine inanimate/feminine/plural, and using those two categories, "pies/psy" would definitely be in the former, but apparently it's in the later. That'd make sense if it was personal rather than animate.

April 20, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Vengir

The masculine gender is divided twice. In singular what matters is the animate-inanimate distiction. In plural it shifts into male-personal and everything else.

April 21, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/vytah
  • 1324

In plural, the only difference is between masculine personal and everything else.

December 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/AaronTupaz

Can you please explain the difference between personal and non personal?

December 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/vytah
  • 1324

Personal nouns refer to people, non-personal (or impersonal) refer to anything else.

All personal nouns also count as animate.

The difference is only in the masculine gender in plural, since personal masculine nouns get their own set of endings for adjectives, verbs, numerals and themselves. All the other nouns: non-personal masculine, all feminine, and all neuter; get lumped into one pile called "non-masculine-personal" or something like that.

So in this sentence we have "chłopcy", a masculine personal noun in nominative plural, and "psy", a masculine animate but nonpersonal noun in accusative plural (which, for non-masculine-personal, is equal to nominative). That's why the adjective "nowy" gets the -i/y ending with shifted consonant, and the adjective "stary" gets the -e ending.

I think you should find some declension tables for adjectives online.

December 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/bluthbanana87

So you really only use the masculine plural adjective forms when describing male humans (or groups with at least one male human)?

That's kind of crazy weird. Are there any other languages that do this? I imagine other West Slavic languages do, but what about other Slavic languages in general, like Russian or Ukrainian?

April 20, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/vytah
  • 1324

AFAIK out of all major Slavic languages, only Polish distinguishes personal animate and impersonal animate.

East Slavic languages do not distinguish genders in plural, they only distinguish animacy, regardless of the singular gender of the noun.

Czech, Slovak, Serbian and Croatian distinguish between 3 genders in the plural, with some weird rules for mixed-gender expressions. Czech and Slovak also preserve animacy, but in plural masculine only. South Slavic languages do not preserve animacy in plural.

So it goes like this (parentheses contain N/G/A):

Masculine personal (robotnik/dělník/работник):
Polish: A=G (robotnicy/robotników/robotników)
Czech: 3 different forms (dělníci/dělníků/dělníky)
Russian: A=G (работники/работников/работников)

Masculine animate impersonal (pies/pes/пёс):
Polish: A=N (psy/psów/psy)
Czech: 3 different forms (psi/psů/psy)
Russian: A=G (псы/псов/псов)

Feminine or neuter animate (kobieta/žena/женщина):
Polish: A=N (kobiety/kobiet/kobiety)
Czech: A=N (ženy/žen/ženy)
Russian: A=G (женщины/женщин/женщин)

Any inanimate (stół/stůl/стол):
Polish: A=N (stoły/stołów/stoły)
Czech: A=N (stoly/stolů/stoly)
Russian: A=N (столы/столов/столы)

More here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grammatical_gender#Slavic_languages

April 20, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/AlexinNotTurkey

Perfect! Thanks a lot!

December 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Jesuis89

So it can't be starzy psy?

December 18, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Szparag

Nope. You could say "starzy chłopcy" (a bit weird, but you could. :D) but "stare kobiety", "stare psy", "stare książki/meble/ubrania".

December 18, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Jesuis89

oh ok dzięki

December 18, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Vidfarne

Not weird if it means oldboy, not old boy?

December 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/luless

Oldboy doesn't translate nicely into Polish. You can say something like 'sportowiec-weteran' or use English word oldboy in Polish way: Oldboys competition - Zawody oldboyów. I am not sure if this is 100% correct way of writing. Borrowed words have their own rules. This is definitely not a topic for Duolingo.

December 21, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/michmo
  • 1271

Zawody oldboysów

December 31, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/bluthbanana87

Does "oldboy" actually mean anything in English, or is it just a reference to the Japanese movie (and its American remake)?

April 20, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/asterisq

It can refer to a male who attended a particular university or school. Old boy not oldboy

August 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/LozNoz

Andrew Wang I'm a native English speaker. I've heard people refer to old men as old boys - it seemed to be a term of affection & maybe a reference to them still having quite a lot of energy/youthful spirit

June 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Damo_0104

No, starsze psy means older dogs

March 21, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/pablitoz1

Mistake of the year: "new boys are old dogs" My observational skills are lacking, how did i miss that ):

September 4, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/EsSchneit

It seems to me that the stress in this sentence treats the last two words as one, "starE psy" - as if "E" was the penultimate syllable. Is that true? And if yes, why is that?

February 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/zagadka314

The audio here is often messed up. I suggest you do not really try to learn how it talks and instead listen to other sources.

July 30, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/dradski

why is it not stary psy

January 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Jellei

"stary" works for masculine singular. So one old dog is "stary pies".

"psy" are not masculine-personal, so the adjective looks the same as for neuter singular: stare.

January 25, 2017
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