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  5. "Oni są starzy."

"Oni starzy."

Translation:They are old.

December 11, 2015

22 Comments


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

Wasn't expecting the "z" there! Is this irregular?


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

It's a normal thing with nominative masculine personal plural for adjectives. I penned a quite long thingy about consonant changes here: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/12262354


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

Wow that's wonderful vytah! There seemed to be quite good explanations before the first few units and then there were none... Do you have other gems like this hidden throughout the learning tree?


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

The only other thing I wrote is a bit about verb conjugation: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/12281032


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

Thank you vytah! I've been using Duolingo for 3 years and until your post, I never realized that the Discussion section could be a great source for additional tips. Dziękuję bardzo vytah for all the time and care you took in creating these.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sally80705

Yes, thank you so much Vytah. I have only just found this too, after 18 months kn Duolingo.


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

Does "oni" only refer to personal nouns? Or can it be a mixed group, too? Mężczyźni są starzy = Oni są starzy. Mężczyzna i jego pies są starzy/stare [?] = Oni/One są starzy/stare [?] Psy są stare. = One są stare.


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

As long as the group contains at least one masculine animate word and one word referring to a person.

For example:

mężczyzna i jego pies – oni

kobieta i jej pies – oni (despite no man in the group)

kobieta i jej pierścionek– one

The actual gender of the group that is referred to with a plural noun doesn't matter:

dzieci – one (regardless of genders within the group, since dziecko is neuter)

osoby – one (ditto, since osoba is feminine)

psy – one (since dogs aren't persons)

prawnicy – oni (regardless of gender, although for an all-female group of lawyers you can use the word prawniczki – one)

Non-human sentient beings vary:

bogowie – oni (deities are considered persons)

anioły – one (angels for some reasons aren't)

tytani– oni

centaury – one

When it comes to some fantasy sentient beings, their grammatical personhood often varies and depends on personal preferences, which is then reflected in the declension:

elfy –one (elfowie – oni is less common)

krasnoludy – one (krasnoludowie – oni is less common)

orkowie – oni (orki – one is way less common since orki is plural of orka and it would be confusing)

Remember the "As long as the group contains at least one masculine animate word and one word referring to a person" rule? In fact, it doesn't concern itself with grammatical personhood:

krasnolud i elf – oni

There are some corner cases with masculine words describing professions and referring to women, or different sequences of subjects or various pluralities and genders, but they are rare enough and even as a native speaker I'm not sure about the grammar regarding those. For example, I still don't know what is the grammatical gender of the phrase "kobieta i jej psy".


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

Dziękuję bardzo for this elaborate explanation! This helps a lot :)


[deactivated user]

    In the last lesson we had a sentence "konie są duże", and I thought that the ending of "duże" is "e" because "konie" is plural. In this case we have "oni" which is a plural personal pronoun, but the ending of the adjective is "y", not "e". Why so?


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

    "(Te) Konie są duże i stare. (Ci) Mężczyźni są duzi i starzy". The personal men plural adjectives have the -i/y ending, while the rest have the -e ending.


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

    Ive seen both "to" and "są" be used as a word for "are". Are there some rules about which one i should be using or does it not really matter?


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

    In short (very): A „to” B, both A and B must be nouns and in nominative case (nearly always), when we use „to” we don't use verb „być”. A + „być” + B is different as it is not limited only to nouns but we must remember to use correct case and correct conjugation of „być”

    Here is good introduction written by Jellei:
    https://www.duolingo.com/comment/16373167


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jack.Elliot

    They are elderly


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

    OK, why not, added.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/s.syed01

    How do I know when to use starzy, stara, etc?


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

    You need to know the gender of the word that is described by the adjective.

    "stary" is masculine. "stara" is feminine. "stare" is neuter. "starzy" is 'masculine personal plural'. "stare" is 'not masculine-personal plural'.

    Here you have two options. You can either assume that there is at least one man among 'them' and say "Oni są starzy", or assume that 'they' are only women and say "One są stare".


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

    I wonder if I use "older" instead "old" it would be a mistake? Intuitevly I think "older" is more correct here. But it is only my opinion as russian languages man.


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

    Well, that's "starsi"/"starsze".


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

    Why not in instrumental? Oni są starznami


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kasia378663

    I think because starzy is an adjective, not a noun. Only nouns change to instrumental after "to be."


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/romain111518

    hello i wrote "they are older ". starszy means for me older and not old . Old is stare they are old oni sa stare .Starzy is not onthe right place in this sentence .Starshy is an superlatif form .That's what i know about the superlatif form .Stare is an adjektif for plural gender . and the plural gender for superlatif is starsze . What do you think . Romain

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