"You are a boy."
The verb być (to be) usually triggers the instrumental case if the predicate is a noun.
But only on a Friday and a full moon. This language is from Mordor! =)
https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Polish/Noun_cases Cases explained. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/ch%C5%82opiec#Polish Click on "show" declension to see the word endings for boy in Polish.
What's the difference between chłopiec and chłopak (or whatever the nominative of chłopakiem is)?
Age. "Chłopiec" is usually younger, "chłopak" starts at about the age of a teenager. Also it means "boyfriend".
Generally, age. "chłopiec" is a younger boy, "chłopak" is an older one, up to a young adult.
The border between those two is very subjective. One can say that an 8-year-old is already "chłopak", one can think that the right age is 13... depends on a person.
"chłopak" can also mean a boyfriend. But it has to be "someone's chłopak".
more information about the instrumental case here: http://mowicpopolsku.com/polish-grammar/cases/instrumental/
How do you know which one Duolingo is looking for? I've answered 'Jestes clopiec' and it's told me I'm wrong and that it should be 'Jestes Chlopczykiem', which I'm sure was never a word in Basics 1.
Now i've just answered 'Jestes chlopiec' and I was wrong, it wanted 'Jestes Chlopcem'.
I'm totally confused..!!
There are at least three translations of the English word "boy". Two of them are taught in this course. Those are: [chłopiec/chłopak/chłopczyk]. Their Instrumental forms are: [chłopcem/chłopakiem/chłopczykiem].
You need Instrumental in a sentence like this one. "Jesteś chłopiec" is grammatically wrong. More info here: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/16373167
As for why Duolingo suggested two different answers... well, it doesn't always suggest the main answer. Maybe it considered that "chłopczykiem" is closer to what you answered.
This sentence confuses me...without a long explanation when do you use any of the 6 possible answers...
"You are a boy." Jesteś chłopakiem.
so, when to say: Jestes chlopiec or Jesteś chłopcem
some examples of when to use each one please
"Jesteś chłopiec" - do not say this because it is incorrect.
"chłopiec" should be used when a boy is the subject of the sentence. For example, "Chłopiec piję wodę." The boy is the subject, it is the boy who is drinking. What is the boy drinking? Water. Observe that normally water is spelled "woda" when it is the subject, but since it is the instrument it gets the weird ending, just like with "chłopiec"/"chłopcem".
In "Jesteś chłopiec" the subject is "Ty" (you). You already have 1 subject, but you cannot have 2. You must use "chłopcem" here.
As others have commented,
"chłopiec"/"chłopcem" - a young boy "chłopak"/"chłopakiem" - an older boy
So if you are speaking of a young boy playing on the floor with his toy trucks, you would use "chłopiec"/"chłopcem".
If you are speaking of a teenage boy smoking cigarettes after school, he is probably an older boy, so use "chłopak"/"chłopakiem".
Where to draw the line in-between is subjective, but you will probably know it when you see it.
It seems that most of the examples have "chłopiec" for "boy" where it is nominative but examples where instrumental is required have "chłopakiem". This is a bit confusing.
In my studies I found that as well as 'chłopiec' being the diminutive if 'chłopak', 'chłopiec' itself has a diminutive: 'chłopczyka'. Surely this form should also be put into some of the examples, to keep us on our toes and give us the full flavour of the wonderful Polish language.
Well, it's good to know "chłopczyk", but there's enough confusion with chłopiec and chłopak as it is ;) Anyway, it's a really young boy, probably a kindergartener.
On a PC, install a Polish keyboard, on a phone install the app SwiftKey, on which you can use up to five languages at once.
Why not chłopiec? Or either chłopcem? You should start implementing little lesson when introducing new vocabulary, when it could be used or not, I'm lost...