"Kaczka nie jest psem."

Translation:A duck is not a dog.

December 12, 2015

59 Comments


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

especially on the menu

December 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/ajho24
  • 1659

I think it's proper grammar to put an indefinite article "a" or "the" before "duck", and "a" before "dog".

e.g. "The duck is not a dog"; "A duck is not a dog".

I'm not sure if "Ducks are not dogs" should be a proper translation, because the nouns in the sentence are singular (even if it conveys the same idea).

December 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Inquiss

You can't translate it into plural to be honest. That would sound "kaczki nie są psami" ant it would make it even more complicated to learn. Not to mention the change in meaning.

January 27, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Matthew530663

Not unless you visit Poland

December 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ryandward

Ps-------em!

December 18, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Jesuis89

Why can't I say Kaczka nie jest pies?

December 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Inquiss

Because it makes no sence - it's ungrammatical. After the verb 'być' (to be), one has to use the instrumental case, which in this example is 'psem' ('pies' being the nominative).

Trying to explain it to English speaker... mhmm, imagine a sentence, "Jestem psem" - 'I am a dog'. 'Jestem pies' would sound like 'I be dog', ears begin to bleed.

December 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/GIJoeski

Cases are very difficult to understand for people being introduced to polish for the first time.

March 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/DancingPenguin03

Thanks for that! It took me a while - It's still taking me a while - to understand how the nouns were changing; I'm used to gender-changing adjectives in romance languages, and it took way too long for me to find an article with the term "direct object" in it.

January 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/bobx11

Thank you for explaining that

January 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/mathcore

this example is nonsense.

"i be dog" = "ja być pes."

all you changed was the be-verb. not the case. here's how it works in slavic languages.

czech: Jsem pes. (NOMINATIVE)
russian: я собака (NOMINATIVE)
serbian: Ја сам пас. (NOMINATIVE)
polish: Jestem pesem. (INSTRUMENTAL)

each slavic language has its own case rules and exceptions DETERMINED BY VERBS AND/OR PREPOSITIONS. in this case, the verb "być" demands the instrumental case is used.

when you get better at the language, you can find lists of verbs and their associated cases to practice with. But for now...ya just gotta suck it up.

March 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Okcydent

I suppose his intention was only to show how „Jestem pies” sounds for Poles. And as there is no case system (I know it's not that simple) in English he rendered this error the simplest way he could. Ok, maybe "I am dog's" would be better.

March 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/va-diim

Great comment! In your Russian example, the present tense verb есть is omitted, but in past or future tense, instrumental can be used: Я был собакой/псом, Я буду собакой/псом. Also, the verb являться is used sometimes in the present tense and does use the instrumental case in the object. Это является собакой/псом.

March 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/mathcore

thanks :)

yeah, tense change is tricky. in czech if i use instrumental in present tense constructions like this, it implies a sense of "becoming" whereas in polish it's just a static is.

March 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/va-diim

Yeah, in that respect, Russian is more like Polish than Czech:

to be a dog = быть псом (byt' psom), instrumental case

March 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/LaisReis1

Lovely example!

January 20, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/idanlipin

Unless you're Lord Jaraxxus, then it would be just fine

February 17, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/J_R_Edwards

If that is the case, there is also a phrase here where i was marked incorrectly for writing "Lew nie to psem". Does the use of "To" rather than "jest" change the case that the noun should be written in?

May 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Jellei

Yes. Staying with affirmative sentence, you can have:

X to Y (Y in Nominative)

or X jest Y (Y in Instrumental).

Also, when negating an "X to Y" sentence, you put "nie" before the noun. There kinda is a hidden "jest" in such a sentence: "Kaczka to (jest) pies", "Kaczka to nie (jest) pies". Using this 'jest' is not wrong, but rather not very natural.

May 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/J_R_Edwards

Thanks for clearing up. makes sense when you consider the whole "jest = the verb of being" thing. As long as it exists in the sentence then the case becomes instrumental

May 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Kdesmet

Very well explained! Thnx

October 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/va-diim

Kaczka nie jest psem means "A duck is not [in the state of being] a dog," which is correct. If you say Kaczka nie jest pies, it's like saying "Duck no is dog." --broken English. Instrumental case means "in the state of being" when following the verb być: jestem, jesteś, jest, etc.

March 31, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/KatherynWo3

Thank you that makes sense now

February 17, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/4mym3tc4lf

Well explained sir! Thankyou

April 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/doro.tab

Check out the description of Instrumental in here: https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Polish/Noun_cases. It is used in Polish with certain verbs including to be (być).

December 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/jdberry300

Does violin use the instrumental case? ;-)

December 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Inquiss

Depends on the contects :D violin = skrzypce. "Gram na skrzypcach" - I'm playing the violin (locative). "Nie ma skrzypiec" - There's no violin (genitive). "Flet gra ze skrzypcami" - The flute plays with the violin (like on a concerto - instrumental). You can multiply the examples and find a perfect use for each case :)

March 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/va-diim

That was a joke, Krzysztof. A violin is an instrument and is carried in a case. Hence "instrumental case." Hahaha

March 31, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/mskycc3

Lol. That was awesome. XD

May 28, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/va-diim

Is there a way to differentiate between a solo violin and several violins in Polish?

Flet gra ze skrzypcami. "A flute plays with a violin." "A flute plays with the violins."

April 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Jellei

If you really need to do it, I guess you could count them. I don't think there's another way.

April 19, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/peter138415

Enjoying the humour of it all

April 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Vsevolod1998

You can say "kaczka to nie jest pies".

December 28, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/WoutDR

Wouldn't it be 'kaczka to nie pies', without the jest?

January 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/doro.tab

All three sentences are correct: Kaczka nie jest psem. Kaczka to nie jest pies. Kaczka to nie pies.

January 25, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/IainHolmes

Everytime I try to find out about wording I do not understand, I read the comments but in many cases I just get more confused :-(

March 14, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/mskycc3

Try asking a question. I'm sure someone would be happy to help explain. :) We've got some awesome mods in this course!

May 28, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Euhan1

You mean like The Who?

March 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/va-diim

Hahaha! I just got that joke, even though I read this comment a long time ago! Good work! LOL

Do we have any awesome rockers here, though?

March 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/RodrigoBoom

i didnt get the joke :(

October 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/va-diim

Check out The Who's movie Quadrophenia from 1979. "Mods" and rockers.

October 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/va-diim

What's your question?

March 19, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/peter138415

I with Lian on her comment about grammar confusion and it just means it will take longer study days to understand it all, but it will happen eventually.

April 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/peter138415

Sorry I may have presumed a female name. Should have left the Her out of the reply

April 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Vsevolod1998

Everything is so easy here. :) What problem have you got?

March 14, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/SonofMaat

Is this some kind of common phrase in Poland? It just sounds like it could be a funny sort of thing to say when stating the obvious.

April 17, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Nicklas172785

How does "pies" become "psem"? It has only one letter in common...

August 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/va-diim

The vowel, ie, between the 2 consonants p and s is contracted in the instrumental case. Instead of piesem it's psem

August 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/4mym3tc4lf

Thats what I was thinking too nicklas. When it was talking about gender when you click the word to see what it means, i thought it was a separate word for a different dog gender like ❤❤❤❤❤ and dog in English

April 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Gomer_Pyle

Okay then ...

January 7, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/erencetin

The rule : If subject is a masculine word , we must put the instrument -em ending. If it is a feminine work we must put the -ą ending. But if we talk about this case, we are putting -em ending even though we are talking about a feminine word "Kaczka". There is similar situation on this sentence. Ona jest mężczyzną. why it is not mężczyznem ?

July 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Jellei

The subject doesn't matter anymore, it has been put in the sentence already, and you went further. The only thing that matters is that "pies" itself is masculine. Its Instrumental form will always be "psem", even if you are talking about a female dog. "Lassie jest psem".

Well, firstly, "Ona jest mężczyzną" is wrong, because that means "She is a man". OK, we could start discussing transsexualism here, I don't know if that's something that would be said about a transsexual woman or not, I don't have knowledge on this topic.

Anyway, the word "mężczyzna" is masculine, even if it ends with -a and undergoes declension the way that feminine nouns do. After all, it means "a man". There is no such word as "mężczyznem".

July 3, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/bW1ZVibI

Why does the genitive not apply here? I thought rhe object was genitive qhen the verb is negated

July 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Jellei

You're taking the rule too far.

Negated Accusative = Genitive. Other cases stay the same when negated.

July 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/SaraLombar3

Why is psem and not pies?

November 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/va-diim

After the verb jestem / jesteś / jest / jesteśmy / jesteście / są, the object takes the instrumental case.

November 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/danielle280882

Can anyone explain why 'nie' comes first in the sentence and not 'jest' I'm confusing myself

December 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/va-diim

Because nie is negating the verb.

December 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JakeWarren10

It is in chinese restaurants

February 19, 2019
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