27 CommentsThis discussion is locked.
"Ta" indicates a particular thing, for situations where English would use "this," "that," or sometimes "the" (often just translated by itself as "this," but actual usage is a bit more complicated).
The English articles "a" and "the" (especially the former) don't generally translate into Polish at all. Their functions are left to context.
Also, while I'm shaky on the details of Polish language formalities, I understand "pani" to be more like "ma'am" than "woman." I'm not sure you would use it to talk about a woman in general.
"Pani" is somewhat like the English "ma'am/lady" or (even more so) the Spanish "señora." It's a title, and is used in a formal way to address someone directly instead of the informal "ty" ("you"). It also can be used to just mean "woman."
"Kobieta" doesn't have all those other uses as a polite pronoun or title.
Cases. There are seven cases in Polish (although we almost don't mention Vocative in this course), and you need different forms for different functions, after different prepositions, after different verbs etc.
"kobieta" is the Nominative form - the basic one, that you will find in the dictionary.
"kobietą" is Instrumental, needed for example after "to be".
"kobietę" is Accusative, which is one of the most widely used cases, for example needed after "to see".
You can take a look here and check one of the posts on Cases.
Firstly, that's not an accent. The thingy under "a" is usually called even in English "ogonek" (little tail) and it makes a completely different sound. In fact, I personally think it would make more sense if this letter was based on "o" and not on "a".
So this completely different letter "ą" is used, among others, at the end of Instrumental forms of nouns that normally (in their basic, Nominative form) ended with -a. So usually feminine nouns.
Therefore "kobieta", which is the basic, Nominative form, used mostly for the subject of the sentence (here we have a noun out of context so we also use the basic form) changes into Instrumental "kobietą".
Instrumental, among other usages, is used in "[noun] is [noun]" and "[pronoun] is [noun]" sentences for the (second) noun, after a form of the verb "być" (to be). So "Ona jest kobietą" (She is a woman) takes Instrumental.