Polish tends to be pretty good about that. The endings for a masculine adjective is almost always -y, or -i when the stem ends in g or k, the ending for feminine adjectives is -a and the neuter ending is -e.
Then you just have to remember exceptions (I'm not aware of any for adjectives, but there are for nouns)
So, smaczna changed to smacnzy here. Is this just a feminine word with its respective instrumental ending? (changing from -a to -y)
No. It is not instrumental. It is nominative, but masculine (because obiad is masculine).
- If you put a noun after the verb być (to be), you use instrumental (with number of the subject). On jest psem, One są kotami…
- If you put an adjective after być, you use nominative (but in gender and number of the subject). Obiad jest smaczny, Kolacja jest smaczna…
When you want to put a noun described by an adjective, you do it, as if it was a usual noun: Obiad jest smacznym posiłkiem (lunch/dinner is a tasty meal), Burek jest dobrym psem (Burek is a good dog).
In Polish, like in Latin, Finnish, to some extent German and Esperanto, nouns decline. A noun is put in different cases depending on its role in a sentence. In English there is one case besides nominative – genitive, describing owner of possessed things (Tom’s hat – “Tom’s” is a genitive of “Tom”).
Nominative is the case for subjects – nouns that are doing an action described in a sentence (eg. kot śpi – a cat sleeps). Instrumental is a case for nouns that are being used as instruments (kroję nożem – I am cutting with a knife).
There is an accusative case describing direct object – the thing that an action is being done upon – eg. kot je psa and psa je kot both mean a cat eats a dog (and not a dog eats a cat), even though in Polish sentences the word order can be changed – because the roles of the nouns are described by their cases.
But in Polish some cases can have different idiomatic roles – here, after the verb to be, instrumental is used in copular statement, to describe equality between subject and the thing the subject is.
Thank you. Very well said and informative!
However, I disagree with one minor detail: I think English has at least three cases. The third seems to be an 'object' case that is a combination of the accusative (direct object), dative (indirect object), and ablative (object of preposition) cases. This third case is usually the same as the nominative form, but it's sometimes different. For example, "I" becomes "me", and "they" becomes "them":
I throw the ball. He gives me the ball.
They have pizza. He helps them.
He sings well. I work with him.
I don't know if this third case has a name--I'm just analyzing English as a native speaker of it.
It is called objective case, though usually this type of dative-accusative merged case is called oblique, but English grammarians like to have things different than anybody else. ;)
Still, objective is only marked on pronouns in English, so how much it really is a case differs from an analysis to an analysis of English grammar – some people don't consider English to have any case system, as even the Saxon genitive can be analysed as a clitic instead…
Smaczny is an adjective, not a noun. Adjectives change to match the gender of their noun, as well as to match their case. So smaczny obiad, but smaczna ryba and smaczne mleko. These are all in nominative case, mind.
Does "smaczny" come from the same root word as the Swedish word "Småkigt", which also means "tasty"?
Probably, because "taste, flavour" itself is "smak", and I see this is the same in Swedish.
there is explanation for this in tips and notes. I think most learners on Duolingo claim that "lunch" is a better translation.
In Poland "Obiad" is a big meal ( traditionally two or three courses) eaten around 1pm-4pm.
In English, "dinner" is the main meal of the day. For some English speakers that will be around midday, for others in the evening. This is a feature of English that it causing issues in all courses.
We just returned from a tour of Southern Poland, the Galician region. English, which is rapidly becoming the international language, is used on many signs u der Polish. Our guide told us that obiad is rapidly being called "lunch".
In England, dinner is sometimes used when it is mid afteroon. 12-2. In america, dinner is the evening meal. 5-7oclock. But english people sometimes use this aswell now. Dinner in england can be interchangeable for either meals
Why is "jest" used here? What I mean is, is it because "Obiad" is a non animated noun so the pronoun for "Obiad" would be "It" and so you say "It is" which is "Ono jest" and just remove "Ono"? I guess I'm simply reading too much into this but it is interesting to learn about this.
"Jest" is the third person singular form of być (to be). It literally means "is". So its use has nothing to do with non-animated or animated, and regardless of the gender of 'it' (on/ona/ono) you would still use jest.