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)
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…
It's "smaklig(-t)", not "småkig(-t)". "Småkig" sounds like a mix of "smaklig" and "tråkig" (boring) to my ears. It's not a bad word for describing bland and tasteless food, but I've never heard it or used it myself (until now at least) ;)
Btw, "tasty" is generally expressed as "god/gott", (Tasty food = God mat; This one is really tasty = Den här smakar jättegott). The saying "Smaklig måltid!" (Have a nice meal!) is the most usual environment for the word "smaklig".
This can of worms! Obiad is a bigger meal? My family have always used dinner for the big meal and then lunch for a smaller midday meal and tea (low) for a smaller meal in the evening (lets not even get into high tea!). As i grew up i realised that there are regions where every possible variation is used. Mostly dinner is the bigger meal, so I'll use obiad for dinner!
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.
A quick look into Italian adjectives tells me that Italian also has gendered adjectives (il gioco nuovo vs la casa nuova). So a Polish equivalent of "nuovo" is "nowy" and of "nuova" is "nowa".
So, "obiad" is masculine, so the right form is "smaczny". "śniadanie" (breakfast) is neuter, so the right form is "smaczne". "kolacja" (dinner/supper) is feminine, so it's "smaczna".