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Whats the difference between Oni and One in Polish?

I understand that both mean "they" so when is it grammatically correct to use one over the other?

December 16, 2015


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Here is an excerpt from the Tips & Notes for the Basics 2 skill:

Oni and *one*

Oni and one are both translated as they. However, they are used in different contexts.

Oni is used to refer to all groups that contain at least one male person. In other words, both all-male and mixed male and female groups are referred to as oni.

One is used to refer to all groups that do not contain any male persons. Therefore, groups of female persons, groups of neuter persons and groups containing both female and neuter persons are referred to as one.

You always use “one” when referring to groups of children, animals or objects. However, if “oni” is used, it must denote a group of people.


Both mean they, but 'one' is used for females, and 'oni' for men or a mixed group.


Technically 'oni' is for a group that contains at least one masculine entity, while 'one' is a group that contains no masculine entities. So 'ona' + 'ono' = 'one', 'on' + 'ono' = 'oni' etc.


More precisely, "oni" is for a group that contains at least one masculine entity and at least one personal entity.

For example, "pies" is masculine, but "psy" is "one", not "oni".

The rule is formed in such a weird way, because for some reason "kobieta i pies" is "oni".


I understand now. Thanks everyone!

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