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

  • 2028

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.

December 16, 2015

it's kinda like ellos and ellas in Spanish, or ils and elles in French

December 16, 2015

I understand now. Thanks everyone!

December 20, 2015

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

December 16, 2015

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.

December 16, 2015
  • 1322

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".

December 16, 2015
Learn Polish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.