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  5. "It is a duck."

"It is a duck."

Translation:To jest kaczka.

December 16, 2015



Can someone remind me why this isn't: 'Ta' jest kaczka as kaczka is feminine?

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In this kind of expression ('To jest...' = 'This is ...') you have to always use 'To', regardless of the gender of the subject


Exactly, you could point with your finger at something and say: "To jest kaczka." = "This is a duck.", "To jest pies." = "This is a dog.", "To jest dziecko." = "This is a child." ("kaczka" is feminine, "pies" is masculine, "dziecko" is neuter).

But you would say: "Ta kaczka jest czerwona." = "This duck is red.", "Ten pies jest czerwony." = "This dog is red.", "To dziecko jest czerwone." = "This child is red." (note that now you use "ta/ten/to" which indicates the gender; note also how the endings of the adjective differs in each sentence: "-a/-y/-e").


Huge hint. Thanks dzenkuja


How do i recognize the gender of words? It's like German and i have to know each word or are there any tips?


"This [something that I haven't made evident YET, but will right now-->] is a duck." Because you don't know what "this" is until I finish the sentence, the word "to" stays gender neuter. When I say "this duck blah blah blah," then it would be "ta kaczka"


I'm confused again - why don't we put kaczka into the instrumental case here, if it follows być?


Such a thing happens in an "X is Y" sentence, where both X and Y are noun phrases.

This is a "This is Y" (ok, "It is Y") sentence. In such a sentence, Y takes Nominative.

More info here: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/16373167


Because it's following to jest, it doesn't take the instrumental case. To jest/to są behaves just like to when it's being used instead of the verb jest/są.


I put "jest kaczka" and this got marked wrong. Is that an error? How is that incorrect?


Kaczką, it has to be in instrumental case. The nominative case kaczka is if it's the subject of the sentence.


"Jest kaczką" on its own is a pronoun-less version of "on/ona/ono jest kaczką" and I think that only 'ono' works here if you don't want to insult anyone. However 'ono' is very rare and practically always replaced by 'to' if you want to say "it is a...".

And the presence of 'to' changes the case requirements to nominative. So we really only accept "To [jest/] kaczka" in this exercise.

"Jest kaczka" is technically correct, but that means something like "there is a duck" or "we have duck".


Or, to put it another way, you need the "to". Otherwise you are just saying "is duck".


It didn't read "This is a duck." It read "It is a duck." So, I wrote "Jest kaczka." I was suppose to use "To"?


To jest = it is or this is or that is


Wouldn't "That is..." be "Tamto jest..."


No, the word "to" in Polish is used as a noun here. Tamto is a noun determiner, not a noun.


Jest kaczką on its own wasn't accepted. Is it incorrect to not use the "to" in this sentence?.


It is pretty unusual and I don't think it works here. Generally a sentence built as "[This/That/It] is a noun" should start with "To".

The only situation I can imagine in which "Jest kaczką" works, is in a dialogue like:

  • So, Mickey is a mouse and Goofy is a dog... and what about Donald?
  • He's a duck.

That last part could be rendered by "Jest kaczką". But outside of a conversation like that, it doesn't work. You can't point at a duck and say "Jest kaczką".

Also, actually "Donald jest kaczorem". "kaczor" is a male duck ;)

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