1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Polish
  4. >
  5. "Those tomatoes are large."

"Those tomatoes are large."

Translation:Tamte pomidory są duże.

December 18, 2015



'Pomidory' are masculine so why not 'tamci' and 'duzi'?


Here comes the Polish grammatical drama queen... When using tamci/tamte (and not just these two forms) it is not all about only the gender. We use "tamci" only for objects that are "personal" so basically when we talk about people (male and mixed male-and-female groups), for example tamci ludzie, tamci pracownicy (those people, those workers). It would be enough complicated but it is also not very logical when a word is personal and when it's not. For example "chłopiec" is personal and we would say "tamci chłopcy" but "chłopak" is not so we would say "tamte chłopaki". But it is an exception.

But there is much more. Words can be "personal", "not personal", "alive", "not alive", plural-only and few other and all these attributes change how the word is changed to fit the meaning.


This language is PURE EVIL. :'(


More like Grama Queen


It's animate/inanimate, not alive, but generally you are right :D


Dziękuję for the great explanations :)


The more I read the explanations, the more confused I am!


Thank you! At least i understand why i was so confused...lol


I'm never going to get the hang of these!


To put it simply. There are two different genres in plural in Polish: męskoosobowy (men) and niemęskoosobowy (anyone, anything else).


Lol, learning Polish is like you make a list of the word characteristics, like :

  • "Ok, it's masculine, it's animate, it's the subject so I think it's mianownik, it's plural, now let me think of all the tables I know, hmm ok I'm pretty sure it's 'tamci', let's click... WHAT WHY?!"

  • "Hello, it's me, new Polish exception of the day B-)"


Can't decide if this is better or worse than English. I mean, in English you just have to learn and basically memorize all 2857929294 exceptions in every single rule. But this... I can't decide, honestly. Lmao


I read on comment section of another question that food is "animated"?


Kinda. Accusative is complicated for masculine singular nouns. If the noun is animate, its Accusative looks the same as Genitive, if it's inanimate, its Accusative looks the same as Nominative.

And the thing is, that many types of food (mostly fruit and vegetables) are treated as animate for no real reason. Technically, they are not, but in fact, almost everyone treats them so. So you are 100 times more likely to hear "Mam pomidora" than "Mam pomidor". And it's hard to set any rules for what is animate and what absolutely shouldn't. But more often it is, I think.


Thanks for the explanation. So, why isn't the answer here "Tamci pomidory są dużi"? Why are they treated as inanimate? Also, how do I say "Thanks for the explanation" in Polish? :D "Dziękuję dla dobre wyjaśnianie" or "Dziękuję na dobremu wyjaśnianiu" or something different (is wyjaśnianie even the right word)?


Well, the fact that they are (or not) animate is only valid in Accusative singular. Here they are plural and in Nominative, as the subject of the sentence. Also, 'pomidor' is masculine but it is not a person. And what you tried to use in your answer is 'masculine-personal' - used for 'groups of people including at least one man'. So it has to be "Tamte pomidory są duże". But, let's say, "Tamci chłopcy są duzi" (note the lack of ż, the masculine-personal version is usually different from the other ones)

If you thank for something, the right preposition is "za" (+ Accusative). So "Dziękuję za (dobre) wyjaśnienie".

"wyjaśnienie" comes from the perfective 'wyjaśnić', so it makes sense as the explanation is finished.

"wyjaśnianie" comes from the imperfective 'wyjaśniać', so it would refer to the process of explaining. It rather won't be used much often.


Dziękuję bardzo :)


I know polish very well. Its my first language. Now my question is: why dont they accept wielkie instead of duże


Well, "wielkie" would rather be "huge", "enormous" or something like that. Te tutaj są po prostu duże, ale nie na tyle duże by nazwać je "wielkimi".


So the rule here is that the pronouns and adjectives don't care about animate/inanimate but about personal/not personal?


The only situation where we care about animate/inanimate is Accusative of masculine nouns.

Plurals care about 'masculine personal'/'not masculine-personal' distinction. So "women" are in the second group anyway, because while obviously the word is personal, it's not masculine.


Because "those" is a determiner here, it describes the noun "tomatoes" and therefore has to match it grammatically.

If the sentence was "Those are tomatoes" (or "Those are large tomatoes"), then "Those" is a dummy pronoun which translates to "To". But not here.


why not tamci?


i think bc: TAMCI is for "masculine personal plural" --> groups containing at least one male person,

even though the word "pomidor" is masculine, it is not a masculine person therefore you use TAMTE, for --> "not masculine personal plural", groups not containing any masculine *person


I'll never understand why tomatoes are feminine sometimes and other times not. Polish exception you say? Sure. Whatever. Carrying on. I'll never master this language. Not sure why i bother. Too many rules and most of them require language version of algebra to figure out what word to use from one sentence/context to the next.

I had a perfect streak before i got smacked by these big female tomatoes!


There is no such thing as "feminine plural".

One plural is 'masculine personal' or 'virile' and it's for plurals of masculine nouns denoting people. Like boys, men, people, firemen, etc.

The other is 'not masculine-personal' or 'non-virile' and it's for plurals of all other words. All feminine (including those for people), all neuter (including the problematic "dzieci") and also masculine words that do not describe people. "pomidor" is masculine, but it's not a person, that's why it's in this group.


Thank you so so much for all the explanation! Very clear, very precise!


I blame the patriarchy! Sexist language! More confusing every day but fun. A tomato is a tomato apart from when it's a carrot, but only on a Wednesday... Sigh!


Anyone have a good book or study guide on Polish grammar??


Maybe it would be better if a learner answered you, but personally I like https://mowicpopolsku.com/polish-grammar/

Learn Polish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.