"Children are little people."
Translation:Dzieci to mali ludzie.
The "tips and notes" say: "dzieci (children) are ‘not masculine-personal’ plural as well, because the singular word dziecko (child) is neuter."
So why is it "mali" (masculine-personal) instead of "małe" (not masculine-personal) in this sentence?
EDIT: Ah, now I understand! "Mali" belongs to "ludzie" which is male personal.
I don't know how to explain it better. In general, I think basically any sentence is better with 'jest/są'. But that's subjective.
You may note that we don't accept the 'to' construction with personal pronouns (no for 'On to lekarz') and we discourage it with people in general ('Adam to lekarz' is not that great, although better).
There are two plurals: 'masculine personal plural' (or 'virile') - used for groups with at least one male person
And 'not masculine-personal plural' ('non-virile') used for any other plural noun: women, dogs, boxes, trees.
The right form for the first one is "mali", the right form for the second one is "małe".
"ludzie" by default include 'at least one man', or otherwise that would be "kobiety" or "dziewczyny" or similar. So the right form is "mali".
Technically you can use "dzieci" to refer to, let's say, three little girls, just like you can call those girls "children" in English. It's just your choice.
But the real reason for which it is non-virile, is that the singular word "dziecko" is neuter. And the virile gender is literally translated from Polish as 'masculine personal', so that's why "dzieci" doesn't suit it.
Well... you mixed cases. "małymi ludzie" makes no sense grammatically, "małymi" is Instrumental, "ludzie" is either Nominative or Accusative.
It should be either "Dzieci to mali ludzie" (the Nominative construction with 'to') or "Dzieci są małymi ludźmi" (the Instrumental construction with 'jest').
Yes. It doesn't even matter whether it's personal or not.
NOUN [form of być] [...] NOUN always requires the instrumental case.