1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Polish
  4. >
  5. "Potrzebujesz kawy!"

"Potrzebujesz kawy!"

Translation:You need coffee!

December 19, 2015



Why not "you need a coffee"?


Coffee is an uncountable noun, like milk, water, tea, sugar, and flour. You can say "You need a cup of coffee", "a glass of coffee", "a bottle of coffee", "a carton of coffee", "a mouthful of coffee", but NEVER "a coffee".


Coffee can be countable or uncountable. 'A coffee' is synomymous with 'a cup of coffee'



I was unaware of that, I did not learn it like that, does it work for others too, like milk or flour?


You'll just have to look it up in the dictionary. For example 'milk' is both countable and uncountable


But flour is uncountable



It works like that when you order it as one unit or one portion having a price per unit or per portion, usually in a restaurant, a coffee shop or a bar:

A coffee (a cup/one portion of coffee) for me and
a beer (a bottle/one portion of beer) for my friend, a soup (a bowl/one portion of soup) for my mom, and a gin (a glass/one portion of gin) for my dad.


Why is this genitive not accusative, isn't it the direct object?


Some verbs connect with genitive rather than accusative and 'potrzebować' is one of them.



thanks, good to know. Any other common verbs like that or that are in the course?


I don't know about the course, but I found a list of most popular such verbs (source : http://portalwiedzy.onet.pl/140223,,,,dopelniacz,haslo.html ) and translated them for your convenience:

bać się - to be afraid

brakować/ braknąć - to be missing, to be insufficient

chcieć - to want

dokonywać/ dokonać - to achieve

domagać się - to demand

dotyczyć - to apply to

dotykać/ dotknąć - to be touching/ to touch

doznawać/ doznać - to experience, to feel

lękać się, obawiać się - to be afraid

oczekiwać - to wait for

odmawiać/ odmówić - to refuse

pilnować - to guard

potrzebować - to need

pragnąć - to desire

próbować/ spróbować - to be trying/ to try

słuchać - to listen

spodziewać się - to expect

szukać/ poszukać - to look for

uczyć się/ nauczyć się - to study/to learn

udzielać/ udzielić - to grant

unikać/ uniknąć - to avoid

używać/ użyć - to be using/ to use

wymagać - to demand

wstydzić się - to be embarrassed

wystarczać/ wystarczyć - to be sufficient

zabraniać/ zabronić, zakazywać/ zakazać - to forbid

zapominać/ zapomnieć - to forget

zazdrościć - to envy

żałować - to regret

życzyć - to wish


Thanks that's very helpful!


You know me too well, Duo


You know me too well duo


It seems arbitrary. I need a coffee is used. So is ...a beer, ... a gin, ...a whisky, but not ... a rum or ... wine or ... a tea or ...a milk or ... a water.


Yeah, that's English for you... for every rule there's at least 10 words/phrases that break it.


They aren't countable still, we just shorten things in English because we are lazy. "a tea" is short for a cup of tea. If you go to a bar and ask for "a beer" what you are actually asking for is "a bottle of beer" or "a pint of beer". But beer itself is uncountable: "where's the beer?"


~i can make you feel alIiIiIve, i know, but do i need you to surviiiiiive~

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