Translation:We need a home.
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Hello everyone, the verb potrzebować always goes with a noun in the genitive case? I am quite confused with this, because for me "what is needed" (in this sentence a house) should be in the accusative case since it is the direct object of the sentence. Could anyone give me some clues? Dziękuję
Some verbs connect with nouns in genitive case. Some of the common ones are (taken from http://portalwiedzy.onet.pl/140223,,,,dopelniacz,haslo.html):
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
Though this not going to be the solve it all or most of it deeper reason you're looking for, I have a couple of observations and ideas. First of all, my thoughts are based more on my knowledge of grammatical case grammar in German and Russian (& observations about English), than my current miniscule familiarity with Polish. In languages with more distinctions of case than we have in English, case often performs functions that we use prepositions for. Where we can use 's or OF to indicate possession, etc., the genitive case is used. For negatives where the genitive is called for we might think: We have / see none OF X. The genitive can also sometimes be used for what is called the partitive: some OF X.
As a trick to aid learning, some of the verbs in tadjanow's very helpful list can be can be memorized in rephrased fashion using OF. Instead of need or want as transitive verbs, you could be 'in need OF' or 'in want OF' something. Likewise, 'be afraid OF.' Whether or not you can rephrase a verb with OF, you might nonetheless identify several verbs with something semantically in common that helps you remember them as a group, rather than one by one. Could we group demand, desire, wish, and envy (be envious of) with want and need?
Ultimately, of course, we must memorize and internalize the appropriate cases, much as a student of English must do while learning which verbs take a direct object and which require the use of a preposition, and which preposition: see / watch X, but look AT X; hear X, but listen TO x.
Hey there, it's weird to come back to this comment after a year. It really makes me realise how much I have improved my Polish. One of my friends, who is native in Polish, gave me a similar explanation some time ago when I was struggling with this, and it was a great help indeed. I wanted to thank you anyways for your answer, as I am pretty sure it will be of help to many others! Cheers man!
Yes, you are right, it takes Genitive.
I'm not sure what you mean by 'override the accusative case'. There's just no Accusative here simply because this verb takes Genitive.
Yes, usually the direct object takes the Accusative case, but there is a list of verbs for which that is not true and Genitive is used instead.
On a separate note, you are very likely to hear native speakers using Accusative with those verbs as well, but as this is still considered a mistake and you'd be failed on a language test for that, we do not accept it.