"Jestem synem tej kobiety."

Translation:I am this woman's son.

December 22, 2015

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This sentence gave me an epiphany, about how the genitive case implies posession. I might have tried to translate this phrase from English by looking for a word for 'of' [I am the son of this woman], but seeing this lead to something clicking in my brain.

The genitive=posession thing also helps explain why verbs like potrzebować require the genitive - if you need something, you are are implying a desire to posses. Not sure it explains why you need it for negations though.


Lucky you! I'm yet to wrap my brain around this madness! God bless the Poles!


I just asked about this in another thread literally ten minutes ago. Dziekuje!


The construction appears in other parts of the course, it's a very elegant part of the language e.g. butelka wody = 'a bottle of water'


Chcieć (to want) too.

However, I think słucham and słyszę also take genitive so O doubt it is a general rule.


"słucham" takes Genitive (słucham mamy), but "słyszę" takes Accusative (słyszę mamę).

"chcieć" behaves in a weird way, when you want something tangible (I want a car) it takes Accusative (Chcę samochód), but if you want something abstract (I want friendship) it takes Genitive (Chcę przyjaźni).


Why is it "kobiety"? Is it because this is a case of possession/relation?

[deactivated user]

    What's wrong with I am a son to this woman?


    Well... is it really used in contemporary English? It sounds very bookish, I believe...


    It was used in the movie Gladiator.

    ( Ok, sorry, this was off-topic :-/ )


    I think that's helpful! Do you also have a way to explain the use of instrumental case ("synem")?


    I am a son. Its who I am. It it the essence or instrument of my being. It determines the way I act. it is instrumental in all that I do. A bit wordy but the idea helped me.


    Most common use is when you are using the word byc to describe someone (I am a man = jestem mężczyzną which is the instrumental version of mężczyzna / of jesteś dzieckiem rather than dziecko) if that makes sense


    Seems like Duolingo has lost it a little bit: "I am the son of this woman": female voice "I am going to be an aunt!": male voice


    So far there is no way of making sure which voice reads which sentence, so they are played to you at random.


    All my polish friends would say 'tą' here and not 'tej', which is correct?


    I think that's a common mistake, even for native speakers. Look at the declension table for https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/ta#Polish

    tą is for instrumental singular, but this phrase is in genitive, so it is tej. I have seen people talking about this mistake in other discussions, maybe someone else will comment with more info.


    Probably nobody would say "tą" instead of "tej" but many people could say "tą" instead of "tę".


    I am a son the of this woman


    It's accepted. Well, if you omit 'the'.

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