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Plurals are hard...

Can somebody tell me how the plural works in Polish? Surprisingly enough I don't have much problems with the cases (so far) but the moment I see a plural word I'm like : "ok, this must be a case I haven't studied or something..." .

Do plurals follow the cases too? I know it's a stupid question, but I can't help but feel like I don't recognize most plural words for some reason, so they may have a different set of endings.

I would very much appreciate if somebody could give me some resources where I can see all the endings by case, gender and number ; just to clarify the frustration that's going through my head right now.

P.S. the rest is very easy to understand and learn. Props to you Team Polish, it's a really well-made course so far

December 22, 2015



There's a chart on page 44 for endings of each case, singular and plurals. I just stared at these everyday for about month.


The good news is that 3 of the plural cases are very consistent

Dative = om

Instrumental = ami

Locative = ach

Vocative = Nominative

Accusative = Nominative except male animate, which in this case = Genitive

So you really only need to learn the various Nominative and Genitive endings


Accusative is the same as genitive for masculine personal nouns, not just animate (the distinction animate/non-animate is in the singular).

Also there are a few exceptions in the instrumental case at least (dzieci -> dziećmi, ludzi -> ludźmi).


Two questions: are personal nouns the same as animate objects, or something different? And does one have to learn the genitive form separately?

  • 3

Personal nouns refer to people, animate nouns refer to people and animals and actually many other nouns, mostly foods and technology words.

Whether the noun is animate or inanimate only matters in one case: Accusative of masculine nouns. Masculine animate ones have Accusative identical to Genitive, masculine inanimate ones have Accusative identical to Nominative.

Whether the noun is personal or not only matters in plural of masculine nouns. Masculine personal nouns (groups including at least one man) need different forms than the 'not masculine-personal nouns'. It doesn't matter whether a feminine or neuter noun is personal or not.


Thanks a lot. I find this very helpful so far, not only for plurals but for overall basic construction of the language. You, sir, deserve a big, shiny lingot!


Here is helpful silmeth's answer to a similar question https://www.duolingo.com/comment/12354055$comment_id=12355024

Provided wikipedia link can be also helpful.


I use the Polish Wiktionary to check on case endings and conjugation. Here is the page for "kot".



Hi! I'm afraid I cannot help you there as I do not speak Polish. I will give you a lingot and get a follower to help you out. Contact me for help in French, Spanish or English. Good luck with yur studies! :)


As a Polish person I can tell you that even well educated Polish people sometimes have problems with endings during declension and when we are making mistakes, we correct ourselves. I think the percentage of grammar nazis is quite high in Poland :) Anyway, do not discourage yourself. We really like when foreigners try to speak Polish and in most situations declension is not necessary to understand the statement. And the answer your question - please, check this out - http://www.learnpolishfeelgood.com/polish-nouns-pronouns.html


We really like when foreigners try to speak Polish

This is so true. Up till when the Polish course here came out, my Polish was limited to, basically, hello, goodbye, thank you, I don't understand (and I couldn't actually write any of that!), and without exception, whenever I used even my piffling little bit of Polish to speak to a Polish person, they were delighted. I don't think I've ever had such a positive reaction from such a pathetically small mastery of a language. I'm hoping the next time I speak to a Polish person in person (and there are quite a number of Polish immigrants in my area), I will at least be able to ask how they are and stuff, but even three words and one phrase always got a way better response than it ever deserved! :).

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