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  5. "I am a boy."

"I am a boy."

Translation:Jestem chłopcem.

December 23, 2015



When do you use "chłopakiem"? This hasn't yet been taught and as it seems to be instrumental, wondered what the difference between this and "chłopcem" is.


Generally, "chłopiec" is used for younger boys, and "chłopak" starts about the age of a teenager. There is no clear border though. Same goes for "dziewczynka" and "dziewczyna".

"chłopak" and "dziewczyna" can also mean "boyfriend"/"girlfriend", although I wouldn't interpret "Jestem chłopakiem" on its own as "I am a boyfriend" ;)


Okay, so when would you use it? And what does it mean? "Jestem chłopakiem" that is. Cheers


It just means "I am a boy", when I think I am old enough to call myself "chłopak" and not "chłopiec". It may be at the age of 13. It may be at the age of 8. That's a matter of one's opinion.


But we aren't told the age of the boy, so how do we know when to use chlopak/chlopiec?


I think that, when translating to Polish in a Duo exercise, you would generally be able to use either, unless the English uses some explicit form like "little boy", in which case I'd reach for "chłopiec", or "boy friend", in which case, I'd go for "chłopak".


Chlopiec= little boy chlopak boy on rus парень и мальчик


Thank you i agree


"chłopakiem" is one of the forms of "chłopak": it is the same noun but in a different case.


Chłopakiem is more of a casual term while Chłopcem/chłopiec is more formal. Like the difference between boyish and masculine. Chłopak is also used as the term "Boyfriend"


I don't see anything formal about chłopiec, given that it means a little boy...


Chlopakiem means boyfriend


It can mean it, if it's "someone's chłopak", but "I am a boyfriend" doesn't make much sense.


why do you sometimes say Chłopcem and sometimes Chłopiec? what is the difference?


Cases. That's a very wide topic, so generally I'd suggest looking for topics about cases here: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/16296174

As these two specific words are concerned, "chłopiec" is Nominative (the basic, dictionary form) and "chłopcem" is Instrumental. So "chłopiec" will mostly be used when it's a subject of the sentence, or in sentences like "This is a boy" (To jest chłopiec). Instrumental will mostly be used in sentences like "I am/You are/He is a boy". A quite detailed guide to those constructions is here: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/16373167 - you can just start with Part 1.


Why cant jestem chlopak be accepted?


The verb "być" requires the instrumental case: either (ja) jestem chłopcem or (ja) jestem chłopakiem.


Can you explain to us English speakers what you mean by this comment? It doesn't seem to exist in English or maybe I'm just not getting it.


You can learn more about the instrumental case here.


I'm so sorry to be a pain, but the link isn't working.


This is what I found for an explanation. I hope it helps others. I'm still very unclear about the meaning. "In these initial lessons you may sometimes stumble upon nouns in the Instrumental or Accusative. For now, you should be able to form basic sentences with the help of the hints attached to particular words. In the following skills we will gradually introduce you to the rules governing Polish declension."


Ah, right. You need to unlock the Defining skill to get access.


Hows does one determine which case a verb takes? I have used several online dictionaries as well as one I one and I haven't seen this shown once! Quite the conundrum.


Well, Wiktionary usually goes into this subject; for example, https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/by%C4%87 explains it for "być" (the verb in question here)

One of our esteemed moderators has written quite a lot about this subject here: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/16373167/A-guide-on-X-is-Y-and-This-is-Y-constructions


A verb can take up to 7 forms in Polish language and is determined by questions that accompany each case. https://www.polskinawynos.com/?p=509 In case the link doesn't work google 'odmiana przez przypadki in english'


You meant "A noun can take up to 7 forms" … ;-)


What is the difference between chłopiec and chłopcem?


Cases. "chłopiec" is the basic, Nominative form. "chłopcem" is Instrumental. Such a construction (I am Y) needs Y to take Instrumental.


Nominative case versus direct object. In the first, chlopiec, is the subject or nominative case. Chlopcem is the object of he...or what was named. Please corect if I am wrong.


You are correct, except that the letters "l" should be "ł". "Chłopiec"/"Chłopcem". The second case is usually called "Instrumental"....


A suggestion for a complementary/alternative terminology to cement the concepts:

For native English speakers the concept of'direct object' just as'indirect object' (or simply 'object') might be more meaningful and memorable than 'instrumental', even if they mean the same thing.

In English nouns are not inflected for grammatical case, as is the 'case' in Polish.


Except that various verbs take different cases for their indirect objects; some take Instrumental, those which take Accusative take Genitive in the negative, some always take Genitive, some take Dative.

It is still necessary to determine which "indirect object" is being used, in which case we might as well use the formal case name system.


Is "a boy" in this sentence a direct object? I was under the impression that almost always the direct object takes Accusative in Polish (and sometimes Genitive), and then the indirect object takes Dative, but I never thought of such a sentence as here as having an object. But syntax was never my favourite subject.


You guys keep using this word "Być" - what on earth does it mean?!


That's the infinitive of "to be". It's irregular, so it doesn't look at all as any of its forms ;) Just like in English.


Oh god, that sounds unnecessarily complicated ;) XD I'll research it, thanks!


Well, as I said, so is "to be" ;) Actually, "być" is simpler, because its forms look totally similar, it's just the infinitive that looks different...


i wouldn't say that jest and są look in any way similar, but maybe it's just me ;-)


Ever looked at French? Consider "il est" and "ils sont" which are pretty much the same as the Polish.


True, that one doesn't ;)


Why is instrumental applied here?


In a "X is Y" sentence, when X is a personal pronoun, the only option to translate it is X + a form of 'być' + Y in Instrumental.


I translated "i am a boy" to "jestem chłopic" and duolingo corrected me to "jestem chłopakiem". Can someone explain to me why this is (simply if possible - I'm only in basics 1 lol)... Or shall i muddle my way through and it will be explained later in my leaening?


See here, part 1 (well, the only one that exists at the moment, but I'm planning more): https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/28029344


Ah.... if 'chlopiec' means ' a boy' and why is 'Jestem chlopiac' wrong? Please explain this. :D


So I can use both chłopcem and chłopakiem to say "I am a boy"?


Yes and no - it depends on your age, after a certain age (I'd personally say 13 tops, probably less) "chłopcem" will sound too childish. Grammatically both are perfectly fine, though.


This should be 'jestem chlopcem'. 'Jestem chlopakiem' would translate more to 'i am a lad'


As far as i understand "chlopcem" generally means a little boy till the age of 12-13 approximately, "chlopakiem" is also a boy who is older than 13 or so.


i wrote "jestem chlopcem" for 'I am a boy' and got a "you have a typo" message but the correct answer was exactly the same, "jestem chlopcem"????!!!!


Your typo was not using Polish characters: the third letter of "chłopcem" is Ł, not L.

With Duolingo font that's barely visible, unfortunately.


What's the difference between "Ja jestem" and just "Jestem"? Because I typed "Ja jestem chłopcem" and Duolingo marked me as correct, but the answer doesn't seem to be that way.


Well, "Ja" = "I". However, in Polish the personal pronouns are very redundant, as the form of the verb makes it clear what is the grammatical subject.


In which case would I use "jest", and in which would I use "jestem"?


"jest" is 3rd person singular (he/she/it is), "jestem" is 1st person singular (I am).


I dont understand when i should use "ja jestem " or "jestem", because both means i'am ..


You generally don't have to use the subject pronoun, unless you want to emphasize something. You also need it if you have a different subject in the 2nd clause of the sentence than the 1st clause.


Yes... A whole room to comprehension for native En speakers))


How could I guess?


So... 'chłopiec' ---> 'chłopcem' (instrumental singular) 'chłopak' --> 'chłopakiem' (inst sg.)

And 'chłopcy' is the plural foy 'boys' regardless of age?


No, "chłopcy" is just plural for "chłopiec".

The plural form of "chłopak" can be "chłopacy" (but that's rather rare) or "chłopaki" (the common one). However, the word "chłopaki" is a weird grammatical exception, because for reasons unknown to me it is treated like a 'not masculine-personal' noun. So you have "ci chłopcy" (these boys), "te dziewczynki" (these girls)... and somehow also "te chłopaki" for "these (older) boys".


I believe because your plural form is not the typical masculine -y,but the non-masculine i, it behaves non-masculine generally.similar thing in other Slavic languages like Slovak


It's strange that the other correct translation is now being marked as incorrect.


Errm..... What other "correct translation"?


How are we expected to know the word if we haven't been taught it? Not very good tuition Duo - Busuu wouldn't do that ;-p


How else would you expect the word to be taught?


Why can't you say "ja jestem"?


Well, actually, you can, and it is an accepted answer. However, if you made some other error in your input, then the "correct" answer shown is from the top of the list of correct answers and is without "ja".


"Jestem chlopcem" is not being accepted.


Apart from your typo in "chłopcem", your answer is accepted.


Ah, so suddenly they ARE instrumental. (I just asked a question about the sentences in the last set which weren't). I recognise this now because I'm coming back from having been a bit further on, but it hasn't been explained, and it seems very strange that this one has to be instrumental when 'She is a woman' and 'I am a man' in the last set weren't so presented.


Anywhere that forms of "być" are used (and "to" is not involved) will use the Instrumental. Perhaps you didn't recognise that "kobietą" and "mężczyzną" are Instrumental?


I answered English > Polish, jestem mężczyzna, and it was accepted with no query, not even a typo. Possibly I missed the ą on kobieta which was Polish > English, I can't remember now...


The grading algorithm doesn't mark the lack of diacritics and there's nothing we can currently do about it. Also, type-what-you-hear exercises don't display typo notifications.


Hold up. So, i'm guessing that "chlopakiem" is only in the context of saying you/he/she are/is something?


Yes. This is instrumental case, often used after the verb "być" ("to be").

For further reading, please take a look at https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/16373167/A-guide-on-X-is-Y-and-This-is-Y-constructions


Well, not only, there's also for example using it after "z" (with). But this is the most basic usage of Instrumental.

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