"You are showing a red tomato."

Translation:Pokazujesz czerwonego pomidora.

December 27, 2015

This discussion is locked.


Can someone explain to me why it is "czerwonego" rather than "czerwony?" Does the -ego ending signify an adjective describing a singular masculine noun in the Accusative case, or am I mistaken?


You are perfectly right. I mean, it's not the only situation when -ego will be the ending, but yes, this is what is here. Singular masculine animate.

The thing is, that Accusative of masculine singular is more tricky. The animate nouns look like Genitive, and the inanimate ones look like Nominative. And here's the problem: is the tomato animate? Logically not. Linguistically it is treated as such. And so are many more (most?) of foods and beverages.

Grammar Nazis could claim that it should be "Pokazujesz czerwony pomidor", but although this may technically be the correct form, you are likely to live in Poland for years and not hear it even once.


I understand now, dziękuję!


Are tomatoes animate?

They are in the famous movie: Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.


This was actually the answer it just gave me.


"Pokazujesz czerwony pomidor"? Yeah, we have to accept it. But really, I'm not sure if I've ever heard it in my life. Except for discussions about grammar, of course.


Strange, I would have thought grammar nazis would say "it's czerwonego pomidor" and everyone else "pomidory are not animated so no it's czerwony pomidor". I mean since when grammar nazis make things easy?


https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/czerwony ................and I thought Dutch was freaky-deaky!


Does Czerwona not exist?


what do you mean. Czerwona is a feminine form of adjective ( nominative), it describes feminine nouns. Ex red rose - czerwona róża.


But is Pomidora not a feminine noun?


no. the nominative is pomidor - masculine, -a is also a genitive ending for masculine and neuter nouns.

And pomidor is one of the exceptions, it is "animated", and like masculine nouns describing animals and people has accusative=genitive instead of accusative=nominative like most inanimate masculine nouns


Polish is confusing. How are we suppose to know which words are feminine, masculine or neuter? Is there any consistent rule to identify that? Or do you just have to memorise the genders of all the words?

Also, I assume its masculine for all cases? Not just nominative? Words can't change genders depending on their case can they? I hope not, its confusing enough as it is.


Don't worry, words can't change genders depending on cases :)

Well, there is quite a consistent rule, although of course there are exceptions and they're not that rare. But anyway, your first assumption (when looking at the Nominative form) should be:

If it ends with a consonant, it's most probably masculine.

If it ends with -a, it's most probably feminine.

If it ends with -o, -e, -ę, it's almost certainly neuter. -e also may be a plural ending.


Note that the word that means "man" is one the exceptions of masculine words ending with a feminine -a, lol.


There are two answers to this 1) you need accusative after pokazywać 2) pomidor is weird word that has accusative=genitive, so it is grammatically animated. https://www.duolingo.com/comment/12252002


hmm, according to the wiktionary entry, the pomidor in accusative case is still pomidor, and 'pomidora' is a colloquialism. I think that while colloquial phrases should also be taught/accepted, proper answers must be prioritized. And 'pokazujecie czerwony pomidor' was not even accepted.


Generally we don't accept colloquial answers and we do teach proper grammar. The problem is, that this particular case (well, the case with many foods actually), is a bit different. Officially "pomidor" may be the correct form. But I am 25 years old and I'm not sure if I have ever heard anyone say that. Like, literally, at least once? Not sure. Apart, of course, of discussions about grammar, like this one.

It's not that many people say "pomidora", although it's not correct. We generally don't care about that. Many people say "Widzę książkę" or "Potrzebuję samochód", not to mention "poszłem" - but that's not correct, so we do not accept it. But here... almost everyone says "pomidora". Almost literally everyone. It's quite probable that most people don't even know that it technically (or maybe already: theoretically?) should be "pomidor" and that they would correct you if you said that.

So we keep to "pomidora" and "banana" and "ziemniaka" and wait for the dictionaries to update, because this one really should be accepted officially as the default version.

Oh, but added "czerwony pomidor" to the accepted answers.


I guess the confusion with tą comes from the accusative forms of all adjectives (with will end with ą), and the fixed formation if tamta (which will be both in inst. and acc. tamtą).


Is there an official dictionary of Polish language which prescribes correct word usage?

Also, it is interesting that in case of tą ('to' in accusative), it changes as if in instrumental case, am I right?


I guess Słownik Języka Polskiego by Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe is the most official. You can find it under sjp.pwn.pl

Many people use Instrumental "tą" with feminine words in Accusative. That is still considered wrong. Also, I personally can't understand it: everything is easy and logical. If the form of the noun is "książkę", you have "tę książkę". If the form of the noun is "książką", you have "tą książką". Seriously, why mix them? :D


Ok, sjp.pwn.pl is where it is written that the 'pomidora' is colloquial =)
Oh, I'll try to ask for 'pomidor' in a shop and check the expression on their face.. =)


Well, I guess the cooking books and similar may be the only context using "pomidor" ;) Also, that message from sjp is 15 years old already.

Hmm... if you sound like a foreigner who speaks quite good Polish, I guess not only this won't make people react but even things that are obvious mistakes ;)


Would a tinned tomato still be considered animate (grammatically driven, or otherwise?)


I don't think the form changes anything, although perhaps I'd say that those are already plural "pomidory" and not one "pomidor".


What is the difference between "pokazac" and "pokazywac" (the "c"s in both of these words should have the kreska above it-I would love to know how to add those letters to my laptop keyboard). And how are they conjugated?


"pokazać" is perfective, "pokazywać" is imperfective. So it's like 'the process of showing'. And therefore only "pokazywać" can be used in Present Tense.

Maybe you can read here: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/12251071 - you can just add Polish keyboard and switch between Polish and the one you use, or if you actually use English keyboard, you can just use Polish instead - it has all that you need for English and all that you need for Polish.

pokazać conjugation: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/pokaza%C4%87#Conjugation

pokazywać conjugation: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/pokazywa%C4%87#Conjugation

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