Can't this also mean women? Kobiety does mean women in the plural - How else would you say it to mean women?
You are right, "kobiety" is also the nominative of plural, but in this sentence you have to use the genitive. Hence "To jest kobieta. Nie widzę kobiety" = "This is a woman. I don't see a woman" and in plural: "To są kobiety. Nie widzę kobiet" = "These are women. I don't see women".
Could you explain why we have to use the genetive? Since "woman" is the object of the sentence, I'd have expected to use the accusative.
For people used to Latin or Germanic languages, this use of the genitive case instead of accusative is very strange. We would expect the object to be in the 4th case, also for negations. But this is not how it works in Polish (and other languages in the region).
Well, I gave it some thought and read some grammar articles in Wikipedia and it seems to be like this:
the direct object is usually in the accusative or, in negated sentences, in genitive (but instrumental is also sometimes used);
dative, instrumental, locative are for indirect objects.
I guess this link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish_grammar#Noun_syntax can be helpful. Some examples to show that the object can come in many different cases (it really just depends on the verb used):
"Nie widzę kobiety" = "I don't see a woman" (genitive)
"Przyglądam się kobiecie" = "I look at a woman" (dative)
"Widzę kobietę" = "I see a woman" (accusative)
"Rozmawiam z kobietą" = "I speak with a woman." (instrumental)
"Mówię o kobiecie" = "I talk about a woman" (locative)
After a negated verb, the direct object switches from accusative to genitive. Other cases and nouns after prepositions are not affected.
First we learnt that "kobiety" is plural, but now we are told it can be also singular. Polish is starting to get a bit more interesting :)
Don't worry, it's more or less consistent. Almost all feminine nouns have the three following cases identical: Nominative plural, Accusative plural, Genitive singular.
It sounds like "widze" instead of "widzę," but luckily I know that ono/ona/on widzi. Many won't know that so I think it should be removed from the audio problems.
We cannot remove the audio just because someone doesn't necessarily know the correct form. If the pronunciation makes the answer ambiguous: piję vs pije, sure, we're going to disable audio because both are correct words. But as final 'ę' usually sounds like 'e', the learners should get accustomed to it.
I read all of the commants and this is way too complex . There is no "tej" or "tamtego". Is the y in kobiet(y) a suffix?
There is no "tej" nor "tamtego", because there's neither "this" nor "that" in the English sentence.
"tamtego" is masculine anyway.
Well... you could say it's a suffix, I guess. "kobiety" is the Genitive form, Genitive is needed in this sentence.
OK, you have the word for "a woman": "kobieta". This is Nominative.
Then you want to say "I see a woman". "widzieć" (to see) takes Accusative. "Widzę kobietę".
Now, you negate it. "I don't see a woman". If a verb that needed Accusative gets negated, it takes Genitive instead. "Nie widzę kobiety".
Note that only Accusative changes when negated. Other cases stay the same.
So in a sentence like this I can omit the "tej" or "tamtej" like I do already with the initial "Ja", did I get it right?