"The new boys have old dogs."

Translation:Nowi chłopcy mają stare psy.

December 28, 2015

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Why not "starzy psy"? I thought "starzy" was for plural masculine living beings...


I got all but that one word and lost my perfect streak. Booooo!


Starzy is for plural, masculine people. Dogs are not people.


Przeprazam, but I'm so confused. As I mentioned elsewhere, I usually use the Duolingo app and there are not 'tips' in the Polish course on the app. Therefore, the issue (generally) that I'm going to address almost certainly has been explained in detail elsewhere. However, as far as I can tell, it hasn't been mentioned in this discussion so far, and the tips for this lesson haven't clarified the matter for me. Why aren't 'old dogs' ('stare psy') in the masculine animate accusative plural? It shouldn't be an animate vs inanimate situation because dogs are obviously animate....right? (Also, is the nominative plural of 'old dogs' 'starzy psy'? It so, wouldn't the accusative [&genitive?] plural be 'starzych psów'?) Dziękuję, pańowie.


Unlike Russian, Polish plurals don't distinguish between animate and inanimate, but between virile and nonvirile.

Virile is also called 'masculine personal' and refers to groups of people which include at least one male man or nouns that are virile by definition, like (ludzie, lekarze, kibice, dziennikarze, moderatorzy...). And nonvirile is virtually everything else.

So since psy are nonvirile, the accusative plural is the same as the nominative plural.

Here's a link to the Polish Tips&Notes, which you can access from any device:



why is it 'nowi'?


Because it's 'masculine personal plural', and that form is usually quite different from the other ones. Although maybe that's not the clearest example.


Why is "Ci nowi chłopcy mają stara psy." wrong? I'm not totally clear on the meaning of "ci", but I thought it was emphasizing "the" -- these new boys, not some other ones.


We don't have articles in Polish. When you translate a sentence, you generally omit an article, or use a demonstrative when you have a demonstrative in an English sentence.


'Stara psy' is incorrect, should be 'stare psy' since it is plural


Why is it 'psy' and not 'psów'? I thought mieć had to take the genitive.


No, "mieć" takes Accusative.

Maybe you're thinking of some negated sentence? If a verb that took Accusative gets negated, it takes Genitive instead. That's the only case that changes when negated.


That will be it, I've been basing that idea on an example of a negation, I didn't realise it would take a different case if the negation wasn't there - thank you!


Nie mówi się "NOWI" chłopcy, prędzej MŁODZI


"nowi chłopcy w klasie", na przykład.

Nie no, nie przeczę, to dziwne złożenie słów, ale to bardziej ćwiczenie na gramatykę, bo przecież forma męskoosobowa przymiotnika zazwyczaj się sporo różni od pozostałych form. A na początku kursu, gdy jest mało dostępnego słownictwa, czasami ciężko o naturalne zdania.

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