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  5. "The new boys have old dogs."

"The new boys have old dogs."

Translation:Nowi chłopcy mają stare psy.

December 28, 2015



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


„Starzy” is masculine personal but „psy” is not personal(masculine animate) so you can't use „starzy” with it.

Don't worry though, Polish grammatical gender in plural is confusing even the native speakers – it's really weird. ;)


While in details it is confusing, rule of thumb could be - does the group include male human being? - if the answer is "yes" - it is usually masculine personal, if the answer is "no" it is usually not masculine personal. there are many exceptions for various reasons.


Dziękuję bardzo, rozumiem teraz! :)


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


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.


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


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.


Yes, that is why I marked BOTH "nowi chłopcy" and "ci nowi chłopcy" as possible translations for "the new boys". Those "mark ALL the correct translation" exercises don't want just the most common translation, but any translation that could ever be correct. But perhaps "ci" is NEVER used to distinguish these specific new boys, as opposed to new boys in general?


In general, ci is a literal translation of these in English. I guess ci can be sometimes translated into the, depending on the context, but in this case, you don't know it (it's a general translation), so you should omit the article. However, I don't understand what you meant by the last sentence. Ci is always used to distinguish some specific group, just like these in English.


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 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!


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:


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