"Tamci mężczyźni i ta kobieta jedzą kolację."

Translation:Those men and this woman are eating dinner.

December 29, 2015

This discussion is locked.


What is the difference between Tamci and Tamte?


masculine-personal plural vs non-masculine-personal plural


So, just to clarify it for me: it would be tamte kobiety but tamci ludzie? could you also say tamte ludzie or is that wrong?


Tamte ludzie is wrong. Every noun has one and only one gender so you cannot use two different adjectives (different gender) with it.


but would a polish person still understand what I was saying if i used the wrong one?


Yes. In general, in any language, if you make some grammar mistakes you will probably be understood (unless the grammar mistakes cause the sentence to have a meaning different from what you wanted).

In English as well, if I say e.g. "Those man and those woman eats dinner" that will be wrong, but understandable.


So what's the difference between ci and tamci?


Both are masculine personal. Ci - these, tamci - those.


Tamci is male and tamte is female


Well, not exactly. "tamci" is 'masculine personal' and "tamte" is 'everything else'. Including plurals of masculine nouns that do not describe people.


None of this makes any sense :) I'm not sure how you are supposed to learn this without any explanations


what exactly do you need to know?

tamci= those (plural, for masculine nouns that describe people)
mężczyźni= men (plural nominative form of mężczyna=man)
i= and ta =this (for singular feminine nouns)
kobieta=woman (singular nominative)
jedzą= eat (third person plural , present tense form of jeść)

kolację= dinner/supper (depending on what you call evening meal, we call it "kolacja"),
you need accusative after jeść, accusative form of "kolacja", is "kolację"


Well, your reply has told me more than I've learnt from Duolingo so far, even though I don't understand most of it... It would be far better to actually be told what a "nominative form" was, and how to spot it and what the modifications to the words will be. Picking the one that matches the word I recognise from a list of unrelated words is not helping in being able to understand which to choose. I.e. I've had no idea how to complete a sentence if I had to chose the right version of Man from a list of them, and I don't feel like I'll ever understand it.


you can use https://www.duolingo.com/comment/16296174 and look for things you need

Nominative case is the one used as subject of sentence.


Thanks, although I just started reading the first link (about Gender) and very swiftly stopped understanding it! I think I need a beginners beginner guide :)


I picked up Polish for Dummies. The case explanations and charts are worth the price of admission.


tamci mężczyżi - this is what i gathered, tamci for people, and yet I just had to reinforce demonstratives and found "tamten mężczyzna" in an exercise. Are tamci and tamten interchangeable for people ? Thanks.


The demonstratives have form dependent on the gender/number (and the case). Let's leave the case aside and deal with only the Nominative, dictionary forms.

So, as "mężczyzna" (man) is masculine singular, it's "tamten". Then you have "tamta kobieta" (that woman), and "tamto dziecko" (that child). The fact that they are people has nothing to do here. It could also be "tamten dom" (that house), "tamta książka" (that book) and "tamto drzewo" (that tree).

Now, we have plural. There are two plurals: 'masculine personal' plural and 'not masculine-personal' plural. Difficult names, but at least they're descriptive. So, 'masculine personal' is used almost only for 'groups including at least one man'. And 'not masculine-personal'... well, for anything else. Women. Dogs. Boxes. Trees.

So the masculine personal version of "that" is "tamci", and the not masculine-personal version is "tamte". And as obviously "those men" include at least one man, it's "tamci mężczyźni".


Just re-reading this and realize how far I've come in 4 months, with a very long way to go. So much to remember ! But at least it is finally clear. Thanks again.


Jellei, please help.

Example scenario.... If we're talking about elephants or birds, would we use masculine-personal or non-masculine-personal?

Q1) I realise that słon and ptak are already masculine nouns. But in plural, are they masculine-personal?

Q1a) If they are not, then why? Is it cos the masculine-personal needs to be human

Q1b) If they słon and ptak ARE masculine-personal, would ot make any difference if the gender of that specific elephant or bird were actually female?

Q1c) Similarly, what if the noun is feminine (eg żyrafa) but then the actual giraffe we refer to is a male one?

I guess what I'm asking is.... Does the actual gender ever matter or is it ONLY the gender of the WORD that is important?

Sorry for long question


Firstly, I noticed that you use Polish special characters but missed one in the elephant's name, it's "słoń" :)

Q1): No, they are 'not masculine-personal'.

Q1a): Only people are considered persons, so only people go under the 'masculine personal' plural. In a sci-fi or fantasy setting, other sentient races (Elves from LOTR, Klingons from Star Trek) would also go here, although usage may be inconsistent.

Q1b): Well, they aren't, but if they were, it wouldn't matter. For example the word "dziecko" (a child) is neuter, and the plural "dzieci" (children) is 'not masculine-personal' - exactly because it's not a plural of a masculine word, although children are persons. Even if you use the word "dzieci" about two boys, it's still 'not masculine-personal'. If you decided to call the same two boys "chłopcy", then it's a plural of a masculine word now, so "chłopcy" are masculine personal.

Q1c): No, it wouldn't matter if the giraffe was male.

The main question: only the gender of the word matters. For many common animals, there is a standard word and a word for 'the other gender'. For example a cat is "kot" (masculine), but if you want to make it clear it's female, the right word is "kotka". A duck is "kaczka" (feminine), but if you want to make it clear it's male, then you use "kaczor". That's also why Donald Duck is "Kaczor Donald", not "Kaczka Donald".

For many animals there isn't such word, or at least it's not a well-known word. So for a male giraffe, if it was really important to mention it, I'd say "samiec żyrafy" ("samiec" = the noun 'male'. 'female' is "samica").

To point out that only the gender of the word is important, let's take my cat. It's a female cat and her name is Zuzia (English "Suzie" or similar). If I decide to use the word "kot" when talking about her, then it stays masculine ("Nasz kot jest znowu głodny" = "Our cat is hungry again"). It feels natural to say that. If I use the word "kotka", or her actual name "Zuzia", then the sentence uses feminine: "Nasza kotka/Zuzia jest znowu głodna" = "Our cat/Suzie is hungry again".

Don't apologize for asking good questions ;)


What is the difference between Tamci and Tamte? I don't get it..


Both these words mean "those". Their counterparts for "these" are "ci" and "te" respectively. They differ in gender, however.

"Tamci" is masculine personal plural, while "tamte" is not masculine-personal plural. The first one is used almost exclusively for groups including at least one male human being, the latter is for everything else - be it women, cats or boxes.

So a group of 99 women and 1 man is still "tamci ludzie" (those people).


is it correct to say "tamte kobiety" ? and... if a group o people doesn't include men can i say "tamte ludzie"?


Yes, "tamte kobiety" is exactly the right way to say "those women".

No, "tamte ludzie" is wrong. Even if a particular group of people doesn't include men (although why not just say "kobiety" then?), the word "ludzie" itself includes men. So it's masculine personal, thus "tamci ludzie".


ahah sorry i'm asking a lot of questions, thank you for all the explanations


Always happy to help, don't apologize :)


Ok so if there was a group of peoplethat we couldnt see (eg maybe in a closed room OR even just names on a pile of application forms)..... We would say TAMCI ludzie. (Even though there may be zero men in that group)?

If ludzie is plural, what is its singular? Google search suggests osoba.

If I didnt know the singular person was male or female (name in a closed envelope or some such scenario) then is osoba treated as feminine because it ends in -a?

If I knew the person was male, can I not then use osoba? I doubt I could say ten osoba.

I guess my question again becomes.... Osoba is a feminine word so what if the gender of the person is male?

(Its a technical question only. I know I could swap to mezczyzna)

Thanks Jellei


Terribly confusing, this! I incorrectly assumed "mężczyzna" has a feminine(żeński) grammatical gender because of the nominative(mianownik) ending with "-a" and the instrumental(narzędnik) ending with "-ą". But if I understand correctly… because the meaning of "mężczyzna" is 'man', a male person, that means "mężczyzna" has a masculine-personal(męsko-osobowy) grammatical gender. Right? I was so desperate to understand this, I started using the Polish Wiki-Dictionary to look things up: https://pl.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/m%C4%99%C5%BCczyzna 'man' … https://pl.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/ch%C5%82opiec 'boy' … https://pl.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/kobieta 'woman' … and we've also got… https://pl.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/ten 'this' … https://pl.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/tamten 'that' … Click below odmiana for plural, accusative, instrumental etc. etc. and try not to be intimidated :-) :-P There IS some logic.


Hi, can you tell me what is the difference between personal and non-personal in actual terms?


personal- describes people/persons (man, boy, guest, woman, child, teacher, god etc) not personal- describe everything else (cat, dog, book, food, love, economy universe etc.)

but real dictinction in polish language isn't personal-not personal, but masculine personal-other (called not masculine personal)

masculine personal- masculine nouns that describe people

not masculine personal - all other nouns:

  • masculine nouns that are not masculine personal-don't describe people

  • feminine nouns, both personal and not personal

  • neuter nouns both personal and not personal.

this is how we divide NOUNS into masculine personal/ not masculine personal categories.

there is other issue of when to use "oni"/"one" pronouns, and corresponding adjectives and verb forms, but this comment s already too long.


Thank you very much! :)


@Marek and @Maria: Is there any online Polish dictionary easier than Wiktionary? Listing singular, plural in nominative, accusative, instrumental, etc. etc. I would be delighted to know :-) And many thanks for all of the helpful comments of both of you!


Should "those men and the woman" be okay too? Or does context drive the choice of "this"?


Well, technically it works. Added "the".


Working on the "reverse tree" I often see "ten/ta/to" translated as "the".


Well, that is that course's contributors' opinion. I personally don't agree with it. Accepting - sure, but it surely isn't the direct translation. Yeah, it helps Polish people understand how 'the' works, but...


Glad to read your opinion. That is just how I have approached it. I accept it when I see it, but I haven't been tempted to use ten/ta/to as "the".


My answer was correct but marked incorrect.


Your answer isn't attached to your comment, we don't know what you wrote.

I found a report that may be yours (but I can't be sure, they're anonymous), and it says "Tamci mężczyźni i ta kobita jedzą kolacje". There's a typo in "kobieta" that made it rejected, although it accidentally (or maybe it was on purpose) uses a colloquial word for a woman.

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