"Dotykam czarnego psa."

Translation:I am touching a black dog.

January 2, 2016



Is czarnego psa genitive or also accusative? Any good sites to answer these types of questions myself?

January 2, 2016

  • 1332

Usually, direct objects are in accusative. When the verb gets negated, the accusative is replaced by genitive. Some verbs use different cases for their direct objects, like genitive for nienawidzić, słuchać, oczekiwać, bać się, dative for przyglądać się etc.

Dotykać is also one of those verbs which usually have the direct object in genitive.

There are no hard rules about which verb takes what, you just have to learn them. Just remember that accusative is the default and there are exceptions.

January 2, 2016


I'm not sure about it, as I'm just starting Polish, but from what I see the rule is that the object of a transitive verb takes the genitive; the object of an intransitive verb takes the accusative. Is it right?

January 3, 2016

  • 1332


Intransitive verbs don't have objects, by definition.

The object of transitive verbs tend to be in accusative. If a verb is negated, then accusative turns into genitive.

Some transitive verbs use other cases. In those situations, the case doesn't change when the verb is negated.

January 3, 2016


From what I recall, it seems that there has been a lack of intransitive verbs in this course (first, assuming that there ARE intransitive verbs in polish, second, that I haven't forgotten any. Tell me if there are intransitive verbs in the course if I am wrong!)

January 11, 2016


It's not accusative. It's genitive. Dotykać needs the genitive, unless the meaning is metaphorical, for example "Moje słowa ją dotknęły" (My words hurt her, literally My words touched her or She was touched with my words). Otherwise, you always use genitive with dotykać.

January 3, 2016


I am touching your hand - Dotykam twoją rękę (Acc) - Dotykam twojej ręki (Gen). Although the second one is correct many nativespeakers would say that the first one is correct as well or even the first one is the only correct sentence.

It is similar to Brazilian Portuguese where spoken language is more flexible and forgiving. The question is: Are we learning proper Polish ONLY or also conversational/spoken Polish?

January 3, 2016


I don't know exactly about other languages, but although in Polish some forms are often considered correct by a lot of (if not most of) people, we tend to be very conservative about it. For example, when you read or hear colloquial language, you will most likely see in accusative feminine, paradoxically enough, much more often than the correct form . The same is the case, for example, with plural genitive of mecz (wrong - meczy, correct - meczów). The fact is people here are very sensitive and responsive to it. And I'm not talking about some educated high-class people but, really, all kinds of them. You can talk with someone even clearly dumber than you and when you make some slight minor language mistake, you can often be corrected by them, because they've been already corrected by someone else.

In my opinion, when you learn a language, you should always learn correct forms and rules and be aware of some possible colloquial-speech mistakes, not to be confused by them later. Imagine you learned English like I ain't never gonna do dat because some people may speak it like that, rather than the correct expressions.

Btw, for ones that disagree about the genitive with dotykać (first google result):

January 4, 2016



Just type in the original word. Many terms are confirmed but it converts most regardless. Sometimes it isn't right if it is grey, but it helps.

August 5, 2016


Does this sentence also mean I pet the dog? Or is it just touching?

March 19, 2017


Just touching. For 'petting' the dog, I guess we'd use "głaskać" (to caress, to stroke), so it would be "Głaszczę" here.

March 20, 2017


Thank you, Jellei. That is very helpful. :)

March 21, 2017


Papa Ghede approves.

March 31, 2017


This just shows that the Polish I learned as a child 80 plus years ago was not the language as it's spoken now. I went to a Polish school and was taught by sadistic nuns:-) and this was what we learned at the time. Dotykam I did not ever hear until this lesson. Once again, dzieki.

July 9, 2018


A general question : can you recommend sides that give you the possibility to look up all the gramar and stuff ?

June 6, 2017


Well, you can check this topic, section "Additional Resources": https://www.duolingo.com/comment/16296174

I recommend mowicpopolsku.com, it's very good, although probably not completely devoid of mistakes.

June 7, 2017


Could this be interpreted as "I am PETTING the black dog"?

May 20, 2018


Not really, that's literally "I'm touching" and nothing more.

May 21, 2018


What is ruszam if not touching?

July 7, 2018

  • 1321

In that meaning it is presently used probably only in fixed phrases: "nie ruszaj" or "nie ruszać" (do not touch, do not move).

The actual meanings of "ruszać" are:

  • to start moving in given direction; to begin a journey or ride
  • to change the position of something as result of touching it
  • to make a movement with some part of one's body
  • to begin some activity, to start operation
  • (colloquial) to whittle some resources away
  • (colloquial) to remove someone from his position
  • (colloquial) to start to handle something or someone; to start addressing some problem
  • (colloquial) to cause some strong emotion
July 9, 2018
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