"I have a sandwich and fruit."

Translation:Mam kanapkę i owoce.

January 9, 2016

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How is kanapke different from kanapka?


With "mieć" (to have) you use Accusative. "Kanapka" is a feminine noun so in Accusative it becomes "kanapkę". "Owoce" is plural form of "owoc" (masculine noun). Here Accusative form is the same as Nominative form. Look at the tables of declension: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/kanapka https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/owoc


What exactly are Accusative and Nominative? People seem to just use those words as explanations and I'm struggling to figure out what they mean exactly.


I see her.
She sees me.

Polish has much more complicated case system than English. We have 7 cases.

Nominative is a "dictionary" form of word (in singular) is a case used for subject of the sentence, when the noun/pronoun is the one "active", doing a thing, when you would use "I" in a sentence. also if a sentence has "to jest" phrase in it.

Accusative is for direct object. I see her, I eat fruit. I have a sandwich

Most verbs in Polish (in positive statements) need object in accusative case. Also there are some prepositions that need nouns in accusative.


kanapkę is the accusative case of kanapka, which you need here, because it is the direct object.


owoce is plural (like fruits), singular is owoc


How come owoce doesn't become owocę?


Because "owoce" is plural.

"owocę" would exist if the Nominative singular form was "owoca". But it's not. One fruit ('piece of fruit', if you prefer) is "owoc".


Can you clarify this? I've gotten it wrong twice. I dont understand what plural has to do with this. Kanapka changes to Mam kanapkę so why doesn't mam owoce or owoc change?


Well, the problem is that English generally uses the form "fruit" as the plural form. If it was a singular fruit here, that would need to be "a fruit" rather than "fruit".

Now, "mieć" (to have) takes a direct object in Accusative. In Accusative some genders have forms identical to Nominative (the basic one), and some identical to Genitive (you haven't encountered it yet, so let's just say that they 'change').

Accusative is identical to Nominative for: masculine inanimate nouns, neuter nouns, 'not masculine-personal plural' nouns (plural words that do not describe male people).

Accusative is different (and identical to Genitive) for: masculine animate nouns, feminine nouns, 'masculine-personal plural' nouns.

"owoc" is masculine inanimate, so it would still be "owoc" in Accusative. But as here we have plural "owoce"... it's also among those that do not change their form, it's still "owoce".


Ah ok Alik.

You're right. I didnt think of that.

The word 'fruit' is inanimate though certain fruits may not be. Got it. No contradiction.

Sorry Jellei


No problem :) This isn't exactly the most logical thing. Also, it's "owoc" with a 'c'.


Did I not read somewhere before (by you) that Polish strangely treats food as animate?

(Maybe I mis-remembering or mixing something else up)


Ok so in that situation, (if owoć gets treated as masculine singular animate in accusative) how would it be declined?

Cos its sort of going against what you replied originally to Kristine.

But I do realise that this is a side-issue. The original sentence is referring to plural fruits so animate or not doesnt matter- it wouldn't decline anyway as you said :)


There is no contradiction here. The word 'owoc' itself is inanimate, but many of its various subcategories (bananas, watermelons, tomatoes) are grammatically animate.


Not all food, but mostly fruits and vegetables - although there are also some other nouns treated like that. The way they are treated may depend on the person, fruits and vegetables are those that are definitely treated as animate 'most widely'.

But that only matters for masculine singular nouns in Accusative.


Dlacego to nie jest : mam kanapkę i owoc (I have a sandwich and fruit -> the word "fruit" is singular or plural) ? dlaczego to słowo nie jest akceptowane, tj. pojedynczy owoc


I'm about ready to quit Polish :(


I'm about where you are too. I feel like im just guessing lots of it


Please let us know "what" it is that you feel you are guessing.

The language in general is quite difficult, but if you break it down into small steps, it eventually comes together and ties up nicely.

Of course if you mean 'generally' then I can't really help, but if you can point out anything specific that you feel you are "guessing", the chances are that someone will be able to tell u how it works :)


I am having real difficulty in how the endings change on verbs and even on nouns (kobieta kobietą etc). Is this just something that I need to go away and just learn them all by memory, because I'm struggling to understand the rules for changing them. I'm at the stage on Polish Duolingo where I seem to be guessing these endings. I'd say my Scottish Gaelic level is similar, but I seem to be getting on better with it because the rules of it make sense to me (up until now!)


And thank you for taking the time to reply.


Please, if in English the sentence be "I have a sandwich and a fruit", then could "Mam kanapkę i owoc" be the translation? Because "owoc" is singular accusative for "a fruit", right?


That is correct. For "... and a fruit", that would be "i owoc".

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