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  5. "A lot of us are old."

"A lot of us are old."

Translation:Wielu z nas jest starych.

January 10, 2016



i am confused with singular and plural here. "wielu z nas" seems plural and starych is confirming this. But why then are we using "jest" and not "są" here?


In terms of the 'być' verb, such words as 'mało', 'dużo', 'wielu', 'wiele' and so on take the singular form, even though they denote plural. I understand why it may be confusing, but for a native it's hard to even imagine "Wielu z nas są starych" or "Wielu z nas jest stary", that's just wrong on so many levels.


So, if we use adverbs like “wielu” in this context, the verb “być” will remain singular but the following adjective has to be in Plural (even Genitive Plural)? I cannot imagine that not one native speaker ever wondered about the illogical composition of such rules. To pretend to be Singular in the front but behaving like a Plural in the back. :D


wielu is not an adverb here. It's a singular noun. That's why "Wielu jest..." but "[my] jesteśmy starzy" and it's accusative starych because accusative = genitive when it's an animate noun.


Thanks a lot! I think that even beforehand, someone told me something similar. It still confuses me greatly to hear that what I normally consider an adverb is a noun...


What case is "starych" here? Not nominative. Is it genitive to agree with "nas"?


Yes, it's Genitive, "wielu" and most (if not all) quantifiers take Genitive.


This rule in itself is well known and not so difficult; what strikes me as odd is that it also applies in sentences without direct object such as this.


I don't understand why a direct object would matter, this works in any noun phrase that itself is either in Nominative ("wielu z nas" is a noun phrase in Nominative that has also Genitive inside) or Accusative (so the direct object). In other cases "z nas" wouldn't change, but if it was let's say "Wielu chłopców", then both words would undergo declension.


what's the difference between wiele and wielu?


gramatical gender. and cases.
Wiele = feminine nouns, neuter nouns, masculine nouns that do not describe a person (nominative, accusative , wielu- genitive,dative, locative, wieloma- instrumental)
Wielu= male persons. (all cases)

I have no idea about mixed gender persons group, as my gut disagrees with my brain. (according to sjp.pwn wiele ludzi - many people is old-fashioned, and wielu ludzi is more proper)


Thanks for the explanation! :)


To clarify- wielu or wiele take a singular verb but a plural adjective?


Since nas is already genitive, what is the purpose of adding the "z"? Would z be used in all instances where wielu is used with a personal pronoun?


Well, you have "a lot of people" = "many people" = "wielu ludzi", but it's something a bit different here. You can't substitute "a lot of us" with "many us", right? It's indeed "many of us". "[a lot of/many] out of us". That's also why you need the "z" in Polish, because it is in fact something a bit different grammatically.


Aaah Polish is so hard!!!


what is wrong with:- Wiele z nas jest starą ??


The "starą" part. "A lot of us are one old woman"?


Would you still use wielu...starych, when speaking of a group of women?


No, that's "Wiele" then. Still "starych" though.


"Dużo z nas jest starych" why not?


This is also accepted.


I’m completely confused.


I know the feeling, mate. Wiele and wielu always take a verb in the third person singular and an adjective in the plural genitive. Why? Nobody knows.


Why is the adjective after jest in genitive case?


Hmm... I guess that's because a quantifier like "Wielu" by definition takes Genitive. It's more obvious if you imagine just a noun case "many old people" = "Wielu starych ludzi".


I completely understand "wielu starych." That matches up to my Russian brain. I guess "wielu jest starych" is just not intuitive for me. My brain wants to say either "wielu jest stare" or "wielu są stare(?)" or "wielu jest/są starymi ludźmi"


Those numerals (and quantifiers) that take Genitive are also grammatically singular. I guess it's hard to see logic in it, but then also no Pole would actually imagine "Wielu ludzi jest stare" or "Pięć kotów są szare"...


So...I feel like a kid listening to the adults talk. Where can I learn about genitive, accusative and all the "tives"? Im wondering how I got this far without them .


https://mowicpopolsku.com/polish-grammar/cases/ - this website is a great resource for learners.

Just watch out for the article about Genitive, some neuter examples are wrong.

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