A couple things I need help with
There's a couple things that have got me completely lost, can someone help me please?
I may be at level 8 (yay!), but I've only completed the first three rows of the tree, so I haven't found anything about adjectives yet. But there's an adjective (tasty) in the food skill. And the endings keep changing, and I can't figure out why, or what the pattern is. Should I just memorise which ending goes with which sentence for now, and wait until I actually reach adjectives, or should I learn them now?
This is confusing me worse than adjectives. :-) E and ę at the ends of words. I can't hear any difference between them when they're at the end of a word. Is there one, and if so, what should I be looking for? Or do they sound the same? And if they sound the same, how do I know which one it is?
The most basic thing about Polish adjectives is that they match the gender of the noun they accompany. So there is a different adjective form for feminine nouns (smaczna kanapka), masculine nouns (smaczny chleb) and neuter nouns (smaczne jedzenie).
Ę is almost always pronounced as E at the end of a word, so don't worry if you can't hear any difference :)
Word final ę (as opposed to plain e) is something that typically only comes up in writing. Even some natives who don't read a lot may forget it. I know this is nothing to be proud of, but I finally learned where it should go when I was almost 19.
In fact the natives cannot forget it, because the final ę is usually used only in two cases: in feminine nouns in Accusative and in verbs in first person singular in present tense. There are also several neuter nouns in Nominative that end in ę, for example imię.
Well, I either forgot it, or never learned it until then, not sure which. When I was about 12, I had to write a short story and wasn't sure whether I should write „elektrownię atomową” or „elektrownie atomową”, so I changed it into plural „elektrownie atomowe” just to be safe. I must have still had some subconcious understanding back then.
But over time I read less and less. The last compulsory book I had read in full was „Król Edyp”. And eventually, once I was near 19, I was surprised to see the word „wiosnę”. Not long earlier the spellchecker had to correct me when I wrote „cie” or „sie”. That was the moment I've decided to derust my Polish spelling skills.
Believe me, with very little practice you can forget a lot of stuff. One of my family members even forgot how to spell „ojciec”.
:) I believe you. Of course, the final ę is used also in some adjectives and in some pronouns, but when I was writing the notice above, I had forgotten that.
If you're the grammar-learner type, you could look up the declension of "smaczny" on Wiktionary: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/smaczny
(or some other source)
and match up the endings you see in sentences to number, gender, and case, and see whether you see more pattern emerge.
I would strongly disagree. Just because the people have the courtesy to not point out you not using the Polish diacritics, doesn't mean it is perfectly fine. It is somewhat faster to type on a mobile that way, but on a PC there is not really a difference.
In return you make reading your sentences harder, especially to non-natives. I've once seen a subtitled video without diacritics: that alone made it impossible for me to keep up, thus rendering them virtually useless (and making me want to figuratively snap the translator's neck). A native person reading such sentences needs to substitute these simplified words with the actual ones. It takes time and may create unnecessary ambiguities. If you instantly know what does „jestes los” mean, then you are hell of a good at it.
Learning Polish without diacritics is also harder, unless you don't care about spoken language at all and only want to learn to read and write in some casual contexts. You are robbing yourself of the phonetic information contained in the diacritics, forcing you to do more guessing in the matter. For all of these reasons I use diacritics always, even when on a mobile.
I would not recommend that. There is a huge difference between "robić komuś łaskę" and "robic komus laske".