"Do you need this man?"

Translation:Potrzebujesz tego mężczyzny?

February 3, 2016

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Potrzebujecie tego mężczyznę?


"potrzebować" takes Genitive, not Accusative.

It is quite a common mistake among natives to use Accusative here, but it's a mistake nevertheless.


It would be great if you could correct the mistake in this exercise.


The verb "potrzebowac" is used very differently from the verb "to need":

  • It is considered an error to follow "potrzebować" with another VERB

  • It takes genitive (Dopełniacz) when it refers to nouns as life necessities
    like "woda" (water), "powietrze" (air), "szczęście" (happiness), "(s)pokój" (peace), "radość" (joy), "Bóg" (God), "żywność" (food), "pieniądze" (money).
    In this sense the verb "potrzebować" (to need) also means "pragnąć".

  • As it comes to any nonessential, common, everyday "need", "it is needed", that is the phrase in passive voice is used, where the noun, "it", the subject of the phrase, is in nominative. That is why even native Polish speakers have a problem with the use of genitive and this verb... Most of the time they do not even use the active form of the verb with the common items like "koszula" (shirt), "młotek" (hammer) or "człowiek" (a man, NOT God):

I need some water/money - Potrzebuję (czego?) wody/pieniędzy (genitive)

I need a shirt/a hammer/a man/a lawyer/you - Potrzebna mi (kto? co?) koszula/ Potrzebny mi (jest) młotek/ Potrzebny mi (kto? co?) człowiek/ Potrzebny mi (jest) adwokat/Jesteś mi potrzebny (kto? - ty) (nominative)

The question "Potrzebujesz tego mężczyzny?" sounds awkward in Polish.

Do you need this man? - Potrzebny ci ten mężczyzna?


Could you specify what kind of mistake is that?


Why is it tego not ten?


"potrzebować" needs Genitive, the Genitive masculine form is "tego".


Why is it that for "They need a cat" the noun is accusative (Potrzebują kota) but for "Do you need this man?" it is genitive? (Potrzebujesz tego mężczyzny?)

Edit: Nevermind, I didn't realise masculine animate genitive is the same as accusative (with mężczyzna being an exception).


Singular and plural of some polish words are so confusing how you use plurals as singles in some instances .... grrr


This is singular. Plural would be mężczyźni (nominative) and męźczyzn (accusative and genitive).

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