"I am in a small city."
Translation:Jestem w małym mieście.
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well :jestem małym miastem" means "I am a small town/city"
after "w" you can use only locative or accusative. ( no motion or motion, a bit like German Dativ and Akkusativ ) and of course "jestem" is no motion so always locative
I understand to get to the locative miaści. the t in the stem of miasto softens to ci, but why does the s soften to ś? I realize that asking "why" is silly. What I really mean to ask is there a rule here?
Palatalisation (softening) most commonly affects two adjacent consonants. The [ć] / [ci] passes its softness on to the preceding [s], turning it into [ś].
Note that the correct form is mieście, because there is also a vowel mutation. It happens with the majority of nouns whose stems contain -ia- :
ciasto -> cieście
gwiazda -> gwieździe
wiara -> wierze
ciało -> ciele
kwiat -> kwiecie
Thank you for that clarification. Do I understand you correctly that whenever there are two adjacent consonants at the end of the stem, they will both undergo palatalization, for example in gwiazda where both the z and the d soften or is it only when they are preceded by the vowel combination -ia-?
I would think that a "small city" is an open space, and therefore, I should use "na" instead of w. I'm about ready to give up with all of these different articles, endings, etc. For the amount of time I'm putting into this course, I should be an A+ student, and that is NOT the case!!
What can I say... this is complicated, for sure. And the open space/closed space rule... it's not a good rule at all. I mean, it can be your first assumption, but there are so many exceptions that sometimes I think it may be easier to just memorize pairs of preposition+place...
We could also say that a city has some clear administrative borders, but that's more like adding an explanation to something to make sense of it.