"Potrzebuję nowej łyżki."
Translation:I need a new spoon.
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I think "szukać" must be the same way then. Ah, I found where they tell you this in my fave dictionary! https://online-polish-dictionary.com/word/szuka%c4%87
It has +GEN underneath it.
Is there a simple reason for there now being an ej on the end of nowy? Like potrzebuje changes lyzka to lyzki, and lyzka changes nowa to nowej? I know the accusative, nominative, genative explanation is probably the most clear and helpful, but i don't understand those words, or their explanation in the dictionary.
The noun łyżka does change the preceding adjective, but only its gender, not its grammatical case. The gender of nowy must agree with the gender of łyżka, which is feminine. So, the the basic collocation 'a new spoon' would sound like 'nowa łyżka'.
Grammatical cases like nominative, accusative and genitive show relationships between nouns and other parts of speech. In English this is mostly accomplished through word order or prepositions. The genitive case, for example, is often realised by means of the preposition 'of'.
The verb potrzebować governs all the cases in this sentence. The default case required by potrzebować is genitive, (compare: 'I am in need of').
In order to find the correct form for the adjective, you choose the column with the correct gender and the row with the correct case, so here it's: feminine + genitive:
For the noun you just need to find the correct case (genitive), as one noun can't have multiple genders.
Here's a short overview of Polish cases:
And here's a more detailed guide:
Short video: What are grammatical cases?