"Biorę swój portfel."

Translation:I am taking my wallet.

April 11, 2016

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I don't really understand this sentence. What's the difference in meaning when you use 'mój' instead of 'swój'?


Swój means one's own

There is not much difference between mój and swój, or twój and swój, but there is big difference between jej/jego and swój or ich and swój.


Can you give an example of how jej/jego/ich are used differently to swój? I don't fully understand


basically, swoj means my own and and moj means my/mine

  • 2509

Not exactly: "own" is "własny", so "my own" is "mój własny" or "swój własny".


Grrrr polish Grammer!!!!!Sometimes I despair.just when I think I'm getting my head around things then another problem arises.I'm sure if someone asks me a question they'd of left before I reply because I would have to think of the case it's in and what ending to use and what ending comes after prepositions etc etc. Keep on ploughing through.im sure ill get there at some point.


Speaking to Poles everyday with no grammar knowledge whatsoever, they've had no problem understanding me. I come to Duolingo to learn new words (verbs, nouns, adjectives, etc.) I've paid no attention to grammar and I can have long conversations with Poles. In 4-5 months I may start to study grammar. But right now, I just use whatever case pops into my mind and I'm wrong 90% of the time.

I've been to parties with Polish festivals, parties with Poles, and they've all been surprised at how quickly I've learned Polish. And it's simply; talk a lot, learn something, use what you learn, repeat!

So to answer your question, just say whatever pops into your mind, but say something!


I agree with you. Yesterday I went to a Polish harvest festival and tried speaking with the natives. I know my grammar was horrible, but they understood me and responded in Polish. I was VERY pleased.


In real world when you need to communicate- you say the words with wrong cases, you will be understood. Just keep SVO order.


Knowing this is a comfort to me.


almost as if all this grammar is totally pointless because people will understand you anyway.


Grrrrrr, English grammer


You can replace "swój" with "swojego" in this sentence, right?


No, you can't. The right form is "swój".

"brać" takes Accusative, and for masculine noun in Accusative it is important whether it's animate or inanimate. "portfel" is inanimate, so the right form is "swój". If it was "my dog", then it would be "Biorę swojego psa".


how can swoje mean 'my' I just used Google translate and it says swoje means 'yours' so how can a word mean both mine and yours at the same time? what is the point of having such an every day useful word to differentiate between basic ideas like mine and yours be ambiguous? surely you need to know what is yours and what isn't yours how can mine and yours be the same word, so stupid

  1. Google Translate is NOT a believable source of knowledge. It can give you a general idea of the meaning of a text, but it absolutely doesn't guarantee correctness neither in terms of vocabulary nor grammar. And in your example, even if it was perfect, you gave a word without a context and this particular word needs context to have a meaning.

  2. Actually, "swoje" and its forms make everything totally unambiguous. It's English that is ambiguous compared to them, at least in 3rd person.

"swoje" and its forms refer back to the subject of the sentence. It's like "one's own". That means that:

Ja biorę swój portfel = I am taking my wallet.

Ty bierzesz swój portfel = You are taking your wallet.

Ona bierze swój portfel = She is taking her wallet.

Oni biorą swoje portfele = They are taking their wallets.

Now the question is whether to use "swój" or the 'normal' possessive. The answer is generally simple: if a form of "swój" is correct in a given sentence, it's definitely the best option.

In 1st person, the 'normal' possessives are quite fine. "Ja biorę mój portfel" and "My bierzemy nasze portfele" sound okay.

In 2nd person, the 'normal' possessives aren't technically wrong, but they sound bad and unnatural. You should avoid sentences like "Ty bierzesz twój portfel" and "Wy bierzecie wasze portfele".

In 3rd person, the type of possessive you choose actually changes the meaning. This is where English is ambiguous and Polish is not. If you hear a sentence "She is taking her wallet", you assume that it's her own wallet, but grammatically, this is not the only possibility. So: "Ona bierze swój portfel" means "She (Susan) is taking her (Susan's) wallet". While the 'normal' possessive says that it's someone else's wallet. "Ona bierze jej portfel" means "She (Susan) is taking her (Jane's) wallet". Same for "his" and "their".

To end this post, I'm afraid that this course still has many sentences that use the 'normal' possessives where a form of "swój" should be used instead. "swój" has been introduced way too late.


Thank you for (as usual) a most useful answer


what is the difference between SWOJ and TWOJ, please explain.....


The way I look at it, and please correct me if I'm wrong, but it the possessive pronoun is the same person as the subject and is his or her OWN, the form of "swo…" is used.

  • 2509

Exactly :)

There is however no stress on the fact that it is someone's own possession. If we want to stress it out, we add the adjective "własny"= "own", e.g. : "Biorę swój własny portfel".


as far as I know moj and twoj mean mine and yours, am I right or wrong...?


Swój means their/ your so why is the meaning of the sentences 'I am taking my wallet'??

  • 2509

No, "swój" is a type of pronoun that does not exist in English, so depending on the context, it is translated to various English pronouns. See here: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/22328080


It can get very crowded and awkward on the keyboard when fingers are trying to press those control keys to enter Polish letters, which can cause a person to accidentally hit the ENTER key and submit an incompletely typed answer. The struggle is real.


Imagine my struggle using my keyboard which is a Polish keyboard with added diacritics for Spanish, Portuguese, Hungarian and Silesian :D


I can't wait for your Duolingo Silesian course. I know almost nothing about the language but I bet it's fascinating.


I bought a Silesian course online but didn't have time to do much, I think I did 3/21 lessons.

The problem with Silesian is that it doesn't exactly have any official standard, and even the alphabet - there is a relatively new alphabet standard but even Silesian people may not know how to use it, I believe. So on my keyboard I have diacritics from two standards.


why :< I take my wallet > Isn't accepted ?


It's listed as an accepted answer, it should have worked.

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