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Polish please!!!

I am confused with the masculine and feminine. Can any body help or try to explain it to me. I don't get how you remember it. Please help me! Thanks...

June 14, 2016


[deactivated user]

    Wow you picked a difficult one to start with. Grammatical genre is present in hundreds or thousands of languages but if you are a native Enlish speaker (which I will assume you are) that is something you are not used too. I have never studied Polish but I study Czech which has many similaries. The majority of masculine nouns end in consonants while the majority of feminine nouns end with the letter a. In Polish there're also neuter nouns but I don't know what's the most common termination. For Czech neuter nouns, that's the letter "o" so it might be the same in Polish. These are the most common endings for each genre and when you find a word with such terminations there's a good possibility you might get the genre of the word correct. As in other languages, there are many more terminations and this rule is far from 100% accurate but it can help you a lot. Some words you will just have to learn it with their genre. I'm a native speaker of Portuguese but I know a lot of Spanish. Sometimes a masculine Portuguese word as a feminne Spanish equivalent and vice-versa. It gets confusing sometimes. :p


    I wrote a bit about it here https://www.duolingo.com/comment/14133935

    Also - a trick I use when learning German- I try to imagine objects, as a "gendered things"- so in Polish it would be a female lamp in a skirt, or a Minnie mouse.

    And as Polish does not have articles, you can learn either Polish word with Pan/Pani/to or English translation with Lady/Ser/Child attached to it.


    While there are some exceptions that just have to be memorized (see the wiki link in previous comment), you can recognize the gender, number and case of a noun by the ending letters.

    For your basic dictionary form for singular nouns this will typically be:

    Masculine: consonant (ie: no ending), sometimes -a Feminine: -a Neuter: -o, -e, - ę or -um.

    Look at these words and you can read the gender from the endings: zeszyt, dentysta (masc. but -a), cebula, okno, imię, muzeum

    Adjectives also have masculine, feminine and neuter endings that you add to a stem. This means you can read the gender of the noun from these endings as well. You just have to remember that most adjectives are first introduced (and appear in the dictionary) in the masculine singular form. So you must remove the masculine ending and add the feminine or neuter ending to make it agree.

    The tricky part is that different cases (and plurals) sometimes use the same endings as other cases, so you have to read into the word to "see" the original stem. However, this means that you can figure out a lot just by decoding all the endings!

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