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How do I know when to use the right "tasty" in Polish?

I'm taking the Polish course and I've just gotten to food 1 and I learned the word "tasty". I noticed that there are three different types of "tasty" being used (smaczny, smaczne, and smaczna) and I have absolutely no idea how to tell the difference between the three and when to use them. Can anyone help?

July 2, 2016


  • 1758

Polish has a gender system, every noun has a gender: male, female, or neutral :)

  1. rodzaj męski (MALE):

Pomidor jest smaczny. - The tomato is tasty. Obiad jest smaczny. - The lunch is tasty.

2 rodzaj żeński (FEMALE):

Zupa jest smaczna. - The soup is tasty. Kanapka jest smaczna. - The sandwich is tasty.

3 rodzaj nijaki (NEUTRAL):

Wino jest smaczne. - The wine is tasty. Jedzenie jest smaczne. - The food is tasty. The most difficult gender at least for me. Endings: —o, —e, -ę or —um. For example: okno, nazwisko, drzewo; mieszkanie, zdanie, czytanie; imię, cielę; liceum, audytorium, konserwatorium etc. Adjectives: wielkie okno, stare drzewo, nowe muzeum, polskie imię.


Polish has genders: masculine, feminine and neuter: Masculine - usually consonant ending, use -y ended adjective, so "smaczny obiad" Feminine - usually ends with-a, use -a ended adjective, so "smaczna kolacja" Neuter - ends with -o or -e, use -e ended adjective, so "smaczne śniadanie"

  • 1788

Attention, in Polish there are more grammatical genders than just 3, and the genders are divided slightly differently in singular and in plural.

  1. male personal
  2. male living not personal (f.ex. animals, and - strangely - some other things like some of fruits and vegetables)
  3. male non-living, impersonal (f.ex. objects)
  4. female
  5. neutral

In singular, the male noun declines differently depending on whether it is living or non-living, so 1. ad 2. have the same declension. Also, in singular, the difference between 1+2 and 3 is only when it comes to accusative and genitive - other cases of male nouns are the same.

In plural, the male noun declines differently depending on whether it is personal or impersonal, so 'male personal' is one of genders in plural - and all the others have the same declension as male not personal, therefore 2, 3, 4 and 5 are al grouped as 'not male-personal'.

And just a small addendum - there are some words that have 'common gender', i.e. they may refer to male or female, and you can't guess which is it (f.ex. 'profesor' - 'pan profesor', 'pani profesor'), and 'double gender nouns', that have two different form existing in 2 genders, and sometimes their meaning is different depending on gender used (f.ex. 'ten list' - a piece of correspondence ; 'ta lista' - a checklist). Besides, some linguist, that like to go deeper into details, distinguished even more genders - but frankly, in every day life, nobody cares about it.


I know, but for adjectives 3 basic are enough, I didn't wanted to confuse her ;) Wiem, ale do przymiotników wystarczą 3 podstawowe, nie chciałam zrobić jej w głowie grochu z kapustą ;)

  • 1788

I see. Still, there are 2 types in plural, because adjective has to follow the noun. E.g. with "nice, good looking"


  • 1)+2) ładn_y mężczyzna , ładn_y pomidor
  • 3) ładn_a_ kobieta
  • 4) ładn_e_ dziecko


  • 1) ładn_i_ mężczyźni
  • 2)+3)+4)+5) ładn_e_ pomidory, kobiety, dzieci

It would be the same with "tasty": (sg.) smaczny / smaczna / smaczne // (pl.) smaczni (hopefully, nobody is going to eat humans, as ending _i_ is only for male personal nouns, i.e. male humans) / smaczne

Just to make more out of it - there is a concise table of all basic types of declension. First there are 17 types of declension of nouns + 2 subtypes of collective and plural only nouns, and the last 4 tables are for declension of adjectives (singular male, singular female, singular neutral and all plural) - with samples, depending on their last letters.

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