What is the difference between dużo & wiele/wielu?

All three are supposed to mean "a lot", "many".

I noticed that wiele/wielu decline, but dużo does not. Also, wiele/wielu do not exist in the nominative case, which looks very odd to me.

Anyone care to explain? :)

July 7, 2016


I don't agree with Jellei answer - using 'wiele' for uncountable nouns is a mistake. 'wiele wody' sounds very odd and I would say that maybe someone from countryside could say like that but certainly it is not polish-proper as you'd encounter in books, school, tv. Also 'dużo' for countable nouns is inferior to 'wiele' - you should say 'wiele krzeseł' and 'dużo wody' or otherwise you'd sound uneducated (if someone would think you're polish, not foreign). On the other hand polish native speakers do make such mistakes so I'd say it's not that important

July 18, 2016

No I didn't, "to sound uneducated" isn't equal to "to be undeducated" certainly. I just said how I perceive using dużo with countable nouns and wiele with uncountable, that's all. Please don't treat it personally - do you always react like that when someone disagrees with your opinion?

I hadn't known you're "our most respected linguist" when I wrote my post - you should consider adding that after all your posts to warn potential disagreeing interlocutors. (sorry for this sarcasm, I just couldn't help myself not writing that one, no offense :)

July 18, 2016

You did notice that my comment was one big hyperlink? 'Cause yours seems as if you did not - it would be quite hilarious and absurd if I really called myself "one of our most respected linguists"...

So it's not my opinion that you argue with, but a real linguist's - I myself, about two months ago, would probably claim similarly to you. And then I checked.

July 19, 2016

Okay, stop arguing! :) 'Wiele wody' is technically correct - but is not very used. (juts to say - I am Polish). I would say - 'wiele wody' sounds very old style to me, nobody speaks like this anymore. And I have to agree, that in general, nowadays you would use 'dużo' for uncountable nouns (like water, sunshine etc.), and 'wiele' for countable nouns. But as I said - such example as 'wiele wody' is not incorrect - but if you speak like this with Polish people you will just sound a bit odd :)

July 28, 2016

Well frankly, you yourself said a lot :D

People think that 'wiele' is for countable nouns and 'dużo' for uncountable, but that is actually not true, both can be used in both situations.

"Dużo" doesn't decline, so it can be used only in Nominative, Accusative, and in some cases in Genitive.

The form of "wiele" is dependent on the gender: if it's something singular and uncountable, it's 'wiele': wiele ryżu (masculine), wiele wody (feminine), wiele słońca (neuter); same goes for not masculine-personal (wiele kobiet, wiele kotów), but 'wielu' is needed for masculine personal (wielu mężczyzn, wielu ludzi, wielu policjantów).

July 7, 2016
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Amazing explanation, thanks a lot!

July 7, 2016

That was quick, thank you!

Reading your post I also realized that wiele needs the noun that follows it to be genitive, so that's one more thing to look out for.

July 7, 2016

True, but so does 'dużo' and I guess any word that denotes an amount of something.

July 7, 2016
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One of functions of Genitive in Polish is to describe some amount, some portion or undetermined portion of something. If speaking of all the available or desired amount, we use Accusative case: dopełniacz cząstkowy.

July 9, 2016

nie jestem polonistka, ale nie podoba mi sie zwrot "wiele ryzu" na ogol mowi sie duzo ryzu, podobnie duzo wody, "wiele slonca" tez dla mnie brzmi dziwnie... Przepraszam za brak polskich znakow.

February 3, 2018

Szczerze mówiąc zgadzam się, ale wg profesora Bańki są to po prostu zamienne słowa. Natomiast nie przeszkadza to w pozostaniu przy tych wersjach, które wydają się naturalne :);7453.html

February 4, 2018

So if people usually use dużo for uncountable and when they have to use some other case besides those 3 they switch to wiele/u + the uncountable?

April 11, 2018

Yeah, I believe you could say that.

April 14, 2018
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