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  5. "Czyj jest ten kapelusz?"

"Czyj jest ten kapelusz?"

Translation:Whose hat is this?

July 9, 2016



I have been informed that the sentence "mam tego kapelusza" is not correct as it should be "ten kapelusz". Why is this? Given that "ten kot" turns into "mam TEGO KOTA" and "ta kobieta" turns into "mam TĘ KOBIETĘ" why not "ten kapelusz" ? Thanks.


This is a thing that can be quite difficult for foreign learners. Basically, the masculine gender in Accusative divides into animate* and inanimate. The animate nouns take the -a ending, thus being the same as Genitive. The inanimate look the same as Nominative.

And here's the catch: theoretically, you'd only need simple logic to figure out what is animate and inanimate. But there are a looot of exceptions, things that are (or at least 'can be') treated as grammatically animate without a real, logical reason. A lot of them are names of foods, especially fruit and vegetables, but it can go further. So unfortunately, sometimes you will just have to remember that it's an exception. Anyway, "kapelusz" is definitely not among them - it's 100% inanimate both logically and grammatically. Therefore "Mam ten kapelusz" is the only correct form.

*Actually animate is divided further: to masculine personal and masculine non-personal animate, but the difference will only show in plural: Widzę tego chłopca, widzę tego psa vs Widzę tych chłopców, widzę te psy. As in plural we usually talk about masculine-personal and not masculine-personal, there's no much point focusing on masculine non-personal animate because it will be treated the same way as any not-masculine noun, like "kobieta" or "dziecko".

You can read more about the problem of animacy here.


Thanks, brilliant explanation, I'm sorry to inundate you all with so many questions about the polish language but, like a da vinci painting, the language is both beautiful and complex. much appreciated.


Don't apologize. There are days when I simply hope to have some questions to answer - it is quite addictive :D

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