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"Are you using a dictionary?"

Translation:Używasz słownika?

September 11, 2016

20 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/va-diim

Always? Regardless of animate/inanimate?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

Well, animate/inanimate is rather important only for Accusative. Although it gives you a hint on the Genitive ending.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/va-diim

So is there a rule in Polish for which verbs use genitive direct objects and verbs use nominative? This is a purely Russian confusion, since that's determined by animate/inanimate, and slowar' is inanimate, so Ispol'zujesz slowar'? stays in nominative.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

Is it really Nominative? Isn't it rather Accusative that just looks Nominative?

In Polish, the Accusative for inanimate masculine nouns looks like Nominative, and for animate masculine nouns looks like Genitive. It doesn't change the fact that it is Accusative.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vetkaakacii

It's really Accusative in Russian, we use Nominative for the main subject of the sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/immery

We never use nominative after a verb, we use accusative or genitive. (And accusative can look like genitive (singular masculine animated, plural masculine personal), accusative (neuter, singular masculine not animated, plural not masculine personal), or have it's own distinct form (a -ending nouns)

list of most common verbs that require genitive is here https://www.duolingo.com/comment/16569658


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vetkaakacii

Is it Genitive in this sentence? It's a bit confusing for Russian speakers, 'cause we have 'использовать словарь', Accusative looks like Nominative, and 'używać słownika' sounds like Accusative for animate nouns like 'использовать кота'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alik1989

Yes, słownik is of course inanimate and używać requires the genitive case.

There is a recent tendency to replace the genitive with the accusative with verbs like używać and potrzebować, but such an option isn't accepted in this course (yet).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/va-diim

I've learned in this course on Duolingo that many Polish verbs require their object to be in genitive. It's much less common in Russian


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bluebell-John

As is said below (alik1989) używać takes / requires the genitive case. Słownik is masculine singular and inanimate and so (in genitive) would usually end "u" (not "a"). There are exceptions e.g words for tools, card games and dances (e.g młota = genitive for hammer). Is dictionary / słownik seen as a type of tool in this respect or is there another basis for słownik to be an exception?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alik1989

I got an idea. The nominative suffix is relevant here. So, -nik apparently behaves in the same way:

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/-nik#Suffix_4


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

I am not aware of any actual rule which says which nouns should have an -u ending and which ones should have an -a ending. That would probably be a rule of thumb at best.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bluebell-John

Thank you Jellei. I was operating on the basis of the guidance in "Polish Grammar in a Nutshell" by Oscar E Swan as below. Inanimate masculine genitive seems to require a lot of intuition / guesswork.

Masculine Nouns 1. Genitive Sg. Animate nouns take Gsg. in -a. Most inanimates take Gsg. in -u. There are many exceptions and minor rules. For example, masculine-gender names for tools: młot --> młota (hammer), card games (poker --> pokera); dances: walc --> walca (waltz); months: listopad --> listopada (November); serially produced food items: pączek --> pączka (doughnut); and most Polish towns: Gdańsk --> Gdańska take –a. Among important exceptions are the words chleb --> chleba (bread), ser --> sera (cheese); compare miód --> miodu (honey) and szpital --> szpital (hospital); compare hotel --> hotelu (hotel).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

Well, Mr. Swan might be a better source here than I am ;) But as you can see, those are really varied groups... but if it helps you, than it's great. So I guess this could be either an 'important exception', or we could say that in some way a dictionary is a tool.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alik1989

There are certain categories of words that almost exclusively use the genitive -a ending. The only two that come to mind right now are body parts and months.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bluebell-John

Thanks Alik1989 - I only know of the guidance I have referred to above in response to Jellei.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/va-diim

Still confused. Why isn't słownik in instrumental case? This is the perfect structure for instrumental case, since something is being used. A verb is acting upon it. Why would używasz (się) słownikiem be incorrect?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

There's no "używać się", I think ;) Unless you literally... use yourself for something?

Hmm. I see the logic in what you're saying, but "używać" (использовать) just needs Genitive. And actually использовать doesn't take Instrumental as well.

"posługiwać się" (this is my understanding of пользоваться) indeed takes Instrumental.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/va-diim

Exactly! That's what it is, then. Makes sense. My brain was incorrectly interpreting używać as poľzowaťsja instead of ispoľzowať.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/8KAITO8

I love your in-depth analyses of Polish through the perspective of Russian. I would like to the language someday :)

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