"Are you using a dictionary?"

Translation:Używasz słownika?

September 11, 2016

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Are you using a dictionary? - Korzystasz ze słownika?/Posługujesz się słownikiem?

"Używanie słownika" sounds like using it as... a source of paper, but not knowledge.


Added both these options.

After searching the corpus I guess I have to agree with you that 'używać' is not the best choice here, but the other verbs aren't taught here and therefore we're stuck with "używać'.


Always? Regardless of animate/inanimate?


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


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'.


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).


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?


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



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.


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).


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.


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.


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

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