Using dative pronouns to indicate possession in colloquial Polish

So I noticed something interesting when reading native Polish text on Polish websites and when chatting with Poles over the Internet.

It seems to be common to use dative pronouns and an object in nominative to indicate possession.

For example:

"Oni rozbili mi kompa!"

"Nie p***ol, bo ci się rodzina powiększy."

"Czemu oczy ci łzawią i śmierdzisz palonym plastikiem?"

I can't seem to find any reference to this in any Polish dictionary I've checked. Can a native speaker confirm this? Are there more little "colloquial tricks" like this that are common in Polish but are not taught in Polish classes/Duolingo? Also, is it only used with "mi" and "ci"? I haven't seen the other pronouns used this way so far.

February 7, 2017

1 Comment

Your examples include colloquialisms, but I wouldn't say there's anything colloquial about the Dative construction. Maybe a bit about the computer one, but it still sounds totally ok to me.

"Oni zepsuli mu komputer" (They broke his computer, "They did it to him", to his computer)

"Rodzina ci się powiększy" (Your family will get bigger, this will 'happen to you')

"Oczy ci łzawią" (Your eyes are filling with tears, it happens to you).

No problems with using any other pronoun: Zepsuli jej komputer (although it looks the same as her computer), Rodzina nam się powiększy, Oczy im łzawią... no problem.

February 7, 2017
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