Okay, I've been reading up on definitions and examples of these cases. However, I still don't understand when to use certain words. Ex: (In my mind)

Kobieta = "A" woman Kobietą = "THE" woman

Chłopiec = "A" Boy Chłopcem= "THE" Boy

Dziewczynka = "A" girl Dziewczynką = THE girl

Pije = "drinks" Piję = "IS" "drinking"


to put shortly, I'm lost and don't know when to emphasize spelling on words. I feel as if though the beginning lessons don't teach you differences ways of speaking they just generalize a phrase.

On jest pije woda? On jest piję wodę?

Sorry, a little frustrated because I'm taking notes and writing down Word = Definition. Other Word = Same Definition.


July 30, 2018


"kobieta" = "a woman" = "the woman". Forget the articles, they don't exist in Polish.

The first variants (kobieta, chłopiec, dziewczynka) are Nominative. Nominative is the basic form of the word, one you'll find in a dictionary. Its main usage is for the subject of the sentence.

The second variants (kobietą/chłopcem/dziewczynką) are Instrumental. Instrumental is used for actions done ‘with someone’, but most importantly it is used in sentences like “He is a boy”. For more (a lot more) information read here, especially part 1:

July 31, 2018

[deactivated user]

    Hi! I can try helping you with your second question, regarding verbs.

    In polish, the end of the verb can tell you who is doing the thing (for example drinking):

    piję=I drink

    pijesz=you drink

    pije=he/she drinks

    pijemy=we drink

    pijecie=you (plural) drink

    piją=they drink

    Because of it, you don't have to use 'ja' 'ty' 'my' etc. all the time. Of course, it may be useful to clarify if he (on) or she (ona) does something.

    There is no distinction between 'he drinks' and 'he is drinking'. There is only one present tense.

    There is no such thing as 'on jest pije woda', because it would mean something like 'he is drinks water'.

    I wouldn't like to advise you about your other question, about nouns (and later adjectives too), because while I understand the difference, I'm not a native english speaker and I simply cannot explain it well in english, sorry. Still, I hope I could help. Good luck! Oh, and have a lingot for encouragement!

    July 31, 2018

    Dziękuję, it helped clarify some parts of the language!

    July 31, 2018

    "There is no distinction between 'he drinks' and 'he is drinking'. There is only one present tense." In fact, there is such a distinction: He drinks - (On) pija He is drinking - (On) pije He reads - (On) czytuje He is reading (On) czyta BUT most people don't care and say "on pije" and "on czyta" in both situations. Most words have same present simple and present continuous form, but there is a word when the difference is significant: He goes to school- (On) chodzi do szkoły He is going to school - (On) idzie do szkoły In this special case you cannot use present continuous as present simple.

    August 3, 2018

    [deactivated user]

      Oh, I didn't know that - never seen that before. Thank you!
      Now, I have a few questions about it, if you don't mind:
      1, 'Most words have same present simple and present continuous form' - do you mean that pije/pija and czyta/czytuje are exceptions (because they have different ending for simple and continuous and that's different form), or do you mean that pije and pija are in fact the same form, and only the ending changes?
      2, Is it used at all? Or is it totally disappearing?
      3, Does it exist for every grammatical person, or only for singular 3rd (on)?
      4, So chodzi and idzie are actually the same verb in different forms, or they are different verbs?
      5, If chodzi and idzie are different verbs, do they still have simple and continous form? I see the difference about going to school, but there may be a different context. (As far as I see, chodzi focuses on the act of visiting a place regularly, while idzie focuses on the act of getting somewhere.)

      August 3, 2018

      I will allow myself to answer, as most people don't get notifications so who knows if Rafał sees your comment...

      1. "pije" and "pija" are forms of different verbs. First comes from "pić", the second from "pijać". Same with "czytać"/"czytywać". The latter are what I call 'habitual' verbs - they make it clear that the only possible translation into English is Present Simple. But the 'normal' verb is fine anyway.

      2. Sounds natural to me, it is in use, but of course it's a lot less common.

      3. Such verbs are for all grammatical persons, however, there are not many of them. At least in common usage. My guess is no more than 20.

      4. Different verbs, "chodzić" and "iść".

      5. Verbs of Motion, like those, are actually an exception from the "Present Simple = Present Continuous" rule. Those tenses do use different verbs. Generally, "iść" = to be going (on foot), to be walking = Present Continuous. "chodzić" = to go (on foot), to walk = Present Simple. One important nuance is that if someone "is walking" (NOT 'going') without a destination/direction (just 'walking around'), it is also "chodzić". More info here:

      August 4, 2018

      [deactivated user]


        August 7, 2018

        Ahh why Duolingo doesn't notify on the site. I just have been scrolling my e-mails and find this notification... Jellei's anwer is good, but I want to mention another verb: lecieć - to fly(ing) latać - to fly The same situation as with 'iść' and 'chodzić'.

        August 9, 2018
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