Polish cases and sentence structure

Is there a way to learn what verbs belong to what cases in Polish? How can I learn Polish sentence structure with the verbs and vocabulary that I learn? I am going to Poland next month, so I would like to learn a little about the grammar side of Polish. My relatives there do not speak English at all, so I will be forced to speak Polish.

P.S. Does anyone know of any good books to learn Polish with that can be boughten in Poland at bookstores like "Empik" for example? Or any books to read that aren't difficult. People have recommended to me "Hurra Po Polsku" and "Polski: Krok po kroku." But those books aren't really meant to use for self studying but rather with a teacher.

May 11, 2019


I am polish so I do not know polish from foreigner perspective but I tried in high school to study a little bit of polish grammar in formal way to be able to make Polish course in Esperanto. I have give up though and here is why.

There are some rules how you should order your sentence but there are so vague that it is impossible for me to wrap my head around them. For most parts polish sentence structure is quite flexible. Eg:

"Jadłem śniadanie wczoraj we własnym domu"

"Śniadanie jadłem wczoraj we własnym domu"

"We własnym domu wczoraj jadłem śniadanie"

"Jadłem wczoraj we własnym domu śniadanie"

"Śniadanie we własnym domu wczoraj jadłem"

They are all proper sentences and there is many more combinations. They feel different and somehow polish like me can even express different emotions by messing up with word order. you do not have to worry though about that since it become important only in poetry and in good sophisticated novels.

Generally you have to know which part of the sentence are integral and then you can make the subpart of the sentence in any order. The only thing you are risking is that you will sound a bit poetic.

So in this case it would be probably: "Wczoraj", "Jadłem", "we własnym domu", "śniadanie". (for some reason sentences "we własnym jadłem domu śniadane" still works but feels ultra poetic). Then you can organise that part in any order and it will still make the same sense - just will have different feel. (well... "We własnym domu śniadanie jadłem wczoraj" feels bit off but still means the same, and "We własnym domu jadłem śniadanie wczoraj" feels completely wrong for me but it is understandable)

The reason is that in polish language we put a lot of information in a single word. Eg: "jadłem" is means "eat" but it refers only to first person ("I"), past tense and continuous actions. those information do not have to be conveyed with sentence structure. have a look at that:

"Jadłem" - I was eating.

"zjadłem" - i have eaten

"zjem" - i will make it be eaten by myself (I guess it is best way to put but somebody with better English grammar can correct me)

"jem" - I am eating now

"jadam" - i tend to eat

"będę jadł" - i will eat

"zjadłbym" - I would like to eat

All of above have first person implied in them (they are all about me and eating). But all of them convey different time and aspect. For second person and third person you have different words. Because of that it is obvious what you mean and sentence structure does not have support your message.

To make it even more funny if you want to say "będę jadł" you still do not have to keep those two word in that order. "będę jadł śniadanie", "śniadanie jadł będę", "będę śniadanie jadł" all means the same but only first one feel like everyday remark and other are a little bit poetic.

May 11, 2019

So, how do I learn Polish sentence structure/word order exactly?

May 12, 2019

or I will put this that way: in polish word order is a matter of style more than grammar. You do not have to worry about it if you are not trying to write beautiful polish. And as long as your gramma and word choice is not perfect you will not produce beautiful polish even with perfect and impactful word order.

So there is no need to worry about it

ps: most polish people are not able to write beautiful polish. The same as most English people can not write beautiful English. Nothing to worry about.

May 12, 2019

You don't. Just learn vocabulary and some grammar and you will be fine. If you really want to master our language then there is no other option than reading books and watching movies. With time you should get a feel for the language. But in polish word order is your last problem.

Your problem is here:ść

here you have all transformation of "eat". That is your main challenge. If you word order will be a little be not natural but you will use proper words then nobody will notice.

May 12, 2019


May 12, 2019

I wish you good luck : > I am always impressed with people that give polish a try. I believe it is beautiful language but it is so hard that I would never be able to master it as a second language.

May 12, 2019

I would offer you assistance but unfortunately Duo do not support any messaging system and I do not have any social media account. If you want a language partner then we can think about some way of communicating.

May 12, 2019

Thanks. My friends in Poland, as well as my family in Poland, are also impressed that I learn their language. If I was taught when I was younger by my grandmother I do not think it would be as difficult.

May 12, 2019

If you want we can try to communicate somehow.

May 14, 2019

Good question! I'm a complete beginner in Polish, so this is a bit advanced for me. I am envious that you have the chance to go to Poland itself to learn .. I hope you have a great trip! Best wishes, Paul

May 11, 2019

I think I am about A2 so pre-intermediate. And thanks.

May 11, 2019

Hello i am native polish speaker and i know that this is not easy issue to be good in communication but when you are very big eager you can do it you have big opportunities to go ahead because we are no limits to growth best regards for you

May 11, 2019


May 12, 2019

Guys, even people who speak good in Polish still have problems with these cases. For "English mind" is the challenge I can easily understand. Moreover sometimes even native Polish speakers have problems with cases; some words could be so confusing that they make mistakes.

But the good news is we still are able to understand you even you use only nominative case! So don't worry and don't be discouraged by these cases.

May 14, 2019
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