Hit a wall on the defining unit, please help me

I have been loving learning polish, being able to overcome the pronunciations has been so fulfilling and saying basic sentences is great but I am having a lot of problems with using to or jest + ending the word with its normal form or "em", an example, this bird is an animal, what is the rule to follow to translate this, i could say, ptak jest/to zwierze/zwierzeciem, i know im missing some accents but i hope you can see how im stuck, also what about for negative form of this phrase and/or question form? Any explanation would be nice or external material. Really bummed that i lost my 14 day streak but I just got turned off from this unit alone but I wanna keep learning. Dziekuje ci bardzo.

August 1, 2019


Hi Droyder, the Tips and Notes right in the course can help you best when you are starting to learn, but you can also read what Jellei, a course contributor and moderator, has written in a discussion post about this called "A guide on "X is Y" and "This is Y" constructions":

You can find the above post and more topics within his "sticky" post called "All useful Polish Duo discussions in one post!" in the Polish language discussion forum:

His examples include: “A dog is an animal.”: •1) Pies jest zwierzęciem. •2) Pies to zwierzę.

Droyder, welcome to learning Polish! In Jellei's sentence 1, the last word is in the Instrumental case because the verb "to be" takes that case. In sentence 2, the last word is in the Nominative case. That's why it is easier to use the style used with "to" in sentence 2!

August 1, 2019

We have cases. So we change every noun by 7 of them. And I advice you to not think about it generally- just learn sentence :) I'll try to show you: 1. What is that? That is: zwierzę kot pies krowa (animal, cat, dog, cow) 2. I don't have.... zwierzęcia, kota, psa, krowy 3. I give something zwierzęciu, kotu, psu, krowie 4. I see... zwierzę, kota, psa krowę 5. I go with... zwierzęciem, kotem, psem, krową 6. I talk about.... zwierzęciu, kocie, psie, krowie 7, It is case, when you call someone: Zwierzę come here! Kocie, psie, krowo

So- as you can see there is not a lot of similarties. So I think that the only way to learn that is like child- listen to the sentence and try to remember.

August 6, 2019

Just got to this section too. Thought I was getting it (that the -em ending was used when it is defining something and then it wasn't used for a phrase in the same situation). Ah, have just seen the comments below (am also learning how to use the system here!) and I think that Ann's comment is most helpful to me, to just take it in, listening and learning as a child does.

August 21, 2019, 9:24 AM
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