Sunday, September 25, 2005

Verbs and some basic phrases.


Dzień dobry! - [d_z_jEn_j "dObr1] - a quite formal greeting, which can be used for most of the day.
Dobry wieczór! - ["dObr1 "v_jEt_Sur] - equivalent to "Good evening!" - quite formal.
Cześć! - [t_SEs_jt_s_j] - informal, can be used as "Hi!" or "Bye!"

Polish verbs have a different form for each grammatical person. The person is merely who is performing the action that the verb describes. Because of these different forms, you usually leave out the pronoun except when you want to emphasise it.

(ja) jestem - I am
(ty) jesteś - you are
(on/ona/ono) jest - he/she/it is
(my) jesteśmy - we are
(wy) jesteście - you are (plural)
(oni/one) - they are

Here are some other words.
tu - here
tam - there
gdzie - where? [gd_z_jE] (make sure you pronounce the g, there are no silent letters in Polish)
i - and (comparitive)
a - and/but (contrastive)
ale - but

Jestem tu. - I am here
Jesteś tam. - You are there.
Gdzie jesteśmy? - Where are we?
Ja jestem tu a ty jesteś tam. - I am here and you are there
Gdzie jest? - Where is (he/she/it)?

Some adjectives:
Adjectives have different endings depending on the gender, number and case of the thing they represent. Every noun has an inherent gender in it, which may or may not be related to the meaning of the word. The gender of the adjective then depends on the gender of the noun it's providing meaning to.

For now, we'll just consider the nominative case, and only the singular, because I don't quite understand the plural yet. A masculine adjective ends in a y, a feminine one ends in an a and a neuter one ends in an e. If the adjective ends in a g or a k these sounds must be softened in the masculine and neuter, so the endings become -i, -a and -ie.

Jestem dobry. - I am good. (said by a male)
Jestem dobra. - I am good. (said by a female)
Jesteś dobra. - You are good. (said to a female)
Jest dobry. - He's good.
Jest dobra. - She's good.
Jest dobro. - It's good.

dobry/dobra/dobre – good
miły/miła/miłe – nice
zły/zła/złe – bad
duży/duża/duże – big
mały/mała/małe – small
wysoki/wysoka/wysokie – tall/high
niski/niska/niskie – short/low
nowy/nowa/nowe – new
młody/młoda/młode – young
stary/stara/stare – old

Adjective are normally shown in the masculine form. You can work out the other forms from that.

Jesteś bardzo miła. - You are very nice. (said to a female)
Czy jest wysoki? - Is he tall?

To jest... (This is...)
To jest means this is. It can also mean that is, if you really want to make the distinction clear you can say tamto jest for that is. There are no words for the or a/an in Polish. The word czy placed at the beginning of a sentence turns the statement into a question, so czy to jest means is this.

To jest ładna kobieta. - This is a pretty woman.
To jest wysoki mężczyzna. - This is a tall man.
To jest duży dom. - This is a big house.
To jest mały kot. - This is a small cat.
To jest miły pies. - This is a dog.
Czy to jest wesoły słoń. - Is this a happy elephant?
To jest moje nowe łóżko. - That's my new bed.

Gdzie jest twój dom? - Where is your house?
Mój dom jest tam? - My house is there.
Czy tamto jest twój dom? - Is that your house?
Nie, niebieski dom jest mój. - No, the blue house is mine.

Instrumental case...
If you want to say that you are something, or that one noun is equivalent to another, you need to use the instrumental case. To form the instrumental case, you add -(i)em to masculine and neuter nouns (the i is used with nouns which end in k or g). The -a on the end of feminine nouns (and some masculine nouns) becomes -ą. Whatever the gender, the plural ending becomes -ami. Adjectives take the endings -ym or -im in masculine and neuter, -ymi or -imi in plural, and in feminine.

Nie jestem dużym słoniem. - I'm not a big elephant.
Jestem miłym kotem. - I'm a nice cat.
Jesteś piękną kobietą. - You are a beautiful woman.
Nie jesteś starym psem. - You are not an old dog.
Jest przystojnym mężczyzną. - He is a handsome man.
Jesteśmy wysokimi mężczyznami. - We are tall men.
Jesteście grubymi kobietami. - You are fat women.

Mieć (to have)
To use the verb mieć, you need to know the accusative case. The accusative case marks the "doee" of the action, whereas the nominative case marks the "doer". Masculine words which denote people or animals add the suffix -a (their adjectives add the suffix -(i)ego) but inanimate nouns stay the same as in the nominative. Feminine nouns change the -a ending to and their adjectives take the ending -(i)ą. Neuter nouns have the same form for their nominative and accusative forms.

Mam - I have
Masz - you have
Ma - he/she/it has
Mamy - we have
Macie - you have (plural)
Mają - they have

Mam małego kota. - I have a small cat.
Mam piękną żonę. - I have a beautiful wife.
Masz dużego psa. - You have a big dog.
Ona ma wysokego chłopaka. - She has a tall boyfriend.
On ma nowy dom. - He has a new house.
Mamy starego konia. - We have an old horse.
Teraz macie nic. - Now you have nothing.

Mój żona jest bardzo piękna, ale ma brzydkiego brata. My wife is beautiful but she has an ugly brother.


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