Interrogative adverbs and pronouns

Interrogative adverbs and pronouns

Interrogative adverbs and pronouns are those words which are used to formulate questions.
Very often they might be used alone: "who?", "where?", "when?".
In Polish the interrogative pronouns change according to the genre and number of the subject. "Which", for instance, is translated with:
- "który" if it is a singular masculine subject (eg. which man?)
- "która" if it is a singular feminine subject (eg. which girl?)
- "które" if it is a singular neutral subject (eg. which child?).
Here below you fin a list of the interrogative adverbs and pronouns:

who? = kto?

to / with / for ... whom? = ... kim?

what? = co?

how? = jak?

which? = który (M)?, która (F)?, które (N)?

how much? = ile?

where? = gdzie?

from where? = skąd?

to where? = dokąd?

why? = dlaczego?

because = dlatego... (not a real interrogative adverb)

czy...? It has no real meaning. It is a word which is used in order to formulate questions whose answer is "yes" or "not". It looks like our interrogative "do", and just like it it goes at the beginning of the sentence.

Are those words hard to learn?

We know that our mind works with 5 senses, and we are using only our ability to hear - and such an ability, thinking about Polish sounds, might not be so efficient.
Let us try to connect what we are learning with what we already know, or let us learn something which will impress us and will remain in our minds:

kto: there is a rhyme for Polish children: "puk puk! kto tam? Hipopotam!", which means "knock knock! Who's there? Hippo!"

kim: many of us will remember when there were the cigarettes "Kim" with mint taste. To whom are you offering a Kim? To no one as nobody smokes.

co: what? Have you ever heard the sentence "co to jest?", which means '"what's that?".

jak: have you already learned the sentence "Jak się masz?", which means literally "how do you have yourself?" - and we translate it with "how are you?".

który/a/e: Here you are a sentence which you will hear often in Poland: "która godzina?" - "What time is it?" - or literally "Which hour is it?".

ile: think about "ile kosztuje?", which means "how much does it cost?".

gdzie: there was once a protest held by the Christian Catholic extremists who did not accept that the memorial cross put after the crashed plane with the deputies inside was removed from the parliament. They were screaming loudly "gdzie jest krzyż", which means "where is the cross?" - here you are a video remixed in a funny way by a Polish youngster.

skąd? and dokąd?: as with German grammar, it is important to split the words in their compounds in order to understand the meaning of the word by summing the meaning of its spared parts.
In Polish we have "z" and "do". "z" might turn into "s" due to phonetical reasons and it means "from". "do" in Polish it means "to". Let us assume that "kąd" might have meant originally "where", then we would have "from where" and "to where".

dlaczego e dlatego: "dla" means "for" in Polish, "czego" means "what" and "tego" means "that". Literally Polish people say "for what?" - "dla-czego?", "for that!" - "dla-tego!". The meaning is similar to "why" and "because".

czy: as exercise try yourself to associate it with something, because we ran out of knowledge and fantasy!


Fill the gaps with Polish interrogative adverbs
1) masz na imię? jesteś? - what is your name? where are you from?
2) chcesz długopis ? niebieski? - which pen do you want? the light blue?
3) kosztuje? - how much is it (how much does it cost)?
4) to jest?- what is this?
5) się masz? - how are you?
6) jest Ania? - where is Ania?
7) się pani nazywa? - what is your name?
8) to robisz? że to mnie bawi! - why are you doing that? because I have fun with it!
9) chcesz iść do kina albo na dyskotekę? - do you want to go to cinema or to disco?
10) przyszliśmy? jesteśmy? idziemy? - where are we from? who are we? where are we going?
11) godzina? - what time is it?
12) przepraszam, jest przystanek autobusowy? - sorry, where is the bus stop?
13) dziecko jest twoje? - which child is yours?
14) przepraszam, to znaczy? - sorry, what does it mean?
15) masz lat? - how old are you?

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