Singular Nominative and Gender

Kto? Co? - Who? What?

Nominative is the basic form of nouns, it is used for who or what performs the action or experiences the action when the sentence is passive. With stative verbs such as to seem, to be, to look like the subject is who or what is described.

Nominative case is used when the noun is the subject of the sentence, or in Polish it is also used when it has a central position within the sentence, such as "this is X, those are X", in Polish "to jest X, to są X"; with sentences such as "I am X, he is X", with sentences such as "there is X, there are X").

If by chance you find a declined word, you need to look up its nominative form, because this is the basic form. It is just normal if we think about it: when we look up a verb, and we find a form such as "watches", we will look up "to watch" in the dictionary.
For instance, if we find "to the student" ("studentowi") we need to look up "student' ("student").
When we decline a name we cut away its ending from the nominative form (usually the last vowel) and we add the new ending.


In order to recognize if a Polish word is masculine, feminine or neutral we need to check its ending when it the ending of its singular nominative form, which is the base.
This is the general rule:

Masculine names end with: -consonant, -a (rare)

Feminine names end with: -a, -i (rare)

Neutral names end with: -o, -e, -ę, -um (rare)

There are feminine names which end with consonants: each rule has exceptions, while masculine names which end in -a are usually those names related with jobs: e.g. driver: kierowca.

Those:  a, i, o, e, ę, um are singular nominative ending. When we decine a word we will change them with other endings


In Polish adjectives can be declined according to their gender and case, just like names. This means that "beautiful dog" is translated with "piękny pies", but "beautiful girl" is translated with "piękna dziewczyna". As we can see, the ending of the adjective "piękny" changes depending if it referes to a masculine, feminine or neutral name:

- y
- i (if the adjective ends with -k or -g)
es. piękny pies – beautiful dog
es. niebieski samochód – blue car
Feminine- aes. piękna dziewczyna - beautiful girl
- e
- ie (if the adjective ends with -k or -g)
es. piękne niebo – beautiful sky
es. niebieski krzesło – blue chair


Nominative Personal Pronouns

Pronouns still behave just like nouns when we talk about gender and declensions. The basic form of the personal pronouns is the nominative and it is used when we talk about the subject of the sentence. You must have already seen those personal pronouns when studying Polish conjugations: ja jestem (I am) etc.

they (masculine)oni
they (feminine)one


Masculine, feminine or neutral?

Masculine, feminine or neutral?



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