Polish Declensions


Read the following text and its Polish translation:

Bus mania

I have always liked busses since I was a child, when I used to play with bus miniatures.
Now that I am old in the morning I wake up and I catch the bus. I like going to work because I go there by bus, for mebus noise is just like a music, and in the bus I meet beautiful girls too, even better than a disco.
They say that bus pollutes the environment, but actually many busses are methane-fuelled, and I also think that many people talk badly about busses just because in this way they have a good excuse to use their cars.


Od dziecka lubiłem autobusy, kiedy to bawiłem się miniaturowymi autobusami.
Teraz, kiedy jestem dorosły, budzę się rano i jadę autobusem. Lubię chodzić do pracy, ponieważ jadę autobusem, dla mnie hałas w autobusie jest jak muzyka, w autobusie także spotykam wiele pięknych dziewczyn, w rzeczywistości jest lepiej niż na dyskotece.
Mówią, że autobusy zanieczyszczają środowisko, ale w rzeczywistości wiele autobusów  jeździ na gazie, a poza tym moim zdaniem wiele ludzi mówi źle o autobusach, aby mieć dobrą wymówkę do używania samochodu.

The word bus in Polish was translated in different ways: autobusyautobusamiautobusemautobusieautobusów, autobusach.
In English we just know the singular and plural forms, which in Polish words change their endings according to their function inside the sentence: to say "the bus" is not the same than saying "by bus" or "inside the bus".
By observing carefully the text it is possible to notice how many English prepositions are not translated in Polish because Polish endings are enough to express the function of the words in the sentence - the complement (subject, by bus, in the bus etc.).

Let us analyse another example:
- I offer a cigarette to the student.
"student" in Polish is "student", just like in English, and in order to say "to the student" I add "owi" at the end of the word.
As a consequence in Polish we say:
- proponuję papierosa studentowi.
Obviously when we look up a translation we search for "student", which is the basic form and it is used when the noun is the subject of the sentence and consequently has no prepositions. This basic form is called nominative, and from the nominative we can derivate the other cases, which are the other functions which a noun can cover in the sentence (e.g.the person to whom I talk to - to the student, the person I play with - with the student).
Note that also in English there is a small declension: we use "who" when the noun is the subject or the direct object, while we use "whom" when the noun is the indirect object.

Studying Polish we meet 7 delcensions:

- Nominative - the subject, the nouns which concords with the verb
e.g. the dog runs

- Genitive - the specification (whose?), we have a genitive also in English: the saxon genitive.
e.g. dog's tail

- Accusative - the direct object (who? what?)
e.g. I have seen the dog

- Dative - indirect object (to whom? to what?)
e.g. I give a bone to the dog

- Instrument, mean, company (with who? with what?), or the noun or adjective with is attached to the verb to be (to be who? to be what?)
e.g. I play with the dog
e.g. it is a dog

- Locative (place) - (where? in which place?),  topic (about what?). The locative is the place where something or someone stays, not where something or someone moves to ("I am in Poland" is locative, "I go to Poland" is not, as there is a movement).
e.g. there is a pick in the dog
e.g. I talk about dogs

- Vocative - it is use rarely to call someone, to summon someone
es. oh my God!
Its use is only in payings and in old Polish, so we are not going to study it.

Declensions are the alternative forms of the basic word. In Polish we just need to add to the word the proper endings.
Endings vary according to:

- the gender: masculine, femminine or neutral

- the number - singular or plural

- if the word is a noun or an adjective. A noun is a words which represents objects, persons, animals, abstract things. An adjective describes nouns, adds information to a noun. "dog" is a noun, "wild" is an adjective.


Choose the correct case

Choose the correct case



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