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Confusion with the verb być

JosephK Threads: 4
Posts: 5
Joined: Apr 29, 2012
  ♂ Apr 29, 2012, 07:28am  #

Hello,

I'm a little confused with the verb być. Doesn't it take the instrumental case? However, I saw a song called 'Jestem zła'. Which means 'I am angry/bad' right? But why is zła in the nominative and not in the instrumental?

Any help is appreciated!

Thanks,
Joe

Zman   Apr 29, 2012, 07:41am  #

Must be an exception... even us poles do not totally comprehend why it's so. However, if you ask a question like that you must be close to be fluent in our vernacular. Unlike myself who haddd tried to worked out the past of lie vs. ly, lain, , lay, lame? (me perhaps).... :-)

strzyga Threads: 4
Posts: 1,311
Joined: Apr 30, 2008
  ♀ Apr 29, 2012, 10:15am  #

JosephK:
I'm a little confused with the verb być. Doesn't it take the instrumental case?

It does, if there's a noun or adjective + noun following it:
Jestem inżynierem.
Jestem dobrym inżynierem.
With an adjective alone, it's Nominative:
jestem dobry.
Don't ask me why :)

Zman:
the past of lie vs. ly, lain, , lay, lame?

try see vs. saw vs. sew (widzieć, piłować i szyć)...

Goury Threads: -
Posts: 8
Joined: May 26, 2011
  ♂ Apr 29, 2012, 06:26pm  #

It goes like this:

1. Genders, social roles or occupations are always in Instrumental.

Examples:

I'm a man.
Jestem mężczyzną.

I'm a mother.
Jestem matką.

I'm a teacher. (feminine)
Jestem nauczycielką

2. Traits of character or appearance, moods, feelings are always in Nominative.

Examples:

I'm intelligent. (feminine)
Jestem inteligentna.

I'm beautiful. (feminine)
Jestem piękna.

I'm in love. (masculine)
Jestem zakochany.

I'm sure that... ( masculine)
Jestem pewny, że...

3. If a statement consists of both variants; gender, social role or occupation always dictate the case ( it is always Instrumental).

Examples:

I'm an intelligent woman.
Jestem inteligentną kobietą.

I'm a fearless mother.
Jestem nieustraszoną matką.

I’m a man in love.
Jestem zakochanym mężczyzną.

I'm a handsome cook (masculine).
Jestem przystojnym kucharzem.

That is all. I hope it helps.

strzyga Threads: 4
Posts: 1,311
Joined: Apr 30, 2008
  ♀ Apr 29, 2012, 06:43pm  #

Goury:
3. If a statement consists of both variants; gender, social role or occupation always dictate the case ( it is always Instrumental).

Goury, it's simpler than that. As I've already said, it's just the presence/absence of a noun that dictate the case. With a noun, it's always Instrumental.

Jestem zagubioną duszą.
Jestem różową panterą.
Jestem efektem połączenia się plemnika i komórki jajowej.

The above sentences don't say anything about social role or occupation. Ok, pink panther is feminine in Polish, still it can be a male specimen.

Generally, all these sentences answer the question "who am I / who are you / who is he etc.

An adjective without a noun takes the Nominative case. Jestem różowy, jestem zagubiony.

Goury Threads: -
Posts: 8
Joined: May 26, 2011
  ♂ Apr 29, 2012, 07:12pm  #

Well, of course you are right. It basically depends on whether or not there is a noun. When I initially analyzed the issue, I got fixed on the "gender, social role or occupation" idea. How silly of me! And I'm a native Pole! I really should be more careful in the future! I'm sorry and kudos to you!

Lyzko   Apr 29, 2012, 09:58pm  #

Apparently though, Polish can use "zostać" interchangeably with "być" in various situations.

Jestem BYĆ aktorem.
Jestem ZOSTAĆ aktorem.

Both translate into English as "I want to BE an actor.", right?

Lyzko   Apr 29, 2012, 10:01pm  #

Whhoooopssssidaisy!!!!!!

I mistyped big time. Sorry for the mega typos:-)

Chcę BYĆ aktorem.
Chcę/Zamierzam ZOSTAĆ aktorem.

really sorry about the booboo, guys.

JosephK Threads: 4
Posts: 5
Joined: Apr 29, 2012
  ♂ Apr 30, 2012, 01:27am  #

Thanks a lot for the responses guys! In my study of languages, though very limited, I've learned that there are things in each language that you just have to learn and accept as being just the way it is. I guess this is one of them!

strzyga Threads: 4
Posts: 1,311
Joined: Apr 30, 2008
  ♀ Apr 30, 2012, 02:27am  #

Goury:
When I initially analyzed the issue, I got fixed on the "gender, social role or occupation" idea. How silly of me! And I'm a native Pole!

As native speakers, who have never been taught the language in a structured way, we are at a disadvantage when it comes to explanations. We need to trace the patterns by ourselves, often reinventing the wheel :) Happens all the time.

JosephK Threads: 4
Posts: 5
Joined: Apr 29, 2012
  ♂ May 9, 2012, 12:39am  #

Merged: More confusion with the verb być

Hello again!

I've encountered a little more confusion with the verb to be. I know that what the verb być is referring to is placed in the instrumental case during most circumstances. However, I'm wondering if this is the case with the word gdzie when a form of the verb to be (like jest or ) comes after it.

For example:

Gdzie są mapy?
Where are the maps?

Is that right? I think that is the way it has to be. However, logically you would think that mapy would be placed in the locative case to express location.

Gdzie są mapach?
Where are the maps?

Is this right or wrong or do I have an improper understanding of the locative case? Any insight, help, or comments regarding this are appreciated!

Thanks,
Joe

catsoldier Threads: 100
Posts: 804
Joined: Sep 27, 2009
  ♂ Edited by: catsoldier  May 9, 2012, 12:58am  #

JosephK:
However, logically you would think that mapy would be placed in the locative case to express location.


I can't explain this perfectly but I will try to tell you what I know.

Gdzie jest mapa?
Mapa jest na stole. Mapa is in nominative and stole locative of stół.

Sometimes you need to look at the answer and sometimes at the question to figure out the correct case, this is how it works for me anyway.

Try to do some examples for yourself also, it will help.

Butelka is similiar to mapa, have a look at this video, both are feminine:



Czym są zachwycam?
Zachwycam się mapą.

O czym mówię?
Mowię o mapie.

You have to ask the questions with the map as the answer and then you can decline it depending on the question that was asked.

strzyga Threads: 4
Posts: 1,311
Joined: Apr 30, 2008
  ♀ Edited by: strzyga  May 9, 2012, 01:51am  #

Something jest somewhere.
The somewhere is in locative.
The something is in nominative.

Gdzie są mapy?
Mapy są na stole.
Gdzie jest Paryż?
Paryż jest na mapie.

The locative case tells you where something is located, not what is located there.

JosephK Threads: 4
Posts: 5
Joined: Apr 29, 2012
  ♂ May 9, 2012, 02:28am  #

Ah thanks! I think I see it now.

So the location itself is in the locative case right?

It is under the table. Table would be locative right?

strzyga Threads: 4
Posts: 1,311
Joined: Apr 30, 2008
  ♀ May 9, 2012, 02:45am  #

JosephK:
So the location itself is in the locative case right? It is under the table. Table would be locative right?

2 x right. You've got it :)

cinek Threads: 2
Posts: 376
Joined: Nov 16, 2007
  ♂ Edited by: cinek  May 11, 2012, 09:37am  #

JosephK:
It is under the table. Table would be locative right?


To jest pod stołem.

Actually, it'd be instrumental because 'pod' (under) requires that case.
Locative is used with 'w', 'na', 'przy'.

Don't take the rule 'location requires locative' too strict. It only describes some 'general idea' how the language works, but life is usually more complicated... ;-)

Cinek

Lyzko   May 11, 2012, 05:11pm  #

Prepostions are hairy, in Polish as well:

Pod stołem (Instr.) = under the table
Pod choinkę (Acc.) = under the (Christmas) tree

Difference here? Presumablt, the object UNDER the table hasn't moved or been moved, whereas the gifts were PLACED under the tree, rather than simply appearing or lying there by themselves:-)

catsoldier Threads: 100
Posts: 804
Joined: Sep 27, 2009
  ♂ Edited by: catsoldier  May 11, 2012, 07:41pm  #

Lyzko:
Pod choinkę (Acc.) = under the (Christmas) treeDifference here? Presumablt, the object UNDER the table hasn't moved or been moved, whereas the gifts were PLACED under the tree, rather than simply appearing or lying there by themselves:-)


Sorry Lyzko, my understanding was that:

Pod choinkę (Acc.) ≈ for Christmas, not a literal translation.

Co dostałeś pod choinkę? What did you get for Christmas.

See the explanation here by Strzyga, message 43

http://www.polishforums.com/grammar-usage-18/biernik-czy-narzednik-acc usative-instrumental-55021/2/#msg1221020

strzyga Threads: 4
Posts: 1,311
Joined: Apr 30, 2008
  ♀ May 12, 2012, 01:47am  #

cinek:
To jest pod stołem.Actually, it'd be instrumental because 'pod' (under) requires that case.Locative is used with 'w', 'na', 'przy'.

Damn, you're right :) I really shouldn't answer grammatical questions after midnight.
cinek:
Don't take the rule 'location requires locative' too strict. It only describes some 'general idea' how the language works, but life is usually more complicated... ;-)

It definitely is. Still, the rule might be helpful for beginners who have yet to get familiar with the idea of noun cases.

catsoldier:
Sorry Lyzko, my understanding was that:Pod choinkę (Acc.) ≈ for Christmas, not a literal translation.Co dostałeś pod choinkę? What did you get for Christmas.

Catsoldier, it could be either idiomatic or literal.
Co dostałeś pod choinkę? indeed means: what did you get for Christmas.
But it can also express combination of movement and location:
Połóż tę paczkę pod choinkę - put the box under the Christmas tree.

Pls compare:
Kwiaty stoją na stole.
Postaw kwiaty na stół.
Książka leży na półce.
Połóż książkę na półkę.
Prezent jest pod choinką.
Połóż prezent pod choinkę.

With na and pod different case should be used for simple location and location resulting from a movement.
However it doesn't apply to other prepositions:

Krzesło stoi przy stole.
Ustaw krzesło przy stole.
Mleko jest w lodówce.
Postaw mleko w lodówce.
Postaw mleko do lodówki.

Here, the case depends just on the preposition (prepositions do, w, przy take just one case each).

The good news is that in everyday speech the difference between simple location and location resulting from a movement often disappears and you can often hear "Połóż książkę na stole" instead of "na stół". It's so commonplace that I'm not even sure if it's still considered incorrect.

Lyzko   May 12, 2012, 02:30pm  #

In common parlance, I've also heard "Gdzie", instead of "Dokąd" idziesz?, "poszłem" for "poszEDłem" etc...

catsoldier Threads: 100
Posts: 804
Joined: Sep 27, 2009
  ♂ May 12, 2012, 08:28pm  #

strzyga:
Catsoldier, it could be either idiomatic or literal.Co dostałeś pod choinkę? indeed means: what did you get for Christmas.But it can also express combination of movement and location:Połóż tę paczkę pod choinkę - put the box under the Christmas tree.


Thanks Strzyga, that was a super answer.

strzyga Threads: 4
Posts: 1,311
Joined: Apr 30, 2008
  ♀ May 13, 2012, 02:17am  #

catsoldier:
Thanks Strzyga, that was a super answer.

Not really... I've just discovered that w takes two different cases too:
wkręć żarówkę w oprawkę - żarówka jest w oprawce
włóż kołek w otwór - kołek jest w otworze
Still thinking :)

Anyway, the double function of the Polish prepositions which can point to static location or location resulting from movement is reflected in English by the pairs: in/into, on/onto.There's no under/underto pair in English but it would be just as logical. If that is of any help.

Lyzko:
In common parlance, I've also heard "Gdzie", instead of "Dokąd" idziesz?, "poszłem" for "poszEDłem" etc...

These are two very different kinds of errors.
With "Gdzie idziesz?", again, I'm not sure if it's an error at all. In fact, I don't think so. Logically it seems to be, but, as you know, languages yearn for logic more often than not. And "gdzie idziesz?" is used more often than "dokąd idziesz". The latter option seems a bit hypercorrect. "Gdzie idziesz" is just the way people speak.
On the other hand, "poszłem" is a very uneducated error. Unless used ironically, it immediately defines you as somebody who's almost illiterate. It's kind of the "I can has cheezburger" kind of speech.


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Confusion with the verb być

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