1. Second-conjugation verbs. While 1st-conjugation verbs are characerized by -a- after the root in all six forms, 2nd-conjugation verbs have -i- in four out of six. Here are paradigms for five 2nd-conjugation verbs:

"do, make"
(ja) płacę widzę proszę mówię robię
(ty) płacisz widzisz prosisz mówisz robisz
on płaci widzi prosi mówi robi
(my) płacimy widzimy prosimy mówimy robimy
(wy) płacicie widzicie prosicie mówicie robicie
oni płacą widzą proszą mówią robią

Before 2sg. -isz, 3sg. -i, 1pl. -imy, and 2pl. -icie, the stem consonant is SOFTENED: płać-, widź-, proś-, mów'-, rob'-. But before 1sg. and 3pl. the -i- fuses with the stem consonant and causes a change known as IOTATION. With "request", the contrast between the softened consonant of the 2sg., 3sg., 1pl., and 2pl. forms (proś-) and the iotated consonant of the 1sg. and 3pl. forms (prosz-) is obvious. It is less obvious in "pay" (płać- vs. płac-) and "see" (widź- vs. widz-) because of the spelling convention of omitting the softness accent before a vowel.

For most consonants in Polish the results of iotation and softening are the same, and verbs with stems ending in these consonants have a uniform stem throughout the paradigm. For example, the iotated b of robię,robią is the same as the softened b of robisz, robi, robimy, robicie and both are spelled with -i-.
In some verbs the softening and iotation of the stem results in a consonant that is phonetically hard. In such cases the -i- that is pronounced is replaced by -y- and the -i- that merely indicates softening is omitted. For example the verb "look" has these forms:

1ST PERSONpatrzę patrzymy
2ND PERSONpatrzysz patrzycie
3RD PERSONpatrzy patrzą

  • Answer the questions (in the affirmative). 1. Czy mówisz po polsku? 2. Czy widzisz mój zeszyt? 3. Czy patrzysz na mój samochód 4. Czy ja płacę za twoją herbatę? 5. Czy patrzycie na nasz dom? 6. Czy prosicie o kawę? 7. Czy dobrze robię, że pł za ich mieszkanie? 8. Czy nas widzicie? 9. Czy ja proszę o polską gazetę? 10. Czy ty to robisz?
    Now rephrase the questions using pan/pani and państwo.
  • Express in Polish. 1. We speak Polish very well. 2. Are you folks requesting Polish coffee? 3. Do you see my friend George? 4. Who is looking at our new automobile? 5. Do your sister and brother speak Polish? 6. Barb and Stan are looking at each other. 7. Who sees us? 8. We see them, but do they see us? 9. George is asking for his book. 10. They're looking at her, but she isn't looking at them.
  • 2. Genitive case. Genitive case in Polish has a number of uses.

    2.1 It corresponds to the possessive in English; thus "Danuta's brother" is brat Danuty (or Danuty brat) and "father's automobile" is samochód ojca (or ojca samochód). Shorter possessive expressions normally precede, e.g., pani dom (your house) and jego żona (his wife), while longer ones follow, e.g., rower naszego profesora języka polskiego (our Polish professor's bicycle).

  • Respond to "X has Y" with "Where is X's Y?", e.g., Jurek ma żonę -- Gdzie jest żona Jurka? See §3 below for the needed endings. . Nasz gość ma psa. 2. Mój kolega ma dobrego nauczyciela. 3. Pani Turecka ma nowego męa. 4. Jego ojciec ma stary samochód. 5. Państwo macie ładne mieszkanie. 6. Córka tych państwa ma małego kota. 7. Pani syn ma drogie skrzypce. 8. Ona ma ładną długą sukienkę. 9. On ma polskie pióro. 10. Oni mają pieniądze.
  • 2.2 It is used to express quantification and corresponds to of in English: szklanka herbaty (a glass of tea), dużo czasu (a lot of time). Mass nouns like herbata and czas occur in the genitive singular; count nouns like rzecz and dziecko occur in the genitive plural: dużo dzieci (many children), dużo rzeczy) (a lot of things).

  • Respond to "Do you have X?" with "Yes, I/we have a lot of X(es)". 1. Czy pani ma piwo? 2. Czy panowie mają pieniądze? 3. Czy masz czas? 4. Czy ci państwo mają dzieci? 5. Czy pan ma polską herbatę?
  • 2.3 With certain verbs the genitive case indicates that the object is enveloped by the action of the verb only to a limited extent. In Chcę kawy (I want some coffee) the genitive case of the object suggests "a certain amount of coffee". Compare Zosia chce nowy rower with an accusative object, where an entire bicycle is wanted, not just parts of one. Some verbs always take a genitive object. Examples: "use", as in Używam słownika (I use a dictionary); "seek, look for", as in Szukam swojego klucza (I'm looking for my key); and 'fear, be afraid of', as in Boję się twojego psa (I'm afraid of your dog).

  • Express in Polish. 1. What is she looking for? -- Her (own) pencil. 2. George wants a new car, but his father if afraid that he's too young (młody). 3. What do you gentleman want? -- Beer. 4. My dog is afraid of your cat. 5. Who is using my comb?
  • 2.4. The object of a negated verb is regularly in the genitive case. Thus Mam klucz (I have a key) with the accusative is negated as Nie mam klucza (I don't have a key) with the genitive.

  • Answer the questions in the negative. 1. Czy masz słownik języka polskiego? 2. Czy państwo mają duże mieszkanie? 3. Czy pani zna moją babcię? 4. Czy czytacie polską gazetę? 5. Czy twój wujek pamięta nasz stary Kraków?
  • 2.5 A related use of the genitive is with the subjectless expression nie ma (there isn't/aren't any), e.g., Nie ma czasu (There's no time), Nie ma pieniędzy (There's no money). Nie ma can also mean " ... is/are not here", e.g., Czy Grześ jest? -- Nie ma go. (Is Greg in? -- He's not here).

  • Answer "Is X in?" and "Are X and Y in?" with "X isn't here" and "X and Y aren't here" (Nie ma + genitive). 1. Czy jest pan Rybacki? 2. Czy pani ojciec jest? 3. Czy pana matka i ojciec? 4. Czy jest Ania Szulc? 5. Czy jest twoja nauczycielka? 6. Czy jest kolega Żaczek? 7. Czy Jadzia i Staś są? 8. Czy jest brat pani Łempickiej? 9. Czy jest siostra pana Adamczyka? 10. Czy twoja koleżanka jest?
  • 2.6 Finally, genitive is used with a wide range of prepositions. Several express the starting point of moton: z domu (out of the house), z koncertu (from the concert), od Danuty (from Danuta). Other prepositions requiring the genitive case are u (by, in the presence of), do (to, into), dla (for, on behalf of), and bez (without).
  • Express in Polish. 1. Are you from Warsaw? 2. This book is from my mother. 3. I am going to Jadzia's. 4. This wristwatch is for my son. 5. What is this key to (do)? -- It's not to anything (see §4 below). 6. How far (jak daleko) is it from Warsaw to Cracow? 7. This nice thing is from me to you. 8. Are you folks coming from the concert? 9. I have nothing for you, ma'am. 10. I'm going to the store without my sister.
  • 3. Genitive case forms. For masculine nouns (except for the kolega type) denoting animate creatures, the genitive form is the same as the accusative. Thus Nie mam brata with the genitive shows the same form as Mam brata with the accusative. For all neuter nouns and for many masculine nouns in addition to those denoting animate beings the genitive singular ending is -a. For example: Nie mamy dużego mieszkania, Czy nie masz dobrego słownika?, Państwo nie znają Gdańska.

    3.11 Among inanimate masculine nouns, some take -a in the genitive singular, others take -u. Since -a is the genitive singular ending for masculine nouns (of the 1st declension) denoting animate creatures, it is also the genitive singular ending for nouns which although inanimate have an agent suffix (cf. Eng. -er in striker, which means 'one who or that which strikes'). Common agent suffixes in Polish are -nik- as in prawnik (lawyer), -erz- as in żołnierz (soldier), and -ak as in (Pole), so słownik (dictionary), talerz (plate), and plecak (backpack) all; take the genitive singular ending -a. Nouns denoting tools and instruments likewise take -a: ołówek > ołówka (pencil), nóż > noża (knife), as do nouns for the smaller, tool-like parts of the body like język > języka (tongue, language) and palec > palca (finger) and in general objects that are small on a human scale.

    3.12 On the other hand, -u is the gen. sg. ending for masculine nouns denoting amorphous things--materials, masses, activities, and abstractions--and things which are large on a human scale. For example: cukier > cukru (sugar), lud > ludu (the people), czas > czasu (time), uniwersytet > uniwersytetu (university), koncert > koncertu (concert), dom > domu (house). In addition, -u is the genitive singular ending for names of most foreign cities (Londyn > Londynu, Nowy Jork > Nowego Jorku), while -a occurs with names of most Polish cities (Kraków > Krakowa, Wrocław > Wrocławia).

    This is one of the more complex areas of Polish grammar. A few general rules can be stated, but it is often a matter of simply learning the genitive singular form of inanimate masculine nouns.

  • Give the genitive singular form. 1. stół 2. klucz 3. samochód 4. zeszyt 5. rower 6. grzebień 7. Poznań 8. nos (nose) 9. śmiech (laughter) 10. pokój (room) 11. hotel 12. zegarek (wristwatch) 13. ołówek 14. Madryt 15. kształt (shape) 16. film (film) 17. plac (square) 18. Lublin 19. rynek (marketplace) 20. sklep (store) 21. papież 22. Rzym (Rome)
  • 3.2 Pronouns and adjectives agreeing with masculine and neuter nouns in the genitive singular have the genitive singular ending -ego, e.g., dla mojego brata, Nie ma dobrego piwa.

  • Express in Polish. 1. We don't have a key to this table. 2. We don't have time for (na + acc.) your guest. 3. Her sister's friend is from New York. 4. That old hotel doesn't have a room for us. 5. This room is too small for a chair of this shape. 6. Is she doing it without a pencil? 7. They're going from the store to Zbyszek's apartment. 8. Doesn't anyone here have a good wristwatch? 9. Our friend from Madrid doesn't have a new backpack. 10. This litttle dog has no master.
  • 3.3. Feminine nouns (including other 2nd-declension nouns like kolega) take the genitive singular ending -y (or -i): gazeta > gazety, Warszawa > Warszawy, tablica > tablicy, rzecz > rzeczy, matka > matki, kolega > kolegi, pani > pani, powieść > powieści, pani > pani.

    3.4 Pronouns and adjectives agreeing with feminine nouns take the ending -ej (or -iej), e.g., tej ciekawej powieści, mojej starej matki, z polskiej książki, do niej.

    3.5 Personal pronouns have genitive forms identical to accusative forms, i.e., ja > mnie, ty > ciebie/cię, [no nominative] > siebie/się,, my > nas, wy > was.

  • Express in Polish. 1. This is for you. 2. Who is it from? -- From Danuta's brother. 3. I use a Polish dictionary (a dictionary of the Polish language) when (gdy) I read a Polish newspaper. 4. But my mother reads (it) without a dictionary. 5. This tea is without sugar. 6. Barb is going home. 7. I see that this city doesn't have a university. 8. The gentleman from Warsaw doesn't have a room. 9. Professor Orkisz's student is not reading this interesting novel. 10. I don't see my sister; where is she?
  • 4. Negative pronouns and adverbs. Interrogative pronouns and adverbs have their corresponding negatives, which are formed mostly by prefixing ni- (plus certain other changes), as follows:

    kto, kogo (who, whom) nikt, nikogo (no one)
    co, gen. czego (what) nic, niczego (nothing)
    gdzie (where)nigdzie (nowhere)
    kiedy (when)nigdy (never)
    jaki, jaka, jakie (what sort of) żaden, żadna, żadne (no sort of)
    który, która, które (which) żaden, żadna, żadne (no)

    When one of these negative words occurs in a sentence, the verb must be negated as well. The the ni- of the negative pronoun or adverb and nie preceding the verb appear to be a double negative, but ithe meaning is that of a single negative. In English we don't follow a negated I don't see ... with a negative ... no one, but in Polish a negative ... nikogo MUST be accompanied by a negated Nie widzę .... When saying "I don't see anyone" in Polish, remember to say "no one", not "anyone": Nie widzę nikogo (or Nikogo nie widzę).

  • Answer the following questions negatively. 1. Kto prosi o herbatę? 2. Kiedy mówicie po polsku? 3. Co robisz? 4. Co robią Jadzia i Zbyszek? 5. Na co patrzycie? 6. Co tam widzisz? 7. Kto mnie prosi? 8. Za co płaci twój kolega? 9. Co robi twój mą ż? 10. Co państwo czytacie? 11. Co znaczy to zdanie? 12. Jakiego ma Jurek psa? 13. Gdzie na Pana czekają? 14. Która studentka prosi o polską gazetę? 15. Kto wie, co my robimy?
  • Express in Polish. 1. They aren't asking for anything. 2. Please may we have (lit. We're requesting) a large table. 3. Jadzia is asking her mother for a long dress. 4. Everyone (wszyscy [pl.]) is looking at Jan Paweł, the Polish pope. 5. Is you friend paying for my coffee? 6. We look and we see ourselves. 7. Everyone here speaks Polish. 8. Grandma has new glasses; now (teraz) she sees well. 9. Whose pen are you cleaning? 10. How much (Ile) do I pay for the newspaper?
  • 5. "Some-", "any-". Interrogative pronouns and adverbs, which begin with k- or j-, can be followed by the enclitic particles (some-) and -kolwiek (any-), turning the interrogative into a restricted indefinite, e.g., ktoś (someone), or an unrestricted indefinite, e.g., ktokolwiek (anyone). -kolwiek is typically used in questions, e.g., Czy twoja siostra była kiedykolwiek w Krakowie? (Has your sister ever been to Cracow?). makes it somewhat definite but leaves it vague, e.g., Tak, kiedyś tam była, ale nie pamiętam kiedy (Yes, she's been there once, but I don't remember when). As enclitics, they follow inflectional endings, e.g., kogokolwiek, jakiejś, etc. The possible combinations are these:

    "where from"
    "where to"
    "how much/

  • Answer " ... any ... ?" with "Yes, ... some ... , but I don't remember wh- ... ". For example: Czy Danuta kiedykolwiek mieszkała w Chicago? -- Tak, kiedyś tam mieszkała, ale nie pamiętam kiedy. 1. Czy jej ojciec gdziekolwiek pracuje? 2. Czy siostra pisze do kogokolwiek w Polsce? 3. Czy ktokolwiek był wczoraj na zebraniu? 4. Czy twoja matka czyta jakąkolwiek polską gazetę? 5. Czy Zygmunt mówił o czymkolwiek ciekawym?
  • Express in Polish. 1. Have you ever been to Poland (w Polsce)? 2. Some man was asking for you. 3. Stan was reading some sort of English newspaper, I don't remember what (one). 4. At Mary's last evening Ann was talking to some student. 5. Did George have anything for his sister? 6. Wherever he goes, his dog goes after him (za nim). 7. Do you have an (any kind of) interesting novel? 8. Somehow it will work out (be). 9. Do you know anyone here? 10. I know you from somewhere.

  • Vocabulary

    boję się boisz się fear, be afraid of młody young słownik -a dictionary
    cukier -kru sugarnic niczego nothing szklanka (drinking) glass
    dużo a lot, manynigdy neverszukam seek, look for
    dzieci childrennikt nikogo no one talerz -a plate
    gdy (conj.) whennigdzie nowhere teraz now
    ile how much, how manyplac -u (city) squareuniwersytet -u university
    koncert -u concertplecak -a backpack używam use
    kształt -u shaperynek -nku market placewszyscy everyone
    który whichsklep -u store żaden żadna żadne no, not any