The genitive case and its uses!

The genitive case is one of seven Polish cases. The basic form of the word that is given is the nominative, and to the right next to the audio icon is the genitive form. This is a very important form of the noun to know and will help you master the words if you really want to learn Polish. But, if you don't like the testing for, feel free to turn it off using the control bar at the top of the quiz when quizzing yourself! So what exactly is the genitive, and, for that matter, what is a grammatical case? English is mostly lacking in cases, so the concept can seem a bit odd. But there are a couple examples in English. One of the best examples is "he" and "him". You can't say "Him is here", nor does "I see he" sound very graceful to an English speaker's ears. This is because these are two different forms, that is two different cases of the same pronoun "he". He is used for the subject and him is used for the object. This is what is meant by cases; words show their grammatical function in a sentence by changing (or inflecting) their basic form. Some other examples are: "who, whom, and whose", "she and her", "I and me", "we and us", or, to go further back in time "thou, thee, and thy / thine". While English only shows a limited number of cases on a very restricted number of words (we tend to show grammatical function through prepositions and word order), Polish has the ability to change almost any noun (I think every noun, but maybe there's some exception that I'm forgetting). Sometimes the changes can be predicted, but, unfortunately, you sometimes just have to memorize the alternative form or forms. So when do we actually use the genitive case? One of it's must common uses is with negation; for example, "Ja mam nowy samochód(I have a new car nominative", but "Ja nie mam nowego samochodu genitive". You can use the genitive to show possession, for example, "dom mojej matki (my mother's house)" or "kot mojego brata (my brother's cat)". The genitive also follows certain verbs, such as bać się, dotykać, pilnować, potrzebować, et al. The genitive can be used after words expressing quantity, such as dużo (a lot), trochę (a little), butelka (bottle), dzbanek (jug); for example, dużo kawy (a lot of coffee), trochę herbaty, or butelka wina (bottle of wine). And, one last use, is after certain prepositions, such as do, bez, dla, od, and sometimes z. There are more uses, but this ought to help with the basics!

Posted by memrise_ 1/24/12, last update 5/28/12 (1 year ago)
  • Sorry for the couple of typos and the lack of paragraphs, but I don't think that I can edit this now.

    Posted by Trux 1/24/12 (2 years ago)
  • Sorry for the couple of typos and the lack of paragraphs, but I don't think that I can edit this now.

    Posted by Trux 1/24/12 (2 years ago)
  • It would also be nice to be able to test for the other 5 cases, but I'm guessing that won't be implemented for a while yet. I'd also like to thank Truxton-Magda for taking the time to write out this explanation. I had already began learning about cases, but it was useful to see the few English examples... very helpful in explaining it to others!

    Posted by dbailey 1/27/12 (2 years ago)
  • It would also be nice to be able to test for the other 5 cases, but I'm guessing that won't be implemented for a while yet. I'd also like to thank Truxton-Magda for taking the time to write out this explanation. I had already began learning about cases, but it was useful to see the few English examples... very helpful in explaining it to others!

    Posted by dbailey 1/27/12 (2 years ago)
  • Thanks! I'd really like to be able to add the option to test on some of the other cases, too, but I'm guessing it won't happen to soon. Maybe eventually they'll make it possible though.

    Posted by Trux 1/30/12 (2 years ago)
  • Thanks! I'd really like to be able to add the option to test on some of the other cases, too, but I'm guessing it won't happen to soon. Maybe eventually they'll make it possible though.

    Posted by Trux 1/30/12 (2 years ago)
  • Here's hoping!

    Posted by dbailey 2/1/12 (2 years ago)
  • Here's hoping!

    Posted by dbailey 2/1/12 (2 years ago)
  • Thank you. This helps, but takes time to sink in. I will be reading it over and over again!

    Posted by MareeLock 3/1/12 (2 years ago)
  • Thank you. This helps, but takes time to sink in. I will be reading it over and over again!

    Posted by MareeLock 3/1/12 (2 years ago)
  • it will take me some time to learn it, i guess :)

    Posted by adrian.startup 4/30/12 (1 year ago)
  • Thanks Truxton-Magda for the explanation, it's very useful!
    I just wanted to add a comment about the audios though: I find it very confusing to be tested on the genetive of a noun and then to hear the nominative form spoken out. I wonder whehther it would be possible to put up the genetive audios too? That would definitely be a great help to learn the genetive forms faster and it would avoid confusion!

    Posted by Blo 5/28/12 (1 year ago)
  • Yeah, I agree with you completely. I asked about it earlier, but Ben told me it's impossible for now, but that maybe it will be possible on down the road. The only other possibility would be to record both the nominative and the genitive together. I already had 500 or so recordings on here by the time the genitive form was added, so I just stuck with the nominative for the recordings. Hopefully there will be a way to do this in the future and maybe even throw in another declension!

    Posted by Trux 5/28/12 (1 year ago)

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