Polish/Masculine noun declension

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< Feminine noun declension < ^ Polish ^ > Neuter noun declension >


Masculine noun declension[edit]

There are three masculine genders in Polish - masculine personal, masculine animate and masculine inanimate. The differences between them are regular:

  • In the case of masculine personal, the accusative has the same form as the genitive
  • In the case of masculine animate, the accusative has the same form as the genitive in the singular, but as the nominative in the plural
  • In the case of masculine inanimate, the accusative has the same form as the nominative
  • Vocative singular is always the same as locative singular and vocative plural is the same as nominative plural.

But there are also some other differences in declension. Before they get explained, let's take a look at some examples.

Masculine personal Boy Farmer Chris Guy Engineer
Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative Chłopak Chłopaki Rolnik Rolnicy Krzyś Krzysie Facet Faceci Inżynier Inżynierowie or

Inżynierzy

Acc./Gen. Chłopaka Chłopaków Rolnika Rolników Krzysia Krzysiów Faceta Facetów Inżyniera Inżynierów
Dative Chłopakowi Chłopakom Rolnikowi Rolnikom Krzysiowi Krzysiom Facetowi Facetom Inżynierowi Inżynierom
Instrumental Chłopakiem Chłopakami Rolnikiem Rolnikami Krzysiem Krzysiami Facetem Facetami Inżynierem Inżynierami
Locative Chłopaku Chłopakach Rolniku Rolnikach Krzysiu Krzysiach Facecie Facetach Inżynierze Inżynierach
Vocative Chłopaki Rolnicy Krzysie Faceci Inżynierowie
Masculine animate Cat Dog
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nominative Kot Koty About this sound Pies Psy
Accusative Kota Psa
Genitive Kotów Psów
Dative Kotu Kotom Psu Psom
Instrumental Kotem Kotami Psem Psami
Locative Kocie Kotach Psie Psach
Vocative Koty Psy
Masculine inanimate Computer Table
Singular Plural Singular Plural
Nom./Acc. Komputer Komputery Stół Stoły
Genitive Komputera Komputerów Stołu Stołów
Dative Komputerowi Komputerom Stołowi Stołom
Instrumental Komputerem Komputerami Stołem Stołami
Locative Komputerze Komputerach Stole Stołach
Vocative Komputery Stoły

Phonetic changes and irregularities are:

  • All "e" (or "ie") and "o"/"ó" changes in the singular nominative, and also the accusative if it has the same form as the nominative.
  • The plural nominative isn't very regular. In the case of some nouns softening of the final consonant may be required. Some nouns even have two correct plural nominative forms - one with "owie" and another in a soft "e".
  • Some nouns have a singular locative in "u", other have in "e", and in the case of the latter the final consonant group must be softened.
  • Very few masculine nouns have a singular dative in "u" instead in "owi". However, they are really common words - Pan (literally lord, nobleman, master - a very important word because it is used exactly as the English pronoun "You" to express politeness e.g "Podać Panu kawę? Could you take some coffee, sir?) brat (brother), kot (cat), pies (dog) and Bóg (God). As you see, apart from unusual dative ending in all of them declension is connected with unpleasant stem alternations, resulting from various historical processes e.g. consonant cluster softening, compensatory lengthening, development of Slavonic semi-vowels (jery)
  • Some inanimate-masculine nouns have a singular genitive in "u", most others in "a".

Now some sentences:

  • Adam jest rolnikiem - Adam is a farmer. (farmer in instrumental)
  • Facet daje kotu mleko - The guy gives milk to the cat. (cat in dative)
  • Chłopak nie ma psa - The boy doesn't have a dog. (dog in accusative)
  • Pies jest pod stołem - The dog is under the table. (table in instrumental)

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