Polish/Nominative case

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The nominative case is used in the following situations:

  1. Indicates the subject of a sentence.
    • Gosia pisze książkę. - Gosia is writing a book. (Gosia in nominative because she is the subject of the sentence)
  2. Used for most lone adjectives and sentences of the type "to jest …".
    • Piotr jest przystojny. - Piotr is handsome. (przystojny is in the nominative)
    • To jest moja żona. - This is my wife. (moja żona is in the nominative)
  3. Out of context (such as in a dictionary)

The nominative answers the questions who? (kto?) and what? (co?).


This is the form that is found in dictionaries, so it's generally what is memorized when learning vocabulary. The greatest part of learning the cases is converting from the singular nominative to other cases.

Declension for nouns[edit]

Gender Ending Examples
Masculine (no ending) chłopak, kot, pies, komputer, stół
Neuter -o, -e, , -um dziecko, piwo, spotkanie, imię, muzeum
Feminine -a, -i, * dziewczyna, kawa, mrówka, pani, miłość, mysz

*Stems ending in ń, ś, ść (particularly abstract nouns), and some ending in sz (mysz) and c (noc)

Declension for adjectives[edit]

Gender Rule Ending Examples
Masculine After most stems -y duży, mały, dobry
After stems ending in k or g -i wysoki, długi, drogi
Neuter After most stems -e duże, małe, dobre
After stems ending in k or g -ie wysokie, długie, drogie
Feminine After all stems -a duża, mała, dobra, wysoka, długa, droga


In the plural, declension by gender is divided into virile (masculine personal) and nonvirile (masculine animate, masculine inanimate, feminine, and neuter).

Declension for nouns[edit]

The apostrophe indicates historical softening. It is helpful to review the hard and soft consonants table before continuing.

Gender Rule Ending Examples Exceptions
Virile After stems ending in hard consonants other than k, g, or r -'i (stems change)* mężczyźni, chłopi
Titles, jobs, family members, surnames, some nationalities -owie panowie, mężowie, Belgowie, profesorowie bracia, księża
After nationalities ending in -in -ie (replaces -in) Rosjanie, Amerykanie
After stems ending in rz, sz, cz, j, l, ć, ń, and ś -e lekarze, słuchacze, górale królowie
After stems ending in c, ca, g, k, r -'y (stems change)* kierowcy, kalecy, koledzy, inżynierzy, ludzie
After stems ending in iec, niec -(ń)cy (replaces -(n)iec) chłopcy, Niemcy, mieszkańcy
Nonvirile After all stems -e

*Stems ending in certain hard consonants change as follows:

Stem ending Nominative plural ending Examples
-ch -si Czesi, Włosi
-d -dzi sąsiedzi, Szwedzi
-li diabli
-st -ści dentyści, specjaliści
-t -ci studenci, poeci
-g -dzy koledzy, Norwedzy
-k -cy kalecy, Polacy
-r -rzy inżynierzy, doktorzy

Declension for adjectives[edit]

Gender Rule Ending Examples
Virile After stems ending in -d -dzi młodzi
After stems ending in -g -dzy drodzy
After stems ending in -k -cy brzydcy
After stems ending in -(z)ł -(ź)li źli
After stems ending in -n -ni smutni
After stems ending in -r -rzy starzy
After stems ending in -sz -si lepsi
After stems ending in -t -ci bogaci
After stems ending in -w -wi ciekawi
After stems ending in -zi duzi
Nonvirile After most stems -e młode, złe, smutne, stare, lepsze, bogate, ciekawe, duże
After stems ending in k or g -ie drogie, brzydkie


Personal pronouns[edit]

English Nominative
nothing nic
no one nikt
I ja
you (singular) ty
he on
she ona
it ono
you (formal masculine) pan + 3rd person singular verb
you (formal feminine) pani + 3rd person singular verb
we my
you (informal plural) wy
you (formal masculine plural) panowie + 3rd person plural verb
you (formal feminine plural) panie + 3rd person plural verb
you (formal mixed gender plural) państwo + 3rd person plural verb
they (masculine or mixed gender) oni
they (feminine) one

Possessive pronouns[edit]

Gender my, mine your, yours (singular) your, yours (plural) our, ours
Singular Masculine mój twój wasz nasz
Neuter moje twoje wasze nasze
Feminine moja twoja wasza nasza
Plural Virile moi twoi wasi nasi
Nonvirile moje twoje wasze nasze

Interrogative pronouns[edit]

English Nominative
what? co?
who? kto?
where? gdzie?
when? kiedy?
How? jak?
How much? ile?

Relative, demonstrative, and intensive pronouns[edit]

Gender which / who what / what kind this / that self / same
Singular Masculine który jaki ten sam
Neuter które jakie to samo
Feminine która jaka ta sama
Plural Virile którzy jacy ci sami
Nonvirile które jakie te same