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In Polish, sometimes yes/no questions are created by a rising tone, which is indicated by a question mark:

  • Basia ma kota - Basia has a cat.
  • Basia ma kota? - Does Basia have a cat?

However, this is more or less to the equivalent of saying in English: "Basia has a cat?"

Another way to form a question is by using the word 'czy'. This makes it slightly more formal and also easier to understand for foreigners.

  • Czy Basia ma kota? - Does Basia have a cat?

Specific questions are created by question pronouns like:

  • gdzie - where
  • kiedy - when
  • kto - who
  • co - what
  • ile - how many
  • jaka - what kind
  • która - which
  • jak - how
  • dlaczego - why
  • czyj - whose

"kto" and "co" behave like nouns (but they don't have number) and "jaka" and "która" like adjectives, so you must use them in their proper form.

Who What
Nominative kto co
Genitive kogo czego
Dative komu czemu
Accusative kogo co
Instrumentative z kim z czym
Locative o kim o czym

A question pronoun is usually moved to the beginning of a sentence, even if it replaces something that would usually be at the end, like an object.

  • Kogo lubi Basia? - who does Basia like? (who in accusative and moved to beginning of sentence). Emphasis on "Basia"
  • Kogo Basia lubi? - also correct but emphasis on "to like"
  • Co pije dziecko? - what does a child drink? ("what" is in accusative), emphasis is on "dziecko"
  • Co dziecko pije? - also correct but emphasis is on "to drink"
  • Kogo lubisz? - Who do you like? ("who" is in the accusative)
  • Z kim rozmawiasz? - who are you talking with? ("who" in instrumental). "Rozmawiasz" - second person singular of verb "to talk".
  • O czym myślisz? - what are you thinking about? ("what" in locative)
  • Gdzie jest ciastko? - where is the cake?
  • Gdzie są dziewczyny? - where are the girls?
  • Którą dziewczynę lubisz? - which girl do you like? ("which" and "girl" in accusative)
  • Jaką pijesz kawę? - what kind of coffee do you drink? ("what kind" in accusative). May mean either "What kind of coffee are you drinking?" or "What kind of coffee do you like?" (and drink usually)

^ Polish ^ > Polish pronunciation >