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Adjectives[edit | edit source]

The adjective (przymiotnik) is a significant part of speech in Polish. It declines very regularly depending on case, number and gender. It can also be used as a noun. For example Polish adjectives "bogaty" (rich) and "czarny" (black) are often used as "nouns" (taking forms "bogata" and "czarna" in feminine gender).

While there is only one pattern, the final consonant group takes different endings.

The vocative always has the same form as the nominative.

Case Singular Plural
Feminine Person-masculine and animate-masculine Inanimate-masculine Neuter Masculine personal (virile) Other genders (nonvirile)
Nominative -a/-ia -y/-i -e/-ie -i/-y -e/-ie
Genitive -ej/-iej -ego/-iego -ych/-ich
Dative -ej/-iej -emu/-iemu -ym/-im
Accusative -ą/-ią -ego/-iego -y/-i -e/-ie -ych/-ich -e/-ie
Instrumental -ą/-ią -ym/-im -ymi/-imi
Locative -ej/-iej -ym/-im -ych/-ich

Fields, by colour:

  • White - basic form (feminine singular nominative)
  • Green – second form (with "i") in the case of adjectives ending in "ka", "ga" or "ia" in the base form, first form (without "i") otherwise
  • Purple – second form (with "i") in the case of adjectives ending in "ia" in the basic form, first form (without "i") otherwise
  • Red – final consonant group must be palatized (or "softened"), and "i" or "y" must be added, depending on result

Some softening rules are (compared to the singular masculine nominative):

"y" changes to "i"
by bi
my mi
ny ni
wy wi
Change of consonant, "y" stays "y"
ry rzy
Change of consonant, "y" changes to "i"
ły li
szy si
Change of consonant, "i" changes to "y"
ki cy
gi dzy
No changes, with "i"
pi pi
si si
wi wi
No changes, with "y"
rzy rzy

See polski for sample "-ki" declension.

Adjective forms can also get comparative and superlative forms.

Examples[edit | edit source]

English text Polish translation Alternative translation(s)
He is clever. On jest mądry. On jest sprytny.
She is clever. Ona jest mądra. Ona jest sprytna.
The child is clever. Dziecko jest mądre. Dziecko jest sprytne.
They are clever. Oni są mądrzy. One są mądre.
Oni są sprytni.
One są sprytne.
A red house Czerwony dom
A red box Czerwone pudełko
A red shirt Czerwona koszula
Red clothes Czerwone ubrania

practice these translations