So, what were we talking about last time? Ah yes, verbs that express emotions. You know, stuff like love (kochać), hate (nienawidzieć), like (lubić), dislike (nie lubić), etc.
In English, it’s simple, whether you like or don’t like someone (or something), the noun that follows the verb expressing your feeling doesn’t change.
I like winter. I hate winter.
“Winter” stays “winter” no matter what.
As you’ve probably figured out by now, this is not how it works in Polish. Well, nothing is ever simple and straightforward in Polish. It wouldn’t be Polish otherwise.
Remember when we talked about these two cases: dopełniacz (genitive) and biernik (accusative)? No? Then now it’s the time to look up those blog posts (I wrote about those cases in the past) and refresh your memory. Don’t worry, I’ll wait.
OK, I see you’re back. Good! We can move on to the fun bits now.
So, this is how those winter (zima) sentences would look like in Polish.
- Lubię zimę. – I like winter
- Nienawidzę zimy. – I hate winter.
See what happened to “zima”? Yes… Your worst fears have been confirmed. We have two different cases here.
In “Lubię zimę” we have the accusative case – biernik, which answers to these questions: “kogo?” and “co?”.
“Lubię kogo” – when talking about people. Or “Lubię co” – when talking about everything else.
In “Nienawidzę zimy” we have the genitive case – dopełniacz, which answers to these questions: “kogo?” and “czego?”.
“Nienawidzę kogo” – when talking about people. Or “Nienawidzę czego” – when talking about everything else.
Yes, you are right – in both of these examples, the “kogo?” question when talking about humans is the same. But that doesn’t actually mean that the noun will stay the same. Not so! (And what did you think, huh?)
- Lubię Kasię (or Anię, if you want to talk about me behind my back) – I like Kasia (Ania).
- Nienawidzę Kasi (Ani) – I hate Kasia (Ania).
Luckily, this is only the issue with feminine humans. Masculine humans stay the same.
- Lubię Pawła – I like Paweł.
- Nienawidzę Pawła – I hate Paweł (Paweł, it’s nothing personal, it’s just an example, OK?)
Incidentally, when talking about space aliens in Polish, treat them as humans (at least grammatically), even though they are very clearly not.
So, basically, this is the drill:
If you have positive feelings towards someone or something, use biernik (accusative).
If you have negative feelings towards someone or something, it’s time to use dopełniacz (genitive).
Hey! What happened to you? Wake up! Wake up!!!