Polish Language Blog

Genitive Case, part 4 Posted by on Feb 10, 2009 in Grammar

Thomas asked what happened to audio files with pronunciation that I used to provide on this blog. I will be reunited with my own computer and microphone on March 10th and then pliki dźwiękowe (audio files) will be back. And I do plan to go back and provide them for all the posts where they’re currently missing. This will be dużo roboty (a lot of work) but I know it will help you a lot, too.

In the meantime, let’s answer Michael’s question: what is the difference between domy and domów?

Ah, time to review noun declensions, isn’t it? Domy is the nominative plural form of “dom” (house, home, building).
So, jeden dom (one house, home, building) and dwa domy (two houses, homes, buildings).

Remember the genitive case (dopełniacz)? We talked about it here and here and here.

And why am I bringing it up again? Because it just so happens that “domów” is the genitive case of “domy.”

Dom is a masculine noun with what we call in Polish a “hard stem.” And such masculine hard-stem nouns take the ending –ów in the genitive plural form.

Take a look:

  • Nominative (mianownik) – answers to questions: kto? co? (who? what?) – singular – dom
  • Genitive (dopełniacz) – answers to questions: kogo? czego? – singular – domu

And now in plural:

  • Nominative – domy
  • Genitive – domów

For example:

  • Ładne domy tutaj macie. – Nice houses you have here.
  • Nie widzę żadnych ładnych domów w tej okolicy. – I don’t see any nice houses in this area.

And as you can see, the adjective “ładny” (nice) declines along with the noun it describes – dom.

  • ładny (adj., fem: ładna, neuter: ładne, pl. personal: ładni, pl. all others: ładne) – pretty, nice.
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  1. Michael L. (dziadek):

    Droga Anna,

    I need information as to how I can use MS XP so I can toggle the keyboard for the Polish characters as I did with the older MS systems.My granddaughters want me to write in Polish, but I do not want to do that and not spell the words correctly.
    I enjoy your additional Polish language information.
    I am planning to return to Olsztyn and Rewal and my charming beautiful Polish wife and to continue teaching English at the various schools, institutions and individuals all for gratis.
    Thank you,

  2. michael:

    Wow Anna, I am amazed, thanks for your reply.

    This blog motivates me to learn more, I read your blog to be entertained and I learn something which encourages me to learn more.

    Bardzo dziękuję za pomoc.

  3. Anna:

    Michael L,
    thank you for your lovely comment! Unfortunately, I know absolutely nothing about Windows systems. Maybe someone else will chime in on here and explain how to do it?

    nie ma za co! 🙂

  4. Lukas:

    To be able to toggle different keyboard types on ms xp, you can go to Start -> Settings -> Control Panel -> Language and regional settings

    Then on the ‘Language’ tab, click ‘Details’, and then there should be a button at the bottom of the page, called something like ‘Input schema taskbar’. There you can choose to display the language icon in the task bar.

    By going back to the previous window, click the button ‘Add…’. You can select the language you want from a list.

    Once this is done, you should be able to choose the languages you added by using the icon in the task bar (usually at the bottom right part of the screen).

    I hope this helps somewhat. The names of the windows and buttons may not be exactly the same as what I just mentioned because the system I use is not installed in English.