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Pronouns

Pronoun is an inflected part of speech used to replace any other part of speech (e.g. noun, adjective, adverb, or numeral) with the exception of verb. It functions in a sentence as each such part of speech. Pronouns are inflected for cases, numbers and grammatical gender. Inflection of pronouns depends on the part of speech, which they replace.

Personal pronouns

Personal pronouns replace nouns. Personal pronouns are inflected. Short forms of personal pronouns mi, cię, ci, go, mu should not be used at the very beginning or end of a sentence. Pronouns niego, niemu, niej are used directly after prepositions. Pronouns ja, ty, my, wy (personal pronouns of 1st and 2nd person singular and plural) are not used as a subject - the meaning of a pronoun is expressed through the verb ending (verb in a sentence), e.g. Czytałem gazetę. instead of Ja czytałem gazetę. Pronouns are used in a sentence only when there is a need to emphasise that this very person (those people) performs the activity referred to in the sentence.

Inflection of personal pronouns

Singular number
Nominative = Vocativejatyononaono
Genitivemnieciebie / cięjego / niego / gojej / niejjego / niego / go
Dativemnie / mitobie / cijemu / niemu / mujej / niejjemu / niemu / mu
Accusativemnieciebie / cięjego / niego / go / niąje / nie
Instrumentalmnątobąnimniąnim
Locativemnietobienimniejnim
Plural number
Nominative = Vocativemywyonione
Genitivenaswasich / nichich / nich
Dativenamwamim / nimim / nim
Accusativenaswasichje / nie
Instrumentalnamiwaminiminimi
Locativenaswasnichnich

Interrogative pronouns

Interrogative pronouns refer to subject or those subject's features which we ask about, e.g.: kto?, co?, jaki?, który?

Inflection of pronoun kto

Nominative = Vocativekto
Genitivekogo
Dativekomu
Accusativekogo
Instrumentalkim
Locativekim

Inflection of pronoun co

Nominative = Vocativeco
Genitiveczego
Dativeczemu
Accusativeco
Instrumentalczym
Locativeczym

Inflection of pronoun jaki

Singular number
Casemasculine genderfeminine genderneuter gender
Nominative = Vocativejakijakajakie
Genitivejakiegojakiejjakiego
Dativejakiemujakiejjakiemu
Accusativejakiegojakąjakie
Instrumentaljakimjakąjakim
Locativejakimjakiejjakim
Plural number
Casemasculine personal gendernon-masculine personal gender
Nominative = Vocativejacyjakie
Genitivejakich
Dativejakim
Accusativejakichjakie
Instrumentaljakimi
Locativejakich

Inflection of pronoun ktory

Singular number
Casemasculine genderfeminine genderneuter gender
Nominative = Vocativektóryktóraktóre
Genitivektóregoktórejktórego
Dativektóremuktórejktóremu
Accusativektóregoktórąktóre
Instrumentalktórymktórąktórym
Locativektórymktórejktórym
Plural number
Casemasculine personal gendernon-masculine personal gender
Nominative = Vocativektórzyktóre
Genitivektórych
Dativektórym
Accusativektórychktóre
Instrumentalktórymi
Locativektórych

Indefinite pronouns

Indefinite pronouns often end in -ś: coś, jakiś, jakaś, jakieś, czyjś, kiedyś, ktoś, któraś, gdzieś.

In most cases, they derive from interrogative pronouns: kto? → ktoś, co? → coś, jaki? → jakiś

Using indefinite pronouns helps to express indifference as to the precise place, person, time, or feature, but also to emphasise that it may be just any place or person, etc.

Negative pronouns

Negative pronouns are used to form negative sentences. In Polish, double negation is used. E.g. Nigdzie nie byłem.

Most of negative pronouns are derived from interrogative pronouns: ktonikt, conic, gdzienigdzie

Possessive pronouns

Possessive pronouns replace a word determining a person holding an object or a relationship towards another person. Their inflection is the same as that of adjectives, i.e. pronoun is inflected for grammatical gender of noun following such pronoun.

Inflection of pronouns mój, twój

Short forms (e.g. ma, me, mej, twe) are considered bookish and therefore rarely used.

Singular number
Casemasculine genderfeminine genderneuter gender
Nominative = Vocativemój, twójmoja/ma, twoja/twamoje/me, twoje/twe
Genitivemojego/mego, twojego/twegomojej/mej, twojej/twejmojego/mego, twojego/twego
Dativemojemu/memu, twojemu/twemumojej/mej, twojej/twejmojemu/memu, twojemu/twemu
Accusativemojego/mego, twojego/twegomoją/, twoją/twąmoje/me, twoje/twe
Instrumentalmoim/mym, twoim/twymmoją/, twoją/twąmoim/mym, twoim/twym
Locativemoim/mym, twoim/twymmojej/mej, twojej/twejmoim/mym, twoim/twym
Plural number
Casemasculine personal gendernon-masculine personal gender
Nominative = Vocativemoi, twoimoje/me, twoje/twe
Genitivemoich/mych, twoich/twych
Dativemoim/mym, twoim/twym
Accusativemoich/mych, twoich/twychmoje/me, twoje/twe
Instrumentalmoimi/mymi, twoimi/twymi
Locativemoich/mych, twoich/twych

Inflection of pronouns nasz, wasz

Singular number
Casemasculine genderfeminine genderneuter gender
Nominative = Vocativenasz, wasznasza, waszanasze, wasze
Genitivenaszego, waszegonaszej, waszejnaszego, waszego
Dativenaszemu, waszemunaszej, waszejnaszemu, waszemu
Accusativenaszego, waszegonaszą, wasząnasze, wasze
Instrumentalnaszym, waszymnaszą, wasząnaszym, waszym
Locativenaszym, waszymnaszej, waszejnaszym, waszym
Plural number
Casemasculine personal gendernon-masculine personal gender
Nominative = Vocativenasi, wasinasze, wasze
Genitivenaszych, waszych
Dativenaszym, waszym
Accusativenaszych, waszychnasze, wasze
Instrumentalnaszymi, waszymi
Locativenaszych, waszych

Inflection of pronouns jego, jej, ich

These pronouns are not inflected - their form is identical for all genders and cases.

Singular number
masculine genderfeminine genderneuter gender
jego bratjej mamajego brat
jego siostrajej wnuczekjego siostra
jego rodzicejej rodzeństwojego rodzice
Plural number (all genders)
ich rodzice
ich siostra
ich dziadkowie

Demonstrative pronouns

Demonstrative pronouns refer to ideas or features of ideas which we first learn about in the context. For instance, pronouns ten, ta, to are inflected in the same manner as adjectives. Demonstrative pronouns are used to distinguish a person or object amongst a larger set of people or objects.

Inflection of pronouns ten, ta, to

Singular number
Casemasculine genderfeminine genderneuter gender
Nominative = Vocativetentato
Genitivetegotejtego
Dativetemutejtemu
Accusativetegoto
Instrumentaltymtym
Locativetymtejtym
Plural number
Casemasculine personal gendernon-masculine personal gender
Nominative = Vocativecite
Genitivetych
Dativetym
Accusativetychte
Instrumentaltymi
Locativetych

Reflexive pronoun się and siebie

Reflexive pronouns relate to verbs. They are used in the cases where subject has performed an activity by itself in relation to itself, i.e. where the subject and object are identical. Pronoun się does not have nominative and is used in the same form in singular and plural numbers. The longer form 'siebie' is used in order to emphasise pronoun in the sentence.

Inflection of pronouns się (siebie)

Nominative = Vocative-
Genitivesię / siebie
Dativesobie
Accusativesię / siebie
Instrumentalsobą
Locativesobie

Addressing a person using pan/pani/państwo

In the Polish language, in an official (formal) setting we address an adult person (both known and unknown to us) by using pan/pani/państwo. Most often, in this way we address strangers, whom we meet for the first time, or persons, whom we show respect (elderly or those who have authority). We address our loved ones, family members, friends and children in a direct way, by using ty and verbs in 2nd person (e.g. Jak się masz?) - here, the you pronoun is not expressed directly (see above).

pan (masculine gender, singular number) E.g.: {2}

  • Czy pan jest Polakiem? Czy pan mówi po polsku? Czy pan mieszka w Krakowie?

pani (feminine gender, singular number) E.g.: {2}

  • Czy pani jest Polką? Czy pani mówi po polsku? Czy pani mieszka w Krakowie?

państwo (masculine and feminine genders, plural number) E.g.: {2}

  • Czy państwo pracują tutaj? Czy państwo Polakami? Czy państwo mówią po polsku?

Nouns pan/pani commonly use 3rd person singular verb. E.g.: Jak się pan/pani nazywa? Czy pani jest Polką? Czy pan/pani mówi po polsku? Czy pan/pani mieszka w Krakowie?

The noun 'państwo' (a group of males and females) requires a 3rd person plural verb. E.g.: państwo.

The forms pan/pani/państwo are used in e.g. official or work-related situations: Witam pana/panią w naszym biurze. Tutaj jest pana/pani komputer.

Forms of addressing a person pan/pani/państwo are used when greeting or in polite forms of address. E.g.:

  • Dzień dobry. – Dzień dobry panu/pani/państwu.
  • Jak się pan/pani ma?
  • To jest pan Jan Kowalski. – Miło mi pana poznać.
  • To jest pani Beata Kowalska. – Miło mi panią poznać.
  • To jest pan Jan, pan Tomasz i pani Dorota. – Miło mi państwa poznać.
  • Miło mi pana poznać, panie Marku.
  • Pani Krystyno, czy może mi pani pomóc?
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