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Verbs Governing the Genitive Case

In Polish, there are verbs that are followed only by a Genitive (dopełniacz).

Genitive Singular – General Information

In Polish, there are five kinds in the singular: animate substantive, inanimate, feminine and neuter, while in the plural there are three kinds:masculine, feminine and neuter. Unlike their English equivalents, they require no article. Depending on the context, the noun jabłko can be translated as the apple, an apple or apple.

The Genitive answers the questions: kogo? (whose?, of whom?) and czego? (of what?).
In this combination they always govern nouns in the Genitive case which indicate the place to which someone or something is going.

For example:
Ten statek płynie do Gdańska. / eng. ​​This ship is going to Gdańsk.
Tomek biegnie do tego dużego domu. / eng. Tom is running to the big house.

List of Polish Verbs Governing the Genitive Case

This is a list of the verbs which always govern the Genitive case:

bać się– to be afraid
chcieć – to want
dodawać – to add
dotykać – to touch
dzwonić – to ring, to give a call
mówić – to speak, to say
mrugać – to wink at
nienawidzić – to hate
potrzebować – to need
pożyczać – to borrow
próbować – to try
słuchać – to listen to
szukać – to look for
śmiać się – to laugh at
tęsknić – to long for
unikać – to avoid
uśmiechać się – to smile
używać – to use
wstydzić się – to be ashamed
zapominać – to forget
zazdrościć – to envy
zerkać – to glance sideways
żałować – to regret
życzyć – to wish, to desire

Some of the verbs listed occur only in combination with a preposition (e.g.,do, od, u, z). There is a considerable group of verbs of motion which very often join the prepositions do or od:

biegać (pobiegać do) – to run
biec (pobiec do) – to run
iść (pójść do) – to go
jechać (pojechać do) – to go by vehicle
latać (polatać do) – to fly
lecieć (polecieć do) – to fly
płynąć (popłynąć do) – to swim, to float
pływać (popływać do) – to swim, to float
wracać (wrócić do) – to return, to come back

Notice that the preposition do indicates the distance between a subject of an action and an object to which his/her action is directed.It suggests a border on which an action is finished.

Some of the verbs from the List governing the Genitive case must be followed by two nouns (in the Genitive and in a different case).

For example:

    • A noun in the Dative and a noun in the Genitive.

Zazdroszczę Staszkowi nowego samochodu. / eng. I envy Staszek his new car.
Życzę mu nowego samochodu. /eng. I wish him a new car.

    • A noun in the Accusative and a noun in the Genitive, e.g.,

Wczoraj pożyczyłem książkę od Dawida. / eng. Yesterday I borrowed a book from David.

If in “an undertext” the verb chcieć joins another verb (e.g.,chcieć + kupić) the main verb chcieć governs the case which is normally connected with the second verb, example, chcieć + Infinitive (kupić, chcieć) + Accusative.

For example:
Chcę (kupić, mieć) nowy samochód. /eng. I want (to buy, to have) a new car.

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