polish greetings

Polish Grammar -Nominative


For learners of Polish, the concept and study of grammar is very important. As in any foreign language. However, I know that Polish grammar is very different from, for example, the grammar of Germanic languages. Polish has seven cases that need to be learnt. The first of these, which we will present in today’s post, is the nominative (Pol.mianownik).

What Is the Case in Grammar?

It is a grammatical category for the conjugation of nouns, adjectives, counters and pronouns. In Polish, there are 7 cases: nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, instrumental, locative and vocative.

Nominative Singular

In Polish, there are three kinds in the singular: masculine, feminine and neuter, while in the plural there are two kinds: masculine-personal and non-masculine. 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.

Pronouns: kogo? co?
Pronouns: to


The interrogatives kto? and co? must be answered by nouns in the nominative case, regardless of their gender or number. The pronoun kto? refers to people, whereas co? is non-personal and refers to things.

A few masculine nouns share certain features with both the feminine and the masculine declensions. In the singular, they have the feminine ending -a, yet in the plural they take the masculine personal ending -i or -y.

For example:

Kto to (jest)? To (jest) student. / Who is this? It is a student.

Co to (jest)? To (jest) masło. / What is this? This is a butter.

Pronoun refers to both people and things.

Note that the verb jest may be left out.

Uses of the Nominative Singular

Mama robi obiad. / Mum is making dinner.

Pociąg stoi. / The train is standing.

Telefon dzwoni. / The phone is ringing.

Dziecko płacze. / The baby is crying.

Pies szczeka. / The dog is barking.

The nominative usually functions as the subject of a sentence.

To (jest) studentka. / This is a student. (fem.)

To (jest) jabłko. / This is an apple.

To (jest) dom. / This is a house.

To (jest) muzeum. / This is a museum.

To (jest) Polka. / This is a Polish woman.

Nouns in the nominative case also appear in constructions with the introductory to.

Most neuter nouns end in -o or -e in the nominative singular.



There is a group of male nouns that end in -a :

  • dentysta ( eng. dentist), pianista (eng. pianist), poeta (eng. poet), artysta(eng. (artist), kierowca (eng. driver)


There is a group of nouns that end in a consonant:

  • noc (eng. night), rzecz (eng. thing), miłość (eng. love), złość (eng. anger) (often these are nouns denoting emotions)

Nominative Plural

In the plural we distinguish masculine and non-masculine gender. Many Polish nouns in their plural form have the endings –y, -i or –e. However, there are many exceptions and phonetic changes, especially for the masculine, so this is not a perfect rule and the proper plural form of many nouns has just to be memorized.

The Masculine Plural

  • Masculine personal nouns that end with a hard consonant except k, g, and r receive i ending. The hard consonant softens.


When we are learning the nominative plural in Polish, we must remember that the endings of nouns change. In the same way, the verb być will be in the plural person są.

To (są) piloci. / These are the pilots.

To (są) kosmonauci. / These are the astronauts.

  • Masculine personal nouns that end with k, g, r, or sometimes c receive y ending. K, g, and r soften.

doktor (doctor) → doktorzy (doctors)
Anglik (Englishman) → Anglicy (Englishmen)
chłopiec (boy) → chłopcy (boys) (*notice the removal of the “ie”)
kolega (colleague) → koledzy (colleagues)



  • Masculine personal nouns that end with a hardened or soft consonant receive e ending.

rodzic (parent) → rodzice (parents)
nauczyciel (teacher) → nauczyciele (teachers)
lekarz (doctor) → lekarze (doctors)


  • Some masculine personal nouns receive -owie ending. There is no completely strict rule for which nouns have this ending, but it is usually for nouns referring to family relations and titles.

syn → synowie (sons)
pan → panowie (men)
ojciec → ojcowie (men) (*notice the stem change)
oficer → oficerowie (officers)


The Non-Masculine
Now let’s learn the non-masculine endings which are rather easy.


A few masculine nouns share certain features with both the feminine and the masculine declensions. In the singular, they have the feminine ending -a, yet in the plural they take the masculine personal ending-i or-y.

Masculine Non-Personal

  • Masculine non-personal nouns that end with a hard consonant except k and g receive y ending.

dom (home) → domy (houses)
komputer (computer) → komputery (computers)
rekin (shark) → rekiny (sharks)

  • Masculine non-personal nouns that end with a k or g receive i ending.

pociąg (train) → pociągi (trains)
ołówek (pencil) → ołówki (pencils) (*notice the removal of e)
guzik (button) → guziki (buttons)

  • Masculine non-personal nouns that end with a hardened or soft consonant receive e ending.

fotel (armchair) → fotele (armchairs)
palec (finger) → palce (fingers) (*notice the removal of e)
miecz (sword) → miecze (swords)


  •  Feminine nouns that end with a hard consonant except k and g receive y ending.

kobieta (woman) → kobiety (women)
dziewczyna (girl) → dziewczyny (girls)
osoba (person) → osoby (people)

  • Feminine nouns that end with a k or g, and most with -ść, receive i ending. Some other feminine nouns ending in a consonant also receive i.

piłka (ball) → piłki (balls)
warga (lip) → wargi (lips)
córka (daughter) → córki (daughters)
możliwość (possibility) → możliwości (possibilities)
więź (bond) → więzi (bonds)

  • Feminine nouns that end with a hardened or soft consonant receive e ending.

lekcja (lesson) → lekcje (lessons)
pomarańcza (orange) → pomarańcze (oranges)
smycz (leash) → smycze


All neuter nominative plural nouns receive a ending. Some have stem changes.

okno (window) → okna (windows)
pole (field) → pola (fields)
biuro (office) → biura (offices)

  • Neuter nouns ending with ę receive either -ta or -ona endings.

imię (name) → imiona (names)
zwierzę (animal) → zwierzęta (animals)

  • Neuter nouns ending with um remove the um and replace it with a ending.

muzeum (museum) → muzea (museums)
liceum (high school) → licea (high schools)

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