Appendix:Polish adjectives

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Adjective declension chart[edit]

Adjectives (przymiotnik sg m in Polish) decline very regularly depending on case, number, and gender. They may also be used as nouns. There is only one pattern, but final consonant group takes slightly different endings. The vocative case always has the same form as the nominative.

case singular plural
feminine Personal-masculine and animate-masculine inanimate-masculine neuter Personal-masculine Other genders
nominative -a/-ia -y/-i -e/-ie -i/-y -e/-ie
genitive -ej/-iej -ego/-iego -ych/-ich
dative -ej/-iej -emu/-iemu -ym/-im
accusative -ą/-ią -ego/-iego -y/-i -e/-ie -ych/-ich -e/-ie
instrumental -ą/-ią -ym/-im -ymi/-imi
locative -ej/-iej -ym/-im -ych/-ich
vocative -a/-ia -y/-i -e/-ie -i/-y -e/-ie

Colors:

  • White - feminine singular nominative
  • Green - second form (with "i") in the case of adjectives ending in "ka", "ga" or "ia" in the base form, first form (without "i") otherwise
  • Blue - second form (with "i") in the case of adjectives ending in "ia" in the basic form, first form (without "i") otherwise
  • Red - final consonant group must be palatized (or "softened"), and "i" or "y" must be added, depending on result

Some softening rules also apply.

Remarks:

Adjective declension[edit]

Case m f n pl m pers pl other
Nom, Voc ~i
lwi, wielki, drogi
~ia/~a
lwia, wielka, droga
~ie
lwie, wielkie, drogie
~i/~y
lwi, wielcy, drodzy
~ie
lwie, wielkie, drogie
Gen ~iego
lwiego, wielkiego, drogiego
~iej
lwiej, wielkiej, drogiej
~iego
lwiego, wielkiego, drogiego
~ich
lwich, wielkich, drogich
~ich
lwich, wielkich, drogich
Dat ~iemu
lwiemu, wielkiemu, drogiemu
~iej
lwiej, wielkiej, drogiej
~iemu
lwiemu, wielkiemu, drogiemu
~im
lwim, wielkim, drogim, drogim
~im
lwim, wielkim, drogim, drogim
Acc ~iego
lwiego, wielkiego, drogiego
~ią
lwią, wielką, drogą
~ie
lwie, wielkie, drogie
~ich
lwich, wielkich, drogich
~ie
lwie, wielkie, drogie
Instr ~im
lwim, wielkim, drogim
~ią/~ą
lwią, wielką, drogą
~im
lwim, wielkim, drogim
~imi
lwimi, wielkimi, drogimi
~imi
lwimi, wielkimi, drogimi
Loc ~im
lwim, wielkim, drogim
~iej
lwiej, wielkiej, drogiej
~im
lwim, wielkim, drogim
~ich
lwich, wielkich, drogich
~ich
lwich, wielkich, drogich

Remarks:

  • Adjectives ending with -i in nominative form masculine-personal nominative forms with such alternations:
and feminine forms:
  • -gi → -ga in nominative and → -gą in instrumental
  • -ki → -ka in nominative and → -ką in instrumental
  • Masculine adjectives ending with -y in nominative form masculine-personal nominative forms with such alternations:

Sometimes o → e alternation may occur in an adjective stem, especially in passive adjectival participles (wesoływeseli, robionyrobieni):

Case m f n pl m pers pl other
Nom, Voc ~y
chory, martwy
~a
chora, martwa
~e
chore, martwe
~y/~i
chorzy, martwi
~e
chore, martwe
Gen ~ego
chorego, martwego
~ej
chorej, martwej
~ego
chorego, martwego
~ych
chorych, martwych
~ych
chorych, martwych
Dat ~emu
choremu, martwemu
~ej
chorej, martwej
~emu
choremu, martwemu
~ym
chorym, martwym
~ym
chorym, martwym
Acc ~ego/~y
chorego, martwego

chorą, martwą
~e/~y
chore, martwe
~ych
chorych, martwych
~e
chore, martwe
Instr ~ym
chorym, martwym

chorą, martwą
~ym
chorym, martwym
~ymi
chorymi, martwymi
~ymi
chorymi, martwymi
Loc ~ym
chorym, martwym
~ej
chorej, martwej
~ym
chorym, martwym
~ych
chorych, martwych
~ych
chorych, martwych

In expressions with the preposition po: po polsku, po francusku, po niemiecku, po ojcowsku etc occur adjectives in an old dative form which was created by adding the -u ending to an adjective stem. In other cases the new forms are used (polskiemu, francuskiemu, niemieckiemu, ojcowskiemu).

Pronoun declension[edit]

mój, twój, swój[edit]

Long forms are far more common.

Case singular plural
masculine feminine neuter masc personal other
Nom, Voc mój, twój, swój moja/ma, twoja/twa, swoja/swa moje/me, twoje/twe, swoje/swe moi, twoi, swoi moje/me, twoje/twe, swoje/swe
Gen mojego/mego, twojego/twego, swojego/swego mojej/mej, twojej/twej, swojej/swej mojego/mego, twojego/twego, swojego/swego moich/mych, twoich/twych, swoich/swych
Dat mojemu/memu, twojemu/twemu, swojemu/swemu mojej/mej, twojej/twej, swojej/swej mojemu/memu, twojemu/twemu, swojemu/swemu moim/mym, twoim/twym, swoim/swym
Acc mojego/mego, twojego/twego, swojego/swego moją/mą
twoją/twą
swoją/swą
mojego/mego, twojego/twego, swojego/swego moich/mych, twoich/twych, swoich/swych moje/me, twoje/twe, swoje/swe
Instr moim/mym, twoim/twym, swoim/swym moją/mą
twoją/twą
swoją/swą
moim/mym, twoim/twym, swoim/swym moimi/mymi, twoimi/twymi, swoimi/swymi
Loc moim/mym, twoim/twym, swoim/swym mojej/mej, twojej/twej, swojej/swej moim/mym, twoim/twym, swoim/swym moich/mych, twoich/twych, swoich/swych

nasz, wasz[edit]

Case singular plural
m f n m personal other
Nom, Voc nasz, wasz nasza, wasza nasze, wasze nasi, wasi nasze, wasze
Gen naszego, waszego naszej, waszej naszego, waszego naszych, waszych
Dat naszemu, waszemu naszej, waszej naszemu, waszemu naszym, waszym
Acc naszego, waszego naszą, waszą naszego, waszego naszych, waszych nasze, wasze
Inst naszym, waszym naszą, waszą naszym, waszym naszymi, waszymi
Loc naszym, waszym naszej, waszej naszym, waszym naszych, waszych

Comparative and Superlative forms[edit]

Comparative and superlative forms of adjectives are used to compare degree of intensity of the same feature described by the adjective. Adjectives constitute three degrees of comparison - positive: ładny (pretty), comparative: ładniejszy (prettier) and superlative: najładniejszy (the prettiest). In Polish there are three different types of comparison: regular, irregular and descriptive.

Superlative is always formed by adding a prefix naj- to the comparative form or, if the adjective is compared in a descriptive way, by using the word najbardziej instead of comparative bardziej

Regular comparison[edit]

Comparative of adjectives is formed by adding the ending -szy:

which is often accompanied by alternatiom of an adjective stem:

or the ending -ejszy (with alternation in a stem):

Irregular comparison[edit]

There is a number of adjectives which have an irregular comparative form. Compare:

Positive Comparative Superlative
dobry lepszy najlepszy
zły gorszy najgorszy
duży większy największy
mały mniejszy najmniejszy

Descriptive comparison[edit]

Some adjectives form comparatives and superlatives by using the adverbs bardziej and najbardziej (which themselves are comparative and superlative of the adverb bardzo respectively) before an adjective.

It is possible to form comparatives and superlatives this way even for adjectives whose comperative can be formed regularly or irregularly (as described earlier). For instance: nerwowy (nervous) → bardziej nerwowy (more nervous) → najbardziej nerwowy (the most nervous).

Adjectives derivied from nouns (e.g. drewniany (wooden), metalowy (metal)) do not form comparatives and superlatives. Additionaly, adjectival participles, adjectival pronouns and ordinal numerals do not either.

Declension[edit]

Adjectives in their comparative and superlative forms are declinable. They are declined in accordance to the earlier mentioned pattern. Analogously, they depend on gender, number and case and receive similar case endings.

Adjective word order[edit]

If the adjective is placed before the noun, it plays the role of describing the character or trait of the noun. Otherwise - if the adjective follows the noun - then the attribute is classifying (extracting).

Examples:

  • "Biały niedźwiedź" (white bear) - a bear that is white, but it may be an albino grizzly, a teddy-bear made of white cloth, or even a black bear that is covered with snow or flour, or has its fur whitened. In the contrary, "niedźwiedź biały" is a nickname for polar bear, "niedźwiedź polarny" (polar bear) - a species of bear.
  • "Attaché kulturalny" means "cultural attaché" (type of attaché). But if you say "kulturalny attaché", it means "an attaché (an employee of an embassy) who is by the way a cultural person".
  • "Sok pomarańczowy" = "orange juice" (made of oranges), while "pomarańczowy sok" = "orange-coloured juice" (it may be carrot + banana juice as well).

However, the rule is not always observed in poetic license.

Forming adverbs[edit]

Adverbs are derived by removing an adjective ending (usually -y/-i, -a or -e in nominative) and replacing it with the -o or -e ending.

Examples:

If an adjective ends in -r-y, the adverb receives the -rz-e ending:

More about adverbs

See also[edit]