A preposition is simply a word which you use in a sentence to link a noun (a thing or a person) to the rest of the sentence. For example, a word like With, To, From, Behind, Under, etc…
In Polish, the preposition is one of the things which might decide which case you’re going to need to use for the noun. In a future post I’m going to give you a nice diagram which helps guide that decision, but for now, lets spell out some of the most common prepositions and what they mean.
Today I’m going to just focus on those which end up requiring the Genitive (Dopełniacz) case. I will pull the various cases together in a handy diagram in a couple of posts, but for now, it’s worth learning them in distinct groups so they stick in your memory in the same groups.
||from, out, of, with
||to, toward, into
||at someone’s place
In Polish, both ‘i’ and ‘a’ can be translated as ‘and‘… So which should you use?
i is used when you’re connecting similar things together or describing things which are happening at the same time.
Adam i Ewa mieszkają tutaj
Adam and Eve live here
Matka i córka są z Polski
The mother and daughter are from Poland
Jem i piję
I am eating and drinking
a is used when you’re contrasting things or emphasizing that things will happen at different times.
Matka jest z Polski, a córka jest z Włoch
The mother is from Poland and the daughter is from Italy
Jem, a potem będę pić
I am eating and then I will drink
You might also consider ‘a‘ as meaning ‘and/but‘ or ‘whereas‘ if that makes more sense to you.
One small thing worth noting is that ‘a‘ is always preceded by a comma, whereas ‘i‘ is not.
Very early in learning a language, you’re going to learn numbers and days of the week. If you’re going to memorize such things, you might as well get a few others words from the experience and help yourself remember which day is which.
||nie + dzieło (no + work)
||po + niedziałek (after + Sunday)
||wtórny (secondary) Second day after Sunday
||środek (middle) Middle of the week
||czwarty (fourth) Fourth day after Sunday
||piąty (fifth) Fifth day after Sunday
||seems derived from the word Sabbath or Shabbat