Prepositions – Genitive (Dopełniacz)

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.

z from, out, of, with
od from
do to, toward, into
u at someone’s place
bez without
dla for
blisko near
koło near
obok next to
naprzeciwko opposite
podczas during
w czasie during
z powodu because of
zamiast instead of

And.. ‘I’ or ‘A’?

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.

Days of the week

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.

S   niedziela nie + dzieło (no + work)
M poniedziałek po + niedziałek (after + Sunday)
T   wtorek wtórny  (secondary) Second day after Sunday
W   środe środek  (middle) Middle of the week
Th   czwartek czwarty (fourth) Fourth day after Sunday
F   piątek piąty   (fifth) Fifth day after Sunday
Sa   sobota seems derived from the word Sabbath or Shabbat