Polish Pronouns

Polish has an elaborate pronoun system. Nearly all of the several types of Polish pronouns come in multiple forms that can vary with number, person, gender and grammatical case.

While most Polish pronouns have direct English equivalents, some of them might work a little different to what you’re used for. The articles below will break it all down for you, pronoun by pronoun.

The major categories of Polish pronouns are:

  • personal pronouns (ja, ty, ona, etc.) – used to refer to persons and other entities. They inflect for number, person, and case. Third person personal pronouns also have separate forms for different genders.
  • possessive pronouns (mój, twój, jej, etc.) – used to indicate ownership or possession. Their roots depend on the number, person, and gender of the “owner”, while their endings are governed by the number and gender of the “owned object”. They also inflect for case.
    • reflexive possessive pronouns (swój) – though they work just like regular possessive pronouns, they aren’t tied to a specific grammatical person. Their meaning depends on the context instead.
  • demonstrative pronouns (ten, tamten) – used to point at close and remote things. They inflect for number, gender and case.
  • reflexive pronouns (się) – used to express reflexivity, in which the agent directs the action at itself. They occur in various fixed expressions and only inflect for case.
  • interrogative pronouns (ktoco) – used to ask questions about people, objects, concepts etc. Kto and co can also work as relative pronouns used to introduce additional clauses. They only inflect for case.
  • relative pronouns (któryjaki) – used to introduce relative clauses supplying additional information. They are also often used as interrogative pronouns in questions asking for clarification or characterization. They inflect for number, gender and case.
  • negative pronouns (niktnic) – mostly used in negative sentences to negate things or declare their non-existence. They only inflect for case.
  • indefinite pronouns (ktoś, cośktóryś, jakiś, niektórzy) used to point to unspecified or unknown entities. Ktoś and coś inflect for case only, while któryśjakiś and niektórzy inflect for number, gender, and case.

Polish Relative Pronouns “który“ and “jaki” Made (Relatively) Easy

Który and jaki as interrogative pronouns The Polish pronouns który and jaki – mostly translated as which or what – have several uses. Probably the most straightforward one is asking questions. Below are two example sentences with który and jaki as interrogative pronouns: Który samochód podoba ci się bardziej, mój czy Toma? (“Which car do you like more, mine or Tom’s?”) …

Polish Relative Pronouns “który“ and “jaki” Made (Relatively) EasyRead More »

The Polish Negative Pronouns “nikt” and “nic”: A Short Guide

The Polish negative indefinite pronouns nikt and nic are roughly equivalent to the English negative pronouns nobody (or no one) and nothing. As the name would suggest, the pronouns are used to negate things or declare their non-existence. Here are some sentences with nikt and nic in context: Nikt nie jest doskonały. (“Nobody is perfect.”) …

The Polish Negative Pronouns “nikt” and “nic”: A Short GuideRead More »

The Polish Interrogative Pronouns “kto” and “co” and Related Pronouns

The Polish interrogative pronouns kto and co correspond to the English question words who and what, so their main purpose is asking questions about personal (human) and impersonal agents. Kto wygrał konkurs? (“Who won the contest?”) Co jeszcze widziałeś? (“What else did you see?”) On a basic level, Polish interrogative pronouns are very much like …

The Polish Interrogative Pronouns “kto” and “co” and Related PronounsRead More »

The Beginner’s Guide to Polish Reflexive Pronouns and Verbs

The way reflexive pronouns work in Polish might not seem too intuitive to an English speaker. After all, English reflexive pronouns – words like oneself, himself, yourselves etc. – are only used in very specific contexts. On a basic level, reflexive pronouns are used to signal that the object of a clause is the same …

The Beginner’s Guide to Polish Reflexive Pronouns and VerbsRead More »

The No-Nonsense Guide to Polish Possessive Pronouns

The purpose of possessive pronouns – like my, your, and their in English – is indicating possession or ownership.  It may be useful to think of possessive pronouns as a cross between adjectives and personal pronouns. First, they attach to other parts of speech in order to describe them, just like adjectives do – good …

The No-Nonsense Guide to Polish Possessive PronounsRead More »

The Polish Demonstrative Pronouns “ten” and “tamten”: A Simple Guide

Demonstrative pronouns are used to point at things, usually in order to distinguish them from other things. In English, the basic demonstrative pronouns are this, that, those and these. In Polish, there are two types of pronouns. The so-called proximal demonstrative pronoun ten is used to point to things which are close to the speaker. On the …

The Polish Demonstrative Pronouns “ten” and “tamten”: A Simple GuideRead More »

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