Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Possessive pronouns - Zaimki posesywne

In response to Jim's question about the possessive pronouns in Polish:

Pronoun swój, swoja, swoje // swoi, swoje indicates possession and can be interchanged with the possessive mój, moja, moje // moi, moje. However, there are certain contexts in which this exchange is either gramatically incorrect or it just doesn’t sound right (I know, lots of things don’t sound right in Polish, and there’s no rule telling us how to avoid the embarrassment of not sounding right...). Oh well, one thing’s sure: people will understand what you say even if you mix these pronouns up once in a while – and they will be kind enough to correct you without making you feel odd for not catching the subtleties of the language. But that’s just not good enough, is it? So here’s my best attempt at making things clearer – I have my reasons (mam swoje powody) to believe that this is one of the trickiest parts of Polish grammar: usage of possessive pronouns.


  1. Hi,
    It’s time for The Top 100 Language Blogs 2010 competition and the good news is your blog has been nominated. Congratulations!
    After previous years’ success the bab.la language portal and Lexiophiles language blog are hosting our worldwide language blog competition once again.
    We are looking for the top 100 language blogs in four categories: Language Learning, Language Teaching, Language Technology and Language Professionals.
    You have been nominated to the following category: Language Teaching.
    The nomination period goes from April 27th to May 11th. Each blog will have a one-sentence-description for the voting. If you would like a special description to go along with your blog, just send me an email (priscila [at] bab.la). The voting period goes from May 12th to May 24th. The winners will be announced on May 28th. Feel free to spread the word among bloggers writing about languages.
    For more information on The Top 100 Language Blogs 2010 visit:


    Kind regards,
    On behalf of the bab.la and Lexiophiles team

  2. Thanks for the blogs and keep it up. I recently 're-found' your blog amid my Polish language links . . . I need to go back to the beginning and work through the blog from there.

    Thanks, from somewhere in Warsaw . . .

  3. Hi,
    We have received 495 nominations for The Top 100 Language Blogs 2010 competition. For each of the four categories we have admitted 100 blogs into the voting phase. Your blog is included for voting in the 'Language Teaching' category. Congratulations!
    As stated in our language blog Lexiophiles, 50% of the final score will be based on user votes. You can promote your blog by embedding a voting button in your page. The button code is available in the Lexiophiles blog. It can also be sent via email if you contact me.
    The voting phase started on May 12th and ends on May 24th. Winners will be announced May 28th.
    Good luck!
    on behalf of the bab.la and Lexiophiles team

  4. Hi,

    Our “The Top 100 Language Blogs 2010 competition” is doing great, with some really cool blogs eager to get number 1 spot! We’re very glad you have accepted this challenge and joined us.

    This post is just to remind you there is still time to get your blog up in the list. The voting goes until May 24th at midnight CET (GMT +1), so get down to business and keep voting!

    Wishing you all good luck,

    On behalf of bab.la and Lexiophiles team

  5. Hey, this is really interesting blog!
    What do you think about learning grammar rules? Is it good idea to learn grammar rules for beginners?

  6. Thanks very much! I guess it all depends on why you're learning the language, really - for myself, my first experience of Polish was in Poland and for the first year, I just learnt some useful everyday phrases and I suppose became accustomed to the sound of the language - but my motivation was to communicate with Polish people and learn more about Polish culture through the language - in my second year I started taking lessons, which of course included grammar... I found this really difficult as my own education had contained no grammar whatsoever, only communicative language; so I wasn't only learning Polish grammar, but the very idea of grammar itself! However, I can now say that grammar is amazing and having at least some grasp of a languages grammatical rules can help your language skills develop both better and faster over the longer term. So: hard work up front, but well worth the effort! Good luck with your learning :-)

  7. Now for me it was grammar from the very first "Dzien dobry" and I am convinced that especially in Polish there's not much you can do without good knowledge of grammar, because you'll end up making a lot of mistakes and at least at a basic level you should be able to form correct sentences, pick the right verb, put the pronoun in its place and so on. So I totally encourage beginners to try not to avoid grammar, because it only keeps getting more and more complicated as you become more advanced, and then at some point you'll realize you are not able to communicate. Oh and by the way (I know this might make me sound like a freak) grammar is so much fun and it can be very rewarding, so just give it a chance, you'll see it's not bad at all :)


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.