Dać + accusative, -a and no -a

Discussion in 'Polski (Polish)' started by 涼宮, Feb 25, 2013.

  1. 涼宮

    涼宮 Senior Member

    Sbaeneg/Castellano (Venezuela)
    Hello everyone! :)


    I was talking to a Polish person and the phrase dać klapsa came up. Then I wondered when the masculine noun is supposed to end in -a and when no ending. I asked her if you'd say sierpa and she says it doesn't sound well and it's rather sierp in the accusative, then we tried several other nouns and tried two websites that decline nouns. There was disagreement regarding some words, one website says that, for example, kompas takes no ending in the accusative while the other says it takes -a, the same happened with plecak, but other nouns didn't take -a. Now both of us are confused. :D

    Is there any rule of some kind to know when to put -a for masculine nouns in the accusative and when to use nothing, or is it possible to add -a as optional?


    Thank you in advance!
     
  2. BezierCurve Senior Member

    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013
  3. 涼宮

    涼宮 Senior Member

    Sbaeneg/Castellano (Venezuela)
    Thank you!, I read the entire post, but I am not sure I understood well. I know that both the genitive and the accusative end in -a and it says there that it's possible to use the genitive ending -a for masculine nouns when you mean the accusative. If I understood well, you'd put no ending for inanimate nouns? if so, dać klaps is possible?:confused:

    Thanks again!
     
  4. BezierCurve Senior Member

    Yes, you understood it well (it's about inanimity).

    This is one of the few exceptions and "dać klapsa" is a fixed phrase.
     
  5. LilianaB Senior Member

    US New York
    Lithuanian
    I don't really know what the rule is, if there is one at all. It is not as simple as animate versus inanimate nouns. Sometimes it is connected with the partitive use -- then the Genitive is used instead of the Accusative. At other times it really varies in my opinion -- we have daj mi śledzia but daj mi pióro. (both masculine, inanimate). The Accusative for inanimous always has the same ending as the Nominative in the Masculine, I think. It is just that sometimes the Genitive is used with dać. Daj mi klapsa (Gen.). (in fact daj mi śledzia may be a partitive use, as with other foods).



     
  6. 涼宮

    涼宮 Senior Member

    Sbaeneg/Castellano (Venezuela)
    Thank you, sir! :)


    Lily, what you say makes sense, I too had thought of that when I saw klapsa and other -a's. Although I'll stick to the rules and learn the exceptions over time.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013
  7. LilianaB Senior Member

    US New York
    Lithuanian
    Yes, klapsa is definitely a Genitive, and it is treated as partitive use here, for some reason, or as something indefinite -- general, as opposed to a concrete object pointed to.
     
  8. wolfbm1 Senior Member

    Poland
    Polish
    I never realised that we use a Genitive in that way.
    Other examples: Dać bobu. Dać ognia. Dać buzi.

    But: Dać słowo. Dać sygnał. Dać plamę.
    And in the negative : Nie dać słowa. Nie dać sygnału. Nie dać plamy.

    Check "Użycie form fleksyjnych - dopełniacz."
    Source of examples: the Free Dictionary.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013
  9. BezierCurve Senior Member

    I'd argue with that, as other nouns in colloquial use follow simply the -a pattern (with their Genitive being different). Example:

    Chcesz jogurta? (vs. correct form: "jogurt" and Genitive "jogurtu").

    But I think you are right about the partitive.
     
  10. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    Norway
    Polish
    The situation is that there is a good deal of both confusion and inconsistency regarding the accusative endings of inanimate masculine nouns in Polish. I some cases the animate (or genitive) case ending with inanimate nouns are accepted in written (even formal) language, in other they are accepted in colloquial language, or not generally accepted but used by certain social groups. The form “dać klapsa” has been accepted probably on reasons of euphony.
     
  11. Thomas1

    Thomas1 Senior Member

    polszczyzna warszawska
    It is. The meaning of 'klaps' changes, however. In this particular case, 'klaps' means 'clapperboard' (Spanish: claqueta).

    In the case of 'dać klapsa', where 'klaps' means 'spank', the accusative is the same as the genitive.

    I think it's best to treat the two as separate words.
     
  12. Thomas1

    Thomas1 Senior Member

    polszczyzna warszawska
    Could you please provide the links? I can't really imagine using the ending '-a' in sentences like:
    Widzję jej plecaka/kompasa. :confused: That would be instantly received as a gross mistake.

    Here's something that maybe useful for you:
    A few words on the partitive, or the supposedly partitive, genitive:
    The sentence:
    Zjadłem kotleta.
    can have two meanings in Polish.
    1. I ate a steak.
    2. I ate a bit of steak.

    In #1 we have to do with the accusative. This is a little more colloquial way to say 'Zjadłem kotlet.'
    In #2 'kotleta' is the genitive.
     
  13. 涼宮

    涼宮 Senior Member

    Sbaeneg/Castellano (Venezuela)
  14. Thomas1

    Thomas1 Senior Member

    polszczyzna warszawska
  15. 涼宮

    涼宮 Senior Member

    Sbaeneg/Castellano (Venezuela)
    Well, my source has always been the 2nd one and the other one was provided by her :D. In the end, I had to trust more that dictionary.
     
  16. wolfbm1 Senior Member

    Poland
    Polish
    There is an interesting and lengthy discussion on a similar topic in Gazeta Wyborcza: "Doda ma różowy laptop" or "... ma różowego laptopa"
    and then "ma nowy komputer" not "nowego komputera"

    yet "Doda ma nowego cyfraka".
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2013
  17. LilianaB Senior Member

    US New York
    Lithuanian
    Yes, I absolutley agree with Thomas. It would be very low quality Polish -- some kind of idiolect, most likely. (not to comment on the rest of the site, especially the part about the whores --:D) Kompas and plecak have to be in the Accusative here -- the same ending as the Nominative.
     
  18. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    Norway
    Polish
    This discussion is confused in a very high degree. The participants mix up terms and categories. Don't read it.
     
  19. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    Norway
    Polish
  20. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    Norway
    Polish
    Nr. 2 seems to me to be a pure conjecture. I can’t see any “partitiveness” in this use. A partitive construction would be “Zjadłem kawałek (trochę) kotleta.

    The phenomenon of using genitive or animate accusative endings has two reasons:
    1. A general confusion of case endings between accusative and genitive, partially caused by the partitive functions of genitive in Polish.
    2. A gradual decline in the distinction between animate and inanimate masculine nouns.

    It is symptomatic, that almost all newly imported words in Polish (especially those used by younger people) which should be classified as inanimate get almost automatically the animate declension.
    By the way, “klaps” is also an imported word.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2013
  21. wolfbm1 Senior Member

    Poland
    Polish
    That is why I find that discussion interesting. Why should native speakers of Polish disagree or be confused about a grammatical issue.
    C.E. Eckersley in the introduction to his book A Concise English Grammar for Foreign Students said:
    "The rules of grammar are like the laws of Nature. The laws were not made for Nature to obey, but are simply a few facts which wise men have observed as to the way Nature acts. So the grammarian merely examines the language of the best speakers and writers, and deduces rules from their use of it.

    Custom is the basis of these rules, and custom is always changing."


    I hope that 涼宮 (Suzumija?) will understand that the discussuon in Gazeta Wyborcza is only a discussion.

     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2013
  22. Thomas1

    Thomas1 Senior Member

    polszczyzna warszawska
    Not necessarily, athough I agree that in most cases the sentence 'Zjadłem kotleta.' means 'I ate a steak' (the whole steak).
    Have a look at other examples:
    [Context: the beginning of a wedding reception.]
    --Piłeś szampana?
    ***
    --Piłem/Napiłem się szampana na początku wesela.
    I don't think that the person means the whole bottle, but just a glass, or even some amount from the glass. It's similar to: Zjadłem kiełbasy/chleba/zupy/kartofli/kaszy itd.

    They both are.
    'Klaps' (a spank) is a German borrowing: der Klaps (with the same meaning).
    'Klaps' (clapperboard) comes from English: clappers>clap (Słownik wyrazów obcych, PWN)
     
  23. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    Norway
    Polish
    “Kotlet” and “szampan” are nouns of two different categories. “Kotlet” is a well defined unit (a piece of meat), while “szampan” is principally an uncountable noun, like water. The use of partitive with “szampan” is much more natural (even if it also can mean a bottle of champagne) than with “kotlet”.
     
  24. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    Norway
    Polish
    The belief that native speakers use their native language in a consistent and conscious way has no firm foundations. If you ask 100 people what they consider correct Polish, you will seldom achieve more than 70% consistency. In many questions five or six opposite views will be almost evenly distributed. So, confusion is not an abnormal state for the native speakers. This is true of all the languages I have some knowledge of. I follow the word reference forum discussions in 6 languages, and they all show the same: people do not agree with each other. In many cases they even go so far as to quarrel and abuse each other. The discussion in Gazeta Wyborcza is a discussion where most of the participants have very little knowledge about grammatical terms and rules (with rules I mean here not imposed normative rules, but “natural rules” observed by neutral researchers). They don’t know or don’t understand basic grammatical concepts. That’s why I don’t find the discussion worth reading.
     

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