tego/to

Discussion in 'Polski (Polish)' started by Gergana, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. Gergana New Member

    Burgas, Bulgaria
    Bulgarian
    Hello. I was wondering if anyone could explain to me the difference between tego and to. I know it's a declension thing but I still don't get the difference. [...] Thanks in advance.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 26, 2012
  2. LilianaB Senior Member

    US New York
    Lithuanian
    Hi Gergana. You really have to provide examples (sentences in which you want to use the words). You may have to open separate threads for the other words because they have nothing to do with the first pair.
     
  3. dreamlike

    dreamlike Senior Member

    Poland
    Polish
    The rules of the forum require that you ask one question at a time. Please supply us with some sample sentences and then we will be more than glad to help!
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2012
  4. Gergana New Member

    Burgas, Bulgaria
    Bulgarian
    Okay, I'm sorry I wasn't aware...
    "Tego nie uczyli nas w szkole." Why can't I say: "To nie uczyli nas w szkole"? What's the difference and would the meaning change if I say it with "to"?
     
  5. LilianaB Senior Member

    US New York
    Lithuanian
    It has to be tego in Polish in this example. The Genitive is always used in such constructions in Polish. To -- would be the Accusative, but the Accusative cannot be used in this kind construction. Uczyli (czego?) Genitive. Widzę (co?) to - Accusative.
     
  6. NotNow Senior Member

    English
    The direct object of a negative verb has to be in the genitive. If the verb is not negated, then the accusative is used.

    Tego nie uczyli nas w szkole: the genitive is used because the verb is negated
    To uczyli nas w szkole: the accusative is used because the verb is not negated.
     
  7. dreamlike

    dreamlike Senior Member

    Poland
    Polish
    That's an interesting theory, but, as much as I hate to say it, it's wrong. In both of the cases, "tego" is the only correct option.
    That being said, your version would be perfectly understandable, even if not quite correct.
     
  8. Roy776

    Roy776 Senior Member

    Kraków, Poland
    German & AmE
    You should probably add that it is so, because the verb is uczyć się czegoś, so uczyć always takes the genitive, no matter if negated or not.
    czegoś - something (Genitive of co)
     
  9. LilianaB Senior Member

    US New York
    Lithuanian
    Yes. I agree with Dreamlike - it is wrong. Uczyli nas matematyki and not matematykę. It has not that much to do with negation in Polish in this particular construction. There are some examples where the Accusative in the affirmative changes into the Genitive in negation, but not in this case. Ex. Widzę (co) okno. Acc. Nie widzę okna -Gen.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2012
  10. NotNow Senior Member

    English
    Thanks, dreamlike. Now I remember: uczyć always takes the genitive.

    Right?

    I think I'll stop trying to teach Poliish 101.
     
  11. dreamlike

    dreamlike Senior Member

    Poland
    Polish
    Precisely :thumbsup:

    Yes, you can think of such a rule of thumb. There might be some exceptions to it, because it's the Polish language that we're dealing with here... although I can't think of any now.
     
  12. Roy776

    Roy776 Senior Member

    Kraków, Poland
    German & AmE
    Just some examples? Every verb that takes the accusative in the affirmative takes the genitive when negated. Verbs that use the dative keep the dative and, of course, the same holds true for the genitive.

    Czytam książkę. - Nie czytam książki. (Accusative - Genitive)
    Uczę się matematyki. - Nie uczę się matematyki. (Genitive - Genitive)
    Pomagam mu. - Nie pomagam mu. (Dative - Dative)

    Of course, the accusative - genitive rule does not hold true, when the verb uses a preposition. In that case, the object takes the case the preposition demands.
    Mogę w to uwierzyć. - Nie mogę w to uwierzyć. AND NOT -> Nie mogę w tego uwierzyć.

    Should I be wrong, then I'd welcome any corrections :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2012
  13. LilianaB Senior Member

    US New York
    Lithuanian
    Thanks, Roy. Yes, that was just a typo. Sorry. I don't know how the a got there. Yes, you are right that whether the form changes with negation depends on the verb.
     
  14. radosna Senior Member

    Poland
    English- USA
    Sorry, while I was working on my post, others had already responded, so I've removed some of the content which would have just doubled what others have already said.

    As Roy776 pointed out (and others have confirmed), it is because the verb uczyć się governs the case. It is one of many verbs that take the genitive case. Here are some other common verbs that take the genitive case (as listed in Oscar Swan's handbook, Polish Verbs & Essentials of Grammar, published by McGraw Hill):

    bać się -- to be afraid of
    napić się -- to have a drink of
    nienawidzić -- to hate
    pilnować -- to look after, tend, mind
    potrzebować -- to need
    słuchać -- to listen to
    spodziewać się -- to expect
    szukać -- to look for
    uczyć -- to teach
    uczyć się -- to learn, to study
    używać -- to use, make use of
    wymagać -- to require, demand
    zapomnieć -- to forget
    życzyć sobie -- to wish, desire

    I hope this helps.

    (I'm still learning & have a long LONG way to go! So please feel free to correct me!)


    All the best!
    -- radosna
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2012
  15. BezierCurve Senior Member

    In fact "uczyć" takes the indirect object in accusative, it's only its reflexive form here ("uczyć się") that makes it hard to notice. So, it's

    Uczę psa (acc.) skakania (gen.).
    Uczę brata (acc.) francuskiego (gen.).
    Uczę komputer (acc.) rozpoznawania mojego głosu (gen.).

    As it's been said before, in case of negation (nie uczę) both objects are put in genetive:

    Nie uczę komputera (gen.) rozpoznawania mojego głosu (gen.).
     
  16. LilianaB Senior Member

    US New York
    Lithuanian
    Yes, they are in the Genitive in negation, but they were in the Genitive in the positive sentences to begin with.
     
  17. BezierCurve Senior Member

    Nope, only one of them.
     
  18. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    Norway
    Polish
    In some cases you can say "zapomnieć coś", especially when you had learned something by heart and then forgot it, for eksample: "zapomniałem ten wiersz". Note: probably unknown to younger generation.
     
  19. LilianaB Senior Member

    US New York
    Lithuanian
    I am very sorry, Bezier, but what do you mean? With uczyć both the positive and the negative constructions have the Genitive form of the noun (pronoun) as an object.
     
  20. LilianaB Senior Member

    US New York
    Lithuanian
    Doesn't zapomnieć always appear with the Accusative? (the Genitive would be czegoś) Only in negation it changes into the Genitive.
     
  21. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    Norway
    Polish
    Zapomnieć is usually followed by the preposition “o” and a noun in the locative case (“Zapomniałem o jedzeniu”) or by a verb in the infinitive: (“zapomniałem zjeść).
     
  22. LilianaB Senior Member

    US New York
    Lithuanian
    Yes, you are right, but when it is followed by an object the object is always in the Accusative. (other than in negation).
     
  23. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    Norway
    Polish
    I forgot to add that there is a third, and also very much use alternative: "zapomnieć czegoś” with zapomnieć + genitive (this was Radosna's point).
    One thing is important to know, the constructions with genitive actually have an omitted (silent) verb which is, however, in the core of the expression. The verb is “zabrać” or “przynieść”. (take with me): „zapomniałem [zabrać] książki”. This explains the use of genitive.
    The genitive is, for masculine animated nouns, identical with the accusative, and that’s why many people think it is accusative. Actual accusative is used extremely seldom, as I have written in my post before this. In the 1960 there was a song sung by the artist Urszula Sipińska, with the lyrics containg “… zapomniałam twoje usta …”. This text stirred up a linguistic discussion in the country. Many people claimed that it was an ungrammatical text, but some professors of Polish philology came up with a statement that it was a perfectly correct expression.
     
  24. BezierCurve Senior Member

    I mean only one of the objects is taken in genitive while the other one is in accusative:

    uczyć kogoś/coś (acc.) czegoś (gen.).
     

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