Genitive case and 'ile'

Discussion in 'Polski (Polish)' started by blueotter46, Aug 3, 2013.

  1. blueotter46 New Member

    American English
    I'm racking my brains here. Trying to find an answer, but no luck.

    What is the case usage with 'ile'?

    I always thought it was genitive plural, such as "Ile masz lat?" (with 'lat' being the gen-plural of 'rok').

    So why does one say "Ile razy byłaś w Polsce?" and NOT "Ile razów byłaś w Polsce?". 'Razy' is nominative singular, yes? 'Razów' seems more logical to me, but I'm told it is wrong.

    Please help! Thank you so much!!!
  2. Lorenc Senior Member

    The answer is simple: raz (in the meaning you mention: `[one,two,many] times') has an irregular genitive plural, which is precisely razy :)
    There is also another meaning for raz `blow, stroke'. In this meaning it is used normally in the plural and has regular gen. plur. razów.
    Incidentally, the adjective razowy meaning `wholemeal/wholewheat' is related with the first meaning 'once': mąka razowa (=grubo mielona) is flour which has been ground only once, hence coarsely ground.
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2013
  3. BezierCurve Senior Member

    You can still encounter "razów" (old fashioned) meaning "hits" or "spanking", often in the context of punishment:

    Uciekł z domu, żeby uniknąć razów.
  4. Lorenc Senior Member

    Expanding a little on my original answer I can add that according to the old (1927) etymological dictionary by Bruckner there is quite a number of words derived from 'raz' in its primary meaning `stroke, occurrence':
    zaraz straight away
    od razu immediately
    teraz now (from `ten raz')
    naraz at the same time
    coraz more and more
    wraz together with
    zarem with
    oraz as well as

    The verb razić `to strike (literary), to offend' is also related, and so are many other derived verbs including:
    obrazić to offend, to insult
    urazić to hurt (uraz injury)
    wyrazić to express, to articulate (wyraz word, expression)
    zarazić to infect
    narazić to expose
    porazić to shock, to paralize (porażka defeat)

    obraz picture (+ derived words such as krajobraz landscape), wyobrazić `to depict' are probably closely related to obrazić but with a significant shift in meaning.
  5. wolfbm1

    wolfbm1 Senior Member

    It looks that in the 18th century Poland the word 'razow' was used:

    "... iżby moskale mniemali, iż tam w Bychowie wielka moc okazuie się woyska rożnego. Y około iedney warty pomienionego barabanszczyka prowadzono dziesięc abo więcey razow. ..."
    Початок Хроніки Т.Р.Сурти й Ю.Трубницького

    Słownik Polszczyzny XVI Wieku states an interesting thing under the entry RAZ:
    "Wyrażenia: »[ile] razow (a. razy) więcej« ...»co razow, [ile] razy (A) więtszy« ... "
  6. blueotter46 New Member

    American English
    Thank you everyone!!! Thank you so much!

    I was so frustrated trying to find the answer... an answer which is embarrassingly simple! And now that I think about it, it makes sense. This word is irregular in Russian too: the nom. sing. and gen. plural are identical (odin raz, dva/tri/chetyre raza, pyat' raz).

    This clears things up :) And thank you for the explanation of raz/razów with the other meaning of the word -- very interesting!

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