The Polish locative case is used, as the name implies, to indicate location and is used with a number of prepositions:
w (in, inside), o (about, at (time)), po (after), przy (by, close to) & na (on, at).
The accusative case could also be used with all of these prepositions except przy. The key is to use the locative when your are describing a static state, and the accusative when motion is involved.
Although it’s fairly easy to understand when to use the locative, the rules for forming it are complex and the table below should be considered a rough guide!
For feminine singular adjectives the same ending is used as in the genitive, -ej. This is why in the previous post, Telling the Time, the same form of the cardinal number is used for o pierwszej (locative) and wpół do pierwszej (genitive).
To form the masculine and neuter singular adjectives, simply add m to the masculine nominative (dictionary) form.
To form the plural of all adjectives, add ch to this form instead.
Here are some examples:
|Nom. Singular (m)||Loc. Singular (m/n)||Loc. Singular (f)||Loc. Plural|
This is where things get a bit more difficult, and you could try and rely on the above summary table alone, learn through experience of hearing these words or delve further into the detail here, which is still something of a simplification!
Generally speaking, nouns with a stem finishing in a ‘hard consonant’ end in -ie in the locative. Note however that d changes into dz and t into c.
For r and ł which change into rz and l respectively, the ending is not -ie but -e.
As this rule applies to all noun genders, an awful lot of nouns are subject to it. For example:
stół (table) → stole
okno (window) → oknie
komputer (computer) → komputerze
lampa (lamp) → lampie
ściana (wall) → ścianie
aparat (camera) → aparacie
Another rule is applicable only to masculine and neuter nouns, and this is that stems ending a ‘soft’ or ‘hardened’ consonant, plus k, g and ch, are given the ending -u :
biurko (desk) → biurku
dach (roof) → dachu
kosz (basket) → koszu
Whereas feminine nouns with stems ending a ‘soft’ or ‘hardened’ consonant are generally given the ending -i or -y respectively, subject to the transformations shown above.
There is special treatment for feminine noun stems ending in c, k, g, and ch, which are transformed as shown above and given the ending -e.
półka (shelf) → półce
burza (storm) → burzy
sieć (net) → sieci
podłoga (floor) → podłodze
The locative plural is thankfully much easier to form, with nouns of all genders ending in -ach.
You can test yourself with the short quiz below. If you have any feedback, questions or would like to suggest any clarifications or ideas for future posts please comment below or Contact Us.
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Translate using the words in brackets:
after a while (chwila) - (po chwili)
I'm in the butcher's shop (sklep mięsny) - Jestem (w sklepie mięsnym)
The first man on the moon (Księżyc) - Pierwszy człowiek (na Księżycu)
after the movie (film) - (po filmie)
He's by the bed (łóżko) - On jest (przy łóżku)
books about the internet (internet) - książki (o internecie)
movies about vampires (wampir) - filmy (o wampirach)
what do you know about computers? (komputer) - co wiesz (o komputerach)?
what do you think about the First World War? (pierwsza wojna światowa) - co myślisz (o pierwszej wojnie światowej)?
The girl in the red cape (czerwona perleryna) [Red Riding Hood!] - Dziewczyna (w czerwonej pelerynie)
- after a while (chwila) - (po chwili)