Learn New Words FAST with this Lesson’s Vocab Review List

Get this lesson’s key vocab, their translations and pronunciations. Sign up for your Free Lifetime Account Now and get 7 Days of Premium Access including this feature.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Notes

Unlock In-Depth Explanations & Exclusive Takeaways with Printable Lesson Notes

Unlock Lesson Notes and Transcripts for every single lesson. Sign Up for a Free Lifetime Account and Get 7 Days of Premium Access.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Transcript

Betsey:Hello everyone and welcome to PolishPod101.com. This is Beginner series, season 1, lesson 4, The Secret to Understanding Polish Noun Gender. I’m Betsey.
Joanna:And I’m Joanna.
Betsey:In this lesson you’ll learn about genders of nouns in Polish.
Joanna:This conversation takes place at the seaside.
Betsey:The conversation is between Kate and Jan
Joanna:They are friends, so they’ll be using informal Polish.
Betsey:Let’s listen to the conversation.

Lesson conversation

Kate:Gdzie jesteśmy?
Jan:Jesteśmy nad morzem. To miasto to Kołobrzeg,a tam jest Morze Bałtyckie.
Kate:Ach.. Kołobrzeg, bardzo ładne miasto.
Jan:Plaża jest też ładna. Pokażę ci.
Kate:Co to za ptaki?
Jan:To mewy i łabędzie.
Alisha: Let’s hear the conversation one time slowly.
Kate:Gdzie jesteśmy?
Jan:Jesteśmy nad morzem. To miasto to Kołobrzeg,a tam jest Morze Bałtyckie.
Kate:Ach.. Kołobrzeg, bardzo ładne miasto.
Jan:Plaża jest też ładna. Pokażę ci.
Kate:Co to za ptaki?
Jan:To mewy i łabędzie.
Alisha: Now let’s hear it with the English translation.
Kate:Gdzie jesteśmy?
:Where are we?
Jan:Jesteśmy nad morzem. To miasto to Kołobrzeg,a tam jest Morze Bałtyckie.
:We’re at the seaside. This city is Kolobrzeg and there is the Baltic Sea.
Kate:Ach.. Kołobrzeg, bardzo ładne miasto.
:Oh.. Kolobrzeg, a very pretty city.
Jan:Plaża jest też ładna. Pokażę ci.
:The beach is also pretty. I’ll show you.
Kate:Co to za ptaki?
:What are those birds?
Jan:To mewy i łabędzie.
:Those are seagulls and swans.
Betsey:In the dialogue we heard Jan mentioning two places in Poland. What were they?
Joanna:One of them was a seaside city called Kołobrzeg. It’s a very popular destination for summer holidays, which many Poles love spending by the sea. What’s very interesting is that the city’s name translates into “by the shore”.
Betsey:The other place was Baltic Sea, right? How do say its name in Polish?
Joanna:It’s ‘Morze Bałtyckie’ or just ‘Bałtyk’, which is commonly used by Poles.
Betsey:So what kind of sea is that? What can we expect if we choose that area of Poland for a holiday?
Joanna:Well, first of all the ‘Bałtyk’ is not a very warm sea, but that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to go swimming. Also you need to be prepared for an extremely crowded beach.
Betsey:Poles like the beach that much??
Joanna:Yes, and most of all - sunbathing! You can see Poles sunbathing everywhere, not necessarily on the beach. With the beginning of summer everyone wants to get their first suntan - in their gardens, on balconies, anywhere!
Betsey:Sounds crazy!
Joanna:Also anywhere you go by the seashore - any city or town, doesn’t matter if big or small, all of them will be packed with tourists from all over the country.
Betsey:It sounds like you should only go if you like crowds!
Joanna:That’s true. If you don’t go to the beach early enough sometimes it can be difficult to find a free space to sit or lie down.
Betsey:Okay, keep that in mind, listeners! Now I think it’s time for us to go to the vocab.
:Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
:The first word we shall see is:gdzie [natural native speed]
:gdzie [slowly - broken down by syllable]
:gdzie [natural native speed]
:Next:miasto [natural native speed]
:miasto [slowly - broken down by syllable]
:miasto [natural native speed]
:Next:bardzo [natural native speed]
:very much, very
:bardzo [slowly - broken down by syllable]
:bardzo [natural native speed]
:Next:ładny [natural native speed]
:ładny [slowly - broken down by syllable]
:ładny [natural native speed]
:Next:plaża [natural native speed]
:plaża [slowly - broken down by syllable]
:plaża [natural native speed]
:Next:co [natural native speed]
:co [slowly - broken down by syllable]
:co [natural native speed]
:Next:ptak [natural native speed]
:ptak [slowly - broken down by syllable]
:ptak [natural native speed]
:Next:mewa [natural native speed]
:mewa [slowly - broken down by syllable]
:mewa [natural native speed]
:Next:łabędź [natural native speed]
:łabędź [slowly - broken down by syllable]
:łabędź [natural native speed]
:And last:tam [natural native speed]
:tam [slowly - broken down by syllable]
:tam [natural native speed]
Betsey:Let's have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson. Joanna, what’s our first word?
Joanna:It’s ‘morze’
Betsey:“a sea”
Joanna:Before, we mentioned the Baltic Sea. Do you remember how to say that in Polish? It’s ‘Morze Bałtyckie’. ‘morze’ means “sea” and ‘bałtyckie’, is a name.
Betsey:In Polish the first word has one more meaning.
Joanna:That’s right – in English there are two separate words “seaside” and “sea”, aren’t there?
Betsey:Yes, that’s right.
Joanna:In Polish, it doesn’t matter whether we are talking about the sea itself or the seaside, we will always call it ‘morze’.
Betsey:Ah, I see. Just like in the dialog, when Jan said - “we’re at the seaside” in Polish we used the same noun and the sentence was...
Joanna:‘jesteśmy nad morzem’
Betsey:So please remember - to talk about the seaside or the sea, you can use just one Polish word for both places
Joanna:There’s one more important thing about the noun ‘morze’
Betsey:And what is that?
Joanna:This noun requires the preposition ‘nad’. So whenever you want to say that you’re going to the seaside, you shouldn’t use the usual preposition ‘do’
Betsey:which stands for the English “to”
Joanna:In the case of ‘morze’ we always say ‘nad morze’
Betsey:Okay, what’s the next word?
Betsey:which means “beach” in English.
Joanna:Dear listeners, please try repeating after me - ‘plaża’ …..
Betsey:I have a feeling we’re talking about this word, because there’s something special about it.
Joanna:You’re right! Again, it’s going to be about a certain preposition that the noun ‘plaża’ requires.
Betsey:What preposition would that be?
Joanna:The preposition ‘na’
Betsey:Okay, so how do we say this in Polish - “we’re going to the beach”
Joanna:‘jedziemy na plażę’
Betsey:How about - “we’re at the beach”
Joanna:‘jesteśmy na plaży’
Joanna:the preposition ‘na’ usually stands for the English “on” but in the case of the noun ‘plaża’ it means “to” or “at”
Betsey:Ok, this doesn’t sound so complicated. We have exceptions like this in English too! Let’s move to the grammar section now.

Lesson focus

Betsey:In this lesson, we’re going to learn how to recognize the gender of nouns in Polish.
Joanna:I’m sure that the listeners feel terrified now, because in many languages noun gender doesn’t exist.
Betsey:English, for example. So I will learn something new today!
Joanna:So let’s not waste any more time and get to it. Believe me, it’s not as scary and difficult as it may seem.
Betsey:So what gender do nouns have in Polish?
Joanna:There are three basic genders, which are - masculine, feminine and neuter
Betsey:Okay, only three, doesn’t sound too bad.
Betsey:How can we recognize the gender? Are there any rules?
Joanna:Yes, there are. Let’s start with masculine gender. The main rule says that nouns that end with a consonant are masculine, and also those that describe a person who is potentially or by definition a male
Betsey:Can you give us a few examples?
Joanna:of course! So a masculine noun will be - ‘policjant’
Joanna:also ‘profesor’
Joanna:the noun ‘telefon’ is also masculine
Betsey:“telephone” - it’s masculine because it ends with a consonant
Joanna:Exactly! Of course there are some exceptions, which you will have to memorize. There’s quite a big group of masculine nouns, which include some professions that in the past were mainly done by men, which look like feminine nouns.
Betsey:Can you tell us a little bit more about this?
Joanna:Feminine nouns usually end with the vowel ‘-a,’ but this special group of masculine nouns also ends with the vowel -a
Betsey:I see. So those masculine nouns look like feminine ones, but they are not. We have to be really careful here, so be sure to check the examples of that special group in the lesson notes of this lesson. Next up, let’s talk about feminine nouns. We’ve already learned that most of them end with the vowel -a. Can you give us a few examples again?
Joanna:Yes. Some feminine nouns are ‘kobieta’
Joanna:Feminine nouns can also end with the vowel -i. For example - pani
Betsey:“ma’am” or “ms.”
Joanna:Of course in the case of feminine nouns there are also some exceptions. There is a group that has masculine endings (consonants) but they are feminine.
Betsey:For examples of those exceptions, please refer to the lesson notes.
Joanna:And lastly, the neuter gender. Here we have a few endings to consider - the vowels ‘-e,’ ‘-ę’ and ‘-o’ and also a syllable ‘- um’
Betsey:Let’s get one example of each
Betsey:How about the nouns we heard in the dialog? Let me guess - the nouns “bird” and “swan” are masculine.
Joanna:Correct! Both of them end with consonants - listeners, do you remember how to say those words in Polish?
Betsey:“bird” is.....
Betsey:and “swan” is..
Betsey:Did we have any feminine nouns in the dialogue?
Joanna:Of course - ‘plaża’ and ‘mewa’ both ending with the vowel -a
Betsey:“beach” and “seagull”
Joanna:and finally the neuter nouns were..
Betsey:“city” and “sea”
Joanna:exactly! ‘miasto’ and ‘morze’, which end with the vowel -o and the vowel -e, which are characteristic for neuter gender.
Betsey:The most important thing to remember from this lesson is the endings of the nouns that are characteristic of each gender and practice, practice, practice!
Joanna:Yes, practice is always the best way to master a foreign language.
Marketing Piece 4
Betsey:Listeners, can you understand Polish TV shows, movies or songs?
Joanna:How about friends and loved ones? conversations in Polish?
Betsey:If you want to know what's going on, we have a tool to help.
Joanna:Line-by-line audio.
Betsey:Listen to the lesson conversations Line-By-Line, and learn to understand natural Polish fast!
Joanna:It's simple really.
Betsey:With a click of a button, listen to each line of the conversation.
Joanna:Listen again and again, and tune your ear to natural Polish.
Betsey:Rapidly understand natural Polish with this powerful tool.
Joanna:Find this feature on the lesson page under Premium Member resources at PolishPod101.com.
Betsey: Okay, that’s it for this lesson. Thank you for listening everyone.
Joanna: Do widzenia.


Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

PolishPod101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
Pinned Comment
Your comment is awaiting moderation.


Hi everyone,

How did you find this lesson?


PolishPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 03:40 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Cześć Alex Cant,

Thank you for posting.

Basically, feminine nouns typically end in "-a", but they can end either in a soft or hardened consonant.

For example: brew ("eyebrow"), głąb ("depth"), macierz ("matrix"), twarz ("face"), mysz ("mouse"), wesz ("louse"), ciecz ("liquid"), klacz ("mare"), rzecz ("thing"), smycz ("leash"), etc.

Hope that helps.

Let us know if you have any other questions.



Team PolishPod101.com

Alex Cant
Tuesday at 05:52 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

is it true that the feminine words that end in a consonant, always end in a soft consonant?

PolishPod101.com Verified
Thursday at 03:34 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Cześć Ron,

Dzięki za komentarz.

Jak już wiesz, odpowiedź na Twoje pytanie znajdziesz na czacie z nauczycielem 😁

Enjoy your studies!



Team PolishPod101.com

Monday at 09:19 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.


I'm a little confused by the sentence "Co to za ptaki?" or "What are those birds?". I don't see why "za" is used since I thought it was the preposition "behind". I also would assume there would need to be a verb like "są" be used but instead the word "to" is used.

PolishPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 11:50 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Natasha,

To drzewo jest ładne - drzewo is neutral noun, so you need neutral ending.

Ten stół jest ładny - stół is masculine noun, so masculine ending is needed.

It can be difficult, buy more you practice, more you understand. The basic rule is to know whether the noun is masculine, deminine or neuter.

Good luck!



Team PolishPod101.com

Sunday at 11:51 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Breaking down details about grammar is always helpful. Especially the lesson notes about masculine, feminine, and neuter endings.

I have a lot of trouble figuring out how the endings of nouns should change. (Do you say ładne? ładnie? ładna? to drzewo jest ładne...vs. ten stół jest ładny?) How can I improve on this?

This might be coming in a later lesson :)


PolishPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 09:29 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Layla,

Thank you very much for posting ❤️️

We are happy to hear you like our lessons.

If you do not know the meaning of some words, you can use our Polish Dictionary:


Good luck!



Team PolishPod101.com

Tuesday at 05:08 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi I like the lesson a lot, thanks for the great teaching.

I find it a bit hard to follow long sentences, especially when there are a lot of words.

for example:

Jesteśmy nad morzem. To miasto to Kołobrzeg, a tam jest Morze Bałtyckie.

it would be great to break it down to 3-4 words sentences to learn.

Zanieczyszczenie naszej plaży jest coraz gorsze z dnia na dzień.

The pollution of our beach is getting worse day by day.

this is also quite hard for me to follow and read along, also, I don't really know the meaning of all the words, only some words.

I think for beginners, 3-4 words sentences are easier to follow (to start) , especially because polish language has a lot of syllables in one word.

Again, thank you for the great lessons!

PolishPod101.com Verified
Monday at 09:15 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Jovid,

Happy to hear you like our lessons ❤️️

If you have any questions, let us know!



Team PolishPod101.com

Sunday at 11:59 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Great! I like it