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Lesson Transcript

Cześć! Jestem Joanna. Hi! I’m Joanna.
Welcome to PolishPod101.com’s “Polski w 3 minuty”. The fastest, easiest, and most fun way to learn Polish.
In the last lesson, we learned how to ask "When" questions in Polish.
This time, we are going to ask questions with the word "Who"
The simplest “who” question in Polish is:
Kto to jest?, “Who is this?”
[slowly] Kto to jest?
kto stands for the English “who”, to literally means “this” and jest is the verb być in 3rd person form.
If we want to ask more detailed question about someone’s identity, we can’t use the word kto, we have to change it for different one. For example, imagine you want to ask your friend who the attractive girl just behind him is.
The question you can ask is Kim jest ta dziewczyna?
[slowly] Kim jest ta dziewczyna?
Let’s break down this question:
First we had:
Kim, which stands for the English "who".
Then jest which is "to be," the 3rd person form of the verb być, which we have already studied.
ta dziewczyna means "this girl."
All together it’s Kim jest ta dziewczyna?
Let’s take a look at different example. if you want to ask "Who are these people?" You will say Kim są ci ludzie? when talking about a group of unknown persons.
As in English, the question word Who is here placed in the 1st position, and is followed by the the verb and then the subject.
Kto / Kim only works for people, so you can't use it to ask information about things or places. As a question word, Kto can also be used to ask who did something, for example.
If you are in a museum for instance, you can ask Kto namalował ten obraz? This means "Who painted this painting?"
Another kind of question that is used very often, is czyj? czyja? czyje? all these words stand for the English “Whose”. do you remember that Polish nouns have genders?
So depending on the gender of the noun that we ask about, we will use the right question word. Let’s see:
Czyj - for masculine nouns
Czyja - for feminine nouns
Czyje - for neuter nouns and plural
So if you want to ask "Whose pencil is it?" you will have to say Czyj jest ten ołówek?
If we break down this question, it is:
czyj which is "whose"
jest which is the verb być in the 3rd person form. And finally, ten ołówek, which means "this pencil." we used here czyj, because pencil is a masculine noun.
Czyj jest ten ołówek?
Let’s revise all the types of sentences we learned today, starting from asking about identity::
Kto to jest? “who is this?”
Kim jest ta dziewczyna? “Who is this girl?”
Kim są ci ludzie? “Who are these people?”
When you want to ask who did something:
Kto namalował ten obraz? “Who painted this painting?”
Kto zjadł moje ciasto? “Who ate my cake?”
And finally when we want to know who something belongs to:
Czyj jest ten ołówek? - “Whose is this pencil”
Czyja jest ta torba? - “Whose is this bag?”
Czyje są te cukierki? - Whose are these candies?
Now it’s time for Ingrid’s Insights.
If someone that you didn't expect is knocking at your door in Poland, the common question you can ask is Kto tam? before opening the door.
This literally means "Who is it?". Here, you don’t have to worry about formality, it’s always the same - Kto tam? “Who is it?”
Next lesson will be our last of this absolute beginner series.
We will deal with the last question word dlaczego?, which means “Why”. I’ll be waiting for you in the next Polski w 3 minuty.