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Lesson Transcript

Nick: Hi, everybody!
Beata: "Witamy."
Nick: And welcome back to the last chapter of the Pronunciation series! Lesson 5 - ABCs of Polish Accent, Exceptions, and Accentuation of Groups of Words. What will we be covering in this lesson?
Beata: In this lesson, we'll be talking about accents in Polish.
Nick: Undoubtedly, accents play an important role in every language, and Polish is no exception.
Beata: We are going to start with the accentuation of single words. Once this is covered, we are going to talk a bit about the accentuation in groups of words.
Nick: We would strongly recommend checking the lesson notes as you listen so that you can follow all of the vocabulary we will be working on. Let's start, then.
Beata: Polish accentuation is quite constant and in most cases falls on the second-to-last syllable. For example.…"książka"
Nick: "book"
Beata: "torebka"
Nick: "purse"
Beata: and "dyskutować"
Nick: "to discuss."
Nick: What if a word consists of one syllable only?
Beata: If this is the case, then the whole syllable is stressed. For example…"mam"
Nick: "I have"
Beata: "znam"
Nick: "I know"
Beata: and "mistrz"
Nick: "master."
Nick: I see. So basically, you have to remember to put the stress on the second-to-last syllable if there is more than one syllable in a word. On the other hand, if a word consists of one syllable only, you simply have to stress the entire word.
Beata: Very good.
Nick: I feel like there's something you want to tell us. Are there any exceptions to this rule?
Beata: Actually, there are. Words that have a foreign origin and end in "-ika" or "-yka" keep their original accent on the third-to-last syllable from the end. For example, "ma-te-MA-ty-ka"
Nick: "mathematics"
Beata: "A-ME-ry-ka"
Nick: "America"
Beata: And "bo-TA-ni-ka"
Nick: "botanics."
Nick: Got it. For words with a foreign origin, the accent falls on the third-to-last syllable. What else?
Beata: The forms of the first- and second-person plural of the past tense are also accented on the third-to-last syllable. For instance, "GRA-liś-my"
Nick: "we played"
Beata: "BY-liś-my"
Nick: "we were"
Beata: and "BY-li-ście"
Nick: "you (plural) were."
Nick: There's also third-to-last-syllable accentuation in all of the conditional forms in the singular form and the third-person plural form. For example…
Beata: "ZRO-bi-łab-ym"
Nick: "I (female) would do"/"I (female) would have done"
Beata: "CZY-tał-by"
Nick: "he would read"/"he would have read"
Beata: and "na-u-CZY-li-by"
Nick: "they would teach"/"they would have taught."
Beata: Some Polish numbers that end in "-sta" or "-set" also have the accent falling on the third syllable. For example…
Beata: "CZTE-ry-sta"
Nick: "four hundred"
Beata: "and O-siem-set"
Nick: "eight hundred."
Nick: Now let's move on to the accentuation on the fourth-to-last syllable.
Beata: There's only one situation when the accent falls on the fourth-to-last syllable and that is with the first- and second-person plural of the conditional. For example…
Beata: "BY-lib-yś-my"
Nick: "we would be"/"we would have been"
Beata: And "BY-li-by-ście"
Nick: "you would be"/"you would have been."
Nick: Is there anything else that you would like to add to the accentuation of single words?
Beata: There are a few words in the Polish language that are accented on the last syllable. For example, "eks-MĄŻ"
Nick: "ex-husband."
Nick: This rule applies to the nouns that are one syllable only and are used to create compound words with the particles "eks-," "arcy-," and "wice-."
Beata: Very good.
Nick: I think we are ready to move on to accent groups.
Beata: In some instances, single-syllable words can form accent groups with other neighboring words. For example, the negation "nie" ("no") is stressed when followed by a single-syllable word, such as "NIE chcę."
Nick: "I don't want."
Beata: And "NIE wiem."
Nick: "I don't know."
Nick: Also, if a preposition occurs in front of a one-syllable word, the stress falls on the preposition. For example…
Beata: "DO was"
Nick: "to you"
Beata: "ZE mną"
Nick: "with me"
Beata: and "PRZE-DE mną"
Nick: "in front of me."
Beata: If single-syllable forms of personal pronouns, such as "ci"
Nick: "you"
Beata: "go"
Nick: "him"
Beata: "jej"
Nick; "her"
Beata: And so on, and the reflexive pronoun "się," happens to appear after a verb, they are not accented. For example…
Beata: "proszę cię"
Nick: "I'm asking you"
Beata: "mówiłem jej"
Nick: "I told her"
Beata: And "widziałam go"
Nick: "I (female) saw him."
Nick: Also, the negation "nie" won't be accented if it occurs before two-syllable or longer words. For instance…
Beata: "nie pomagaj"
Nick: "don't help"
Beata: "nie śpiewaj"
Nick: "don't sing"
Beata: And "nie chcemy"
Nick: "we don't want to."
Nick: That does it for the Pronunciation series! Now you're on your way to having great Polish accentuation! Don't forget to keep repeating and practicing, and see you next time.
Beata: "Do usłyszenia." "See you next time."