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Masculine Nouns

This groups of nouns is easy. You just have to add the ending -owi to the Nominative Case form. There is a group of exception nouns, which you can see later in this article.

Regular Nouns Examples

Nominative Case Dative Case
dom domowi a house
komputer komputerowi a computer
telefon telefonowi a phone
długopis długopisowi a pen
sklep sklepowi a shop
nauczyciel nauczycielowi a teacher
pomidor pomidorowi a tomato
kraj krajowi a country
Adam Adamowi Adam

Irregularities

In the Polish language we have very typical, repetitive irregularities of the root of the nouns during declension. The irregularities are:

  • ó -> o exchange in words ending with -ół or -ód
  • ą -> ę exchange
  • droppping e in words ending with -ek
  • dropping diphthong ie
  • exchanging diacritical mark with i in words ending with -ś, -ć, -ź, -ń

In the table below you can see the Dative Case forms of nouns with these irregularities. Notice, that the ending -owi is regular and stays the same. The changes happen only in the roots of these nouns:

Nominative Case Dative Case Irregularity Translation
samochód samochodowi ó -> o a car
stół stołowi ó -> o a table
dół dołowi ó -> o a bottom
mąż mężowi ą -> ę a husband
wąż wężowi ą -> ę a snake
ząb zębowi ą -> ę a tooth
rynek rynkowi dropping e a market square
budynek budynkowi dropping e a building
rysunek rysunkowi dropping e a drawing
Marek Markowi dropping e Mark
kupiec kupcowi dropping ie a seller
stopień stopniowi dropping ie and exchanging diacritical mark with i a degree
skąpiec skąpcowi dropping ie a miser
miś misiowi exchanging diacritical mark with i a teddy bear
teść teściowi exchanging diacritical mark with i father in law
gość gościowi exchanging diacritical mark with i a guest

Masculine nouns with feminine -a ending

There is a group of masculine nouns, which have the feminine ending -a in Nominative Case. Thus in Dative Case they have feminine endings too, instead of the masculine ones:

Nominative Dative
znawca znawcy an expert
morderca mordercy a murderer
pracodawca pracodawcy an employer
kolega koledze a friend
kierowca kierowcy a driver
tata tacie a dad
mężczyzna mężczyźnie a man

Why 'tacie' instead of 'tate'?

If you are observant you may have notice, that in the table above a couple of words changed not only the ending, but also its root, for example:

tata - tacie

This is very typical change in Polish declension. Our consonants may be divided into two groups: hard and soft. Some endings of some cases require softening of the hard consonants. In the word tata, the t is a hard consonant and its softened version is ci. If you go back to the article with Dative Case endings you may see, that the feminine ending is -'e, not -e. The ' means, that this ending softening of the hard consonant. In the next article about feminine nouns in Dative Case you will learn how to do it.

Masculine nouns taking neuter ending -u

There is a group of masculine nouns, which instead of the -owi ending, take the neuter -u ending in Dative Case. You can see these nouns below.

Nominative Dative
pies psowi psu a dog
kot kotowi kotu a cat
pan panowi panu a gentleman
ojciec ojcowi ojcu a father
chłopiec chłopcowi chłopcu a boy
chłop chłopowi chłopu a peasant
bóg bogowi bogu a god
lew lwowi lwu a lion
ksiądz księdzowi księdzu a priest
świat światowi światu a world
brat bratowi bratu a brother

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