GRAMMAR LESSON: Daj jedzenie kotu – celownik (dative) and its position in a sentence (B1)


The post includes:
a) forms and usage of the dative case;
b) its position in sentences;
c) online exercises;
d) handout and extra exercises to download


To indicate a recipient of an action in a sentence we use celownik (dative case). Comparing to other cases, celownik is used quite rarely and it’s easy to learn. Below you may find the table with celownik’s endings and the usage.


a) rodzaj męski: the ending -owi is used with most nouns; the ending -u is used with short nouns (one syllable) e.g. kot – kotu, pies – psu (there are some exceptions like syn – synowi or duch – duchowi); if a masculine noun ends in a consonant, it gets the feminine ending which are the same as endings of miejscownik (locative case) e.g. kolega – koledze, mężczyzna  – mężczyźnie

b) all adjective get the ending -emu both in masculine and neutral forms

c) rodzaj żeński: celownik gets the same ending as miejscownik

Celownik is used:

in phrases like: miło mi, zimno mi, gorąco Ci, dziecku jest niedobrze
to express a recipient e.g. Pomogę mamie., Daj dziecku zabawkę.

with certain verbs: przeszkadzać (to disturb), pomagać (to help), zazdrościć (to envy), wierzyć (to believe) e.g. Nie przeszkadzaj ojcu., Pomagam mamie., Zazdroszczę Adamowi., Wierzę Agacie
after following prepositions: dzięki (thanks to), przeciwko (against), wbrew (against, despite, in spite of)


Position of celownik in a sentence is loose and depends mostly on which part of the sentence we want to emphasise. That can cause some dificulties with understanding a sentence. In Polish prepositions are used rarely, as the cases  show what is the function of each word in a sentence. Look at the examples below, do you understand those sentences? Can you tell who is the recipient (celownik case), to whom something belongs (possessor narzędnik case) and what is the object (biernik case) here?

Wyślij klientom maila z informacjami. – Send an email with the information to the clients

Produktom tej firmy możesz zaufać. – You can trust products of this company.

Daj synowi siostry sałatkę babci. – Give the grandma’s salad to (your) sister’s son.


Download the handout here


time to practice

To learn more about Polish cases and their usage read the post


About the Author



I have started my career as a tutor at Jagiellonian University and now I have been conducting Polish lessons working both with private and business clients from all over the world. I'm a big fan of grammar - Polish grammar especially ;)

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