Polish language series: Rdz 1, na początku

Księga Rodzaju

Na początku

This post begins your study of the Polish language using, as your source text, the Biblia Tysiąclecia. In this first post, you will study the Polish text of the Księga Rodzaju (book of Genesis), rozdział pierwszy (first chapter). The Polish abbreviation for the book of Genesis is Rdz. Genesis 1 is abbreviated as Rdz 1. The Polish for Old Testament is Stary Testament.

The notes that follow will assist you in understanding the language of the verses in Polish. Read the verses on your own, and refer to the notes as necessary. Note that the verses have not been reproduced here; you must use the links below to read them.

To consult the declension of a noun, try Wiktionary and the Polish Wikisłownik (if you cannot find what you are looking for in the one, you might find it in the other). A selection of declensions can also be found on this very site. You can use SJP.pl to search for the nominative form of a noun by entering one of its declined forms in the search bar. These sites can also be used to search verbs, adjectives, etc.

In your study of Polish, you will undoubtedly come across language that you do not fully understand, even after having attempted to analyse it: do not let this deter you. Set aside what baffles you, move ahead in your study, and return to it a few weeks (or even months) later. You may just find that it has become clearer.

Polish is a challenge to learn, and the road ahead is long, but you will learn it if you have a strong enough reason to achieve it, consistent study habits, patience and, most importantly, faith.

Read Rdz 1

To read the Polish text of the Bible associated with the notes below or listen to its audio, visit Biblia Tysiąclecia and consult Rdz 1. An archived version of the text can be found here.

Werset 1

Na początku (in the beginning) Bóg stworzył (God created) niebo i ziemię (the heaven and the earth).

  • na (+ loc.), in, at
  • początek (m.), beginning
  • Bóg (m.), God
  • stworzyć (pf.), to create
  • niebo (n.), heaven, sky
  • i, and
  • ziemia (f.), earth

Na początku means in the beginning; following na, the masculine noun początek is inflected for the locative case as początku. Observe: początek (beginning); na początku (in the beginning).

Stworzył is the masculine, third-person singular of the past tense of the perfective verb stworzyć. Bóg stworzył means God created. Consider the following: niebo (heaven); stworzyć niebo (to create the heaven); Bóg stworzył niebo (God created the heaven). Consider also: ziemia (earth); stworzyć ziemię (to create the earth); Bóg stworzył ziemię (God created the earth).

Na początku Bóg stworzył niebo i ziemię: in the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. In the English, heaven and earth are direct objects. In the Polish, niebo and ziemia must be expressed in the accusative (a noun in the accusative can be likened to a direct object of English); in the accusative, the neuter noun niebo remains unchanged and the feminine noun ziemia becomes ziemię. Not only is niebo the Polish for heaven, it also means sky.

Werset 2

Ziemia zaś (the earth, however) była bezładem (was confusion) i pustkowiem (and waste): ciemność była (darkness was) nad powierzchnią (over the expanse) bezmiaru wód (of the vastness of waters), a Duch Boży (and the spirit of God [Godly Spirit]) unosił się nad wodami (was fluttering over the waters).

  • zaś, on the other hand, however
  • być (impf.), to be
  • bezład (m.), confusion, disorder, chaos
  • pustkowie (n.), waste, desert
  • ciemność (f.), darkness
  • nad (+ instr.), over, above
  • powierzchnia (f.), expanse, surface, face
  • bezmiar (m.), vastness
  • woda (f.), water
  • a, and, whereas
  • duch (m.), spirit
  • boży, godly, divine
  • unosić się (impf.), to flutter

Review: ziemia (f., earth).

Była is the feminine, third-person singular of the past tense of the imperfective verb być. Ziemia była means the earth was. Because ziemia is a feminine noun, the feminine form była must be used. The masculine equivalent of była is był, without the a; for instance, God was is Bóg był, because Bóg is masculine. In verse 1, you encountered the past tense stworzył, which is masculine in form: Bóg stworzył. The feminine equivalent of stworzył would be stworzyła, with an a added; this would be used with a feminine subject.

The masculine noun bezład and the neuter noun pustkowie are found in the text inflected for the instrumental case as bezładem and pustkowiem. Ziemia zaś była bezładem i pustkowiem means the earth, however, was confusion and waste. The instrumental is used here in conjunction with the verb być; you will come to understand this better as you progress.

Ciemność is a feminine noun; ciemność była means darkness was. Nad powierzchnią bezmiaru wód is to be taken literally as over the expanse of the vastness of waters; this might also be understood in English as over the face of the waste of waters. Following nad, powierzchnia is inflected for the instrumental case as powierzchnią. Bezmiaru is the genitive of bezmiar, and wód is the genitive plural of woda.

Duch Boży translates literally as Godly Spirit; this is usually expressed in English as spirit of God. You read: Duch Boży unosił się nad wodami (the spirit of God was fluttering over the waters). Unosił is masculine in form; its feminine equivalent would be unosiła. Woda is in its instrumental plural form as wodami in the phrase nad wodami.

Werset 3

Wtedy Bóg rzekł (then God said): «Niechaj się stanie światłość!» (let there be light [let the light become]). I stała się światłość (and there was light [and the light became]).

  • wtedy, then
  • rzec (pf.), to say, to utter
  • niechaj, let
  • stać się (pf.), to become
  • światłość (f.), light

Rzekł is the masculine, third-person singular of the past tense of the perfective verb rzec. Wtedy Bóg rzekł: then God said.

Niechaj (or niech) is used to create a third-person singular or plural imperative (let or may in English). With a perfective verb, niechaj is followed by the third-person singular or plural of the perfective future; with an imperfective verb, it is followed by the third-person singular or plural of the imperfective present. This will become clearer to you as you progress; for the moment, you need only familiarise yourself with the language that you encounter. You can return to the text at a later point when your comprehension of Polish has increased and then reread it with new understanding and appreciation.

Niechaj się stanie światłość: let the light become; may the light become; this is traditionally expressed in English as let there be light. I stała się światłość: and the light became; this is traditionally expressed in English as and there was light.

Werset 4

Bóg widząc (God, {whilst} seeing), że światłość jest dobra (that the light was [is] good), oddzielił ją (separated it) od ciemności (from the darkness).

  • widzieć (impf.), to see
  • że, that
  • dobry, good
  • oddzielić (pf.), to separate
  • ona (f.), she, it
  • od (+ gen.), from

Review: światłość (f., light), ciemność (f., darkness).

Widząc, formed from the imperfective verb widzieć, is to be taken as meaning {whilst} seeing. The adjective dobry means good: this is its masculine form; its feminine form is dobra. Jest, which is the third-person singular of the imperfective być, means is; for instance, Bóg jest means God is. That said, you can take jest as was in the text of this verse: Bóg widząc, że światłość jest dobra (God, {whilst} seeing that the light was [is] good).

Oddzielił is the masculine, third-person singular of the past tense of the perfective verb oddzielić. You read: oddzielił ją od ciemności (he separated it from the darkness). (it) is the accusative form of the feminine ona (she, it); it refers to the feminine światłość. Following od, the feminine noun ciemność is inflected for the genitive case as ciemności.

Werset 5

I nazwał Bóg (and God called) światłość (the darkness) dniem (‘day’ [as day]), a ciemność (and the darkness) nazwał nocą (he called ‘night’ [as night]). I tak (and thus; and so) upłynął wieczór (evening went by) i poranek (and a morning)dzień pierwszy (first day).

  • nazwać (pf.), to call, to name
  • dzień (m.), day
  • noc (f.), night
  • tak, so, thus
  • upłynąć (pf.), to go by, to elapse
  • wieczór (m.), evening
  • poranek (m.), morning
  • pierwszy, first

Review: światłość (f., light), ciemność (f., darkness).

I nazwał Bóg światłość dniem: and God called the light ‘day’. Światłość is in the accusative (it takes the same form as in the nominative); and dzień is inflected for the instrumental case as dniem. You might understand the instrumental form dniem more literally as meaning as day, as in: and God called the light (as) ‘day’.

A ciemność nazwał nocą: whereas the darkness he called ‘night’. Ciemność is in the accusative (like światłość, it takes the same form as in the nominative); and noc is inflected for the instrumental case as nocą. You might understand the instrumental form nocą more literally as meaning as night, as in: whereas the darkness he called (as) ‘night’.

Upłynął (went by) is the masculine, third-person singular of the past tense of the perfective verb upłynąć. This was the first day of creation: dzień pierwszy.

Werset 6

A potem Bóg rzekł (and then God said): «Niechaj powstanie (let come into being) sklepienie (a vault) w środku wód (in the middle of the waters) i niechaj ono oddzieli jedne wody od drugich!» (and let it separate the waters from one another [and let it separate the one waters from the others (from the seconds)]).

  • potem, then
  • powstać (pf.), to come into being
  • sklepienie (n.), vault (firmament)
  • w (+ loc.), in, at
  • środek (m.), middle
  • ono (n.), it
  • jeden, one
  • drugi, second, the other

Review: rzec (pf., to say), niechaj (may, let), woda (f., water), oddzielić (pf., to separate), od (from).

God says: niechaj powstanie (let come into a being) sklepienie (a vault) w środku wód (in the middle of the waters). The vault in question here is traditionally referred to in English as the firmament, which takes the form of a vault or dome. This Polish sentence can be taken as meaning: let there be a firmament in the middle of the waters. Observe the following: środek (middle; nominative); w środku (in the middle; locative); this is similar to: początek (beginning; nominative); na początku (in the beginning; locative).

Recall from verse 2 that bezmiar wód means vastness of waters, where wód is in genitive plural form (the genitive often expresses what English does with the prepositions of or from). You find wód again now in the current verse, as part of w środku wód, meaning in the middle of the waters. Observe the following: środek; w środku (middle; in the middle); woda; wód (water; of the waters); w środku wód (in the middle of the waters).

God continues: i niechaj ono oddzieli (and let it separate) jedne wody od drugich (the waters from one another [the one waters from the others (from the seconds)]). The neuter ono (it) refers back to the neuter noun sklepienie. Both jedne and wody are accusative plural forms; drugich is in the genitive plural.

Werset 7

Uczyniwszy to sklepienie (having made this vault), Bóg oddzielił wody pod sklepieniem (God separated the waters under the vault) od wód ponad sklepieniem (from the waters above the vault); a gdy tak się stało (and when it had become so), […].

  • uczynić (pf.), to make, to do
  • to (n.), this
  • pod (+ instr.), under
  • ponad (+ instr.), over, above
  • gdy, when

Review: sklepienie (n., vault; refers to the firmament), oddzielić (pf., to separate), woda (f., water), stać się (pf., to become).

Uczyniwszy, formed from the perfective verb uczynić, is to be understood as meaning having made. Pod sklepieniem means under the vault (that is, under the firmament); ponad sklepieniem means above the vault (that is, above the firmament). After the prepositions pod and ponad, you find the neuter noun sklepienie inflected for the instrumental case as sklepieniem. Polish prepositions require that a certain case be applied to a noun following them; here, pod and ponad require that the instrumental case be applied.

The final portion of verse 7 leads into the text of verse 8: a gdy tak się stało (and when it had become so [became so]); the final o of stało indicates that this is the neuter form of the verb.

Werset 8

Bóg nazwał to sklepienie niebem (God called this vault ‘heaven’ [as heaven]). I tak (and thus; and so) upłynął wieczór (evening went by) i poranek (and a morning)dzień drugi (second day).

Review: nazwać (pf., to call, to name), sklepienie (n., vault; refers to the firmament), niebo (n., heaven, sky), i tak (and thus, and so), upłynąć (pf., to go by, to elapse), wieczór (m., evening), poranek (m., morning), dzień (m., day), drugi (second).

Bóg nazwał to sklepienie niebem: God called this firmament ‘heaven’. Niebo is inflected here for the instrumental case as niebem. Compare this sentence with those from verse 5, where the instrumental case was also used: nazwał Bóg światłość dniem and ciemność nazwał nocą. You have now seen a number of instrumental forms: bezładem (m.), dniem (m.), pustkowiem (n.), sklepieniem (n.), niebem (n.), powierzchnią (f.), nocą (f.).

Werset 9

A potem Bóg rzekł (and then God said): «Niechaj zbiorą się wody (let gather the waters) spod nieba (from under the heaven) w jedno miejsce (into one place) i niech się ukaże (and let appear) powierzchnia sucha!» (the dry expanse). A gdy tak się stało (and when it had become so), […].

  • zebrać się (pf.), to gather
  • spod (+ gen.), from under
  • w (+ acc.), into
  • miejsce (n.), place, spot
  • ukazać się (pf.), to appear
  • suchy, dry

Review: potem (then), rzec (pf., to say), niechaj; niech (let, may), woda (f., water), niebo (n., heaven, sky), jeden (one), powierzchnia (f., surface, expanse, area).

Consider the following: woda (water); wody (waters); zbiorą się wody (the waters gather); niechaj zbiorą się wody (let the waters gather; may the waters gather).

In spod nieba, meaning from under the heaven, nieba is the genitive form of niebo: the preposition spod requires this case be applied to the noun following it. W jedno miejsce is to be understood as meaning into one place.

In verse 6, you encountered w środku, where środku is in locative form: w + locative is to be understood as meaning in. In the current verse, you now find w jedno miejsce, where jedno miejsce is in accusative form: w + accusative is to be understood as meaning into.

Powierzchnia sucha (dry expanse, dry surface) is to be understood as referring to dry land.

Werset 10

Bóg nazwał (God called) tę suchą powierzchnię (this dry expanse) ziemią (‘earth’ [as earth]), a zbiorowisko wód (whereas the gathering of waters) nazwał morzem (he called ‘sea’ [as sea]). Bóg widząc (God, {whilst} seeing), że były dobre (that they were good), […].

  • ta (f.), this
  • zbiorowisko (n.), gathering
  • morze (n.), sea

Review: nazwać (pf., to call, to name), suchy (dry), powierzchnia (f., surface, expanse, area), ziemia (f., earth, land), woda (f., water), widzieć (impf., to see), że (that), dobry (good).

In Bóg nazwał tę suchą powierzchnię ziemią (God called this dry expanse ‘earth’), tę suchą powierzchnię is in accusative form, whereas ziemią is in the instrumental. Observe: ta sucha powierzchnia (this dry expanse); nazwał tę suchą powierzchnię (he called this dry expanse); Bóg nazwał tę suchą powierzchnię ziemią (God called this dry expanse ‘earth’ [as earth]).

In a zbiorowisko wód nazwał morzem (whereas the gathering of waters he called ‘sea’ [as sea]), zbiorowisko is in accusative form, whereas morzem is in the instrumental. The nominative and accusative forms of the neuter zbiorowisko are the same.

Consider the following: nazwał Bóg światłość dniem; nazwał Bóg sklepienie niebem; nazwał Bóg zbiorowisko morzem; nazwał Bóg ciemność nocą; nazwał Bóg powierzchnię ziemią. Observe also the following: to sklepienie (n., this vault, this firmament); ta powierzchnia (f., this surface, this expanse).

Werset 11

  • wydać (pf.), to bring forth
  • roślina (f.), plant
  • zielony, green
  • trawa (f.), grass
  • dawać (impf.), to give, to yield
  • nasiono (n.), seed
  • drzewo (n.), tree
  • owocowy, fruit-
  • rodzić (impf.), to bear
  • według (+ gen.), according to
  • swój, one’s own
  • gatunek (m.), kind, sort
  • owoc (m.), fruit
  • który, which

Review: rzec (pf., to say), niechaj (may, let), ziemia (f., earth), stać się (pf., to become), tak (so, thus).

God commands: niechaj ziemia wyda rośliny zielone (let the earth bring forth green plants). Roślina zielona (green plant) is found here in its accusative plural form rośliny zielone. Consider: ziemia wyda rośliny zielone (the earth will bring forth green plants); niechaj ziemia wyda rośliny zielone (let the earth bring forth green plants; may the earth bring forth green plants [let that the earth will bring forth green plants]).

[Niechaj ziemia wyda] trawy dające nasiona: let the earth bring forth grasses yielding seeds (seeds-yielding grasses). [Niechaj ziemia wyda] drzewa owocowe rodzące owoce: let the earth bring forth fruit trees bearing fruits (fruits-bearing fruit trees). Dające (from the imperfective dawać) can be understood as meaning giving, yielding; rodzące (from the imperfective rodzić) can be understood as meaning bearing.

Na ziemi: on the earth. In the same way that you find the locative case in na początku, you find the locative in na ziemi. Według swego gatunku: according to its kind. Swego gatunku (from the nominative swój gatunek) is in genitive form because it follows według. Observe: swój gatunek (its kind); według swego gatunku (according to its kind). The genitive swego is also expressed in Polish as swojego; two forms exist. Consult: Declension of Polish possessive pronouns.

W których są nasiona: in which are the seeds; których (from the nominative który) is in locative plural form following w. I stało się tak: and it became so.

Werset 12

  • nasienie (n.), seed
  • ich, their

Review: ziemia (f., earth), wydać (pf., to bring forth), roślina (f., plant), zielony (green), trawa (f., grass), dawać (impf., to give, to yield), według (according to), gatunek (m., kind, sort), drzewo (n., tree), rodzić (impf., to bear), owoc (m., fruit), widzieć (impf., to see), dobry (good).

Wydała is the feminine, third-person singular of the past tense of the perfective wydać. Ziemia wydała rośliny zielone: the earth brought forth green plants. The feminine wydała is used because the subject ziemia is feminine.

The accusative trawę dającą nasienie means seed-yielding grass; that is, grass yielding seed. Verse 11 uses the neuter nasiono to talk about seeds; verse 12 uses the neuter nasienie. Według swego gatunku: according to its kind. The accusative drzewa rodzące owoce means fruits-bearing trees; that is, trees bearing fruits.

In verse 11, you encountered w których są nasiona (in which are the seeds). In the current verse, you now find w których było nasienie (in which was the seed). Według ich gatunków: according to their kinds.

Consider: według swego gatunku (according to its kind); według ich gatunków (according to their kinds). Gatunku is in genitive singular form, whereas gatunków is in the genitive plural. Observe: swój gatunek; według swego gatunku (its kind; according to its kind); ich gatunki; według ich gatunków (their kinds; according to their kinds).

Widział is the masculine, third-person singular of the past tense of the imperfective widzieć. You read: a Bóg widział (and God saw [was seeing]), że były dobre (that they were good). Widzieć is an imperfective verb (imperfective conveys ongoing action, whereas perfective conveys completed action); widział, then, conveys the sense of was seeing (ongoing) rather than saw or did see (completed). That said, English does not always observe the same distinction between imperfective and perfective as does Polish; it would more typically say here and God saw.

Wersety 13-14

  • trzeci, third
  • ciało (n.), body
  • niebieski, heavenly
  • świecić (impf.), to shine
  • aby, in order that, so that
  • oddzielać (impf.), to separate
  • wyznaczać (impf.), to mark
  • pora (f.), season
  • rok (m.), year

Review: i tak (and thus, and so), upłynąć (pf., to go by, to elapse), wieczór (m., evening), poranek (m., morning), dzień (m., day), potem (then), rzec (pf., to say), niechaj (let, may), powstać (pf., to come into being), sklepienie (n., vault; refers to the firmament), niebo (n., heaven, sky), od (from), noc (f., night).

Verse 13: Dzień trzeci: third day. See the notes at the fifth verse.

Verse 14: God says: niechaj powstaną (let come into being) ciała niebieskie (heavenly bodies), świecące na sklepieniu nieba (shining in the vault of the heaven), aby oddzielały dzień od nocy (that they may separate [that they may be separating] the day from the night), aby wyznaczały pory roku, dni i lata (that they may mark [that they may be marking] the seasons of the year, the days and the years). In verse 6, you encountered the singular niechaj powstanie sklepienie (let come into being a vault); you now find the plural niechaj powstaną ciała niebieskie (let come into being heavenly bodies). The Polish ciało niebieskie means heavenly body; its nominative plural form is ciała niebieskie. The masculine rok means year; its accusative plural form is lata.

Wersety 15-19

  • jaśnieć (impf.), to shine
  • dwa ciała, two bodies
  • duży, large, big
  • większy, larger, greater
  • rządzić (impf.), to govern
  • mniejszy, smaller, lesser
  • oraz, as well as
  • gwiazda (f.), star
  • umieścić (pf.), to place
  • czwarty, fourth

Review: ciało (n., body), sklepienie (n., vault; refers to the firmament), niebo (n., heaven, sky), świecić (impf., to shine), ziemia (f., earth), stać się (pf., to become), tak (so, thus), uczynić (pf., to make, to do), dzień (m., day), noc (f., night), oddzielić (pf., to separate), światłość (f., light), ciemność (f., darkness), widzieć (impf., to see), dobry (good).

Verse 15: Ciała jaśniejące means shining bodies (that is, the sun and moon). In the text of this verse, you find ciałami jaśniejącymi, in instrumental form. This use of the instrumental might be likened to the as of English. You read: aby były ciałami jaśniejącymi na sklepieniu nieba: that they may be shining bodies in the vault of the heaven. Aby świeciły nad ziemią: that they may shine (that they may be shining) upon the earth. In verse 2, you encountered nad powierzchnią; you now find nad ziemią. You are dealing here with the instrumental case following the preposition nad.

Verse 16: Bóg uczynił dwa duże ciała jaśniejące (God made two large shining bodies): większe (the greater [larger]), aby rządziło dniem (to govern the day [that it should be governing the day]), i mniejsze (and the lesser [smaller]), aby rządziło nocą (to govern the night [that it should be governing the night]), oraz gwiazdy (as well as the stars). Większy (larger) is the comparative form of wielki (large); Mniejszy (smaller) is the comparative form of mały (small). In the text, you find both większy and mniejszy in neuter accusative form as większe and mniejsze. The o ending of rządziło indicates that this is the neuter form of the verb. The reason the neuter is employed in większe, mniejsze and rządziło is because the sun and the moon are heavenly bodies, and the Polish for body is the neuter noun ciało. Following the verb rządzić, you find dniem and nocą, which are the instrumental forms of dzień and noc. Consider the following:

wielkiwiększynajwiększy
largelargerlargest

małymniejszynajmniejszy
smallsmallersmallest

Verses 17-18: I umieścił je Bóg (and God placed them) na sklepieniu nieba (in the vault of the heaven), aby świeciły nad ziemią (to shine upon the earth [that they should be shining upon the earth]); aby rządziły dniem i nocą (to govern [that they should be governing] the day and the night) i oddzielały światłość od ciemności (and to separate [and {that they should} separate] the light from the darkness). A widział Bóg, że były dobre: and God saw (was seeing) that they were good.

Verse 19: Dzień czwarty: fourth day. See the notes at the fifth verse.

Werset 20

  • zaroić się (pf.), to teem
  • rój (m.), swarm
  • istota (f.), creature
  • żywy, living
  • ptactwo (n.), fowl
  • latać (impf.), to fly

Review: potem (then), rzec (pf., to say), niechaj (let, may), woda (f., water), ziemia (f., earth), sklepienie (n., vault; refers to the firmament), niebo (n., heaven, sky).

God says: niechaj się zaroją wody (let the waters teem) od roju istot żywych (with [from] a swarm of living creatures). Following the preposition od, you find the masculine rój in genitive position as roju. The Polish for living creature is istota żywa; its plural form is istoty żywe (living creatures). This plural form in genitive position is istot żywych. Observe: istoty żywe (living creatures); rój istot żywych (a swarm of living creatures); od roju istot żywych (from a swarm of living creatures).

God continues: a ptactwo niechaj lata (and let the fowl fly) nad ziemią (above the earth), pod sklepieniem nieba (under the vault of the heaven).

Recall from the notes above that a third-person imperative is created by using niechaj (or niech) followed by the third-person singular or plural of the imperfective present or perfective future. In ptactwo niechaj lata, the singular lata is used because ptactwo is a singular noun. In niechaj powstanie sklepienie, from verse 6, the singular powstanie is used because sklepienie is also a singular noun; however, in niechaj powstaną ciała niebieskie, from verse 14, the plural powstaną is used because ciała is a plural noun.

Werset 21

  • potwór (m.), monster
  • morski, marine, sea
  • wszelki, every, all
  • rodzaj (m.), kind, sort
  • pływać (impf.), to swim
  • skrzydlaty, winged
  • różny, different, various

Review: tak (thus, so), stworzyć (pf., to create), wielki (large, great), istota (f., creature), żywy (living), zaroić się (pf., to teem), woda (f., water), oraz (as well as), ptactwo (n., fowl), skrzydlaty (winged), widzieć (impf., to see), dobry (good).

The Polish for sea monster is potwór morski; great sea monster is wielki potwór morski. You read: tak stworzył Bóg wielkie potwory morskie (thus God made the great sea monsters). God also made: wszelkiego rodzaju (of every kind) pływające istoty żywe (swimming living creatures); that is, living creatures of every kind that swim. Którymi zaroiły się wody: with which the waters teemed.

God made the fowl: [Bóg stworzył] wszelkie ptactwo skrzydlate (God made every winged fowl) różnego rodzaju (of various sort). Learn the following: wszelki (m.); wszelka (f.); wszelkie (n.). Learn also: skrzydlaty (m.); skrzydlata (f.); skrzydlate (n.). Ptactwo is a neuter noun: wszelkie ptactwo skrzydlate (nominative; all winged fowl; every winged fowl). In the accusative, the neuter wszelkie ptactwo skrzydlate takes the same form: Bóg stworzył wszelkie ptactwo skrzydlate (God made every winged fowl).

Bóg widząc, że były dobre: God, {whilst} seeing that they were good.

Wersety 22-23

  • pobłogosławić (pf.), to bless
  • słowo (n.), word
  • płodny, fruitful, fertile
  • mnożyć się (impf.), to multiply oneself
  • zapełniać (impf.), to fill
  • rozmnażać się (impf.), to reproduce
  • piąty, fifth

Review: woda (f., water), morski (sea, marine), ptactwo (n., fowl), niechaj (let, may), ziemia (f., earth), i tak (and thus, and so), upłynąć (pf., to go by, to elapse), wieczór (m., evening), poranek (m., morning), dzień (m., day).

Verse 22: Pobłogosławił je tymi słowami: he blessed them with these words. Note the use of the instrumental plural tymi słowami (with these words; by these words), where the instrumental conveys what English does with the prepositions with or by. God says: bądźcie płodne (be fruitful) i mnóżcie się (and multiply [multiply yourselves]), abyście zapełniały wody morskie (that you may fill the waters of the sea [that you may be filling the sea waters]), a ptactwo niechaj się rozmnaża na ziemi (and let the fowl reproduce upon the earth). Bądźcie is the second-person plural imperative of the verb być (to be); mnóżcie się is also a second-person plural imperative, this time from mnożyć się (to multiply oneself). The root of abyście (in order that you) is aby (in order that); because abyście contains the marker of the second-person plural in its ending, the verb used in conjunction with it does not: abyście zapełniały.

Verse 23: Dzień piąty: fifth day. See the notes at the fifth verse.

Wersety 24-26

  • bydło (n.), cattle
  • zwierzę (n.), animal
  • pełzać (impf.), to creep
  • dziki, wild
  • po (+ loc.), along, on
  • wreszcie, lastly
  • człowiek (m.), man
  • nasz (m.), our
  • obraz (m.), image, likeness
  • podobny, similar
  • my, we
  • panować (impf.), to rule
  • ryba (f.), fish
  • powietrzny, (of the) air, aerial
  • wszystek, every, all

Review: potem (then), rzec (pf., to say), niech; niechaj (let, may), ziemia (f., earth, ground), wydać (pf., to bring forth), istota (f., creature), żywy (living), różny (different, various), rodzaj (m., kind, sort), bydło (n., cattle), zwierzę (n., animal), pełzać (impf., to creep), dziki (wild), według (according to), ich (their), stać się (pf., to become), tak (thus, so), uczynić (pf., to make, to do), wszelki (all, every), widzieć (impf., to see), dobry (good), człowiek (m., man), nad (over), morski (sea, marine), ptactwo (n., fowl).

Verse 24: Niechaj ziemia wyda (let the earth bring forth) istoty żywe różnego rodzaju (living creatures of various sort): bydło (cattle), zwierzęta pełzające (creeping animals) i dzikie zwierzęta (and wild animals) według ich rodzajów (according to their kinds). The plural of zwierzę (animal) is zwierzęta (animals), in both the nominative and accusative. Pełzające is similar in form to the following, already encountered: dające, rodzące, świecące, jaśniejące, pływające. Consider the following: według swego gatunku (according to its kind); według ich gatunków (according to their kinds); według ich rodzajów (according to their kinds).

Verse 25: Różny rodzaj means different kind, various sort; you find it in the text in accusative plural form as różne rodzaje. Bóg uczynił różne rodzaje dzikich zwierząt: God made different kinds of wild animals; God made various sorts of wild animals; dzikich zwierząt is in genitive plural form. The sentence in full reads: Bóg uczynił różne rodzaje dzikich zwierząt (God made various sorts of wild animals), bydła (of cattle) i wszelkich zwierząt pełzających (and of all animals creeping) po ziemi (along the earth; along the ground).

Verse 26: A wreszcie rzekł Bóg: and lastly God said. He says: uczyńmy człowieka (let us make man) na Nasz obraz (in[to] our image; in[to] our likeness). Człowieka is in accusative form; also in accusative form is Nasz obraz following na. The locative following na conveys the sense of in, at, whereas the accusative following na conveys the sense of into: that is, movement. Nam (to us, unto us) is the dative form of my (we): uczyńmy człowieka (let us make man) na Nasz obraz (in[to] our image; in[to] our likeness), podobnego Nam (similar to us). Niech panuje nad means let him rule over, may he rule over; the verb here is the imperfective panować. Following nad, you have a succession of nouns in the instrumental case: niech panuje (may he rule) nad rybami morskimi (over the fishes of the sea [sea fishes]), nad ptactwem powietrznym (over the fowl of the air [air fowl]), nad bydłem (over the cattle), nad ziemią (over the earth) i nad wszystkimi zwierzętami (and over all animals) pełzającymi (creeping) po ziemi (along the earth; along the ground).

Wersety 27-28

  • więc, so, therefore
  • on (m.), he
  • mężczyzna (m.), man
  • niewiasta (f.), woman
  • po czym, thereupon
  • błogosławić (impf.), to bless
  • oni (m.), they
  • mówić (impf.), to say
  • do (+ gen.), to
  • zaludnić (pf.), to people
  • sobie, unto oneself
  • poddany, subject

Review: stworzyć (pf., to create), człowiek (m., man), obraz (m., image, likeness), boży (godly, divine), mężczyzna (m., man), niewiasta (f., woman), płodny (fruitful, fertile), rozmnażać się (impf., to reproduce), ziemia (f., earth, ground), uczynić (pf., to make, to do), panować (impf., to rule), ryba (f., fish), morski (sea, marine), ptactwo (n., fowl), powietrzny ({of the} air, aerial), wszystek (all, every), zwierzę (n., animal), pełzać (impf., to creep).

Verse 27: Stworzył więc Bóg człowieka na swój obraz (so God created man in[to] his image; thus God created man in[to] his likeness), na obraz Boży go stworzył (in[to] the image of God [Godly Image] he created him; in[to] the likeness of God [Godly Likeness] he created him): stworzył mężczyznę i niewiastę (he created man and woman).

Verse 28: Po czym (thereupon) Bóg im błogosławił (God blessed them [was blessing unto them]), mówiąc do nich (saying to them). Both im and do nich translate as unto them; however, im is in dative form, whereas nich is in the genitive following do. God says to them: bądźcie płodni (be fruitful) i rozmnażajcie się (and multiply [multiply yourselves]), abyście zaludnili ziemię (that you may people the earth) i uczynili ją sobie poddaną (and {that you may} make it subject to you); abyście panowali (that you may rule [that you may be ruling]) nad rybami morskimi (over the fishes of the sea [sea fishes]), nad ptactwem powietrznym (over the fowl of the air [air fowl]) i nad wszystkimi zwierzętami (and over all animals) pełzającymi (creeping) po ziemi (along the earth; along the ground). In the following from the text of this verse, note that the second-person plural marker is found not in the verb but in abyście: abyście zaludnili, abyście uczynili, abyście panowali.

Werset 29

  • oto, behold, see, here is
  • wy, you (pl.)
  • przynosić (impf.), to yield, to bring
  • ziarno (n.), seed
  • cały, entire, all
  • mieć (impf.), to have
  • dla (+ gen.), for
  • one, they
  • pokarm (m.), food

Review: rzec (pf., to say), dawać (impf., to give), wszelki (every, all), roślina (f., plant), ziemia (f., earth), drzewo (n., tree), owoc (m., fruit), nasienie (n., seed).

Oto, as used in the text of this verse, can be rendered a number of different ways, including: behold; see; here it is that. God says: oto (behold) wam (unto you) daję (I give) wszelką roślinę (every plant) przynoszącą ziarno (yielding seed) po całej ziemi (throughout the earth) i wszelkie drzewo (and every tree), którego owoc (whose fruit) ma w sobie (has within itself) nasienie (seed): dla was (for you) będą one (they shall be) pokarmem (as food). The second-person plural wam (unto you) is dative in form, whereas the second-person plural was is in the genitive following dla: dla was (for you); both wam and was are declined forms of the nominative wy, meaning you (second-person plural). You may wish to study the contents of the following: Polish prepositions and their cases.

Wersety 30-31

  • polny, of the field, rural
  • powietrze (n.), air
  • co, which
  • poruszać się (impf.), to move, to stir
  • pierwiastek (m.), element
  • życie (n.), life
  • wszystko, everything
  • bardzo, very
  • szósty, sixth

Review: wszelki (every, all), zwierzę (n., animal), polny ({of the} field, rural), ptactwo (n., fowl), ziemia (f., earth, ground), mieć (impf., to have), pokarm (m., food), trawa (f., grass), zielony (green), stać się (pf., to become), tak (thus, so), widzieć (impf., to see), uczynić (pf., to made, to do), dobry (good), upłynąć (pf., to go by, to elapse), wieczór (m., evening), poranek (m., morning), dzień (m., day).

Verse 30: Take note of the genitive forms following dla: a dla wszelkiego zwierzęcia polnego (and for every field animal) i dla wszelkiego ptactwa w powietrzu (and for every fowl in the air) i dla wszystkiego (and for everything), co się porusza po ziemi (which moves along the earth; which moves along the ground) i ma w sobie (and has within itself) pierwiastek życia (the element of life), będzie pokarmem wszelka trawa zielona (every green grass shall be as food).

Verse 31: A Bóg widział (and God saw [was seeing]), że wszystko, co uczynił (that everything that he had made), było bardzo dobre (was very good). Dobre is the neuter form of the adjective (dobry [m.]; dobra [f.]; dobre [n.]); it agrees with the neuter wszystko. Dzień szósty: sixth day; see the notes at the fifth verse.


It would be wise to learn the names of the Polish grammatical cases in Polish itself. If you are consulting declensions in a reference work written in Polish, you will need to be familiar with them.

  • mianownik (m.), nominative
  • dopełniacz (m.), genitive
  • celownik (m.), dative
  • biernik (m.), accusative
  • narzędnik (m.), instrumental
  • miejscownik (m.), locative
  • wołacz (m.), vocative