Countable singular nouns

Countable singular nouns

When you use a noun in English which is countable (policzalny) and singular (w liczbie pojedynczej) you always have to use an identifier. An identifier tells you exactly which or whose thing you are talking about. There are lots of different identifiers.

a and an

You use a and an to mean – it isn’t important which specific thing I am talking about.

I have a book. – Mam (jakąś) książkę.

I bought a car yesterday. – Wczoraj kupiłem (jakiś) samochód.

Notice that in English we must use an identifier to show that we mean jakiś.

the

You use the when you and the listener both know exactly which thing you are talking about. You might know this because:

The speaker mentioned it earlier

I bought a car yesterday. The car is very nice. – Wczoraj kupiłem (jakiś) samochód. (Ten) samochód jest bardzo ładny.

You know from the context

I’m going to the swimming Pool. – Idę na basen.
(Jesteśmy w Skierniewicach. Miasto ma tylko jeden basen, więc musi być to ten basen)

There is only one of these things

I’m going to the Eiffel Tower. – Idę na wieżę Eiffel’a.
(Jest na świecie tylko jedna wieża Eiffel’a)

this and that

We normally use this and that to give the listener an idea about the location of the thing we are talking about. It can be close to us, this, or further away, that.

This is the book I was talking about. – To (tutaj) ta książka, o której mówiłem.

That is the book I was talking about. – To tamta książka, o której mówiłem.

You can also use identifiers which tell you whose something is.

I love my son. – Kocham (mojego) syna.

I broke my arm  – Złamałem sobie rękę.

He works at our company’s head office in Warsaw. – On pracuje w centrali naszej firmy w Warszawie.