I saw the following two constructions in Polish:

  • Za około dwadzieścia minut
  • Po około dwudziestu minutach

And I don't really understand their grammatical rules.

Za takes accusative, 20 and około take genitive, and po takes locative.

However, in the first sentence the number 20 is not declined and minut is declined regularly, but in the second sentence, po declines both the number 20 and the word "minut".

Can someone please explain the construction and what word dictates the declination?

  • 2
    This is quite easy to find online. The particle około has no effect on case (unlike the preposition, which does). Wikipedia also explains that if the numeral is in the nominative or accusative, the noun will be in the genitive plural; whereas if the numeral is in the genitive, dative, instrumental or locative, the noun will normally be in the same case. Jun 20 at 23:36
  • Great, add it as an answer and I'll star it, I wasn't aware that około can be both a particle and a preposition (nor I know what a particle is).
    – Michael
    Jun 22 at 9:48


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