Jest ich sześć osób.

Could someone clarify what exactly is the logic behind this construction? No matter how many times I encounter this sentence, I’m always confused by it and I still haven’t figured out how exactly does this work.

Is this something along the lines of “there are six of them”? Although that would be “jest ich sześć” only… I just don’t understand the the exact role that “osób” is playing here. I’d be so grateful for any help!

This is a bit of a non-standard construction. You can sometimes hear it in colloquial speech, but I wouldn’t say this is 100% correct Polish.

A better way to say this would be “Jest ich sześć” (if they’re all female), “Jest ich sześciu” (if they’re all male), or “Jest ich sześcioro” (if it’s a mixed-gender group).

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Thank you for the clarification! It relieves me a lot that this is indeed colloquial. Btw, regarding the mixed-gender collective nouns, are they really used that often? I hardly encounter them to be honest, and to be frank I haven’t really focused on studying them because of it, but maybe I’m actually misjudging how often they are used.

I’d say they’re used fairly often. However, I have seen that even Polish speakers sometimes have trouble with using those correctly.

The declension is especially tricky, as you get forms like “sześciorgu” (mixed gender, dative) or “sześciorgiem” (mixed gender, instrumental). This is what most people have issues with.

So unless you’re really advanced, I wouldn’t worry too much about these. You’ll easily get your meaning across even if you use a wrong form.

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