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Posts by czarnykot  

Joined: 10 May 2008 / Male ♂
Last Post: 15 Nov 2015
Threads: Total: 16 / In This Archive: 11
Posts: Total: 28 / In This Archive: 23
From: Reading, England
Speaks Polish?: Intermediate Polish
Interests: Polish history, Polish language, science, Sunderland AFC

Displayed posts: 34 / page 1 of 2
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8 Sep 2009
Language / Podobać się vs Lubić [13]


Thanks for reply, AND for correcting my stupid mistake. Of course it should be to mięso! So podobać się could be used as you say BEFORE actually eating the meat. THEREAFTER if I don't like it I would use spakować.

That is a great shame if Świtezianka no longer visits this site. As you say, she was really professional, was very thorough in her explanations and gave great examples of usage. She will be very much missed. Isn't there a way of contacting her and asking her to come back?
8 Sep 2009
Language / Masculine Accusitive / Genitive - fruit, vegetables... [7]

Re masculine fruit, vegetables, vehicles (makes of car), units of currency (dolar, funt), games and dances...

In modern Polish do words such as ser and pomidor still add 'a' in the singular Accusative case? Grammar books are inconsistent on this point of grammar.


Pomidor (Nominative singular) = Tomato

Pomidor jest czerwony
Jem pomidora
And therefore: Jem czerwony pomidora
And: Nie jem czerwonego pomidora, ale jem zielony pomidora

Accusatve tomato in Polish looks the same in both Accusative and Genitive. But in Accustive is tomato still qualified by Accustive adjective, as in above examples? Most importantly is the sentence Jem czerwony pomidora correct?

Thank you in advance for any clarification.
Pozdrawiam, Czarnykot
8 Sep 2009
Language / Podobać się vs Lubić [13]

Lubić v. Podobać się - Your explanation was most informative. Thank you. BUT, a Polish friend told me yesterday that podobać się should not be used with reference to foods and drinks. Instead smakować vi should be used. Would you agree Switezianka with the following?:

Tak, bardzo lubię mięso (in general), ale ten mięso mi nie smakuje (specfically this meat I am eating right now (badly cooked?) or for the first time)

In English: Yes, as a rule I like meat very much, but I don't like this meat

Your comments Switezianka would be much appreciated.
Pozdrawiam, Czarnykot
27 Jul 2009
Language / free polish -english dictionary online [52]

Just to let everyone know that dict is up and running again this morning. Phew! That's a relief. esek suggested ling and thanks for that, but I much prefer dict and also it can be incorporated as an 'add-on' on my google page, along with weather add-ons (widgets or gadgets or whatever they are called) and 'Polish word of the day'

26 Jul 2009
Language / free polish -english dictionary online [52]

Merged: English Polish - Polish English Online Dictionary

Hi there!
Anybody else experiencing difficulties accessing the dictionary website ? For the past 48 hours I can't access it, repeatedly getting the message from Google 'Oops, this link appears to be broken'.

Is it me, or is the website experiencing server problems, or maybe being upgraded? I hope it is being upgraded and has not been lost to us people trying to learn Polish - it is such a good resource!

24 Jul 2009
Language / weather forecast/prognoza pogody [3]

Hi there!
I've got to grips with most of the vocab used in Polish weather forecasts and can read most forecasts in Polish (on websites, in newspapers etc) without much difficulty. BUT there is one word which frequently occurs and baffles me: zatoka. It often appears in phrases such as zatoka niżowa and zatoka niżu. Zatoka translates as bay or gulf, and niż in a weather context translates as a low or depression. I believe the following expressions translate as follows:

układ niskiego ciśnienia = low pressure system
klin niskiego ciśnienia = a trough of low pressure
It looks as though zatoka niżowa is another expression for a trough of low pressure, that is,
zatoka niżowa = klin niskiego ciśnienia, but I may well be mistaken.
If there are any Polish weather forecasters out there who could help with the correct translations of zatoka niżowa and zatoka niżu I'd be most grateful.

Many thanks in advance
Pozdrawiam serdecznie, czarnykot
27 Jun 2009
Language / Podobać się vs Lubić [13]

Please somebody, give some examples of when to use podobać się instead of lubić and vice versa. My teacher said that podobać się is used when the object can be seen, smelled, touched etc. But I'm not really sure about this... Would I say Mięso mi się podoba or Lubię mięso ? I'm OK with things like Czerwona sukienka mi się podoba bardziej niż zielona sukienka. Are there any rules when it is preferable to use one verb as opposed to the other? Many thanks in advance.

27 Mar 2009
Language / Popular Polish expressions/proverbs relating to months of the year [10]

As a 'homework' exercise I've been asked to source/find Polish genuine sayings/proverbs relating specifically to the various months of the year. Any examples provided by PF members would be greatly appreciated. I have a week, as of today, to come up with some such expressions. Many thanks.
19 Mar 2009
Language / Rosetta Stone and Vista OS [2]

Hi there!
I've just been reading the other threads relating to Rosetta Stone. Time has moved on. Rosetta Stone/Polish is now available in 3 levels (£379 for all three WITH A 6-MONTH MONEY BACK GUARANTEE, no questions asked, if not satisfied with progress that buyer is making). That sounds a good deal!

Forgetting the pros and cons of Rosetta Stone as an efficient language learning tool, my question regards the performance of the software on the Vista Operating System. If anybody has used Rosetta Stone on Vista, have you experienced any problems? At the beginning Vista was notoriously bad at allowing non MS products to function properly. A lot of the faults have now been remedied. But RS says that although Rosetta Stone is fully compatible with Vista, there may still be 3rd party issues for which RS is not responsible.

Any comments re Rosetta Stone/Vista performance would be very much appreciated. Many thanks in advance.
17 Mar 2009
Language / pedestrian crossing and traffic lights - motion/na + Locative case? [7]

these are colloquialisms (i guess something may be wrong with the second example you give)

Thanks for input... That is the problem... We are being taught that it is OK to say:

Idź prosto na pasach, i potem skręć w lewo... itd.

Idź prosto na światłach, i potem skręć w prawo... itd.

I guess then that 'Idź na pasach...' and 'Idź na światłach...' are only colloquial expressions without any logic to them?

Another related, but simpler question (if you would be so kind, please):

Would you say: Idę do Sądu Najwyższego... lub, Idę na Sąd Najwyższy... ? meaning

I am going to the Supreme Court, that is walking to the Supreme Court building.

Many thanks again.
15 Mar 2009
Language / pedestrian crossing and traffic lights - motion/na + Locative case? [7]

Please, someone (preferably a native Polish speaker) explain the reasoning behind the two following sentances which I have been taught by a Polish teacher in class:

1) Trzeba pójść prosto na pasach, i potem trzeba skręcić w lewo... itd.
You will need to go straight ahead to the zebra crossing, and then you'll need to turn left... etc.

2) Pan musi iść na światłach, i potem skręcić w prawo... itd.
You have to go to the lights, and then turn right... etc.

I thought that na + Locative/miejscownik indicates position:

Jestem na rynku (I'm in the market square), jesteśmy na lotnisku (we are at the airport)
Aneta jest na poczcie (Aneta is in/at the post office),

and that na + Accusative/biernik indicates motion towards some fixed point:

Idę na rynek (I'm going to the market square), jedziemy na lotnisko (we are driving to the airport), Aneta idzie na pocztę (Aneta is going to the post office)

pasy plpot.= zebra crossing
światło npot. = traffic light, and światła = traffic lights,

then I would have expected these sentences indicating motion,
'You will need to go straight ahead to the zebra crossing' to translate into Polish as:

'Trzeba pójść prosto na pasy' (na + Accusative/biernik) or, 'Trzeba pójść prosto do pasów '(do + Genitive/dopełniacz),

and 'You have to go to the lights' to translate into Polish as:

'Pan musi iść na światła' (na + Accusative/biernik) or, 'Pan musi iść do świateł' (do + Genitive/dopełniacz)

But, contrary to intuition, these two sentences of motion towards in Polish are:

Trzeba pójść na pasach (na + Locative/miejscownik)
Pan musi iść na światłach (na + Locative/miejscownik)

Maybe there is no logical explanation and that these are just set expressions and quirks of the Polish language... Please, all native Polish speakers, do not take these observations as criticisms. I'm just trying to understand the reasoning... Maybe I've completely missed the point, but it is just a little confusing!

Any ideas?

Thanks in advance
13 Mar 2009
Language / Confused about the Polish Imperative [15]

Imperatives aren't used in giving directions IME.

Thanks for your suggestions... Pan musi + Infinitive, or Trzeba + Infinitive seem to be much better Constructions re 'giving directions'. But in the above quote, what does IME stand for? I don't think I've come across this before...
13 Mar 2009
Language / Confused about the Polish Imperative [15]

Merged: Which form of Imperative to use?

I thought the use of the Imperative was straightforward... But I am now really confused by what my Polish teacher says, my Polish friends say and what most books say. I am OK using the Imperative in an informal way, between friends, that are normally addressed in the 2nd person singular (ty). My problem concerns use of Imperative between strangers. The topic of 'Giving directions' is often addressed in Grammar books and by teachers in class. The form of the Imperative to use seems to be really varied.

Example: I'm in Warsaw and ask a stranger how to get to the railway station... What form of the Imperative would normally be used in the reply by the person unknown to me? I would first ask the question:

Przepraszam, zgubiłem się... proszę, czy Pan wie jak dojść do dworca kolejowego?

Would the reply be in the form of:

a) Tak, oczywiście. Najpierw, proszę iść prosto do skrzyżowania. Potem, na światłach, proszę skręcić w prawo, iść dalej prosto do następnego skrzyżowania i skręcić w lewo... itd.

b) Tak, oczywiście. Najpierw, idź prosto do skrzyżowania. Potem, na światłach, skręć w prawo, idź dalej prosto do następnego skrzyżowania i skręć w lewo... itd.

c) Tak, oczywiście. Najpierw, niech pan idzie do skrzyżowania. Potem, na światłach, niech pan skręci w prawo, niech pan idzie dalej prosto do następnego skrzyżowania i niech pan skręći w lewo... itd.

And then if was with my wife, asked the stranger in Warsaw the question:

Przepraszam, zgubiliśmy się... proszę, czy Pan wie jak dojść do dworca kolejowego?

Would the reply be in the form of:

a) Tak, oczywiście. Najpierw, proszę iść prosto do skrzyżowania. Potem, na światłach, proszę skręcić w prawo, iść dalej prosto do następnego skrzyżowania i skręcić w lewo... itd.

b) Tak, oczywiście. Najpierw, idźcie prosto do skrzyżowania. Potem, na światłach, skręćcie w prawo, idźcie dalej prosto do następnego skrzyżowania i skręćcie w lewo... itd.

c) Tak, oczywiście. Najpierw, niech państwo idą do skrzyżowania. Potem, na światłach, niech państwo skręcą w prawo, niech państwo idą dalej prosto do następnego skrzyżowania i niech państwo skręćą w lewo... itd.

Apologies for being so long-winded, but I'd really like to get to grips with which form of the Imperative to use, once and for all! It seems to me that replies b) are Informal replies, used with friends and would not be used when addressing a stranger. But then I may well be wrong. Do respective ages of the person asking, the person replying (both or all being strangers) affect the form of Imperative to be used?

Many thanks for any help offered.
11 Nov 2008
Language / Correct form of BYĆ. Please help! [96]

I can never understand why you have got to make a simple subject so complicated and dry. Polish is not Latin. It is a nice living thing! you always do the same thing. You just look up tables in grammar books and then download it all on the Polishforums.

What! Krzysztof does a real good job, gives proper explanations, is really helpful. In all of the replies I've had from Krzysztof I'd be very surprised if any were 'downloaded from tables in grammar books'! Which tables, which grammar books? Yes. Polish is a living language... But it is a much more complex language than Latin. But I expect you are very good at both languages...
7 Nov 2008
Language / bring (towards) versus take (to) - Confusing ... [6]

Hi Krzysztof!

Many thanks for explanation. I think I understand how this 'bringing' and 'taking' business works... Yes, lots of nuances re distance, who knows whom, on foot or by transport etc. It will all take a lot of practice! By the way, yes, I'm OK with the difference between nosić/nieść and wozić/wieźć (on foot vis-a-vis by transport). It's like chodzić/iść and jeździć/jechać; I believe ...

Pozdrawiam/Many thanks, David
6 Nov 2008
Language / bring (towards) versus take (to) - Confusing ... [6]

bring (towards) versus take (to)
Please can a fluent Polish speaker sort out my confusion re how these two English verbs are used in Polish? Many thanks in advance ...
Please correct me if I'm wrong ... I would translate 'please bring me a jug of water' as 'proszę, przynieś mi dzbanek wody'.
If I'm asking somene to bring me something (by hand) I think I'm OK with the verb and grammar. But if I wish to say 'Take this book to the teacher' (by hand again) which verb for 'to take' would a Pole use? wziąć, zanieść ?? or another verb? In English instead of saying 'take' we could say 'give'. Would Polish people do the same? If so, then 'Take this book to the teacher' would be 'Daj nauczycielowi książkę'. The sense I'm trying to convey is 'taking something away from me to give to someone else' who is in a different room, or part of a house for example. I do apologise for being so long-winded.
19 Oct 2008
Language / Verb: to include - 'zawierać' or 'włączać' [2]

'zawierać' or 'włączać' ?
Please can someone help with these two verbs... which to use? I have just ordered a CD called ,,Myśli warte słów'' from a shop in Poland and wished to say:

-This edition ,,Myśli warte słów'' includes the song 'Nie kłam, że kochasz mnie'.
I sent an email in Polish and wrote:
-To wydanie ,,Myśli warte słów '' zawiera piosenkę ,,Nie kłam, że kochasz mnie''.
On reflection I was wondering if I have used the correct verb 'zawierać' for this context or maybe I should have used the verb 'włączać'. Will the salesperson in Poland understand that I want the CD which has the track 'Nie kłam, że kochasz mnie' among its tracks? I ask because there are two versions of the CD ,,Myśli warte słów'', one with the track I specifically want, and one without it. Thank you in advance.
26 Sep 2008
Language / Instrumental form in Polish [65]

Cześć Switezianka!
Gosh! You have been busy! Many thanks for your comprehensive replies concerning the usage of the Instrumental case. They will take some digesting and a lot of practice will be required to even begin to use the Case correctly. I am sure I will be refering to your answers many times over the following months. But once again, many many thanks for all your time and effort in the provision of such a detailed analysis regarding our friend the Instrumental case.

Pozdrawiam serdecznie, David
23 Sep 2008
Language / Instrumental form in Polish [65]

Hi Krzysztof and Switezianka
It looks like I've stirred up a real ol' hornet's nest re a non-native Polish speaker trying to use correctly the Instrumental case in the Polish language - apologies :-), but I find it fascinating. It certainly makes me also think about my own English language. Your approach Krzysztof is also very interesting re the Active and Passive noun within the sentence. Your approach does make a lot of sense. I would however, like to pass comment on a couple of items. (Subject + Verb + ? - I think it is the Predicate). Now to those two items:

1) The biggest obstacle was the Church. (Największą przeszkodą był Kościoł.)
The Church was the biggest obstacle. (Kościoł był największą przeszkodą.)

You say that the 2nd sentence is more natural in English... Maybe, but... To my mind the 2nd sentence is a general statement within a 'descriptive situation'. I can better imagine the 1st sentence being used/said more often because it is emphatic. For example, a group of people are discussing over dinner the issue of women's rights. All the various points have been raised and then someone says: '...., but when all is said and done, the biggest obstacle to women achieving equal rights was the Church!'.

2) You can say "Paul was an electrician", but "An electrician was Paul" doesn't sound good to me.

I agree wholeheartedly! 'An electrician was Paul' is almost nonsense! We would/could say in England - 'One of the electricians was Paul' - That makes sense.

Many thanks for your input Krzysztof. As I said, your Active/Passive approach makes a lot of sense. I am looking forward to Switezianka's following comments re 'word order also affecting the meaning' in such sentences.

PS - Learning Latin may well be a good idea... But... Mam 61 lat! Yuk! I think being able to speak Polish will be more rewarding than being able to speak Latin! But I do understand the point you are making. My step-father was a doctor and he was always emphasizing the importance of Latin ...
23 Sep 2008
Language / Instrumental form in Polish [65]

Hi again Switezianka!
Many thanks for the clear and well-expressed explanation (Part 1 :-) Your added examples towards the bottom of the explanation are really helpful. I've read it through several times and I think I have the hang of it. Polish is a lovely language, but oh so complicated :-) But being complicated makes it all that more interesting and challenging! I look forward to Part 2. I guess word order in Polish just had to affect the meaning of a sentence as well :-) Haha.
22 Sep 2008
Language / Instrumental form in Polish [65]

Not "najlepszą" but "największą".

Hi Switezianka - Yes, you are quite right - I meant to write największą (the biggest, or most important). I had written this sentence in the context of women's rights. Certainly in France the Roman Catholic Church was a major obstacle to women achieving equality. Be that as it may, yes, I would be very interested in your answer to this very advanced question. I thought it could well be a question of semantics. Yes I understand the difference between syntax and semantics :-) If you wish please email me the explanation, unless you feel other PF members would benefit from the explanation as well. ( I am sure some members would :-).) I look forward to receiving your explanation either in my email inbox or via PF. Many thanks for your initial response.
22 Sep 2008
Language / Instrumental form in Polish [65]

Merged: Using the Instrumental case between two inaminate nouns A and B

Until the other day I was fairly clear on how and when to use the Instrumental case. But then I hit a snag... If 'one inanimate thing A' is 'another inaminate thing B' which 'thing, A or B' is put into the Instrumental case? One can say A is B, or B is A. In English there is no problem. But in Polish... For example:

The biggest obstacle was the Church. I translated this in an essay I was writing as: Najlepsza przeszkoda była Kościołem. My Polish Internet teacher marked this as being wrong. She said, and of course I do not doubt her, that the sentence should have been: Najlepszą przeszkodą był Kościoł. However, she had difficulty in explaining why Church/Kościoł is in the Nominative case and obstacle/przeszkodą is in the Instrumental case. What are the rules of Instrumental usage in such cases? Or would Polish people avoid the Instrumental construction/difficulty/confusion and find a different way of expressing the same idea? Any help in resolving this problem area for me would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks in advance.
1 Jul 2008
Language / Two verbs: to clean - some examples of usage... [6]

to clean Please could some Poles give examples of situations in which czyścićand sprzątać are used. I think sprzątać is more like clean up, tidy upwith reference to a mess/bałagan (in a room, in a flat, in a house etc). So in what situations is czyścić used? Maybe cleaning a car? Many thanks, dziękuję bardzo.
9 Jun 2008
Language / Polish Conditionals (okresy warunkowe or zdania warunkowe) [23]

Ivonka's explanation re Polish conditional sentences is great. Many thanks. One further observation: in all the examples (I think) the subject is the same in both main and subordinate clause... If the subjects of the two clauses are different are the conditional sentence constructions the same? For example, is the following sentence correct?

Gdyby Polska wygrała mecz, to byłbym szczęśliwy.

In the subordinate clause the subject is 'Polska' and in the main clause the subject is 'ja'.
30 May 2008
Language / Making an apology: Polish grammar construction [6]

Droga Aneto,
Bardzo mi przykro, że nie odpisałem wcześniej ale...

Michal might be right but I thought mi przykro was used in sense like 'I'm sorry that your friend died; I'm sorry you are not feeling well. I thought mi przykro has more of a sense of 'being upset' rather than the sense of 'an apology'. But I'm also a beginner in Polish so may well be mistaken. Comments by more PF members would be appreciated. Dziękuję bardzo...
30 May 2008
Language / Making an apology: Polish grammar construction [6]

Please, what is the equivalent Polish construction for 'wishing to apologise for not having done something' - I get stuck every time! So annoying! Your help in resolving this probem will/would be greatly appreciated. Dziękuję bardzo...

Droga Aneto
I apologise for not having replied before now, but...
In Polish = ...
23 May 2008
Language / 'Getting married' vocab/usage [4]

Dzisiaj Romek poślubi Agnieszkę

Cześć gosiaczek!
Dziękuję za odpowiedź. I dziękuję za poprawkę 'ożenił' i nie !'ożeniał'. Teraz inne małe pytanie:
Do Polish people use the imperfective verb 'poślubiać'?
IF they do should it then be:
Dzisiaj Romek poślubia Agnieszkę... AND:
Wczoraj Romek poślubił Agnieszkę ???
23 May 2008
Language / Why do people want to study Polish? [90]

2. Europeans (esp. Brits) want to speak Polish to be able to communicate with Poles who settle in their countries (?)

1) For me it is a question of politeness. Too many British people just expect foreigners to speak English because English is widely spoken all over the world. I cannot stand English people who go on holiday to France for example, walk into a bar, and say 'Beer and glass of wine please'. Often no 'please'! To my way of thinking it is more polite to at least try, to begin with, to communicate with the indiginous people in their own language. Afterall, the English person abroad is a guest of that country. Anyway, making that initial attempt elicits a much better response from the person serving. Also you are far more likely to be helped with the language or whatever. The attemt also 'breaks the ice' and you can have lots of laughs over language mistakes. If you just expect people to speak English it can be considered arrogant. In fact it is arrogant!

2) Without learning someone else's language, or at least trying, you will never understand what makes that person tick. For example you will never understand the French mentality which is quite different from that of the Engkish. Also literature can lose a lot in translation (but that I guess is for advanced learners of a foreign language).

I'm trying to learn Polish... Yes, it's hard. But it is also very rewarding. I now have several Polish friends, some in the UK, some in Poland. I just feel more comfortable at least trying to communicte in the foreign language (in this case Polish) rather than always expecting the foreigner to be doing the hard work.

Those are my thoughts... Many people would disagree... But that's life! (samo życie!) I think...