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Capitalization of Cie, Ciebie, and others

acrimon 6 | 11  
31 May 2008 /  #1
Hi again,

I noticed that words like Ciebie, Cie, Ty, etc are capitalized in certain contexts, such as part of a phrase that I sometimes see written as "dla Ciebie." Other times, those words are not capitalized, and I'm slightly confused as to when this should be done. If anyone would explain this, I'd be very appreciative. :)

Dziękuję! :D
tehb - | 12  
31 May 2008 /  #2
They should always be written with a capital letter, poles just often don't care about this grammatic rule ;)
Jova - | 172  
31 May 2008 /  #3
Not at all.
You capitalise these words when you care about/like/respect the person you're writing to. Usually in personal letters.
tehb - | 12  
31 May 2008 /  #4
@ Jova

Wrong. "Cie", "Ciebie" should be always written with a capital letter.
Jova - | 172  
31 May 2008 /  #5
Who told you this, young man? :)
Take a random book - are the pronouns capitalised? Naaaah.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
31 May 2008 /  #6
Jova is right. Man, I'm not Polish so I feel cheeky correcting u but u r wrong.

Kocham cie is absolutely fine. How can u not know such basic things?
JustysiaS 13 | 2,240  
31 May 2008 /  #7
you can see how some Poles try to use this rule in English, saying i love You, or how are You doing?. In Polish the capitalization of these words is reserved for personal letters and messages only, and also in some formal letters you write Państwo/Pan/Pani (as in Szanowni Państwo, Szanowny Panie, Szanowna Pani) using a capital letter at the beginning, to show respect and be polite. In books or magazines you will not see Cię, but cię and so on. what i have also noticed, some people write Ja (I) starting off with a capital letter, as if they were copying the English language (or showing just how much respect and love they have for themselves lol).
z_darius 14 | 3,968  
31 May 2008 /  #8
You capitalise these words when you care about/like/respect the person you're writing to. Usually in personal letters.

This is correct, although you will find capitalized pronouns in official publications where they address specific audience.

The rules have more to do with culture than grammar. Indeed, capitalized Ty, Wy etc. will express the respect we may feel towards someone, but sometimes it will also reflect on us.
tehb - | 12  
31 May 2008 /  #9
eh whatever ;), my bad then.
Switezianka - | 463  
17 Jun 2008 /  #10
You capitalize Ty, Ciebi, Was etc. in:

-letters (including e-mails)
-on the Internet forums and chat. Many people don't but it is not too polite

In other words, when you address someone directly in writing.

In books (e.g. in dialogues), they are not capitalized, because the writer does not address anyone. In cases the author does address the reader directly in narration ("Now, dear children, I will tell you what the princess did..."), not to be confused with a 1st. pers. narrator addressing a fictional listener, second person pronouns are usually capitalized.
Krzysztof 2 | 973  
17 Jun 2008 /  #11
I'm relatively polite (and old) and I never capitalize Cię/Ciebie/Tobie/Ty except in dedications (for example when giving someone a present with a hand written note). Guess I'm just rude :)
Switezianka - | 463  
22 Jun 2008 /  #12
I'm young and relatively impolite but I always do, and people with whom I communicate in writing (usually young) do as well. Maybe a generation gap or something?
VaFunkoolo 6 | 654  
22 Jun 2008 /  #13
Polish friends who write to me frequently capitalise 'You', even in the most informal contexts
osiol 55 | 3,922  
22 Jun 2008 /  #14
Are People Tending To Capitalise More Initial Letters These Days, less, or just the same?
Gab - | 133  
22 Jun 2008 /  #15
Hi acrimon,

All these forms, i.e. Cie/Ciebie/Ty/Twoj/Twoja/Twoi/Twoje/Wasz/Wasze/Wasi should be capitalized according to a capitalization rule of Polish (see Polish grammar/punctuation/capitalization). It's actually considered a grammatical mistake if you don't.

We do not capitalize adjectives like polski/hiszpanski/amerykanski/niemiecki etc. which in are capitalized in English. That would be Polish/Spanish/American/German respectively.

Now, the language is evolving and certain linguistic rules/trends might be modified. Plus, formal vs. informal writing should be considered as well.

I even capitalize the words "Mamo" and "Tato" (mom and dad) in letters or on postcards as an expression of the utmost respect for my parents. But I also know some people who don't do that.


z_darius 14 | 3,968  
22 Jun 2008 /  #16
It's actually considered a grammatical mistake if you don't.

No, it's not. It is considered an orthographic error, and only under some circumstances. After all, an expression of respect, or lack of it, has little to do with grammar.
Switezianka - | 463  
23 Jun 2008 /  #17
One thing is certain: if you address someone as pan/pani in a formal letter, then pan/pani has to be capitalized.

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