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Correct form of BYĆ. Please help!


ArcticPaul 38 | 233  
20 Apr 2008 /  #1
Please help me understand how to choose the correct form of the verb BYĆ.
I am lost and it's only lesson 4!

Ja jestem w Krakowie. (I am in Krakow)
Czy ty jesteś w Polsce? (Are you in Poland?)
My jesteśmy w Polsce. (We are in Poland)

This is the problem (I have no ja/ty/my/on/pan etc to dictate which form of the verb to use)...
Michel też.............. w Polsce. (Michel also is in Poland)
Michel i Robert ........... w Krakowie. (Michel and Robert are in Krakow)
Agnieszka i Robert .......... w Krakowie. (Agnieszka and Robert are in Krakow)
Agnieszka .......... w Krakowie. (Agnieszka is in Krakow)

I assume this is to do with gender and singular/plural (do to the combination of names used) but I am lost as to how to work out the answers and desperately need some help.

The remainder is:
To jest Robert. (This is Robert)
Czy wy też jesteście w Polsce? (Are you [pl] also in Poland?

Although wy is followed by też I guess it still dictates jesteście as the correct form of the verb(?)
z_darius 14 | 3960  
20 Apr 2008 /  #2
This is the problem (I have no ja/ty/my/on/pan etc to dictate which form of the verb to use)...

Personal pronouns are not required to tell you what form the verb takes. The subject of the sentence dictates that, and in fact it tell you quite a bit which personal pronoun could have been used, so :

Michel (on) też jest w Polsce. (Michel also is in Poland)
Michel i Robert (oni) w Krakowie. (Michel and Robert are in Krakow)
Agnieszka i Robert (oni) w Krakowie. (Agnieszka and Robert are in Krakow)
Agnieszka (ona) jest w Krakowie. (Agnieszka is in Krakow)

Although wy is followed by też

nothing to do with verbal forms. It means "too", "also", "as well".
Krzysztof 2 | 973  
20 Apr 2008 /  #3
first of all, it's Mich :)
unless it's on purpose (Michel = a French name)
so I leave it unchanged

then: Michel / Agnieszka is in Poland = He / She is in Poland, so the same in Polish:
Michel [= on] też jest w Polsce.
Agnieszka [= ona] jest w Krakowie.

Michel i Robert [Michel and Robert] = oni [they]
Agnieszka i Robert [Agnieszka and Robert] = oni [they]
so the form of the verb is "są" (oni są)

The remainder is:
To jest Robert. (This is Robert)
Czy wy też jesteście w Polsce? (Are you [pl] also in Poland?
Although wy is followed by też I guess it still dictates jesteście as the correct form of the verb(?)

That's correct.
z_darius 14 | 3960  
20 Apr 2008 /  #4
That's correct.

I never heard of "też" having anything to do with the verb forms in Polish.
Could you elaborate?
Krzysztof 2 | 973  
20 Apr 2008 /  #5
misunderstanding?
I assumed that when AP wrote

it still dictates jesteście as the correct form of the verb(?)

the "it" was referred to the pronoun "wy", he was just waiting for a confirmation that the pronoun "wy" dictates the form of the verb ("jesteście"). Am I right?
z_darius 14 | 3960  
20 Apr 2008 /  #6
Am I right?

yup, misunderstanding.

Thanks.
OP ArcticPaul 38 | 233  
21 Apr 2008 /  #7
Michel (on) też jest w Polsce. (Michel also is in Poland)
??Because Michel is male and singular we use the form of BYĆ 'jest'??
(on) is not actually used?


Michel i Robert (oni) są w Krakowie. (Michel and Robert are in Krakow)
??Because Michel/Robert are both male and plural we use 'SĄ'??
(Oni) is not actually used?


Agnieszka i Robert (oni) są w Krakowie. (Agnieszka and Robert are in Krakow)??Because Agnieszka/Robert are female and male and plural we use 'SĄ'??
(Oni) is just indicative?


Agnieszka (ona) jest w Krakowie. (Agnieszka is in Krakow)

??Because Agnieszka is female and singular we use 'jest'??
(Oni) is replaced by the names has the indicator of the correct form?
NieMota - | 30  
21 Apr 2008 /  #8
??Because Agnieszka is female and singular we use 'jest'??

Never mind the gender - 'jest' is correct for all of them.(female, mare or object ) So: 'jest' = is.
OP ArcticPaul 38 | 233  
21 Apr 2008 /  #9
ArcticPaul:
??Because Agnieszka is female and singular we use 'jest'??

Never mind the gender - 'jest' is correct for all of them.(female, mare or object ) So: 'jest' = is.[/quote]

So it is just the single/plural option that changed the form of BYĆ??
NieMota - | 30  
21 Apr 2008 /  #10
So it is just the single/plural option that changed the form of BYĆ??

I don't know the how it is called in english but we saying person's number.

single
I = ja = 1 (first) person => jestem
you = ty = 2second person => jesteś
he/she/it = on/ona/ono = 3 (third) person => jest

plural
1 my => jesteśmy
2 wy =>jesteście
3 oni/one =>

So you have 2x3 = 6 options

BTW
In Polish is possible link the verb ending to the pronoun and this way you need to use only two forms (one single and one plural)

single
jam jest = ja jestem
tyś jest = ty jesteś
third person is the same

plural
myśmy są = my jesteśmy
wyście są = wy jesteście
third person is the same one/oni 'są'

but i don't recommend that- it is an old Polish language
but still understandable of course .
You can use that way if you want focus listener's attention.
Anna_ET - | 9  
21 Apr 2008 /  #11
it's in the past tense that the verb changes according to the gender.

:)
OP ArcticPaul 38 | 233  
21 Apr 2008 /  #12
I'm at the early stages and I'm just using present tense BUT
As the pronoun changed with the gender as well as the single/plural option it's still useful for me to learn them, even when they do not change the form of być (as above) I'm still learning the correct pronoun for one male, two males, a male and a female (same as two males) and one female.
NieMota - | 30  
21 Apr 2008 /  #13
it's in the past tense that the verb changes according to the gender. :)

Yes, it is true but that is for the next lesson ;)
Nie od razu Kraków zbudowano.
z_darius 14 | 3960  
21 Apr 2008 /  #14
plural
myśmy są = my jesteśmy
wyście są = wy jesteście
third person is the same one/oni 'są'

but i don't recommend that- it is an old Polish language
but still understandable of course .

I think you should make clear what "i don't recommend that" refers too. He's a beginner and your explanation is quite messy, I'd say even for some Poles. Also, I think the beginners should not be overwhelmed with all kinds of obscure grammatical forms, that even you consider obsolete. Try to make it nice and to the point.
NieMota - | 30  
21 Apr 2008 /  #15
I'm still learning the correct pronoun for one male, two males, a male and a female (same as two males) and one female.

one male, on
two males, oni
a male and a female (same as two males) oni
and one female. ona

and don't forget form for one child: ono
and two females one it is almost English ;)
OP ArcticPaul 38 | 233  
21 Apr 2008 /  #16
just the single/plural option that changed the form of BYĆ??

I don't know the how it is called in english but we saying person's number.

single
I = ja = 1 (first) person => jestem
you = ty = 2second person => jesteś
he/she/it = on/ona/ono = 3 (third) person => jest

plural
1 my => jesteśmy
2 wy =>jesteście
3 oni/one =>są

So you have 2x3 = 6 options

I'm sure at some point this info will be helpful but, at the moment, I have a worksheet with specific sentences and gaps where I have to add the correct form of być and my tutor has instructed me to use my BYĆ table to complete it.

Where I have no ja/ty/wy/on to dictate the form needed I use my pronoun sheet to find that Michel (single/masc) = 'on' thus 'jest'. Agnieszka (single/fem) = 'ona' so also 'jest' Whilst the pairs of names (plur/masc) = 'oni' dictating 'są' is the correct form.

Although I do not want shortcuts (I'm wanting a solid foundation of the basics to build on) it's important I stay as much as possible on the specific exercises I have been assigned.

It's confusing enough without trying to take in alternative methods or extra info than the level I'm attempting to understand.

Without being big-headed I have always found academic stuff came easily to me, including languages when I have been abroad BUT this Polish is really testing me and it's the first time in my life that I have had doubts about my ability to succeed in a subject that I was taking through personal choice.
z_darius 14 | 3960  
21 Apr 2008 /  #17
Answers to what you asked for are provided in the first two posts.
The following posts are a result of your further inquiries. Reading some of your comments I have a feeling you need to brush up some of the basic concepts of grammar, such as personal pronouns. They are structurally nearly the same in Polish as they are in English. The personal pronoun you use dictates the grammatical form of the verb, but only in some tenses.

I also have a feeling you are have a problem with understanding that Michal is in fact exactly the same "he" (on) for grammatical purposes. Again, these are rudimentary basics that are present in English and Polish, and you need to, perhaps, start with understanding them in English, before you are ready to proceed with Polish. It is not uncommon for people to learn the grammar of their native language due to the fact that they need it to understand the structure and rules of a foreign language.

Regardless, don't despair or doubt your abilities. The fact is that Polish is very difficult, and often escapes what might seem logical in other languages.
NieMota - | 30  
21 Apr 2008 /  #18
I think you should make clear what "i don't recommend that" refers too. He's a beginner and your explanation is quite messy, I'd say even for some Poles. Also, I think the beginners should not be overwhelmed with all kinds of obscure grammatical forms, that even you consider obsolete. Try to make it nice and to the point.

So lets me explain. IMHO ii is a convenient option for beginner if Polish verb endings are perceived as obstacles.
That way beginner could to use less different verb forms.
But still should be aware it is not the main way we used to speak.

So it is his/her choice is he/she would like to use that option or not.
I don't tell: you must to know that way.

IMHO unawared beginer could be much more overloaded by all these verbs and theirs endings.
Would you like explain what is obscure here, or difficult ?
z_darius 14 | 3960  
21 Apr 2008 /  #19
Would you like explain what is obscure here, or difficult ?

I don't know because, frankly, your English might use some polish.
miranda  
21 Apr 2008 /  #20
Also, I think the beginners should not be overwhelmed with all kinds of obscure grammatical forms, that even you consider obsolete.

good point
Krzysztof 2 | 973  
21 Apr 2008 /  #21
Agreed with z_darius (and miranda) about the overwhelming part (I do it myself too often).

NieMota, I can see your intentions were pure, but, as you explained a little later, these forms aren't an everyday standard, they sound definitely archaic for 90% of today's population, so it's better to avoid them :)

-------------
PS (Attention! not suitable for children and beginners!)
Although when it comes to questions in conditional mode ("Co byś kupił, gdybyśmy dali ci milion na drobne wydatki?") they are still the norm, but it's definitely

for the next lesson

or even lessons.
NieMota - | 30  
21 Apr 2008 /  #22
I don't know because, frankly, your English might use some polish.

So I will try to ask you in different way ;)

You said:

I think the beginners should not be overwhelmed with all kinds of obscure grammatical forms,

so my question is: why in your opinion the form 'myśmy są' is more obscure then 'my jesteśmy' ?
Or why 'myśmy pisali' is more obscure then 'my pisaliśmy' ?
'jam pisał, jam pisała' = ' ja pisałem, ja pisałam'
'tyś pisał, tyś pisała' = ' ty pisałeś, ja pisałaś'

on the left side : jam, tyś, pisał, pisała = 4 new words
on the right side : ja, ty, pisałem, pisałam, pisałeś, pisałaś = 6 new words

What is more difficult to learn: 4 new wordds or 6 new words ?
What is more obscure for a beginner ??

Would you like to explain me ?

I'm not a language oriented person or teaching oriented.
I'm just really curious as for me more words and more rules was always more complicated and obscure especially when i was absolute beginner.
miranda  
21 Apr 2008 /  #23
niemota,

when one starts learning the language, the simpler the better. Verb "to be" is for begginers and I would rather have them master the basics first, so they have a solid fundation to build on and expand. Polish is not an easy language to learn.
z_darius 14 | 3960  
21 Apr 2008 /  #24
so my question is: why in your opinion the form 'myśmy są' is more obscure then 'my jesteśmy' ?

The reason is the development of the language. Some of those forms, while correct, are not considered standard Polish. "Jam jest" is good for jokes, and it was good for Sienkiewicz's novels describing 17th century Poland, but not for 2007.

What is more difficult to learn: 4 new wordds or 6 new words ?

It's not just about words but about grammar. If you don't understand 4 forms then the additional 2 won't help, especially if they build on the other 4.

Would you like to explain me ?

It's not my job. It's up to you to explain yourself ;)

I'm not a language oriented person or teaching oriented.

I am. My motto in this respect is "if something is worth doing, it's worth doing well". Dumping a truckload of forms and words will suffocate the learner.

My remarks were not unfriendly. I merely pointed out that in order for the learner to benefit from a lesson, the lesson needs to address the learner's needs, skills and current level of expertise. To much of good stuff is sometimes too much.
NieMota - | 30  
21 Apr 2008 /  #25
NieMota, I can see your intentions were pure, but, as you explained a little later, these forms aren't an everyday standard, they sound definitely archaic for 90% of today's population, so it's better to avoid them :)

I cannot agree with you Krzysztof.

Beginner don't need to care about that. He/she must start to care about if he/she will not be a beginner anymore !
She /he don't need to avoid them as long as he/she is a beginner.
There is much more other more importan things to avoid in Polish than archaic forms.
She/he should be aware above, but nothing more IMHO.
When he/she become familiar with ours endings then become to use
correct forms.
Krzysztof 2 | 973  
21 Apr 2008 /  #26
OK, your intentions weren't as pure as I thought, my bad :)
There's no point in learning archaic forms for everyday use of a foreign language, period.
The beginners can dream whatever they want (even about mastering the language to a proficiency level far better than most native speakers), it doesn't change the fact that it takes years and certain stages can't be jumped over, they will be beginners for quite some time, weeks, but rather months.

That's like the maths:
first you learn kids to add
2+2+2+2 = 8
the to multiply
2 x 2 x 2 = 8
then
2 ^ 3 = 8.
You can't throw at them 2 ^ 3 = 8 before they comprehend the multiplications.
NieMota - | 30  
21 Apr 2008 /  #27
The reason is the development of the language. Some of those forms, while correct, are not considered standard Polish. "Jam jest" is good for jokes, and it was good for Sienkiewicz's novels describing 17th century Poland, but not for 2007.

But still is good at learning stage IMHO.

It's not just about words but about grammar. If you don't understand 4 forms then the additional 2 won't help, especially if they build on the other 4.

How additional 2 older forms could be builded on 4 newer forms ?

Old form 'jam' 'tyś' are very helpful because they contain pronouns fixed with correct ending, so that way it is more clear for the beginner.

Old forms showing the roots of Polish endings,
so that way they are really helpful.

Why beginner must to learn all contemporary grammar forms at the begin ?
Why he/she cannot start in more easier way ? (less forms - simple rules)

Would you like to explain that ?

IMO it is easier to start learn walk than run the same way as old grammar is easier sometimes than contemporary grammar rules and all different forms related with them.

Our Polish grammar was'nt created at once.
Why they must be teached at once ? ( only contemporary rules and forms)
There is better to start from roots than from fruits, sometimes.
;)
z_darius 14 | 3960  
21 Apr 2008 /  #28
But still is good at learning stage IMHO.

You certainly have a right to have an opinion but, as you stated, you are "not a language oriented person or teaching oriented", and it shows.

Old forms showing the roots of Polish endings,
so that way they are really helpful.

It's like asking for directions in a strange city. You ask how to get to a certain streeet and they tell you that you need to meander through a few dozens of others streets, the names of which are as strange to you as the destination.
Krzysztof 2 | 973  
21 Apr 2008 /  #29
Why they must be teached at once ? ( only contemporary rules and forms)

because old grammar will be useless for them (with a very few exceptions), I don't know how you learned languages, but at my university they always taught us the modern language (a static 'snapshot') first, then we were passing to the ancient stages (learning a dynamic process, "moving pictures", is much more difficult than learnig something caught in time, "motionless").
NieMota - | 30  
21 Apr 2008 /  #30
The beginners can dream whatever they want (even about mastering the language to a proficiency level far better than most native speakers), it doesn't change the fact that it takes years and certain stages can't be jumped over, they will be beginners for quite some time, weeks, but rather months.

I agree. This the source for my admiration of theirs efforts as i'm not language oriented.

But i'm still at point : some older forms are more convenient for beginner for learning purposes only.

IMO old forms as: tyś, jam, wyście, myśmy are very helpful and easy to learn as pronoun and ending is in the same word - this is my point.

When student become familiar with them, so become at point when is ready to learn ours contemporary forms.
Why these older form must be hidden from student ?
They don't bite.

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