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The difference between i and a ?


cjjc 29 | 408  
10 Feb 2009 /  #1
In a similarly stupid question to yesterday, I have also been wondering the difference between:

a
and
i

Colloquial?
McCoy 27 | 1,275  
10 Feb 2009 /  #2
a is wider but i has a dot above
sausage 19 | 777  
10 Feb 2009 /  #3
a

From what I have seen "a" tends to be used more at the start of a sentence.
e.g.
"A potem" = "And then,"
OP cjjc 29 | 408  
10 Feb 2009 /  #4
a is wider but i has a dot above

McCoy!

Although I didn't state my question too well!
You knew what I meant! :P
McCoy 27 | 1,275  
10 Feb 2009 /  #5
:)

its hard for me to give you a general rule but there is a difference e.g.

i ty means and you
a ty? means and you?

samochód a motocykl means the car vs the motorbike
samochod i motocykl means the car and the motorbike

i tyle means and thats it
a tyle? means and what about this amount
OP cjjc 29 | 408  
10 Feb 2009 /  #6
sausage

Thanks mate.

McCoy

Wow! So it's pretty confusing then!

I just noticed this because I once heard someone (who missed out on a shot of wódka) saying: "i Ja!?!" but then today I notice on somebody's gadu gadu status the use of "a Ja!" so I am trying to see some kind of difference. I guess this is one of those things that Krzysztof once told me: "You will only understand when you learn to think like a Pole"

:)
McCoy 27 | 1,275  
10 Feb 2009 /  #7
"You will only understand when you learn to think like a Pole"

and probably he was right. you asked one hell of a question here. answering even for a native is pretty chalenging :)
osiol 55 | 3,922  
10 Feb 2009 /  #8
A is a consonant and i is a vowel ;)

Maybe in Doric, but not in most languages.

I just copy other people. That way, I don't think like an Englishman or like a Pole, but just act like a parrot.

Ach, what are you gibberin on about, donkey?

A is a consonant.
I is often a vowel, but in Polish, sometimes it is a sign that the previous consonant is softened.

As standalone words, a i i (for a a i, i i a, i a a) are similar. I had been treating them as slightly different, but only because I have been copying how the professionals seem to use them. I couldn't quite put my finger on what the exact differences are.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
10 Feb 2009 /  #9
I was being stupid and answering in reference to English ;)
osiol 55 | 3,922  
10 Feb 2009 /  #10
A is a consonant.

How the hell did I manage to type that? It's a vowel, of course. I think I must have been distracted by a sheep.
CZERESNIA 1 | 16  
11 Feb 2009 /  #11
So

i

enumerates things, like the car and the bike and the elephant
but

a

connects phrases, like Jim went by car and Lisa took the elephant?

?
cinek 2 | 345  
13 Feb 2009 /  #12
No. The only rule I know for that says that i is used to enumerate sililarities and a is used to enumerate differences.

Easy example:

Jabłko jest czerwone i pomidor jest czerwony.
Apple is red and tomato is red too.

Jabłko jest czerwone a śliwka jest niebieska.
Apple is red but plum is blue.

more difficult example:

Wczoraj posprzątaliśmy mieszkanie i poszliśmy na spacer.
Yesterday we cleaned up the flat and went for a walk.(similarity: both we did yesterday)

Wczoraj posprzątaliśmy mieszkanie a potem poszliśmy na spacer.
Yesterday we cleaned up the flat and then we went for a walk (difference: first cleanup then a walk - not both in the same time)

most difficult examle:

dialogue:
team: idziemy na piwko
we're going to have some beer

someone: i ja! (or ja też!)
me too!

similarity: I also want to get drunk with you today

another dialogue:

team: idziemy na piwko
we're going to have some beer

soemone: a ja?!
what about me?!

difference: you're going to go without me = you forgot about me! = you go , I don't

I hope this helps you a bit.

Cinek
Bondi 4 | 142  
1 Mar 2009 /  #13
Bwah, I’m glad my mother tongue is not English... :)
I would also say that i is about similarities, a is about differences.

i = and
a = and, in a sense of and then; or in a sense of but

For example:
Mój brat XY ma 20 lat i studiuje ekonomię na uniwersytecie w XYZ, a moja siostra Z ma 25 lat i pracuje w biurze w XYZ.

– Here, a have this "and then" meaning.

most difficult example:

dialogue:
team: idziemy na piwko

I would call that the most simple example! :)
Eurola 4 | 1,906  
1 Mar 2009 /  #14
I once heard someone (who missed out on a shot of wódka) saying: "i Ja!?!" but then today I notice on somebody's gadu gadu status the use of "a Ja!" so I am trying to see some kind of difference

"i Ja" was more of "me too!" - include me.

"a Ja!" more of a turning attention to yourself...like what about me! It could also be used at the time of the missed drink, but it would sound somewhat accusatory, how dare you leave me out! (especially with an exclamation mark).

"a Ja?" is the same, but just a question. You expect some kind of input about you.
You look good wearing hats, a ja?
OP cjjc 29 | 408  
1 Mar 2009 /  #15
Thanks people for your answers!

I'm so glad I asked what seemed at the time like a stupid question.

It's times like this I'm happy to have donated a little money to be a gold member.

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