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I know "się" is the only reflexive personal pronoun..but "jak się masz?"

Czarne Oczy 14 | 64  
23 Apr 2008 /  #1
What does the use of "się" in "jak się masz?" do?
plk123 8 | 4,149  
23 Apr 2008 /  #2
completes a sentence? 'jak masz?' only would beg for a 'jak co mam?'
OP Czarne Oczy 14 | 64  
23 Apr 2008 /  #3
oh wow of all the complicated Polish grammar...I can't believe I was confused with THAT! ale dzięki za pomoć:)
Eurola 4 | 1,909  
23 Apr 2008 /  #4
"się" stands for yourself in this case , like 'you' in - How are you
plk123 8 | 4,149  
23 Apr 2008 /  #5
that's it.. yourself.
Michal - | 1,865  
26 Apr 2008 /  #6
In fact, the Polish word się is a reflexive pronoun stolen from the Russian Language and then just shortened and simplified. In Russian the word is cjebja. There are many examples of places where the Poles, not having such a word in their own language, simply 'finds' a word in someone else's!
F15guy 1 | 160  
26 Apr 2008 /  #7
Michal: the Polish word się is a reflexive pronoun stolen from the Russian Language

What's your source for saying this? Seems to me it's more likely something both languages got from Old Slavonic.
z_darius 14 | 3,968  
29 Apr 2008 /  #8
In fact, the Polish word się is a reflexive pronoun stolen from the Russian Language and then just shortened and simplified.

In fact you have no idea about facts.
First, the reflexive pronoun "się" is of protoindoeuropean origin much like spanish "se", English "self", German "sich" or Swedish "sig".

Second, there is no simplification of any sort in the case of Polish "się", as it relates to russian suffix "-sya" or -ся/-сь (for instance vernulsya).

With the complete ignorance, malice, and stupidity, typical of your "linguistics" drivels you don't even realize that the example you give "cjebja" translates into Polish also as "siebie".
ArcticPaul 38 | 233  
30 Apr 2008 /  #9
Jeez! Full contact linguistics on this forum.

Jak się masz?
How oneself to be?

this is the nearest I can get to a 'direct' translation to English.
As a beginner I am finding the lack of dirct translations quite complicating to the whole process. I'm hoping it's just a bottom heavy subject and that, as things start to fall into place, the learning momentum will increase.
benszymanski 8 | 465  
30 Apr 2008 /  #10
How oneself to be?

I don't agree with that. It hasn't been mentioned that the word "się" has other uses too than just the reflexive. Sometimes it is used to make impersonal constructs such as:

tak się robi - that's how it's done

and sometimes it simply changes the meaning of a verb as in this case:

mieć - to have
mieć się - to be, to feel

so the literal translation to English of "jak się masz" is either "how do you feel" or "how are you".
ArcticPaul 38 | 233  
30 Apr 2008 /  #11
I'm learning English grammar as a side effect of Polish so I'm unsure as to what you mean by 'reflexive'. ...but I'm here to learn, if you feel like explaining?

Anyway, I reached the literal translation of 'Jak się masz' by finding the dictionary definition of 'Jak' (how), 'się' (oneself) and 'masz' (form of 'miec' - to have).

By this method the nearest literal translation would be:
How oneself to have?
(I incorrectly used the verb BYĆ [to be], rather than 'MIEC' [to have] above.
benszymanski 8 | 465  
30 Apr 2008 /  #12
Sure, reflexive is just in English words like myself, yourself, herself, themselves etc..
In Polish for once things are simpler than in English - you just use "się".
OK I lied, it's not totally that simple - you also sometimes use "siebie" and "sobie".
"siebie" is the emphatic form which follows prepositions (compare with cię and ciebie) and sobie is the dative form (off the top of my head - I might be wrong).

While we're at it - sometimes you will here "se" in slang and spoken Polish, e.g. kup se samochód - buy yerself a car

You were close - you looked up "mieć" in the dictionary but you should have looked up "mieć się" which is a different verb as per my earlier post.
6 Jul 2008 /  #13
Im having trouble with the word 'się'! How is it different from using 'ty'?
benszymanski 8 | 465  
6 Jul 2008 /  #14
Basically "ty" means "you" (when you are addressing somebody that you know - familiar term) whereas "się" means "yourself". That is the simplified explanation.

But as I have written above się can also be used to mean other things and not just the reflexive (i.e. himself/herself/yourselves/yourself/themselves etc..). There are two other meanings:

1) Changing the meaning of a verb - e.g.:

uczyć - to teach
uczyć się - to learn (literally "to teach myself" which makes sense I guess...)
mieć - to have
mieć się - to feel, to be

2) to make impersonal constructs:

jak się pisze XXX? - how is XXX written?
MrBubbles 10 | 614  
6 Jul 2008 /  #15
It's certainly not a prononun. It's more like a marker of ergativity - some verbs take it to designate lack of agent. There's no direct equivalent in English I know about.
Switezianka - | 463  
7 Jul 2008 /  #16
I think the problem is not about the meaning of 'się' but about Polish reflexive verbs.

In Polish, reflexive verbs are marked by the word 'się', which means: oneself, yourself, himself, themselves etc, depending on the context. But there are two types of reflexive verbs:

1) Logical reflexive verbs - where 'się' really conveys the meaning of 'oneself', such as: myć się = to wash oneself, zabić się = to kill oneself etc. These verb really mean that that the doer does something to him or herself.

2)Illogical reflexive verbs - where 'się' is just there and carries no specific meaning, such as: bać się=to fear (but not fear oneself), skradać się = to creep (but not 'creep oneself'.

Mieć się is an illogical reflexive verb, so the word 'się' conveys no specific meaning. It means 'to feel'. 'Jak się masz' literally would mean 'How do you have yourself' but in fact it means 'how are you'. So if you've got a sentence with the word 'się' which makes no sense, look for the dictionary entry composed of verb + się, not just the verb alone.(Don't look for 'mieć' but for 'mieć się'). Illogical reflexive verbs often have nothing to do with their non-reflexive counterpart (e.g. wabić = to attract, wabić się = to be called (about an animal) )

'Się' is also a marker of reciprocal verbs (doing something to one another), e.g. całować się=to kiss each other.

And, of course, there are subjectless sentences (Chleb kupuje się w piekarni = Bread is bought in bakery), but 'się' is a grammatical marker in this case.

I hope this makes the things a bit clearer.
MrBubbles 10 | 614  
7 Jul 2008 /  #17
I think the problem is not about the meaning of 'się' but about Polish reflexive verbs.

But couldn't you put a lot of your examples for się usage down to either:

1) Lack of obvious agent
2) Agent = Patient?
mafketis 29 | 9,544  
7 Jul 2008 /  #18
się is the only reflexive pronoun but .... it's also more.

One important function of się is related to transitivity. In essence, take a transitive verb (cieszyć = to make s.o. happy) add się and you have a new (non-reflexive) intransitive verb cieszyć się = be happy)

With jak się masz:

mieć = transitive, have sth, hold sth

mieć się = be in a certain condition, hold out (under circumstances)

Scandinavian languages do something similar by adding a dummy object 'det' (that, or Polish to)

Swedish: Hur har du det? (how do you have it?)

general note to everyone: the poster known as Michal knows nothing about _any_ language and anything he writes should be regarded as wrong until proven otherwise (and maybe even then).
MrBubbles 10 | 614  
7 Jul 2008 /  #19
się is the only reflexive pronoun

Can you decline 'się'?
mafketis 29 | 9,544  
7 Jul 2008 /  #20
I surely can (off the top of my head without consulting any references):

nominative: -
accusative: się, siebie
genetive: się, siebie
dative: se*, sobie
instrumental: sobą
locative: o sobie
vocative: -

when there are two forms the first is unaccented and the second is accented (only accented forms occur after prepositions) but się somtimes appears after prepositions too (especially, I think, przez)

* se is non-standard and very rarely written but frequent in some kinds of everyday spoken Polish

there's also an unaccented się, that I would write sie but hardly anyone ever does.

I could if it made any sense.

What I see is

Nice/beautiful. That's how it goes/is arranged into? a/the fucked up ???? of a jigsaw puzzle.

I think you (or the other person) mis-wrote głobie (no such word that I know) and maybe zjebany too (sure there wasn't an 'm' at the end?)
Switezianka - | 463  
11 Jul 2008 /  #21
Mr Bubbles:
The constructions without the obvious agent can be made from any verb. This constructions are usually translated into English as either passive, 'should' sentences or 'one does something' sentences and describe things that are usually done or should be done. So, here you go:

- Nie mówi się z pełnymi ustami: One does not speak with one's mouth full (or you shouldn't speak with your mouth full).

- W tym kraju je się psy: Dogs are eaten in this country
- Nie prowadzi się samochodu po pijanemu: One does not drive a car drunk.
-W tym sezonie nosi się jaskrawe kolory: Bright colours are worn this season.
-Naleśniki smaży się z dwóch stron: Pancakes are fried on both sides
So, anyway, "się" hasn't got the meaning of a reflexive pronoun in all of these sentences.

Agent=patient, (or logical reflexive verbs):
czesać się (to comb one's hair), myć się (to wash oneself), zamknąć się (in the meaning: to lock oneself), podrapać się (to scratch oneself), wykąpać się (to have a bath), zanurzyć się (immerse into water), zarazić się (catch up a disease).

All of them are intransitive and with the removal of "się", they become transitive verbs:
czesać klienta (to comb a client's hair), myć samochód (to wash a car), zamknąć złodzieja (to lock up a thef), podrapać kota(to scratch a cat ), wykąpać dziecko (to bathe a baby), zanurzyć wiadro w wodzie (immerse a bucket in water), zarazić kolegę grypą (to make your mate catch up a flue from you).
benszymanski 8 | 465  
11 Jul 2008 /  #22
Great post Switezianka. BTW "catch up" means something totally different to "catch".
Switezianka - | 463  
11 Jul 2008 /  #23
Oh, yes... I had my mouse broken and couldn't look it up in my dictionary (electronic version). I think I'll never learn those goddamn phrasal verbs ;(
scottie1113 7 | 898  
25 Aug 2008 /  #24
Ah, phrasal verbs are easy. I've been using them all my life. But I know what you mean. My school has a book of phrasal verbs. Turn merits three pages!

Man, I love this forum. I've learned so much here, thanks to all of you. I understand reflexive verbs since I speak French, but it's their use in Polish that I'm still learning.
Switezianka - | 463  
27 Aug 2008 /  #25
My school has a book of phrasal verbs. Turn merits three pages!

I've seen phrasal verbs dictionaries that had a few hundred pages.
plg 17 | 263  
27 Aug 2008 /  #26
this looks like a good place to ask this question...............hehehehehehehe

when you look up > " sie" in the dictionary it gives you the definition >ONESELF<

now "oneself" is third person singular reflexive"

why? does it say it means that...why not MYSELF. HERSELF,HIMSELF,ITSELF,ONESELF ETC....


nazywam sie joe bloggs
jak sie ty nazywasz?
jak sie on/ona/ono nazawa?
jak sie my naszwa?

"sie" seems to cover 1st person singular, 2nd person singular etc

help please

NOW I DONT WANT ANY DEFINITIONS OF "SIE" we have already had that :))
benszymanski 8 | 465  
28 Aug 2008 /  #27
probably because dictionaries are concise and so they always try and keep the definitions as short as possible. I guess they expect you to interpret "oneself" as indicative of the other forms.
plg 17 | 263  
29 Aug 2008 /  #28
ok thanks for the answer

but im still not sure it makes sense

why not herself or my "myself" would seem more appropriate

benszymanski 8 | 465  
29 Aug 2008 /  #29
probably just because "oneself" is the most generic form of all of them. Dictionaries don't teach you the language or necessarily explain grammar, they just translate words in a concise format.
Switezianka - | 463  
29 Aug 2008 /  #30
'One/oneself' are used as generic terms in dictionaries. If you take an English idiom dictionary, you can find an entry for: 'to be on one's wit's end', and it's assumed that the reader knows it also refers to: he's on his wit's end', 'I'm on my wit's end' etc.

Ergo, 'się' refers also to 'myself', 'yourself', 'themselves' etc.

I think your problem is that you don't know how to use a dictionary.

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