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CO and TO,CO - what

Kenji75018 4 | 25  
22 Dec 2009 /  #1

I wonder when we use CO and TO, CO translating WHAT

Sometimes CO is used without TO and sometimes with TO.

Thank you for your answer.
Sildar - | 34  
23 Dec 2009 /  #2

co = what
to = it
co to = what is it/what is this

Merry Christmas!
OP Kenji75018 4 | 25  
23 Dec 2009 /  #3
Hi Sildar

Thanks for your wishes. Merry Xmas to you as well.

Sildar, I don't speak of CO TO but To, co like in:

Poczuć to, co widzą inni
Chroń to, co dla Ciebie ważne
Ubierz to, co myszlisz

Why is there this TO here?

Nie wiem, co robi

Why there is no TO here?

Ziemowit 13 | 4,239  
23 Dec 2009 /  #4
This is indeed a complicated question, so I may not clear all your doubts with my answer.

The "co" is a zaimek pytajny/pytający, just like the English "what":
Co robić? Co się u was dzieje?
If you want to report the question formulated as above, the "co" becomes a zaimek względny.
Nie wiem, co robić. Chciałbym wiedzieć, co się u was dzieje.
There is no need to put any "to" into the ordinate clause of the compound sentence.

In my view, the "to" belongs to the ordinate clause. So, if you say: "Ubierz to, co chcesz", you mean: ubierz jakąś rzecz -> ubierz tę rzecz, którą chcesz -> ubierz to [replacing: tę rzecz], co [replacing: którą] chcesz.

Often both of them (co/to, co) may express the same. In a once popular song, Krystyna Prońko sang: "Bierz co chcesz, duszę bierz; diable mój, dam ci wiersz / tylko daj, daj, daj, wielką miłość, tak prawdziwą ...". I think she might well have said: "Bierz, to co chcesz ..." just as you can say: "Ubierz co chcesz", as it in fact would be reporting of the question: "Co chcesz (ubrać)?
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595  
23 Dec 2009 /  #5
We have the same structure in Swedish, so for me it's obvious. But I don't know how to explain it for someone who doesn't think it's obvious. But I will think about it.
OP Kenji75018 4 | 25  
24 Dec 2009 /  #6
Hi Ziemowit and Szwedpolsce

Thank you very much for trying to find a solution.

Ziemowit you ask
if you say: "Ubierz to, co chcesz", you mean: ubierz jakąś rzecz
I have no idea. I found this sentence on Google.

In the sentence:
Wszystko to, co mam, this TO doesn't mean IT does it?
You confirm that I could say:
Wszystko, co mam...

I've never found the explanation. So if you can find an explanation, I'll read it with a big interest.

SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595  
24 Dec 2009 /  #7
Wszystko to, co mam, this TO doesn't mean IT does it?

It means 'that'.

Everything that I have.
Ziemowit 13 | 4,239  
24 Dec 2009 /  #8
Notice the two pair of sentences:
I. Everything I have belongs to you. / Wszystko co mam, należy do ciebie.
II. Everything that I have belongs to you. / Wszystko to, co mam, należy do ciebie.

The paralel between English and Polish is probably not fully exact, but gives a certain idea. The difference in meaning between Polish sentences I and II is almost insignificant. We would typically say type I here, as this one is probably more general in meaning, implying an indefinite set of objects, both those one has already in possesion as well as those one would acquire in the forseeable future. Type II stresses a somewhat more limited set, tending to indicate concrete things. That's why in another situation we would usually say: "Ubierz to, co chcesz" (rather than "Ubierz, co chcesz") as one is usually adviced to choose a piece of clothes from those that she or he has at their disposal in the given circimstances.
wildrover 98 | 4,451  
24 Dec 2009 /  #9
Everything I have belongs to you.

thank you..thats really great...can you deliver it...?
Ziemowit 13 | 4,239  
24 Dec 2009 /  #10
It's really not that much; you won't be that happy as you think ...
OP Kenji75018 4 | 25  
25 Dec 2009 /  #11
It seems to be very difficult to understand.

Difficult to use without being sure not to make a mistake.
Ziemowit 13 | 4,239  
25 Dec 2009 /  #12
Yes, it is. To make it easier, let's go to the four examples (slightly modified) given in your original post.

- Poczuć to, co czują inni.
- Chroń to, co dla Ciebie ważne.
- Ubierz to, co chcesz.
Why is there this TO here?

- Nie wiem, co [on] robi.
Why there is no TO here?

In the first three of them, you are indicating a limited set of items or things (you want to feel a limited number of things, namely those that others "feel"; you want to protect a limited number of things, namely those which are important to you; you advise someone to choose items to wear only out of those your friend has at her disposal at a particular moment).

In the fourth example, you are indicating an unlimited set of possibilities that a person might be exercising at the moment you are making your statement; you have no idea whatsever what these could be.
mira - | 115  
25 Dec 2009 /  #13
Lately, you've been posting lots of similar things on this forum. My advice is simply to get yourself a teacher who would explain it all to you.
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595  
25 Dec 2009 /  #14
I think he has posted a lot of different things concerning Polish grammar. And that's the whole point with this part of the forum.
OP Kenji75018 4 | 25  
26 Dec 2009 /  #15
Hi Szwedpolsce.

Thank you for your post.
After reading Mira's one, I felt a bit sad, but yours made me feel better.

Ziemowit, thank you for your answer.

I don't know if I have to go on asking questions on this forum now.

Here are my threads

Polish nouns of unpredictable
CO and TO,CO
Dopóki - Dopóki nie
Annę stać na samochód - Anny nie stać na
Nas było
Verb + perfective infinitive or imperfective infinitive
Polish Language Learning

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