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Polish dative case: Why do you use "mu" in this sentence instead of "go"


Zak 3 | 5    
23 Aug 2015  #1
Powiedz mu żeby tak nie mówi or Powiedz mu że nie może tak mówić, for some reason I feel like it should be go, but my grandmother and google says otherwise
texas09 - | 33    
23 Aug 2015  #2
"Mu" refers to something being done to him. "Go" is more of a pronoun.

Powiedz mu że nie może tak mówić. --- Tell him that he can't talk that way.

Nie lubę go, bo nie lubę jak on mówi. --- I don't like him because I don't like the way he talks.
OP Zak 3 | 5    
23 Aug 2015  #3
Is there any rule or do you have to remember it? I know dative/celownik is typically the indirect object, I always reference this when I'm confused: en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Polish/Noun_cases. Now would that mean that him in "Tell him not to talk that way" is the indirect. lol I probably confused you that didn't make much sense, but thank you
texas09 - | 33    
23 Aug 2015  #4
I think so, yes. It is the dative case, and so the indirect object. I'm not a Polish linguist, I just am fluent in the language, so keep in mind that I wouldn't be able to tell you everything in necessarily in all the proper grammatical terms.

the "go" in "I don't like him..." is the object.

The way I see it from a non-grammatically-based view is that "mu" does not necessarily require the person to relate back, while "go" is either a pronoun or DOES imply that he will relate back. This probably very confusing so I'll give examples.

Daj mu ---- give him
Pokaz mu ---- show him
Zatancz mu ---- dance for him
Powiedz mu ---- tell him

Wiezmyj go ----- take him
Zapytaj go ----- ask him
Zaczep go ----- stop him (as in on the street)/ get his attention
Zachecz go ----- interest him/encourage him

As you can see, the "mu" involves something being done to "him," and this action can be completed without any reaction from "him." It is the indirect object in the sentence.

in the "go" examples, "he" MUST react to the action in order for the action to be completed. I.e. If he does not show attention, you haven't gotten his attention. If he is not encouraged, you haven't encouraged him. Even in the "ask him" example, whether or not he responds to you is not relevant, because in order for you to successful ask him, he must reaction to question - whether or not he ultimately makes the decision to A) ignore you* B) tell you he doesn't know or C) answer your question. (*He can't ignore you if he hasn't first heard your question and then made the conscious decision to ignore you).

In these examples, the "go" is the object in the sentence.

I dont know if any of this made sense, hope it did help some!
gumishu 11 | 4,899    
23 Aug 2015  #5
I'm not a linguist either but in many examples the English counterpart of Polish dative - like tell him, give him, show him - can be expressed with the preposition 'to' - like tell it to the strangers, give it to me baby ;) hehe, show it to him

I don't know if it's a strict rule though
terri 1 | 1,572    
23 Aug 2015  #6
I was always taught that 'mu' (as shown above) should in fact be 'jemu'.....
mafketis 17 | 6,755    
23 Aug 2015  #7
jemu is a more stressed form and is the only form possible as the first word in the sentence, 'mu' is unstressed (far more common). The form 'niemu' occurs after a preposition as in

"mężczyźnie, który zeznawał przeciw niemu w sądzie"

"the man that testified against him in court"
OP Zak 3 | 5    
23 Aug 2015  #8
Texas09, yes that helped thank you. When I'm learning things I won't be able to understand unless I completely understand but that definitely helped!
kpc21 1 | 763    
24 Aug 2015  #9
Powiedz mu żeby tak nie mówi or Powiedz mu że nie może tak mówić

Powiedz mu żeby tak nie mówił -> Tell him not to say so
Powiedz mu że nie może tak mówić -> Tell him that he cannot/should not/must not say so (Polish "nie może" seems to mean here something like English "must not" or "should not" rather than "cannot")

Meaning is more or less the same, but even just a simple literal translation to English shows the difference :)


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