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Which preposition for 'at'?


chaza 50 | 253
1 Jan 2010 #1
i have several preps for 'at'
which one is used for what please.#

chaza
Derevon 12 | 172
1 Jan 2010 #2
Hello chaza,

I think you're approaching Polish in the wrong way. It's better if you first study Polish as it is rather than translating from English. It's impossible to learn Polish in this way, because Poles simply don't think in the same way as English speakers when they speak. Your sentences would never be idiomatical.

So rather than asking what "at" is in Polish, it would be better to study the Polish prepositions and their English equivalents to see how they're actually used in practice.

"At" does after all have a lot of different meanings in English. There is a good online dictionary at slownik.gazeta.pl that gives quite a few examples for most words so you can see how they are actually used. This dictionary, for example, lists the following possible translations of at (along with examples):

na, u, w, pod, o, podczas, w porze, do, w kierunku, z powodu, w stanie, w trakcie
OP chaza 50 | 253
1 Jan 2010 #3
thank for that, i am studying polish at the moment, and because there are so many ATs, i wnated to know if i have got it right. i had a look at the link you gave, there are so many surely there is a common use. it becomes a minefield justb to remember which 'at' goes where. its hard enough learning nouns and adjectives ect.

can we narrow it down a bit.
Derevon 12 | 172
1 Jan 2010 #4
Which particular meaning of "at" do you have in mind?
OP chaza 50 | 253
1 Jan 2010 #5
i dont have any in mind, i general conversation i mean. i realise what you have said, but if i was to say;
where are you at.
ill meet you at
be there at
come to me at
do you get what i mean

thanks

can you tell me what i have said

Ja chcieć do iść tanczenie
Co mógłby ty robi dka mnie
Kiedy tym przybywać do tym, nas mieć do robikiedy nas móc

thanks
Derevon 12 | 172
1 Jan 2010 #6
Polish and English are simply too different for it to be possible to translate directly in this way. It would be much better to learn the prepositions together with the appropriate verbs. As for "at" as in time, the translation would be "o", for example:

Będę tam o szóstej (szóstej = locative case) - I'll be there at 6.

"At" as in at a place would usually be "na", but sometimes "w" (in):

Jestem na rynku (rynku = locative) - I'm at the market square
Jestem w banku (banku = locative) - I'm at the bank
OP chaza 50 | 253
1 Jan 2010 #7
Derevon
can i PM you please
OP chaza 50 | 253
1 Jan 2010 #9
how will i know if no one can translate as you say. what i wanted to say was.
I would like to go dancing
Ja chcieć do iść tanczenie

What could you do for me
Co mógłby ty robi dka mnie

When it comes to it, we do what we have to do what we can
Kiedy tym przybywać do tym, nas mieć do robikiedy nas móc
chaza
strzyga 2 | 993
1 Jan 2010 #10
Chaza, Derevon is right. Try to learn whole phrases and sentences rather than single words. A word-for-word translation may to some extent work with very simple sentences, but don't try it on idioms and compound sentences.

Out of the three sentences you provided, the first and the second are understandable though not correct. The last one however is a big mess, no Pole would be able to make heads nor tails out of it.

Once, when in he US, an older Pole asked me to help him with his homework. He didn't speak English and was attending some kind of a language school. I said OK, he brought two beers and off we went.

The sentence in his book read: This is a table.
'What's that in Polish?', asked pan Staszek.
'To jest stół.'
Pan Staszek began counting.
'This=to. Ok. Is=jest. OK. A=stół. OK. Now, what's table?'
'No. A table=stół.'
'Why are there two English words for a Polish one? And if one is stół, then what's the other one for?'
I tried to explain the notion of a pronoun to him, but he failed to understand that for one simple reason: as the word 'stół' had the third position in the Polish sentence, anything on the third position in the English sentence had to be 'stół'.

Well, eventually we moved on to questions and here pan Staszek seemed to regain the lost ground.
'Czy to jest stół? One, two, three, four. Is this a table? One, two, three, four. Great!'
He grabbed a pencil and started underwiriting meticuously:
Is
Czy

this
to

a
jest

table
stół

There was no way to convince him that not everything was right there. It had to be right, as four words equalled four words! The beer was good though.

See what I mean, Chaza?

Happy New Year :)
OP chaza 50 | 253
1 Jan 2010 #11
not really, while i am learning the preps and conjunction , nouns ect, i have to write, so if what i write cant be understood what is the point. i have been reubited with my relatives in poland after 50 yrs and i am going over there this year. so while a can speak it i think, if my writing cant be understood then probably neither can my speaking.

chaza
strzyga 2 | 993
1 Jan 2010 #12
Don't worry, you'll make it. But again, try to memorize whole phrases/sentences, not just single words.
OP chaza 50 | 253
1 Jan 2010 #13
i have had me head in thes e damn books for weeks.
those sentences i gave you, how is this one;
I would like to go dancing
Ja był lubie do ide tanczenie

When it comes to it, we do what we can
Kiedy to przybywać do to, my robiliśmy co nas móc

i cant work out the other mistakes.

chaza
Derevon 12 | 172
1 Jan 2010 #14
You have to understand that Polish and English are very different languages and work in different ways. For example, in one of your sentences you translated "to go" as "do iść". Although "do" sometimes can be translated as "to" in English, it has a very different meaning here. "To" as in the infinitive marker is already contained in the infinitive form of a Polish verb. "Iść" means "to go", not just "go", so "chcę iść" means "I want to go".

You should try to read simple Polish texts and analyze them to find out how the Polish language works rather than trying to put together sentences by translating them word for word from English. Not only will your method result in unintelligible, near-unintelligible, or at best, understandable but unidiomatic sentences, but you will also not understand much when people talk. Translating word for word from English to for example Swedish would work rather well since these two languages are closely related, but Polish and English are simply too different.
strzyga 2 | 993
1 Jan 2010 #15
i have had me head in thes e damn books for weeks.those sentences i gave you, how is this one;I would like to go dancingJa był lubie do ide tanczeniei cant work out the other mistakes.

Chciałabym (iść) potańczyć.

"Bym" - 1st person conditional ending - is attached to the conjugated verb "chcieć".
You may also say: Chcę (iść) potańczyć, which is "I want to go dancing".

"Ja" is frequently omitted as verb ending already carries the person.

"I would like" for a female is "chciałabym".
OP chaza 50 | 253
1 Jan 2010 #16
so have my correction not improved the sentence then
Derevon 12 | 172
1 Jan 2010 #17
Chaza, you must change your tactics completely. Your method will never work, you're just wasting your time. Perhaps you should try something like Pimsleur's Polish, Rosetta Stone or the Michel Thomas method instead. You need to have Polish as your starting point rather than trying to translate literally word for word from English to Polish.

I would like to go dancing - Chciałbym iść potańczyć

See, here we have one word with the same meaning as three words in English. "Chciałbym" = I would like. This sentence has 6 words in English but just 3 in Polish. "potańczyć" = "to dance". The English form "dancing" can't be translated directly. Frankly, the rule (not the exception) is that nothing can be translated directly between English and Polish.

What could you do for me? - Co mógłbyś dla mnie zrobić?
OP chaza 50 | 253
1 Jan 2010 #18
what about
Chciałbym udaję się tanczenie
i am not getting the dancing bit yet

i have various language audio aids but it seems i'm failing with those too
strzyga 2 | 993
1 Jan 2010 #19
what aboutChciałbym udaję się tanczeniei am not getting the dancing bit yet

Just accept that the English construction "go... -ing" is best translated into Polish with the infinitive and don't search for any more synonyms of "iść".

I would like to go skiing - chciałbym pojeździć na nartach
I would like to go shopping - chciałbym pójść na zakupy
I would like to go swimming - chciałbym popływać
etc.
OP chaza 50 | 253
1 Jan 2010 #20
but with that, as i undertsand it, i cant even use the 'po' prefix the mean 'ing' either.
i fear when i go i might just as well talk in japanese
Derevon 12 | 172
1 Jan 2010 #21
Forget about "ing"! It's an English construction. Think like "I would like to go to dance".
OP chaza 50 | 253
1 Jan 2010 #22
ok, that makes sense, i'll have another go at those sentenses.

I would like to go to dance
Chciałbym udaję się taniec

What could you do for me
Co mógłby ty robi dla mnie
it should be Co mógłbyś dla mnie zrobić but that reads 'what could for me to do' it sounds wrong.

When it comes to it, we do what we have to do what we can
Kiedy to przybywać do to, my robiliśmy co nas móc

how have i done this time
Derevon 12 | 172
1 Jan 2010 #23
it should be Co mógłbyś dla mnie zrobić but that reads 'what could for me to do' it sounds wrong.

mógłbym - I could [man]
mogłabym - I could [woman]
mógłbyś - you could [said to a man]
mogłabyś - you could [said to a woman]
mógłby - he could
mogłaby - she could
mogłoby - it could

the word for word translation is: "What you could for me do"
OP chaza 50 | 253
1 Jan 2010 #24
how about this one,
If I cant have you, I don’t want nobody
Jeśli może nie mieć ty, chcę nie nikt
dont panic it's a song
was this one right
Chciałbym udaję się tanczenie

chaza

while we have the different suffixes like bym, byś, ect. what i have noticed with kupić for example, they have endings , lam,l,la,li lyśmy. is that correct
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595
1 Jan 2010 #25
i have been reubited with my relatives in poland after 50 yrs and i am going over there this year. so while a can speak it i think, if my writing cant be understood then probably neither can my speaking.

They will understand much of it even if you make some grammatical misstakes.

You should start listening to what we say if you want to learn better Polish.

Buy the books Colloquial Polish and 301 Polish Verbs. And most of your questions will be answered.
OP chaza 50 | 253
1 Jan 2010 #26
the books are already on order, its not that i dont listen to anyone on here, i do. but i have to undertsand also. maybe it doesnt seem that way but if the penny dont drop then i am going nowhere.

did you take my point about the endings previously

chaza
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595
1 Jan 2010 #27
Yes, it depends on the person who is doing the thing (the so called subject), and in the past tense it's also gender dependent.

PAST TENSE OF BYĆ (to be):

masc/fem
I (ja) byłem/byłam
you in singular (ty) byłeś/byłaś
he/she/it (on/ona/to) był/była/było

we (my) byliśmy/byłyśmy
you in plural (wy) byliście/byłyście
they (oni/one) byli/były

All verbs should be conjugated. The book 301 Polish Verbs will show you how to do it.
Derevon 12 | 172
1 Jan 2010 #28
You can also find conjugations of most verbs here: polish.slavic.pitt.edu/~swan/beta/
OP chaza 50 | 253
1 Jan 2010 #29
until my book comes i have got hold of the conjugation rules as you said and it is a minefield, can you clarify the 1st 2nd 3rd person sin and pl.

i know (I) is 1st person, who are the rest

chaza
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595
1 Jan 2010 #30
i know (I) is 1st person, who are the rest

I = 1st person singular
You = 2nd person singular
He/she/it = 3rd person singular

We = 1st person plural
You = 2nd person plural
They = 3rd person plural

You (in English) can be one single person or several persons, so we have two different "you" in the table, one singular and one plural form.

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