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The verb "to stay"


ranrod 6 | 35
1 Jun 2011 #1
Recently I wrote: "Zostałem w dobrym hotelu." (I stayed at a good hotel), and I got a lot of advice on how to correct it, but without exception everyone recommended a different word for "to stay". Here are the suggestions:

* Nocowałem w dobrym hotelu.
* Mieszkałem w dobrym hotelu.
* Zatrzymałem się w dobrym hotelu.
* Przebywałem w dobrym hotelu.
Zostałem is the only word I had learned to that point for this. The context is: "Last year I went to Poland and stayed at a nice hotel".

Why is zostałem a bad choice? Would people understand it fine if I used it?
Is there a different meaning or connotation to the other choices? Are there regional differences? "Mieszkałem", for instance, seems like a bad choice as it means "to live". I didn't 'live' there, I just stayed at a hotel.
Bzibzioh
1 Jun 2011 #2
* Zatrzymałem się w dobrym hotelu.

That's the one.

Why is zostałem a bad choice?

Zostałem is suggesting something more permanent.

Would people understand it fine if I used it?

No. It would be confusing. If I heard "Zostałem w dobrym hotelu" I'd be waiting for explanation what kind of job you got there. For example "Zostałem kelnerem w dobrym hotelu" (I got the job as a waiter at the hotel)

But wait for others to explain it more.
Antek_Stalich 5 | 997
1 Jun 2011 #3
* Nocowałem w dobrym hotelu.
* Mieszkałem w dobrym hotelu.
* Zatrzymałem się w dobrym hotelu.
* Przebywałem w dobrym hotelu.

All the sentences are very good and don't ask me why. Bzibzioh is right: "Zatrzymałem się" is the best choice.

Zostać means "to become". (Po)zostać means "stay" as if in "stay where you are!" although "Nie ruszaj się (z miejsca)!" would be far better.

Similar confusion is related to English "become" and German "bekommen", where "bekommen" means "to receive, get". German equivalent of "stay" is "bleiben". All these things make Poles learning English or German confused, because there is no direct and clear Polish translation of the verb "stay/bleiben".
Ziemowit 13 | 4,452
1 Jun 2011 #4
You can say, for example, 'Zostałem w tym hotelu na dłużej/przez dwa tygodnie', this being the equivalent of 'Zatrzymałem się w tym hotelu na dłużej/przez dwa tygodnie'. As explained above, such "hotel context" with the verb 'zostałem' not followed by any specification of time suggests that you have been staying at the hotel all the time, but setting a time limit to the verb 'zostać' makes the usage of this verb perfectly justified here.

A widespread use of the verb 'stanąć' in regard to a stay in a hotel or a similar establishment could be observed throughout the whole of 19th century and earlier. People would typically say at that former time: 'Stanąłem w hotelu Saskim w Warszawie'; the modern use of this context requires the verb "zatrzymać się" in place of "stanąć", however.
cinek 2 | 345
1 Jun 2011 #5
"Mieszkałem", for instance, seems like a bad choice as it means "to live". I didn't 'live' there, I just stayed at a hotel.

Avoid such one to one translation pitfalls. Polish 'Mieszkać' is not the same as English 'to live'. Both 'to live' and 'to stay' can be translated as 'mieszkać' if you're saying about the place which you occupy during your life/stay.

e.g.

Mieszkam w ładnym domu - I live in a nice house
I stayed in a hotel during my last visit to... - mieszkałem w hotelu podczas mojej ostatnie wizyty w...

However, when you're talking about other aspects of your life (e.g. your social status, lenght etc.) you usually translate 'to live' as 'żyć'

e.g.
My grandma lived longer than I would be - moja babcia żyła dłużej niż ja będę żyć... (because she lived healthier)

During the war people lived as rats - podczas wojny ludzie żyli jak szczury (whatever that can mean ;-)

Cinek
rviir
2 Jun 2011 #6
@ranrod

"Zostać" is most safely translated as "to remain" (in a state or place), or "to become" (when followed by the Instrumental, as in the waiter example Bzibzioh gave). That's why it doesn't work here.

Of the four suggestions you quoted, I would bin "przebywałem"---the verb przebywać isn't used to imply residence, but actual, physical presence somewhere. If you want to imply that you didn't leave your room for the duration of your stay, that's the verb to go for; otherwise choose one of the other three.

If you're into nuance, "zatrzymać się" also means "to come to halt; to stop", so it underlines that you only stayed there temporarily, for a short while, and then you were on the move again. "Nocować" means "to stay the night/s" (derived from noc "night"), so it would suggest you needed your room for rest, and were mostly out during the day.

To me, "mieszkać" has a more homely feel to it, so I would reserve it for places where I stayed for a longer while, say more than a month, but this is only my personal preference, which other speakers may find controversial. ;) (as seen in above posts) Besides that, what I've written should be pretty universal.

rviir


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