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Verbal nouns and past-tense adjectives from imperfective & perfective verbs..when to use which aspect?


ForumUser
2 Mar 2020 #1
I can sort of figure out when in any given sentence to use imperfective vs. perfective conjugations/verb tenses - but what are differences between imperfective vs. perfective verbal nouns?... and differences between imperfective vs. perfective past-tense adjectives? For instance, the infinitive "to see" is "Widzieć" (imperfective) and has verbal noun "Widzenie" and past-tense adjective "Widziany"...while "Zobaczyć" (perfective) has verbal noun "Zobaczenie" and past-tense adjective "Zobaczony". What is difference between verbal nouns Widzenie vs. Zobaczenie? And how to decide which verbal noun (imperfective vs. perfective) to use in any given sentence? And what is difference between past-tense adjectives Widziany vs. Zobaczony? And how to decide which past-tense adjective (imperfective vs. perfective) to use in any given sentence? Please and thank you.
mafketis 24 | 8,729
2 Mar 2020 #2
but what are differences between imperfective vs. perfective verbal nouns?

Basically the same as verbs.... the best aid I ever heard was for Czech (but it works in Polish too).

perfective - you're thinking of the event from its ending/completion

imperfective - you're thinking of the process

coś do zobaczenia - something to see (and then its done)

coś do widzenia - something to look at... (stressing the process of seeing it)

It's the same thing with the past participles...

Adam był zobaczony w mieście = Adam was spotted in town

Adam był widziany w mieście = Adam was seen (more than one place) in town.

hint: rephrase the sentence so that the noun or adjective/participle is a plain verb and that's the form you use.

Zobaczył Adama w mieście (He saw Adam (once) in town)

Widział Adama w mieście (He saw Adam (more than once) in town)
Lyzko 25 | 7,009
2 Mar 2020 #3
Aspects (as opposed to "tenses") requiring the "perfective" or "dokonany" reflect the ONE-TIME completion of an action.
Just briefly with yet another example sentence or two, if you walk into a restaurant, the waitress might well ask, "Czy moze Pan zobaczyc menu/jadlospis?" = Would you like to SEE the menu, sir?

In English, there's considerable leeway in this regard. Save for sarcasm, everybody understands perfectly that the waitress or whoever knows that one can "see" the menu, unless of course they're blind!:-) Therefore, there's no substantive difference between "Would you like to SEE....." vs. "Would you like to TAKE A LOOK AT....", or even "Would you care to GLANCE AT....." etc. The meaning is crystal clear unless the person spoken to is simply giving the wait staff a hard time.

Not so in Polish, where "Czy moze Pan widzic menu?", might indeed imply that the customer needs to "see" the menu as opposed to something else. It would be understood, but would definitely sound odd.

"widzic" (imperfective) means "to see", as in "to have the ability of sight"
"zobaczyc" (perfective) means "to take a look or glance at"
Ziemowit 13 | 4,113
2 Mar 2020 #4
"Czy moze Pan zobaczyc menu/jadlospis?" = Would you like to SEE the menu, sir?

'Would you like ..?" is never translated as 'może' into Polish, so your Polish sentence "Czy może Pan/Pani zobaczyć menu?" sounds ridiculously wrong.
mafketis 24 | 8,729
2 Mar 2020 #5
Can you see the menu? It's foggy outside and it it keeps hiding behind trees...
Lyzko 25 | 7,009
2 Mar 2020 #6
Context notwithstanding, Maf, yes, Ziemowit, I see what you mean!
Probably, "Czy moglby (better:...chcialby) Pan zobaczyc.....?" works much better, yes?
Thanks:-)
Ziemowit 13 | 4,113
2 Mar 2020 #7
"Czy moglby (better:...chcialby) Pan zobaczyc.....?" works much better, yes?

This is it.
Czy chciałby Pan zobaczyć menu?
Lyzko 25 | 7,009
2 Mar 2020 #8
You see. I knew what I heard, but haste caused an idiotic typo!
Learned the above nearly my second half of first year PolishLOL
)))
OP ForumUser
2 Mar 2020 #9
Thank you everyone who responded. I had forgotten to ask another question regarding past-tense adjectives; I noticed some past-tense adjectives use the past-tense conjugations of the infinitive "Być" (such as the above given examples "...był widziany/zobaczony...") but I previously noticed other sentences using the past-tense conjugations of the infinitive "Zostać" instead of Być, a random example is "Adam został dany prezent(y)". Is the sentence "Adam był dany prezent(y)" also grammatically correct? Is there a grammatical difference between "On był dany prezent(y)" vs. "On został dany prezent(y)"?
Lyzko 25 | 7,009
2 Mar 2020 #10
Not sure if you know any German, Forum User, but Polish, like English, doesn't always make the same distinction between "being"/to be = byc vs.

"becoming"/to become = zostac. "Stac sie", a reflexive verb, also means "to become", but "byc" and "zostac" are sometimes used in the passive voice + Instrumental, e.g. "Byc aktorem" = to be an actor, "zostac profesorem" = to become a professor etc.

There's a lot to say on this subject.

Back to your question.
"On BYL zdenerwowany." = He got really unnerved. is probably more common than "On ZOSTAL zdenerwowany." Then again, Polish in my experience is more
likely to use the active rather than the passive voice.

"Zgubilem moj portefel." = I/I've lost my billfold. vs. "Moj portefel byl zgubiony" = My billfold got lost.
OP ForumUser
2 Mar 2020 #11
@Lyzko
I've seen (admittedly on certain "translation websites", hint hint! LOL) sometimes the infinitive "Zostać" instead of "Być", used for past-tense adjectivals...one of those sites actually translated "He was given + Noun(s)" as "On został dany + Noun(s)" (not sure why was translated that way...like you even said, the infinitive Zostać means "to become") - I was instead expecting the translation "On był dany + Noun(s)"
kaprys 3 | 2,441
2 Mar 2020 #12
@ForumUser
Actually both Adam był or został dany. .. are incorrect. They suggest Adam was the present really.
Adam został obdarowany. .. or simply use the active form Adam dostał prezent.
Lyzko 25 | 7,009
2 Mar 2020 #13
To be noted here too the root "ob + DAR + owany" > 'da[wa]c' =to give, literally "present" = that which is given cf. Russian "padarek" with Polish "prezent"

:-)
kaprys 3 | 2,441
2 Mar 2020 #14
Or Polish dar, podarek ....
mafketis 24 | 8,729
2 Mar 2020 #15
Thank you everyone who responded

You're welcome. If you could mention what your first language, and major foreign language(s) are then answers could probably be more helpful...
OP ForumUser
2 Mar 2020 #16
English is my native language, with some basic French, now teaching myself basic Polish (looks like an interesting language, so I might as well try to learn a bit)
mafketis 24 | 8,729
2 Mar 2020 #17
Okay, I was hoping for some German there, but.... anyhoo...

The use of zostać (become) with past participles is likely a loan translation from German which uses werden (become) for such constructions. But być is also used. I remember there's a slight difference in meaning but it's pretty subtle and not necessary to worry about at this stage.

Basically, both być and zostać with past participles are more formal, written language (esp journalism) and not so common in speech.
Lyzko 25 | 7,009
3 Mar 2020 #18
Just sent you a private mail in that regard:-)
cinek 2 | 345
4 Mar 2020 #19
Hi,
In passive mode you use 'zostać' with perfective and 'być' with imperfective.
e.g.
Samochód został naprawiony - the car has been reparied.
Goście zostali obdarowani upominkami - the guests was presented with gifts.
v.s.
Samochód był naprawiany kiedy go zobaczyłem - The car was being reparied when I saw it.
Kiedy wszedłem, goście byli obdarowywani upominkami - When I came in the quests were being presented with gifts.

Also, you can use 'był' with perfective when you want to express the 'finished state' of an action in the past (similar way you'd say it in the present or future).

e.g.
Samochód jest juz naprawiony - the car is fixed already.
Samochód był naprawiony kiedy go zobaczyłem - The car had been repaired already when I saw it.
Samochód będzie naprawiony kiedy się spotkamy jutro - the car will have been fixed tomorrow when we meet.

You never use 'zostac' with imprefective.

Cinek
mafketis 24 | 8,729
4 Mar 2020 #20
You never use 'zostac' with imprefective.

So what's going on with these (and similar ones I found)?

"Został malowany przez cztery kolejne lata"

pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madonna_del_Popolo

"w kolejnych minutach dolar został kupowany już jako "tani"."

analizy.investio.pl/najsilniejsza-przecena-dolara-od-2009-roku/
cinek 2 | 345
4 Mar 2020 #21
@mafketis

Edit errors. Typical example of bad editor's work. They often change one word and dont read the entire sentence, so it ends up like that.

Sometimes my eyes hurt when I read such texts on the web, but this is what happens when they wan to make that work done fast and cheap.

Cinek.
mafketis 24 | 8,729
4 Mar 2020 #22
Typical example of bad editor's work.

and/or machine writing and/or translation?

Some news items in English are written by machines (I suspected as much for a few years before finding confirmation).

Polish is harder to manage that way, but....
cinek 2 | 345
4 Mar 2020 #23
and/or machine writing and/or translation?

Can be too. As much as you can expect not perfect texts in free wikipedia, I cannot find explanation for such errors in commercial sites that want to be informative. In the day of printed papers everything had to be checked twice before going to print. But now you can just press a key and done!

I think that learning proper language from the web is risky in general. You better read printed books or papers. They are also usually written in better language style.

Cinek

btw, I fixed the article on Wikipedia: pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madonna_del_Popolo
mafketis 24 | 8,729
4 Mar 2020 #24
How long before someone "fixes" it back?

A few years ago I was involved with an international information web-project. One of the things I was supposed to do (as a native speaker) was edit things other people wrote (in a common editing area before launching the site).

Unfortunately one or three people keep changing my edits back to the originals... occasionally that wasn't a problem but most of the time it was with people determined to insert clumsy non-native expressions into the text... I finally gave up changing it at all... (I had previously mentally checked out because of other bad decisions that didn't do anything good for the content, by the end I just didn't care anymore...).
Lyzko 25 | 7,009
5 Mar 2020 #25
Verbal aspects are considered by students to be about the most difficult stage of learning Polish.
German and English don't measure the duration of action in such terms! Polish has tenses as well, only the concept of perfectivity vs. imperfectivity doesn't correspond to English directly.

For example, "I go to school" means that the action is a general state of repetitive or frequentative continuation. In Polish, various verb forms are often required to express such action, whereas in English, words may be added to the sentence to clarify same.

To put things more simply, Polish aspects calibrate how often an action is performed whereas English tenses quantify when the action occurred.
Lyzko 25 | 7,009
5 Mar 2020 #26
Put more simply, English tenses tend to calibrate WHEN an action is performed, whereas Polish aspects calculate HOW OFTEN that same action has been performed.

A little too complicated here to bother getting into atelic or indeterminate vs. telic or resultative. More for a purely linguistics forum:-)
OP ForumUser
6 Mar 2020 #27
Thank you again everyone who responded. I had also forgotten to ask about imperfective adverbials (ending -ąc) vs. perfective adverbials (ending either -"Consonant + łszy" or -"Vowel + wszy")? For instance "to see" Widząc vs. Zobaczywszy? I can sort of figure out when to use imperfective adverbials (Is this sentence a correct demonstration of "Widząc"?) "Poznałem Adama, widząc jego/swoje zdjęcie" = "I recognized Adam (by way of, when, while) seeing his photo"...And is this sentence a correct demonstration of perfective adverbial "Zobaczywszy"? "Spotkałem Adama, zobaczywszy jego/swoje zdjęcie" = "I met Adam after seeing his photo"...Can imperfective adverbials be used after perfective infinitives? (Perfective "Poznać"---> Imperfective "Widząc"?) Please and thank you.
cinek 2 | 345
6 Mar 2020 #28
Spotkałem Adama, zobaczywszy jego/swoje zdjęcie" = "I met Adam after seeing his photo"

It's ok in general. But we seldom use sentences like that. It's used mostly in cases when you need to highlight the order of some actions: one thing happened first, then the other and the order is what is important in the sentence.

Cinek
OP ForumUser
6 Mar 2020 #29
@cinek
OK thank you cinek. I've seen other demonstrative sentences of mostly imperfective adverbials, most of those sentences in the format of "sentence-like phrase ending with comma + imperfective adverbial"--->"Poznałem Adama, widząc jego/swoje zdjęcie". Can Polish adverbials derived from infinitives be in first-word positions in sentences? Is this a gramatically-correct demonstration of perfective adverbial? (or at least a better demonstration compared to the previous perfective adverbial?)--->"Zobaczywszy jego/swoje zdjęcie, poznałem Adama" = "Having seen his photo, I recognized Adam"
Lyzko 25 | 7,009
6 Mar 2020 #30
"widzac" would correspond to the English "-ing" gerund form.


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