"Ona mówi dobranoc."

Translation:She is saying good night.

December 11, 2015

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What's the difference between "speak" and "say" in Polish.

  • 1046

You use the same verb for both, at least in the two meanings you are probably thinking of.

Polish has the following (the first verb in pair is imperfective, the second perfective):

mówić/powiedzieć – to say something, to tell something short

mówić/– – to speak a language

przemawiać/przemówić - to speak, to give a speech

opowiadać/opowiedzieć - to tell a story, to describe an event

rozmawiać/porozmawiać – to speak with someone, to converse

and more

EDIT: since speaking a language is not an action that can be used in perfective sense, I fixed my list


Shame i cant save this comment somehow


Better yet, a language notebook. I find spiral notebooks and composition books work best.


I took a screenshot and create a folder in my pics.


Oh wow, suddenly I understand why a Pole I used to know would always say "I speak him"


The sentence is quite sloppy and confusing. It should be written as a citation:

Ona mówi: ,,Dobranoc" - She is saying: "Good night"/ She says: "Good night"


Just wondering how you would make this past tense? As in, "she said good night"


Past tense (Czas przeszły):

She said: "Good night" - Powiedziała: ,,Dobranoc"


That would be "Ona powiedziała dobranoc".

That comes from "powiedzieć", a perfective verb, which means that she said it 'succesfully'. From imperfective "mówić" you'd have "mówiła", but that would either mean that she said it on several occasions, or that she was... interrupted while saying it (didn't finish)?


Thanks :) Can "mówiła" be used if she said it but you didn't hear? eg. she said it as she was leaving a room, and I was repeating it for someone else? All these tenses are complicated :(


I won't say 'definitely not', but it doesn't seem the safest option to me.


As I know “good night” phrase are from two words, but in word bank I see “goodnight” https://prnt.sc/11551gu


Different dictionaries prefer different spellings. Here's one where it's one word: https://www.collinsdictionary.com/amp/english/goodnight

Here's a whole article that I however didn't bother to read :D


Oh, thank you! I will look in these articles.


Can't I translate this as She wishes good night? I undetstand that to wish and to say slightly differ in meaning, but normally we WISH good night, not SAY


She doesn't wish it, just says it.


She does not sounds English, I wish she did


I wonder how different is the politeness of English people compared to Polish people.


Yes, I think "says goodnight" makes sense and is common in, at least, American English. "Wish goodnight" also makes sense, I think, but it's less common.

Also, I think these two phrases have different meanings, even though saying goodnight usually involves wishing goodnight (unless you're acting fake), and wishing it usually involves saying it.

"Saying..." puts the emphasis on the act of speaking the words, but "wishing..." refers more to the whole general act of extending your good will.


In English, "she says good night" and "she wishes him good night" is pretty much interchangeable, right? This is not the case in Polish, so this sentence is not valid, I believe. "Dobranoc" should be in quotes and the meaning is not the same as in "she wishes good night".

You wouldn't translate "say hello to..." as "powiedz cześć..."

Just wanted to point it out, because it may be confusing to English speakers.

  • 2467

"To wish goodnight" - "życzyć dobrej nocy" is absolutely correct, but bookish. You do not often say that in real life.


"She wishes goodnight" is not good English. My ear, at least, demands a person to whom it is wished: "She wishes him goodnight", etc.

I'd also disagree with the claim that we don't 'say' goodnight. We do. It's by far the most common and natural form, and works without the 'him' or whatever. 'Wishing' good is rather oldfashioned.


Czemu tu nie ma apostrofa przy goodnight? Czy to nie może być : She says ,, good night'' , skoro ona mówi a często polacy robią apostrofy przy cytatach?


apostrof nie jest tu potrzebny, ale chyba chodzi Ci o cudzysłów?


What is the reason for the spelling, would it be read differently and would it meant something else if it would be spellied "muvi" instead of "movi"?


"mówi" and "muwi" (if it was a word) would be pronounced the same way: "muvi" in English script.

"ó" and "u" are the same sound, it's only a matter of ortography. Mostly such differences are coming from the fact that words were pronounced differently a few centuries ago, but some sounds have come to sound the same now.

For example "morze" (the sea) and "może" (maybe) are pronounced the very same way nowadays.


The difference is important because of how the sounds change when you add cases:"lód" (ice) and "lud" (a people or ethnic group) are pronounced the same in nominative, but the genitives "lodu" and "ludu" are pronounced differently.


i can't write it down by memory but i can write other polish words like ''tak'' and ''nie'' which means yes and no or''kogut '' and ''pies'' which means chicken and dog and anyway i know half the language .polish is so simple to learn I only started to lean polish like 1 month ago !!!!!!!!!!!!


'kogut' is male chicken, 'kura' is female, and 'kurczak' is mostly used for food, also means baby chicken :p


Chick might be also called "kurczę" or "pisklę", to complicate it further. Still, do not take it as a dicouragement and good luck with learning Polish!


ok, thanks I guess ;)


why only "says" is correct? why "she speaks good night" - error?


That's just not something an English speaker would say. You can speak a language, but a word or a sentence you say.


She says good night. (accepted)


Does anyone find that "Ona mówi dobranoc" sounds weird po polsku like, it's not incorrect but I don't think I've ever heard someone say that (context I grew up speaking Polish but never learned how to write in it, so I have gaps in my knowledge for sure)


It's probably not the most common thing to say, plus technically it should be written as: Ona mówi „Dobranoc”.

We can't really use the inverted commas (even the English ones) because Duolingo has problems in dealing with them when grading.


It looks like speaking or saying is correct

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