"On mówi po angielsku."

Translation:He speaks English.

December 11, 2015

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Duolingo needs to teach conjugation


a whole lot more than they do, that is for sure


What is the difference between mowi and mowie? When do i use each of them?


It depends on a person. You use "mówi" with he, she, it and you use "mówię" with I

Ja mówię, Ty mówisz, On/ona/ono mówi, My mówimy, Wy mówicie, Oni/one mówią


Się pisze "mowi" kiedy mowi się o 3 osobie.. I sie pisze "mowie"kiedy mowi się o 1 osobie


Nie można zaczynać zdania od "się" - jest to oznaka złego wykształcenia. Mówi się ="one says", pisze się = "one writes".


What is the purpose of "po" in the sentence?


"po .......u" is a construction that means "like they do in x". But just look at it like a set phrase.


This is actually a good way to put it :)

polski - Polish angielski - English

"Po polsku" indeed means "the way they do it in Poland". Same goes for "po angielsku" - "the way they do it in England".

It usually appears in the name of dishes, e.g. "kawa po francusku" - "coffee the way they do it in France"

(note that adverbs derived from the names of nations are written with lower-case in Polish)


This is very helpful :) Dziekuje


How would you say He says it in English ? For example, if you are diiscussing a sentence in different languages: She says it in German and he says it in English.

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On mówi to po angielsku.


Also note that word order in Polish doesn't particularly matter. To on móvi, on to móvi, and on móvi to all translate to he says it, although I would say on to móvi is the most common.


This is rather a poor example :P "To on mówi" translates to "This is him speaking". But you are right that the word order is much much more relaxed compared to English. Also there isn't "v" in Polish alphabet and the "v" sound is written as "w".


*"w," not "v" ;) - Polish doesn't have a "v"


I agree with Andy D, I find conjugation is the hardest part about learning Polish:( still havent come to grips with the meaning of 'po' for example.


Actually 'angielsku' or 'polsku' are not any forms of adjectives 'angielski' and 'polski' that you will find in the declension table. This is something different, only found in the 'po polsku' construction. You can treat it as "speaking English-style", "speaking Polish-style"... apart from languages, it is used also in some dishes' names, e.g. "ryba po grecku" (Greek-style fish).


Basically dude, "Po" is a preposition. The way I understand it at the moment (if I'm wrong then I apologise, I only learnt about these this morning :P) a preposition is the concrete between a descriptive word and a noun. So, "He speaks English" - "He" is the descriptive word, "speaks" is the preposition, and "English" is obviously the noun.

I put "Po" into Google Translate as I always do so I can listen to two different audio clips of how the word is pronounced and it said that "Po" is a preposition so I then Googled preposition. Here are the sites: https://translate.google.com/#pl/en/po


P.S. I didn't find this out from anyone, this is all just my workings-out so I'd really appreciate it if Jellei co. could make sure I'm not talking rubbish - cheers!


"Speaks" is definitely not a preposition, it's a predicate here. Actually there is no preposition at all in the sentence you wrote. If you say: "He said it in English." - then "in" is a preposition.

Anyway in Polish "po" is a preposition indeed, we just can't translate it to English as literally as you apparently would like to do :)


what case is this? also, would instrumental work here?


From my comment above:

Actually 'angielsku' or 'polsku' are not any forms of adjectives 'angielski' and 'polski' that you will find in the declension table. This is something different, only found in the 'po polsku' construction. You can treat it as "speaking English-style", "speaking Polish-style"... apart from languages, it is used also in some dishes' names, e.g. "ryba po grecku" (Greek-style fish).

Also, no, nothing can be put into Instrumental here.


thank you:) I can make the connection with my native bulgarian with some foods :) It';s just that i've always thought of "in the manner of" as an instrumental but every language to itself i guess :)


Why not "in" English?


"in English" is another acceptable option.


So if I understand well, "mówi" means "to speak", "to say" and "to talk" depending on the context ? (also, I don't understand the red warning as I'm writting this, this is not a mistakes' report, just a question and it hasn't been asked before (or at least I didn't understood it when I read the thread.)


the red warning is always there.

the "speaking" verbs - we have two (pairs). mówić(powiedzieć) is when words leave your mouth, rozmawiać(porozmawiać) is when when people have a conversation- so talk and speak can be translated as both depending on context.

In present tense you can only use mówić and rozmawiać.


Thank you very much :) !


OK, now I am confused. I thought from a previous discussion that Polish makes the perfective/imperfective distinction. But the same verb is being translated as
"He speaks English" i.e. he knows the language, this is continually true
"He is speaking in English" i.e. the words currently coming out are in English -a single event


perfectives have no present so if the speaking is happening now it is imperfective, ongoing even if only in this instant of the present, so both these usages are imperfective and so the same verb


Ok, thanks. So, how would one distinguish in Polish between the two concepts?


context. sometimes additional phrases like "now=teraz", "can speak=umie mówić" .


how do you tell the difference between when the man says, "on mowi" and "ona mowi"? this probably is stupid but when i tried the first time i mistook it for ona


There is something wrong with this TTS recording. It should be "on", but I clearly hear "one". It's understandable why you mistook it for "ona". I'll report it.


I disabled the audio exercises, so no one will get the 'type what you hear' exercise. There's nothing more I can do, I'm afraid.


Does 'po' mean enything?


„Po angielsku” is a left over of an archaic case and is exclusively used with names of languages: po angielsku, po polsku, po francusku, po niemiecku, etc. Note the ending of the language -u, specific to this usage.

In other places “po” is a preposition most often meaning “after” or “on”.

“po lodzie, po wodzie” = on ice, on water;

“po piątej” = after five.

So the expression “po angielsku” is an adverb meaning “on English,” if you want an exact translation.”


If "Po" means Polish, then why is it in this sentence if the sentence translates to "He speaks English"? Am I missing something?


I fear you are indeed missing something. "Po" does not mean "Polish"; it is a preposition that goes before the name of the language in question.

"On mówi po polsku" => "He speaks Polish".

"On mówi po angielsku" => "He speaks English".

Just above your comment, there is a helpful comment giving the other usages of "po".

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