"My siblings are eating dinner."

Translation:Moje rodzeństwo je kolację.

December 11, 2015

42 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/flootzavut

So is "siblings" treated like a neuter singular noun?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/flootzavut

Ahhh cool! Dziękuję!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Francois552022

Not ahhh cool... more like why? But why?????


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bubblegod22

It just is. We have weird words in English that confuse other people. For example, a lot of German learners of English don't understand why one pair of pants or scissors or glasses is always grammatically plural.

My scissors are missing. -> One pair or many pairs, always plural

Confuses many Germans, and undoubtedly others as well.

Why is it like that? Just because.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fodd_Tort

Wellllll I mean... Two blades joined makes scissors, two joined leg coverings makes pants, two joined monocles makes glasses.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chintsipoo

Whaaat whhyyy :-(


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

Well... "siblings" is a plural noun although it refers to 2 (or more) people. And then for example you have "couple" and it's a singular noun although it refers to 2 people. So... I really think it's not that strange ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ziggy69

So why wouldn't I use jedzą in this case. My siblings are eating (jedzą)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/flootzavut

Because in Polish, "siblings" works like a mass noun, it's singular and neuter.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LeeJurga

How many native speakers would get this wrong? And would anyone care if a native pole treated "rodzeństwo" as a plural?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

Native speakers can make many mistakes, but I really can't imagine this one. "rodzeństwo" ends with -o, it is obvious (to us) that it is neuter singular.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hereandthere715

Could you explain this (or link to an explanation) a little more in depth? I realize that the word used is singular. As a non-native speaker, I am not yet familiar with how to know when neuter words should be kept singular even when referring to multiple people/objects. For example, I don't think you would say "Moje dziecko je śniadanie," when you actually mean that your five children are sitting together eating breakfast. (Or maybe you would say that?) So, that is why we are confused about this one. :-) For English-speakers, a sibling may be eating breakfast or many siblings may be eating breakfast. Is there a way to know when this distinction is not necessary beyond the fact that the dictionary form of the word is neuter singular? I hope my question makes sense. :-/


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aran.Nelske

Dziecko is singular. Dzieci is plural. "Moje dziecko je śniadanie." "Moje dzieci jedzą śniadanie." The "e" ending for "mój" is for neuter singular, but also for plurals


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hot-Doggy

What about "Państwo" (Mr. & Mrs)? It ends in "o" and takes the third person plural — Państwo są NOT Państwo jest!

I think it would be easy to make a mistake:

"Rodzeństwo je kolację" v "Państwo jedzą kolację"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alik1989

"Państwo je kolację" is actually grammatically correct. It just means "The state is eating dinner".

I think that possibility prevents natives from ever making such a mistake.

Also, państwo in your example is a pronoun, which is a different word type than a noun, so different rules are likely to apply.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hot-Doggy

Thanks for your very clear explanation. I've always assumed that "państwo" (ladies and gentlemen) was a collective noun — it didn't even occur to me that it could be a pronoun. There you go! I've learned something new today! Dzięki, pa!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bobby634837

My wife is a Polish lass, she says that most people would notice but even native speakers would use jedzą, she says that all Polish folk know hard the grammar is and often laugh at it themselves,


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

I'm sorry, but I cannot imagine any native speaker ever saying "moi rodzeństwo jedzą". Are you sure that's what she meant?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Philipo.

Is 'rodzenstwo' singular neutral' hence use of word 'moje' (excuse mis-use of accents)?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobertWill474954

If siblings is treated as a neuter singular noun then i don't know why parents are not (previous question)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Popo-lsku

"My siblings are eating dinner." <--- If siblings is singular, there should be an "is" instead of "are". But we have the "are"... So it has to be plural!? Nothing else makes sence to me. In my opinion we have to translate what is given. And this is plural... ---> "jedzą"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

"rodzeństwo", although it's a singular noun, almost always refers to more than one person, i.e. "siblings".

It could potentially mean just one "sibling", but that seems rare, it's a lot easier to say "brat" or "siostra" then. So it's most common when you have siblings of both genders.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Liam221b

There I find the answer to my question ! Thank you, Jellei! And that's why peopke should read the whole thread of comments :D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alik1989

You're damn right they should! :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/akikotsukamoto

so strange ! "neuter singular" sibliings


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaryCarson15

So if I said 'my sibling' (singular) it would translate the same as two siblings? Seems illogical to me!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

Well, the thing is that we'd simply just never say "my sibling", we'd definitely say either "my brother" or "my sister". How likely are you to say "my sibling" in English, actually?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaryCarson15

Well actually not impossible!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

Sure, not impossible, but again, is it common? Why would one choose it over brother/sister? Unless we're discussing non-binary people, of course. But then in Polish, if I had a non-binary sibling, I'd probably need to ask them how to refer to them. Using "rodzeństwo" about one person just sounds very, very strange to me.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/satvidh

Given the state if the world, would I now want to say "my sibling" if i didnt want the other person to know whether i have a brother or a sister?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

I guess that's possible in English, but if you used "moje rodzeństwo" in Polish, then I'd automatically assume you have 2+ siblings.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Robson182836

Hi. Why not jedzą?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jcelkin

Why is the verb singular in this sentence


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

Despite the meaning, "rodzeństwo" is a singular noun.

Which surprises people a lot, but then even in English nouns for groups of people can easily be treated as singular... although that may be dependent on the dialect.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bluebird998042

when o we use "moje and moi? very confusing...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

This example makes it more confusing than it usually is.

OK, so you may know it (or most of it), but:

There are two plurals. One is virile (aka 'masculine personal plural'), it works for 'groups with at least one man'. The right form for that plural is "moi".

The other is nonvirile (aka 'not masculine-personal plural'), it works for all other plural nouns. The right form for that plural is "moje".

Given that it's "siblings", not "brothers" or "sisters", we can assume that it's at least one brother and at least one sisters. At least in Polish I wouldn't use "rodzeństwo" if they weren't of mixed gender. So we would assume that the noun should be virile and the right form would be "moi". But that's wrong.

Actually, the word "rodzeństwo" is neuter singular, which confuses people a lot... but then words like "family" can be treated as singular in English as well, right? So the reason it's "moje" here is exactly because it's neuter singular. In Nominative, the forms for neuter singular and for nonvirile are identical.

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