"Twoja żona myślała, że lubisz piwo."

Translation:Your wife thought that you like beer.

December 13, 2015

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Interesting that English (mine, anyway) prefers to write this with two past tenses.


That's the sequence of tenses in standard English -- after a verb in the past, the verbs in a "that" clause are shifted one step into the past. (e.g. present to past, past to past perfect). The "official" sentence is technically incorrect, but admittedly in wide use, so will be (if not already is) an acceptable variant.


I nie pomyliła się.


"Like" sounds wrong to my ear here. I think it should be "liked".


"liked" works. But the sequence of tenses isn't necessary, and using it in the main sentence would be very confusing.

And I think it's especially visible here... whether I like beer or not, I like it or not generally. It's not a question of whether I liked beer two months ago.


You are right that "liked" is ambiguous but "like" doesn't sound right to me and I don't believe it's grammatically correct.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sequence_of_tenses#English - the difference between the attracted and the natural sentence. Interesting that one of them is called 'natural', actually... ;) OK, those are very dependent on the context, but luckily we don't have context here at Duolingo, so we can easily use the natural version in (almost?) every sentence. In this one it definitely makes more sense to use the natural one, because as I said, "I generally like beer".

Gosh, why does English have to complicate things so much...


Thanks for the article. I think that grammar in any language is a constantly shape-shifting monster which makes it even more slippery to get to grips with :-). I know my formidable English teacher at school wouldn't have tolerated the "natural" sequence of tenses and that even wikipedia would have withered under his gaze :-) but as he's no longer with us I'm willing to go along with it :-) By the way lol at English complicating things...


Oh, you said that English complicates things. But Polish is doing the same! At least, in my opinion. As a native Ukrainian I think that Polish is very similar to Ukrainian but it was intentionally complicated.


In this sentence it's different. It obviously implies that the woman was wrong when she thought that her husband liked beer, and now she probably knows that he doesn't. It's not a general statement, but a wrong assumption in the past. That's why past tense should definitely be used here.


We'll probably switch to using the Past Tense in the future, with the revamp of the course, but we need to rework the right sections in a way that carefully shows how Polish and English use different tenses there. In the current course, we believe such a change would just create a huge mess and confusion, and we'd be flooded with reports and comments asking for Past Tense in Polish.


Well, I'd say that it's the same kind of wrong assumption as in "Myślałysmy, że nie żyjesz", where the main translation is "We thought that you were dead"...


Well, kinda true, but: firstly, that's just one sentence :D Secondly... it's already quite different, because "you are + adjective" somehow translates to "nie + verb"... so I think it's easier for the learners to grasp an additional difference.

Moreover, I think it's a phrase that is relatively common in movies so it also may make it easier to translate it 'intuitively' rather than looking at grammar.

I generally agree with you. I'm just saying that right now this change could make more harm than good, and we need to create a whole skill devoted to carefully show this big difference between the tenses.


I think we watch different kinds of movies :D


I don't know if there is a formal English rule against this, but in commonly spoken English, when one says "I was thinking that...", or similar constructs, such as, "I was saying that...", or, "I was noticing that...", what follows "that" is past tense if what I thought, or said, or noticed, etc., does not happen now. But if it's something that still happens now, it can be present tense.

For example, "What were you thinking we should get to go with dinner?" "Well, I was thinking that you like (present tense) beer, and so do I, so let's get a six-pack." "Great, who is going to get it?" "Yesterday, Joe was telling me that you drive (present tense) and that you have (present tense) a car, so how about you?" "Wait, you misremember, and Joe is an idiot. I only drink wine, and i don't drive." "Oh, I'm sorry. I thought you liked (past tense) beer. And like Joe, I also thought that you had (past tense) a car and drove (past tense)."

You'll notice that all these present tense verbs describe something that you did in the past, and that you still do today. But if the action you are noting happened in the past, and you are not trying to imply that it still happens, then you use a past tense to describe it. For example, "But I thought that you were driving (past continuous) yesterday, no?"


Your wife were thinking that you like beer? No?


"were" is wrong, unless your wife was a plural entity.

"Your wife was thinking that you like beer" is possibly what you meant.


I can imagine someone here in Yorkshire saying that - but it's very colloquial and not standard English at all :-)


Well, if she's married to this guy, she should certainly know if he likes beer...


Why doesn't this sentence mean "your wife was thinking that you like beer"? I thought imperfective translated like that.


"Think" is a "stative verb" (describing a state, not an action), and those verbs usually don't take continuous forms.


How about "What were you thinking when you drove your car so fast that you crashed it?"


Yes, you're right. Also "What are you thinking about?"

This verb can be found on several lists of stative verbs, but I'd say it only applies for "think that...", i.e. if it's followed by a subordinate clause ("that" may be omitted). So it is a stative verb in our sentence.

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