December 14, 2015

This discussion is locked.


This is really plural, isn't it? "You all"


Yes, it is plural.


Thanks i didn't know


I think it can also be formal?


It's basically not formal... But:

a) in my region, Silesia, it's perfectly fine when you talk that way to elderly people, elderly is a key word here. You can tell an old lady "wy idziecie" (you go), "wy widzicie" (you see), "świetnie się trzymacie" (you look great) - not only it's absolutely correct, it also shows your respect. However, I'm not sure if it follows that pattern in other parts of the country.

b) the word "państwo" - ladies and gentlemen. After that you can use the verb in two different forms. First, the safer one, is third person plural - "państwo widzą" (you see). It is very formal, suitable to e.g. speeches. The second form is second person plural (wy) - "państwo widzicie". Beware, though. It is rather a controversial form (I'm not fond of it, personally, however it is correct). It's suitalble for a quasi-formal situations (e.g. the lecturer talking to students who he knows well).


That makes so much sense! It's very confusing to someone who has studied other indo-European languages. Here is why:

You informal: tu (French), tú (Spanish), ты (Russian), ти (Ukrainian) etc... You formal: vous (French- also the plural form), вы (Russian), ви (Ukrainian)

Then I get confused because Mexican Spanish uses usted to be formal but Spain has a vosotros form, like the French, Russian, and Ukrainian. But I'm not sure if it's used the same. So you can see why I would automatically assume that wy in Polish is a formal or even formal plural hybrid way to say "you."


Oh, sure, I understand - but in Polish it doesn't work the same way, unfortunately. The usual manner is "Pan/Pani" + 3rd person singular ("jeśli pani pozwoli" - if you allow me) when talking to a single person or "Państwo" + 3rd person plural (SOMETIMES 2nd person plural) when talking to many people.


(sorrry to talk about spanish in the polish course but "vosotros" isn't formal either, it's only plural. "Usted" is the only formal word for 2nd person singular. You are confusing "ustedes" with "usted")


I think that could have been the case in the past before WW1 among the lower classes. The use of "pan" form comes likely from the noble class, and it later spread into the general population.


Indeed, we talk to strangers using pan/pani forms. With friends we use the regular second person forms. That's the rule of the thumb at least, I don't know if the cutoff point is the same as in Russian. On the Internet I often see people using the second person forms, even with strangers.

We don't use the literal word "ty" that often because of the tendency to drop personal pronouns. Perhaps that makes it less jarring, and at the same more tempting than the (longer) formal forms.


Coming from the Russian language, it feels so strange to call an adult ty in Polish, someone who is not your friend or family member. Do people walk around Poland calling everyone pan/panie to avoid using ty?


Your point a) is so interesting! In German it used to be like that too but that way of addressing people is long gone now, you'll only see it in old books sometimes. And in fairy tales :)

[deactivated user]

    Not anymore, however it used to be so during the communist period, likely influenced by Russian.


    Sounds like "iwy"...hate this.


    What is the different between wy and ty?


    When you talk to one person, it's ty. When you talk to more than one person, it's wy.


    i will never over the fact that it accepts "y'all" lmao


    Well... if it helps some people distinguish between "ty" and "wy", then why not.

    [deactivated user]

      should be you all, like "ihr" in German source: Native speaker is sitting next to me.


      Yes, but standard English doesn't use "you all" as a pronoun. You normally use "you" regardless of number.


      'You all' is also geographically limited. It's in no way a standard plural of 'you' for all speakers.


      The comment by Vengir is appropriate..Yes, off the cuff here, I would say that "you all" is either a colloquialism or a translator's/interpreter's concession to context. The word "you" signifies a plural audience just as much as a singular one. "You all" is not a pronoun.


      Oh, a note just in case. We've later decided to accept "you all" as a correct translation for Polish second person plural. It might not be the most typical answer, but if it helps you learn…


      "Y'all" will go through and be counted as correct as well. If you are having a hard time keeping the plural vs. non-plural translation straight in your head, this can help. This is how my French teacher in high school would help make it easier for us to remember the difference. Then again I also live in a state where "y'all" is common vocabulary, so I guess whatever works best for y'all ;)


      So is ty you singular and wy you plural then?


      I hear the W sond as "th". Is that normal? Is it just the way the language is or is it an audio error or something?


      It's just /v/. Don't let the text-to-speech throw you off.

      wy /vɪ/


      Boy the pronunciation of this seems really muddy. I could understand it much better on Google Translate. Something to work on, Duolingo?


      I gotta say that while often there's a lot that could be made better in terms of audio here, this one really sounds good to me.


      When they pronounce it, sometimes it sounds like vy and sometimes it sounds like (the closet English word I can associate with it is) hover.. Am I mishearing or has anyone else come across this? :-/


      It's only one syllable, so I don't know how it could get even remotely similar to 'hover'...


      The task was "type what you hear", not "translate what you hear into English".


      Does it means ty and wy is same plural of you? This confused me uhhhh, What I know ty is thank you in english lol


      "Ty" is singular, "wy" is plural.


      The audio with woman voice doesn't sound correct. It sounds like "z".


      I don't hear anything like that.


      The best way I've been able to figure this out is by thinking of "ty" as "you" and "wy" as "youse" or "y'all"

      Learn Polish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.