"You should help your grandmother."

Translation:Powinnaś pomagać babci.

December 15, 2015

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"your grandmother" means "twoja babcia", not just "babcia". When it is a possesive pronoun, it is "swoja babcia".


In Polish Powinieneś pomagać babci would be virtually always understood as ‘you should help your (and not anybody’s else) grandmother’. English needs possesive pronoun here, where Polish doesn’t. On the other hand, if the talk was about some another, specified earlier, old lady (and every old lady actually might be called babcia), then the meaning would be different, and perhaps the most generic translation would be: You should help the grandmother (the old lady).


You killed me with "groundmother" ;D


Oups. Yeah, thanks for pointing this out. I probably should read what I typed before clicking Post button. :P


Why can I write both "powinieneś" and "powienaś"?


You mean "powinnaś".

  • "powinieneś" is what you will say to a man

  • "powinnaś" is what you will say to a woman.

This is a defective verb, it doesn't have some forms (like the infinitive, for example), it's hard to even say what tense it is: for example English wiktionary says it's past, but I wouldn't be so sure. But on the other hand, verbs in past tense have in Polish a difference between genders, so that is some explanation... Anyway, see here.


Nie widzę powodu, dla którego "Powinieneś pomóc babci" nie jest poprawną odpowiedzią.


Zgubiliśmy wersję z "pomóc" ale bez zaimka twojej/swojej/waszej. Dodałem.


Why is "Powinieneś pomóc waszej braci" considered wrong?


Because of the typo, which made the word "babci" (Acc./Gen. of "grandma") into "braci" (Acc./Gen. of "brothers") ;)

Otherwise, it's correct. You are talking to one guy, who has at least one sibling (or a cousin with whom he 'shares' grandma), therefore you may use singular "powinieneś" because you're talking to one person, and grandma can be "wasza" because she 'belongs' to more than one grandchild. That's not a usual usage, even then one would be more likely to say "swojej babci" or "twojej babci", but that's surely possible to say.


I'm not sure I understand correctly, is babci here in Acc/Gen form? I though babci would requite Dat but I may be mistaken.


Your assumption that it should be Dative is correct, this is indeed Dative.

Genitive would be identical for this noun. Accusative would be "babcię".


"Your" is missing


"You should help your grandmother." -> weird, I see it.

OK, I know that you really meant the Polish sentence. Yes, it's missing, because no one needs it. It's considered completely obvious. One usually helps their own grandma, if I were to help someone else's grandma, then I'd specify it. Or probably not even call the old lady "grandma" at all.

And even in English this is possible sometimes and that's one of those situations, "You should help Grandma" is correct.

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