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  5. "You speak Polish."

"You speak Polish."

Translation:Mówicie po polsku.

December 16, 2015

41 Comments


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

Why is there a "po" before "polsku"?


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

In English, the language being spoken is a noun which forms the direct object of the verb "speak." This is not the case in Polish, where the language spoken is described by an adjective. The preposition "po" in this case serves the function of the English "-ly."


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

Like an adverb that modifies the verb? Not an adjective which modifies nouns.


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

Right. "Polsku" by itself is an adjective, and "po" allows it to apply to a verb. So "po polsku" here indicates "in a Polish manner."

(Technically, "polski" would be normally be "polskiemu" in the dative case, but it takes a different form in this particular set phrase.)


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

po = in "Mowisz po turecku/polsku/etc" You have to put the "po" to say that you are speaking IN that language. It doesn't make grammatical sense in Polish without the "in".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yola448704

The old and noble phrase "po polsku" has to be used as is.

The phrase "mówić po polsku" may mean one of two things:

  • to speak Polish (to have the knowledge of the language,
    skills and the ability to speak when needed or necessary) -
    Mówić po polsku/ Władać językiem polskim
  • to speak in Polish (to carry the conversation in Polish) - Rozmawiać po polsku/ Porozumiewać się po polsku

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

Why is mowicie also correct?


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

It depends if 'you' is singular or plural.

Singular: 'Mówisz po polsku.''

Plural: 'Mówicie po polsku.'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rutvik632714

This is what majority people are confused about!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JamesMTaylor92

This is definitely the downfall of this course, definitely needs specifying!


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

You cleared my doubts, thanks!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Will261934

This is what i was looking for


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pureheart9

How can I know if "you" is singular or plural,???


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

In Polish, the conjugation of "mówić" is different in the two cases.

"Mówisz" = you (singular) speak.

"Mówicie" = you (plural) speak.


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

If you mean in the English sentence, then you cannot know without context. Duolingo accepts both 'mówisz' and 'mówicie' when no context is given for "you speak"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/e28144

In what case (sentence or question) would "polski" be used?


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

"Polski" is the masculine nominative case, so you'd use it to express that the (masculine) sentence subject is Polish. For example, "Polski mężczyzna mówi po angielsku." A Polish man is speaking English.

As a noun, "polski" is also the name of the Polish language.


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

The name of Polish language is polszczyzna. Polski is adjective. "Język polski" is the type of language. Short form "polski" is used by students at school, the same with e.g. "angielski".

The same is with name of our country: Polska is adjective. It is short form of Rzeczpospolita Polska. Of course both short and long forms are official.


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

How to conjugate these verbs?


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

There are several patterns, but you will learn in time. For "mówić" it's as following:

I speak = (ja) mówię; you (sg.) speak = (ty) mówisz; he/she/it speaks = (on/ona/ono) mówi; we speak = (my) mówimy; you (pl.) speak = (wy) mówicie; they speak = (oni/one) mówią


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Veronica964728

Someone once gave a link to a Polish grammar site (or book) for verbs on line, which I have lost. Could anyone give me this link? Thanks


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

Wasn't it simply the English Wiktionary? That's usually enough to check the declension, meaning, and whether the verb is perfective or imperfective.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VeronicaTh362204

Thank you...no, that is a brilliant site but the one I 'lost' was specifically verbs. But in the meantime, I have found a very user friendly book (a REAL book!) on verbs and grammar essentials which is great, and comprehensive, and it is nice to be able to turn pages sometimes! And the website 'Tasting Poland' is good, too. I do use the Witkionary site, as well. Lot of good stuff around...thank you for your consistent good advice.


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

Why is "Pan mówie po polsku" incorrect?


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

"Mówię" (I'm assuming you mean "mowię;" if you said "mówie," that's not a thing) is the first person conjugation of "mówić." To go with the formal second-person "pan," you use the third-person conjugation "mówi."


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

"Pan mówi po polsku" was not accepted. Do we ever practice the formal mood/address?


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

Added now. This is one of the biggest problems with the current version of the course, that not only it teaches very little of Formal You, but mostly it doesn't even accept formal versions. It's one of the things we're fixing now when creating Tree 2.0.

I can add Formal versions where I'm asked, but the idea of doing it everywhere in the current tree is rather impossible, and people ask for it quite seldom (also because they weren't taught Formal You properly).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Imberti4

All the answers are uncorrect for me. I amm always wrong. So they keep on reasking me the question


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

Usually when users report such a problem, it means that they didn't notice that the exercise is "check all the correct answers". Almost any sentence with "you" will have at least two equally correct answers and you have to check all of them.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mrd815495

It would be really helpful for learning, memorising and clarity if questions with "you" or "they" could have in square brackets the intended verions where applicable - i.e. "You [plural] speak Polish" or "They [feminine] have bread"


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

I wish we could do that, but we can't.


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

So this is how it goes? Maybe something to correct if they want us to learn the difference. I know "Y'all" is slag, but it is common enough that people would know. Mówisz = you speak Mówicie = y'all speak


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

We actually do try to accept "you all" (which automatically allows for "y'all") whenever it's 2nd person plural. Same for "you guys". They may be slang, but they may help many people distinguish between "ty" and "wy".

They were forgotten here. Added now.


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

this is challenging


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

There is a error on this question. None of the answers are being flagged as correct.


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

For 99% the case is that there are two correct sentences, the exercise is to "check all the correct answers". In this case, it is "Mówisz po polsku" (singular you) and "Mówicie po polsku" (plural you).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Nanbu4

How do you know when to use the correct form of 'you' when speaking to a person learning Polish eg mowisz po polsku or mowicie po polsku? Would you use the later if your speaking to two people learning Polish ?


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

This is like asking, when to use "he" and when to use "they".

If you're talking to one person, it's the singular -isz, if you're talking (or referring) to more than one person, it's the plural -icie.

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