"Źli ludzie."

Translation:Bad people.

December 16, 2015

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This is an interesting one. We have here a masculine personal noun. The singular form is "zły człowiek", the plural of człowiek is ludzie (highly irregular), and as regards the adjective...

"The masculine personal plural adjective ending is -y/-i and the preceding consonant is softened: dobry → dobrzy, ładny → ładni, miły → mili, wielki → wielcy, drogi → drodzy;

Swan, Oscar (2008-10-12). Polish Verbs & Essentials of Grammar, Second Edition (Verbs and Essentials of Grammar Series) (Kindle Locations 780-781). McGraw-Hill Education. Kindle Edition.

So from the third example the "ły" becomes "li", the softened version. But as someone below pointed out, the original "z" needs to be softened too, to "ź" ie. z slash.


I thought "człowiek" meant "human" not "person"? How is "ludzie" the plural of "human"? Could you elaborate for us beginners? Thanks


The word can mean both "human" and "person".

How is "ludzie" the plural of "człowiek"? Yes, that one stumped me! It's just a highly irregular plural form, and has to be learned.


It has to be learned of course but czlowiek is not the root of ludzie. So ludzie is not plural form for czlowiek. Its just a plural noun. Like people is not plural form for human.


difference between Zli and Zle?


Its strange that the german lessons come with tips that explain what youre about to learn, when the Polish lessons are like 'nah youre on your own, figure it out' lol


While only a portion of skills have Tips in Polish, this skill surely does have it. Please check the website version of Duolingo (my guess is that as German is dealt with by the Duolingo staff, it has a different kind of Tips, the one that is present in the app).

  1. Źli sounds off.

  2. Why is that a Ź and not a Z?


Because ź makes a zh sound as opposed to the z in zły.


I got that, but why is there a change to begin with?


Well, in Polish (and other languages) there's what is called "a phonological agreement". Soft consonants go with soft ones and hard consonants go with hard ones. If I'm not mistaken, "l" is considered "soft" and "ł" is considered "hard". Nominative, singular, masculine adjectives usually end in "-y", which agrees phonologically with hard consonants, for instance "zły". To form its plural, we need to drop the "-y" and replace it with its soft version "-i", but the latter only agrees with soft consonants, so we need to drop the "-ł-" and replace it with its soft version "-l-", but "z" is not soft, so we also need to replace it with its soft version "ź". Then we are left with "źli", in which all three sounds agree in phonological softness. Please, everyone, feel free to tweak this explanation; I'm not a 100% sure I explained correctly.


Great explanation! I'm not Polish so I cannot be sure that what you have said is 100% correct, but until someone else tweaks it I will assume that it is :) Have a lingot regardless!


Dziękuję bardzo, 94Bluelane. :D


Just when I thought I was getting it...lol. Thank you


Sonds like russian"злые люди" (zlye ludi)


How so you pronounce źli?


Cześć, TFG. First put the tip of your tongue behind your lower teeth, then try to pronounce the sound /3/, which is represented by "si" in "vision" for example.


Ok, so it's a soft z. Thanks!


What is the polish for person?


Literally "person" translates to "osoba".

"People" is "ludzie", and singular "human" is "człowiek".

"Człowiek" in Polish seems to be a lot more often used than "human" in English.


what is the difference between "Źly ludzie" and "Źli ludzie"? I saw the previous comments but if I am not mistaken both version were marked as correct. (however long time ago, and I can be mistaken).


No, the first one is wrong, such a form doesn't exist. Generally, the adjective is "zły" with a normal Z and a Polish Ł. But masculine personal forms are usually... softened? So they do often look differently from the other forms.


Dziękuję bardzo, it is very helpful


Is there ever an occurrence in Polish where it is known that all of the ludzie are female but the word ludzie is still used anyway, such as "złe ludzie" signifying angry people that are all female?

Or must it be only złe kobiety/złe dziewczyny-dziewczynki but źli ludzie even though there are no men/boys among them?


Since the noun ludzie is 100% masculine personal, using the other gender would be wrong. If you want to emphasize that they are female, just say złe kobiety.

I think it's similar to ребенок злой. You would never say ребенок злая, even if it's a girl.


Thank you. That makes sense!


it sounds like "Czy ludzie?" to me

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