"Oni nie są ludźmi."
Translation:They are not people.
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My grammar book (which I'm sure you're all sick of hearing about by now lol) says the Instrumental plural endings are -ami across the board (across all genders). So ludzie - ludzieami....
But "ludzieami" looks decidedly un-Polish (more like Romanian?) so I guess they first dropped the extra vowels "ea" giving "ludzimi".
Then some bright spark realised that they could save even more space by combining the z and i to make "ź", hence arriving at "ludźmi".
Or is this just another example of the irregularity of the root word "człowiek"?
Yes actually I was just musing there but I realised an important point. The root word is "człowiek" so with the ending its "człowiekami"... therefore I think its just a case of complete irregularity...
Ok, I think I agree with you more this time ;-)
"ludzie" is soft stem, masc. plural... (ok, the endings for soft stem nom. masc. plural are: 'i / e, so ludzie is slightly irregular, but it still has an ending... "ie" so take the ending off the nom. masc. plural -> "ludz", or you say "ludź" which I'll go with
Then add -ami ok, still not exactly what I'd expect but i'll submit that I forgot to take the nom. masc. plural ending off before applying the instr. masc. plural
I'm sorry to correct, it's "ludzie" in nominative. The thing is "dzi" and "dź" sound somewhat the same (these are the so called "soft sounds") but "i" comes before vowels and "marked letter" (ź,ń,ś,ć) before consonants. For example (Nominative to Instrumental, singular to plural in all except "ludzie"): ludzie > ludźmi, jaźń > jaźniami, maść > maściami, spadź > spadziami, tatuś > tatusiami, paź > paziami.
Hi ^^ I am a bit new on Duolingo, so I didn't understand the whole thing... Why is there no "writen lesson" like in the previous steps (you know : cases, verbs endings...) ? So, I was counting on the website to teach me those things, but ... Do I have to search lessons on other websites or in books to learn fully the language ? Please, can someone tell me ? :)
So "ludźmi" can mean people, men and humans. One thing that throws me off with Polish is that depending on context and certain words used in a sentence determines the meaning. Is this sentence normally interpreted as "They are not people"? I wrote my answer as "They are not men" and it was correct.
OK, so generally "człowiek" (and its plural "ludzie") means a homo sapiens. In most sentences it will be "people", some sentences sound more like talking about species (you can always imagine a sci-fi context) and may have "humans" as the main answer. And "men"... well, English generally can use "men" for "people" in some contexts. Not in this one, though, I think. Here it would mean that "They are not men" = "They are women", and that is not an acceptable interpretation of the Polish sentence. Fixed now, thanks.
You made one of the most typical mistakes that our learners do - don't worry, it still happens a lot.
Basically, people are taking the rule too far and assume that there is such rule as "negation = Genitive". There is no such rule. The rule is actually "negated Accusative = Genitive". And as Accusative is the most common case, and also as some comments (including some of my older comments, probably) aren't specific enough, people assume that it's for all negations. But it's not. Only Accusative changes case when negated, everything else stays the same.
When i read this, my first reaction was… Man, Duolingo, racist now? xD It made me think of WWII when the English and Americans had anti-German propaganda, like they were not people, and the Germans did the same for jsut about everyone. The Japanese were pretty ruthless to the Koreans and Chinese too. To get to the point, each side would say "They are not men!"
Here in the UK, it is common for people not to use 'whom'. They just use 'who' and remember these are native speakers. The fact is that even in the UK there are a number of variations (dialects) of English, London, Lancashire, Yorkshire, Scotland, Wales etc. Who is right. Well no-one and everyone. Like most languages English is a living language and as such is is slowly changing over time. common useage determines what is right. Example: At school I was grilled, NEVER end a sentence with a preposition. (e.g ."Who are you speaking to", Wrong! The apparrently correct version is "To who/whom are you speaking?") I don't know anyone that would now say the second version. It sounds pompous and would be mocked.