"Czy ta szklanka jest do połowy pełna czy do połowy pusta?"

Translation:Is this glass half full or half empty?

December 16, 2015

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Czy jesteś optymistą czy pesymistą?


Isn't it great to know you have half a glass worth of storage available?


Jaka część mowa jest "do połowy?"


Częścią mowy jest tutaj wyrażenie przyimkowe (Adpositional phrase). Najpierw jest przyimek "do", a potem mamy rzeczownik "połowa" w dopełniaczu (Genitive).


normally i use 'albo' or 'lub' for the word 'or'. what's going on here?


'czy' is used in questions, when you have an A/B (or more) choice.

'albo' and 'lub' sometimes can also be used in questions, but then it suggests that both A and B may be correct. And frankly, I think that sometimes we may accept them too easily, they are of course a possible interpretation, but sometimes too weird.

And here... well, I'd say that asking such a question, you really want your interlocutor to choose either A or B, not both.


So czy is an exclusive or (xor in logic) and lub/albo is an inclusive or? That's interesting, not many languages make that distinction.


That's true, but "czy" can only mean "or" if you use it in a question.

Technically speaking, lub is inclusive and albo is exclusive, but this difference only concerns logic/mathematics and is not applied in everyday speech.


Yes, the distinction (exclusive vs. not) seems like it should be important, but in practice it isn't.


Is this glass half full or is it half empty


I'm a rationalist so I just think of it as 4 ounces of water in an 8 ounce glass.


I, as a true rationalist however, would say there are four ounces of air in this 8 ounce glass.


Why is it połowy and not połowe? Everything is feminine here!?


Połowa is a noun and the preposition do requires the genitive case. It's very similar to German "zur Hälfte".


Going off the topic a bit, but doesn't it mean the same either way?????


I don't know if you are sarcastic, or genuinely asking? Yes that's the same thing described from different perspective.



Is that glass half full or half empty?


Why is 'do' needed? I can't shoehorn any of its meanings to explain it, and wiktionary doesn't indicate it. Is it always needed with połowny?


"polowa" is not an adverb like "half" in "half full" but a noun meaning "a half" or "the half". So "do polowy" means about "up to one half". "Polowy" here is the genitive, which is used after "do" (until, up to, …).


OK, but I was reading a news item where 'X dostał więcej niż połowę głosów'. No 'do' there.


I don't see how the two sentences are related. Your sentence says "half of the votes", so here "half" is a noun and is translated by a Polish noun. In the exercise "half (full") is an adverb. In order to translate this adverb by the Polish noun "polowa" the preposition "do" is used.


In your example, the word 'half' is a real noun. You could replace it with another noun, like 'the majority' and it would still be grammatical.

But you can't do this with our sentence because here 'half' is an adverb. "Do połowy" should thus be treated as an adverbial.


OK, thanks, that explains it. Is 'do' always used with połowy the adverb?


I think this only works with measurable quantities. If you wanted to say "I'm half Polish" you'd say "Jestem w połowie Polką". But "w połowie" also works with both "half full" and "half empty". So it's a bit more versatile.

In case you wanted to mention two halves (components) of something (half X, half Y), the most likely thing to say is "pół X, pół Y".

Then, there's also "na (w)pół" as in "na (w)pół otwarty" = "half-open", although "półotwarty", where 'pół' turns into a prefix, is more likely.

But many things just don't translate literally, like "half decent", in which case none of the aforementioned words apply.


Why is "jest do" and "czy do" correct word placement or phrasing? I put jest do twice and it was wrong


Since you gave a Polish answer to a Polish sentence I assume you had a listening exercise. Here you have no room for interpretation; you must type what the speaker says.

It would be very kind if you could quote your full answer. I assume it was one of the following:

  • Czy ta szklanka jest do połowy pełna jest do połowy pusta?
  • Czy ta szklanka jest do połowy pełna czy jest do połowy pusta?

The first version is certainly not correct; it contains no equivalent for the English word “or.”

The second version might work (in a translation exercise from English!) if the English sentence contained a second “is” (“…or is it half empty”). But my Polish is not good, and it could be that this version sounds inelegant to a native speaker.

Btw, the word “do” is not related to “czy” nor to “jest;” it belongs to “do połowy” (literally “up to the half”).


Was definitely the second one and ok I see why do połowy is used thank you

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