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  5. "You are a woman and I am a b…

"You are a woman and I am a boy."

Translation:Ty jesteś kobietą, a ja jestem chłopcem.

December 19, 2015



I didn't use 'ja', just 'jestem'. Is that so bad?


Yes, you need subject in second part of sentence like this. You can omit "TY" but "Ja" has to stay, so the change of subject is clear.


Thanks for the explanation!


Seems like you can't as mine just got marked incorrect for omiting ty..


From what I see, it is accepted to omit "ty", but you can't omit "ja".


Is there a difference in usage of i and a for "and"?


a is used when there is contrast


I translated "you are a woman" as: "pani jest kobietą" - which apparently is incorrect.

Wouldn't it be possible to use 'formal you' in a sentence like this? There seems to be a difference in age between the boy and the woman. As a native speaker of Dutch, I would use formal you ('u') in such a context. Maybe in modern Polish difference in age does not require formal you?


Your sentence is absolutely correct and most of the time you would use formal you here. One can imagine a situation where it would not be required, for example a younger brother speaking to his older sister.


Could you translate it as "Ty jesteś kobietą i ja jestem chłopcem." What is the difference in using the conjuncitons "a" and "i" ?


"a" gives contrast. "i" is the basic form of "and".

As there is obvious contrast between 'you' being a woman and 'me' being a boy, "a" is the only option.

There are some contexts where both work and mean more or less the same, but that's not very common. What comes to my mind is that you can use both after "między/pomiędzy" (between).


Thank-you for that clear answer.


Why do I need ty and ja?


You definitely need "ja", because you change the subject in the middle of the sentence. "ty" is not necessary, but recommendable here to show contrast better.


OK, so I've been studying Polish for a few years now and this is the first time I've encountered this idea. So even though the verb conjugation "jestem" clearly shows that the subject has changed and absolutely specifies what the second subject is, the "ja" is still necessary since the subject has changed within the sentence? I certainly won't argue what you say is true. But as an English speaker, I don't understand why you can omit the first pronoun since the conjugation specifies what the subject is (which we've all learned so long ago by now), but then all of a sudden it's necessary in the second part of the sentence - even though the second conjugation specifies the second subject just as clearly. I'm just trying to understand whether this is just one of those things that is what it is, or whether there's some other reason behind it that I'm missing - it just seems quite arbitrary.


Jellei's comment is more than a year old, and we have recently revised the phrasing of this rule, because it caused some confusion.

The main reason why this sentence needs at least one (or better two) subject pronouns is the contrast between the two subjects. A contrastive statement can occur if the subject change coincides with an unchanged verb (być in both clauses).

Furthermore, "a" is a strictly contrastive conjunction in this context. It can be translated to "whereas", which would put a similar emphasis on the English pronoun.

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