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

Translation:Ty jesteś kobietą, a ja jestem chłopcem.

December 19, 2015

This discussion is locked.


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.

More information on this topic:



This answer is in contradiction to the previous one. in both cases I have been marked wrong and in both cases I was right. In the previous example I used Ja Jestem and it was marked wrong and offered Jestem. Here it marked me wrong for using Jestem not Ja jestem this is not rational or logical!!!!??


No contradiction here. The contexts are different. In the other exercise it just didn't make much sense to put emphasis on 'ja', but here we are using the contrastive conjunction 'a', so the subject pronoun is mandatory. More on this here:



In languages where the personal pronoun is not required it is never wrong to use it even if it may be skipped so I do not agree examples can be from spanish, greek, italian where the personal pronoun is optional but can always be used without making the sentence incorrect?

  • 2472

I cannot tell you how exactly it is in Spanish, Greek or Italian, but in Polish, after "a" when it means "whereas", the pronoun in function of subject is pretty much mandatory. In many other cases, especially when the subject of the second clause in the sentence is the same as the subject of the first clause, it is normally skipped, unless you want to make a very strong emphasis on the subject.

But that is just an opinion of someone who does not contribute to this very course, only to a course in reverse direction.


Thanks for the clarification. That explains one wrong answer but validates my point about the other which is if requiring the subject in the one sentence for it to be correct, including it in a different sentence for another comparable response and being marked incorrect for it must have been a wrong response on the part of the computer marking my response since it is inconsistent to require it in one construction and then to find it wrong in a comparable one in a later question?


C'mon man... I've told you that those are two different (=not comparable) contexts and explained the difference to you. And I gave you the link to all the info you will ever need on subject pronoun omission. What else do you need?

Here's the link to your other comment, in case you can't find it:



Loving this debate. I'm imagining a conclave of Polish grammarians in medieval times or maybe the 18th century deciding the perfect rules for the use of pronouns. Rule 1-must be different to other languages but shall we apply this to Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian and what do our brother grammarians in Russia have to say on the subject? Of course, they are only discussing a linguistic situation which has evolved through day-to-day usage and the mindset of "the people".


Nie 'ty', a 'pani', młody człowiek.


"młody człowieku", in Vocative :)

Well, that surely makes a lot of sense (and is accepted), but if it's your older sister or your mom, then informal is perfectly fine.


Oh! I'll keep it in mind) I expect Vocative in my future lessons. This course would be less inspiring without your friendly and such helpful comments, definitely. Dziękuję)


I'm afraid that this course doesn't teach Vocative, but we are working on a new version of it, and Vocative will be there.

On the other hand, you just need to know a handful of words, or rather forms. First names are commonly just used in Nominative, Vocative is getting less common with them (although still possible), so it's mostly "mamo/tato/babciu/dziadku/wujku/ciociu" for addressing "mom/dad/grandma/grandpa/uncle/auntie". Addressing strangers uses a different construction, i.e. "proszę pana/pani".


Dziękuję! That reminds me Latin. As far as I know, Latin had an impact on the Polish language. We can greet someone in Latin by saying: Salvete, Livia et Corinna (Hello, Livia and Corinna. The ultimate -a remains). But: Salvete, Marce et Stephane (Hello, Marcus and Stephanus. The vocative case changes -us to -e).

Learn Polish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.