"I would not eat this."

Translation:Nie zjadłbym tego.

December 21, 2015

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Tego bym nie zjadł. Does it work?


Yes, it is a correct translation.


Is only the perfective option zjeść possible here?


I have the same question, I put "jadłbym" as i would have thought perfective "zjadłbym" would mean "I wouldn't eat all of this" but it told me it was a typo.


It kinda depends on how we interpret it, I think. "Nie jadłbym tego" is like "If my grandma wanted to serve me mushrooms once per week, I wouldn't eat it" and "Nie zjadłbym tego"... about a specific occasion when she served mushrooms. Both make sense. Added the imperfective forms.


Even if only one occasion is in question, doesn't 'zjadłbym' suggest "I wouldn't eat the whole thing," while 'jadłbym' suggests "I would not at all engage in the process of eating it"? The imperfective is not just for repetition (vs. single occasion): it is also for process (vs. completion).


Those things always get more complicated if you dive deeper... :D

Frankly, if you wanted to say "If I were you, I wouldn't eat that", then I'd say it's "Na twoim miejscu bym tego nie jadł". The imperfective verb to me implies* "I wouldn't eat it at all, wouldn't even start". Our "Nie zjadłbym tego"... I'm not so sure about its naturalness right now. Some context would be useful. Maybe if your friends ask you if you'd be able to eat and you say 'no'...

*The problem with explaining grammar to learners, especially with perfective/imperfective verbs, is that we know what feels natural, but then have to figure out why it is that way ;)


Why is "Nie tego zjadłabym" wrong?


Well, it sounds very weird, and if I had to guess the meaning, I'd guess "It is not this that I would eat".

But even this should rather be "Nie to bym zjadł (for a man)/zjadła (for a woman)". Firstly, in such a sentence you would negate "it" and not "eating it", and then, "zjadł(a) bym" looks a lot better to me at the end of the sentence. Not sure if it is applicable for every sentence, but I would write it like that here.


Nie byłbym to zjadł?

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Firstly, the correct form would be "Nie byłbym tego zjadł".

Secondly, this is a sample of illusory conditional mode in Polish, something that is a pretty high-grade stuff even for Poles, as it comes from plusquamperfectum (czas zaprzeszły). As far as I know, czas zaprzeszły is not taught in this course, and in contemporary Polish this tense is commonly used only for 2 verbs: "powinien" and "winien".

Thirdly, (and sorry, from this point on, it is only my interpretation), this phrase does not make any sense alone, because it may be only a part of an (illusory) conditional phrase, and only the conditional part thereof, with the word "gdybym" implied (it is feasible), and with the resulting part missing - as the other way round it does not make any sense (at least to me); maybe someone could correct me if I am wrong.


Tego nie zjadłbym?


"Tego bym nie zjadł" is ok if you want to emphasise "tego", but your version with 'bym' at the end is a bit too clumsy to be accepted here, I'm afraid.

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