"Pani robi dobre jedzenie."

Translation:You make good food.

December 21, 2015

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Could this also be a polite way of saying "She makes good food"?


'She makes good food' would be 'Ta/Tamta pani robi dobre jedzenie'. 'Pani' by itself translates to 'you'.


If Pani translate to "you" why the sentence in polish is not "Pani robisz..."


A lot of languages do something like this. Literally, it is "Madame is making...," which is a very old fashioned polite form one might have heard in English from a servant or department store clerk a century ago. The verb is conjugated for the actual word used. Similarly, in Russian and French (and Polish), the polite you is conjugated for the plural, even if the actual person referred to is singular. In Spanish and Italian, on the other hand, the polite you may be conjugated in the third person, as the pronoun is actually a form of "your grace" or something similar.


No, in Polish "the polite you" is conjugated for singular and for plural! (Like not formal you :) ) If someone uses plural for singular it is considered very rude and really communist way of speaking (e.g. Towarzyszu, co robicie? as Co Pan robi? or Co robicie? instead of Co robisz?)

Pan - you, man

Pani - you, woman

Panowie - you, men

Panie - you, women

Państwo - you, mix


Pan/Pani is singular so they have singular 3 person conjugation.

Panowie/Panie/Państwo are plural so they have plural 3 person conjugation.


Robisz dobre jedzenie - You make good food.

Robi Pani dobre jedzenie - You make good food, sir.

On robi dobre jedzenie. - He makes good food.

Ten pan robi dobre jedzenie. - This man makes good food.


Robisz dobre jedzenie - You make good food.

Robi Pani dobre jedzenie - You make good food, madam.

Ona robi dobre jedzenie. - She makes good food.

Ta pani robi dobre jedzenie. - This woman makes good food.


Robicie dobre jedzenie - You make good food.

Robią Panowie dobre jedzenie - Gentlemen, you make good food.

Oni robią dobre jedzenie. - They make good food.

Ci panowie robią dobre jedzenie. - These men make good food.


Robicie dobre jedzenie - You make good food.

Robią Panie dobre jedzenie - Ladies, you make good food.

One robią dobre jedzenie. - They make good food.

Te panie robią dobre jedzenie. - These women make good food.

MEN AND WOMEN (at least one woman or one man)

Robicie dobre jedzenie - You make good food.

Robią Państwo dobre jedzenie - Ladies and gentlemen, you make good food.

Oni robią dobre jedzenie. - They make good food.

Ci państwo robią dobre jedzenie. - These people make good food.

PS. You DON'T say!!:

  • Pan/Pani + SG II person conjugation: "Robisz Pan/Pani błędy." (You make mistakes) - It's rude. It's better to say just: "Robisz błędy".

  • Pan/Pani + PL II person conjugation: "Proszę Pani, co robicie?" (Milady, what are you doing?)- It's like you are a servant talking to your master.

  • SG you + PL II person conjugation: "Janie, co robicie?" (John, what are you doing?) - It's like you are a master, and John is your servant.

If you have "above" position (e.g. professor --> students; boss --> employees) you can say - it's less formal:

  • Państwo/Panie/Panowie + PL II person conjugation: Robicie Państwo błędy - You make mistakes.


(1.) Pan / Pani:

  • a man/ a woman

  • formal form of address used at turning to the man/woman or in the conversation about him/her (short in writting: p.)

  • the one who has a power above somebody or above something

  • owner of the domestic animal (esp. a dog)

  • God = Pan Bóg

  • man/woman heading the house, household, family

  • before: employer for service

  • rich person; before also: owner of a land

  • jaśnie pan / jaśnie pani - an aristocrat

(2.) Państwo means:

  • state organised politically community living in determined territory, having its government and its rights, e.g. Polska i Niemcy to państwa. - Poland and Germany are countries.

  • company with men and women

  • married couple (short in writting: pp.), if we would be talking about maried homosexsual pair it would be still Państwo: *Widziałaś Państwa Kwiatkowskich?" - Have you seen the Kwiatkowski (family)?

  • before: employers for service

  • jaśnie państwo - aristocracy


Such a rich, valuable post. Thank you for taking the time to write this. Very useful!


You have a typo under Man, it should be Robi Pan dobre jedzenie.

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So the sentence from the exercise is also a polite way of saying 'You (lady) make good food' - and in fact very common when speaking to someone you barely know, or who is older than you.


Is "Miss, you make good food" also correct?


I guess it's possible, added now.


So "Lady, you make good food" should be correct too.


Sure, added.

Just remember that while this is a direct translation, English natives speak like that very rarely. They almost only use simple "you".


Speakers of American English might say this, but in fact it is rather impolite to call someone "lady" in direct address, e.g. "Hey, lady, get the hell out of my way."


I'd say the "lady" part is fine, what you say next is not polite. But you have a good point, using "lady" in a direct address is often abused.


"She makes good food," even at its most polite, would be "Ona robi dobre jedzenie." There is no 3rd person formal. As tajdanow notes, if she is in your presence but you are not speaking to her but to another person, you could say (while pointing politely) "tamta pani robi dobre jedzenie." In any other context, the 3rd p. s. will just be "ona."


You should not use the third person pronoun (ona, on), when the person is among the people you are conversing with (e.g., at the same table) - it's considered rude. So, your "in your presence" must be a distant presence, at least far enough so she/he could not hear you. You should use her/his name instead (e.g., Maria robi dobre jedzenie) and if you are not on first name basis, you should use at least "pani Maria", if not "pani Kowalska." "Pani Maria" is already somewhat informal - her friendly boss/colleague could use it.


What about, "Ma'am, you make good food."? This seems like the polite way we'd say it in American English.


Yes, this is accepted :)


Isn’t „Madame is making good food” the same thing?


It was explained to me that it's not. Using it this way (in 3rd person) may sound comical or even sarcastic, or at least very, very old fashioned. Plus "madame" is still rather French than English.


I was wondering why it was even there if it was not legitimate use of the word.


It's absolutely a legitimate use of the word in many contexts, but it would not make sense here. I'm not sure if it's a sentence that Poles would say, but think of "Lubi jedzenie." That could be "He likes food," but it could also be "He likes eating." Either one makes sense, doesn't it. This is just the way Polish nominalizes verbs. To remove any confusion from the formal style above, if we think of "On robi dobre jedzenie," it could, in theory mean "He makes good food" or "He makes good eating," but that second sentence makes no sense. In English, you cannot "make eating" any more than you could "make sitting" or "make writing." You can make a chair and you can make a text, though, and similarly, you can make food, so that is clearly what this must mean. Any dictionary, though, will always show multiple meanings for most words, many of which will not make sense in a given context.


The word "jedzenie" has two meanings. It is very often used as a gerund (jedzenie - eating) of the verb "jeść" (to eat). It is definitely used less often as a noun (jedzenie - food). In addition, the noun
has a much narrower meaning in comparison to the English noun.

I like this / that / good / homemade / tasty / spicy / cold food -
Lubię to/tamto/dobre/domowe/smaczne/ostre/zimne jedzenie

He likes food - Lubi jeść/Lubi (sobie) dobrze zjeść/pojeść (idiomy)
He likes Polish food - Lubi polską kuchnię / Lubi polskie potrawy

The sentence "Lubi jedzenie" (He/She likes... eating) may be a bit comical, because it may mean he or she actually enjoys the whole
process of eating (eg. biting, chewing, etc... ), NOT the food itself.

The sentence "Pani robi dobre jedzenie" may sound unnatural. You would probably hear it from the foreigner or a very young child.

You can say "robi" when you talk about rather specific type of food: Pani robi dobre dania/obiady/zupy/sałatki/kanapki/ciasta - Ma'am, you make good meals/dinners/soups/ salads/ sandwiches/ cakes

You will really sound like a native Polish speaker, when you say:
Pani dobrze/świetnie gotuje - Ma'am, you cook well/very well, or:
Pani Kowalska, pani dobrze gotuje - Mrs. Kowalska, you cook well


Curious as to why this chapter does not have tips and notes. I would say it is definitely the most confusing chapter.

Thank you magpie_gie because now I understand the verb case match ups and so forth.


Tips and Notes are in the making, and this one is coming soon, it may actually be the very next to go.


Ah. I thought I may have hit a point of "Totally, fend for yourself".

Are you one of the ones that makes the tips and notes? If not, is there a place we can go to make suggestions?


Yes, I am. Suggestions for what exactly? The plan is to eventually have T&N for every skill, unless some skill has literally nothing to explain (just simple vocabulary).

I guess you can create a new topic, if you want to suggest something more specific. Or comment in a suitable discussion, even here.


"You cook well". Is this OK?


That's "Pani dobrze gotuje".


You, ma'am, make good food. Would this be okay? It's very emphatic in English to say it this way, though.


The meaning may be close, but that's still "posiłki".


I thought pani was mrs not you?


It is, and I think I would often translate it as ma'am. Here, it is being used as a sort of very formal you. We used to have this sort of use in English, e.g. "Would madam like milk with her tea?" or "Milady's order will be ready in two days." We no longer use the third person to show politeness in English, except in the case of Her Majesty the Queen, but they do so in Spanish (usted, ustedes) and Italian (lei).


Is jedzenie declining normally?


Am I wrong that neuter nouns in accusative generally take an 'a' ending and therefore jedzenie is unusual in this way?


Neuter nouns take the same ending for accusative as they do for nominative.

I'm unaware of any neuter nouns that would have an -a ending for singular accusative.

-a is the standard ending for plural, though. But saying "...robi dobre jedzenia" would be like "...is making good foods". Jedzenie is always singular.


Oh weird. I had that marked wrong in my notes. Thanks for clarifying!


Gotuje = preparing robi =doing you usually gotuj your jedzenie and you rob your praca so why is robi now making?


Well, "robić" does exactly mean "to make". Or "to do".

"gotować" means "to cook".

"przygotowywać" means "to prepare".

In sentences where it makes sense, we may accept two or three of those verbs.


Why is eating shown as an answer if not accepted? Is that a test of skill?


If you mean that it's shown as one of the hover translations, those provide every possible translation of the word in every context. Unfortunately, in this sentence, "eating" would make no sense--you cannot make eating.


I'll buy that, thanks


Dobrze, teraz znam. Dieki.


I think pani means Mrs. and panna means Miss


Yes, "panna" means Miss, but this word is not used anymore to address women. It sounds old fashion. There are even older terms, like "Waćpanna". :-)


I was surprised to see that 'you do good food' was not accepted as a correct alternative translation, could you explain it to me please, thanks.


robić - to do (behavior) - I don't know what to do/ I don't know how to behave

robić - to make (material things) - I make bread once a week/I can make a car


I have never heard about "doing food", but I was told that it's not incorrect. It appears to be very colloquial, though. And especially in this sentence (with Formal You) we shouldn't really accept such colloquial answers.


She makes good food should also be accepted because when you say "pani" it can also mean "she" though it's not as commonly used.

  • she lady/woman (noun) - ona pani/kobieta (rzeczownik):
    This/That lady/woman/ Mrs. Smith - Ta/Tamta pani/kobieta/ Pani Smith

  • you (formal you) - pani (pronoun):
    Mrs. Smith, you... - Pani Smith, pani...
    Ma'am, you... / You, ma'am, ... - Pani...

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