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  5. OK To Drop The Pronoun?


OK To Drop The Pronoun?

In a lot of languages, such as Polish, have sentences where you have to translate the foreign language into English, but the words in the foreign language do not have a pronoun, like you or I, but will mark you incorrect if you translate it without the pronoun that isn't there. For example, let's say I have to translate "Pijesz herbatę?" The correct thing to type is "You drink tea?" but highlighting Pijesz to display the words it means only says "drink", except for the gray "You sg." which means that pijesz is only appropriate if the subject is a singular you. For me, it looks like Pijesz herbatę means "Drink tea?". However, in other ones like "You drink water", it includes the pronoun "Ty" or you, while Drink tea doesn't. Can someone please explain this to me?

December 21, 2015



In Polish it is possible to drop the pronoun, because in a way it is already a part of the verb (as its ending), so you don't need to mention it separately. However that's not the case in english, where the verb form doesn't indicate the subject, so you need to write it to keep the meaning.


You can drop it. Both are correct.
I see you're learning Spanish, and Spanish works the same way.
You drink tea:
Polish: Ty pijesz herbate - or - pijesz herbate.
Spanish: Tu bebes te - or - bebes te.


Is it also like in Spanish that you're using the pronoun when you want to stress something? Like "bebes té, pero yo bebo agua"?


It's totally OK to drop pronouns. I would recommend reading the Tips & Notes section for Basics 2 skills.


I think the question is "Is it OK to drop the pronoun from the English translation, when translating a Polish sentence into English?".

And I think not -- sentences such as "Am reading a book. Are reading a book, too?" just don't work that well.


You can usually drop the pronoun in Polish, because the form of the verb makes it clear.

You can rarely drop the pronoun in English, because the form of the verb doesn't make it clear.

The object is to translate to and from correct English and Polish. In a similar way, Polish doesn't use articles, but that doesn't mean you can drop them when you translate a sentence into English :)


Polish equivalents of familiar I/we and you - the pronoun can be dropped unless you are emphasizing the subject. The formal you - pan, pani, panstwo never drop the pronoun

He, she, it , them I have usually used proper name, pronoun, no pronoun as my rule of order when to drop this pronoun. I continue omitting this pronoun until there may be confusion if it is continuing being dropped -e.g. I am also referring to someone else and they need to be kept separate.


You can drop it in Polish, but you can't in English. In Polish it's possible because verbs conjugate according to persons. For example "to drink" - "pić" in the Present Tense: infinitive "to drink" - pić singular I drink - (ja) piję thou (singular you) drink - (ty) pijesz he/she/it drinks - (on/ona/ono) pije plural we drink - (my) pijemy you (plural) drink - (wy) pijecie they drink - (oni/one) piją In English only in 3rd person singular (he/she/it) add -s ending, in the rest it's infinitive, so you need to add a personal pronoun, because if you say just "drink" you don't say who orwhat does that ;) I think it's a mistake in the course: "pijesz" should be translated as "thou drink" or "singular you drink", because it may be confusing when you learn ;) What's your native language?


It is about information you provide with one word - "Pijesz" gives you information about both, the activity and the subject of this activity.

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