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"Piję mleko, podczas gdy on pije wino."

Translation:I drink milk, while he drinks wine.

December 23, 2015

52 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Timoak100

I drink milk, while he is drinking wine, am I making the same mistake as above


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarkKulka

I agree with alik1989 and Jellei. We may be able to get away with this sort of construction in English, but they are correct in that it represents a mixing of tenses.

"I am drinking milk" - is something that is occurring right now.

"He drinks wine" - is something that he does regularly, but this statement does not contain any information about what he is doing right now.

So combining the two time frames: "right now" and "regularly" (or "customarily") in parallel (or paired) sentence clauses is confusing and ungrammatical, even in English. We do hear it often, because we tend to be sloppy when we are speaking our own language, but that doesn't make it right.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Larry11215

I am a native English speaker and that is how I translated it as well. it sounds perfectly normal to me.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DorotaJarosz

Funny I thought English was more restrictive than Polish in tense coordination.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jussimr

I'm making it too, although after reading the comments above I have no idea why is this a mistake?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarkKulka

It is a mistake because the sentence is describing a contrast (what I am doing versus what he is doing) through the use of parallel clauses, joined by a conjunction. In order to make the contrast clear and understandable, the sentence is built up from two matching statements, one about "me" and one about "him." The meaning of the contrast is made clear by the fact that the two statements match in every way, except for the critical detail that constitutes the contrast between "me" and "him." If the two parts are not parallel, then the contrast is less clear, and the meaning of the statement is garbled to some extent.

"I am drinking milk" is an action "I" am doing right now, in this moment. "He drinks wine" is a statement about what "he" does customarily, or from time to time, but it does not say anything about what he is doing right now, in this moment. So the two halves of the attempted contrast are making use of different time frames, and thus they do not match. The grammar of the contrasting statements is spoiled, which clouds the message that the sentence is intended to convey.

The statement in Polish does not contain these mixed, or non-parallel, time frames, so an English translation of it should not contain mixed time frames either, if it is intended to accurately reflect what the Polish sentence says.

To put the two halves of the example sentence into parallel (matching) time frames, the same form of "to drink" must be used in both of them. So it is not "I am drinking" and "he drinks," nor is it "I drink" and "he is drinking."

It is either:

"I am drinking"

and

"he is drinking,"

or else it is

"I drink"

and

"he drinks."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JPHQRO

In contrast to your argument that WHILE requires parallel construction, and in support of the many of us native English speakers who are having difficulty with this particular exercise:

"We often prefer while to when to describe the longer action of two events or to talk about two longer actions that go on simultaneously:

Dora left a message on the voice mail while I was asleep in the chair. While I was writing my Christmas cards, the children were decorating the tree. I cooked the supper while Jenny did the ironing. Note from the above examples that while a progressive tense is normally used to describe the longer action associated with a while time clause, simple tenses are also possible."

To emphasize the most relevant part since I can't put it in bold: PROGRESSIVE TENSE IS NORMALLY USED TO DESCRIBE THE LONGER ACTION WITH A WHILE TIME CLAUSE.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/grammar/learnit/learnitv257.shtml


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alik1989

That works very well for the past tense, but I've never seen this rule being applied in the present tense.

Even if it works... In this sentence, two people are performing the same action at the same time. Specifically defining which action is longer and which is shorter and emphasising it, is a very arbitrary interpretation of the Polish sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DorotaJarosz

Only one of your examples mixes the tenses: the first one indicates a short action during a longer action, both in the past, and it is fine. However, the second example is all in progressive tense and the third one is all in the simple past. So you do observe the rule you are trying to object.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tine175312

I think as common casual usage it is fine. I would say it's a stylistic choice because using the same tense in both phrases can feel almost robotic in spoken language. Mixing the tenses up makes it almost nicer to say, sort of more natural i guess?! Simple present doesn't always refer to a habitual action either. I don't see a problem with mixing tenses here, especially since Polish can't specify which one to use, so both are acceptable translations. Language isn't always just grammar, although of course it is fun to argue about it :D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JerryMcCarthy99

"Podczas" would be "under the time", or better "during the time". Right?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

Well... literally yes (at least "during the time"), but would you really say that in English as a natural sentence?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JerryMcCarthy99

It wouldn't be impossible, but it would be unusual. I wouldn't suggest that you add this a valid answer; I just like to make such etymological analyses as an aid to remembering things.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/adrian.corpuz

Same here! Very interesting


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lenyguy

why is this wrong? "I am drinking milk while he drinks wine"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

I don't think that such a mixture of tenses makes sense here.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jan.K.M

Actually in English it makes perfect sense. Not sure how to explain it. Hmm - I'm going to be drinking milk (continuous action) until he stops drinking wine might be the best I can do to show why mixing cases can be valid here.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ScottC436051

I agree with Jan, this makes perfect sense in English, and it was the answer that I put as well.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/eannaoc

Same here, this makes sense to me


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/germanmum

I am drinking milk while he drinks wine is wrong because why? As a native English speaker this is perfectly acceptable in English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

We discussed it and decided that the contexts in which such a mix of tenses would be acceptable are rather too much of a stretch.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/matt.elsewhere

Is it also correct to write: "Piję mleko, gdy on pije wino"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gabe81
  • 2099

Good question. :D

I would shyly go for yes, but without context it may mean also:

  • 'I am drinking milk every time he drinks wine' or
  • 'I drink milk as soon as he drinks wine'

So use rather the given phrase 'podczas gdy'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DorotaJarosz

This sentence limits the meaning to a condition. “Podczas gdy” allows both habitual or at the moment drinking in Polish. The habitual drinking does not require the actions to be simultaneous, but the progressive one does. Another way to put the habitual action in Polish would be “Ja pijam mleko podczas gdy on pija wino.” You cannot mix the two tenses in Polish and I don’t believe you should in English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JPHQRO

I still don't understand why "I'm drinking milk, while he drinks wine" is wrong. "I'm drinking" has been an accepted translation all along. Does the Polish somehow imply "I drink milk habitually whenever he drinks wine"? That seems like a weird sentence.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/margotgm

is gdy always attached to podczas?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

No. It may be also equivalent to "kiedy", but it cannot be used as a question word.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/margotgm

i don't understand what you mean in this answer. gdy is used in this sentence with podczas. so how do I know whether to use gdy with podczas?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

"podczas" itself means "during", but then it needs some noun phrase. Like "podczas koncertu" = "during the concert".

"podczas gdy" means "while", as you can see in this sentence. You couldn't just use "podczas" because there isn't any noun phrase following.

"gdy" itself means "when". Just as "kiedy". The difference between them is that only "kiedy" can be used to create a question, and "gdy" cannot.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/margotgm

thanks that is much clearer


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AOwler

You can also use'while' in english to mark a contrast. Eg' i am drinking milk, while he drinks wine' can mean that the reason he is not also drinking milk, like me, us that wine is his habitually preferred drink. I apreciate that theres an entire mis en scene here. However, there's no problem with the combination of tenses. While, in this sense, is a bit like 'however.'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/claudiuas

Piję mleko i on pije wino would have the same meaning, right?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/claudiuas

A. I meant a instead of i


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

More or less the same, but this one can actually literally mean "while" = "during".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/idanlipin

The gdy is really needed?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

Here, yes. On its own, "podczas" would require a noun phrase - either something like "a concert", or quite probably some gerund.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Walkinthedog

I know all of these and get bored and sloppy in my answers after a while. Not good.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DoctorWho114737

I drink milk while he is drinking wine. Would this not work?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DorotaJarosz

No, it would not. See the discussion above.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Walkinthedog

As he is drinking wine?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DorotaJarosz

“I am drinking milk as he is drinking wine” would be fine.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/eannaoc

"I drink milk, meanwhile he drinks wine" ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/eggers7

Would the sentence also work without "gdy"? What is the difference between "podczas" and "podczas gdy"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JerryMcCarthy99

To copy and paste an earlier answer by Jellei, from further up the page:

===============

"podczas" itself means "during", but then it needs some noun phrase. Like "podczas koncertu" = "during the concert".

"podczas gdy" means "while", as you can see in this sentence. You couldn't just use "podczas" because there isn't any noun phrase following.

"gdy" itself means "when". Just as "kiedy". The difference between them is that only "kiedy" can be used to create a question, and "gdy" cannot.

===============


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marc869660

isn't 'podczas' also equal to 'whereas'? i used this and it came back wrong. "i drink milk whereas he drinks wine."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JerryMcCarthy99

"Podczas", to me, has the definite sense of "at the same time" (there's a hint in the word "czas" in there).

"Whereas" doesn't have to be at the same time: "I read science fiction at home whereas I read novels when I'm on a plane".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marc869660

if you tap on 'podczas gdy' it also translates to 'whereas'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JerryMcCarthy99

Hmmm. I'll check in the back room :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

The back room says that it's fine ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wilczyca4

"I drink milk, whereas he drinks wine" was not accepted. I don't think this falls under the same issue of mixed tenses. Can this be added as an acceptable answer?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

OK, added.

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