"What are you laughing at?"

Translation:Z czego się śmiejecie?

December 23, 2015

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can i say z czego się śmiejesz


yes. you can translate you to ty=German du or wy= German ihr,


I made the same "Russian" mistake. The Polish się is always attached at the end of the verb in Russian, so the word is smiejoszsja*


The only situations when "Russian mistake" will indeed be a mistake, will be when it results with "się" ending up as a last word in the sentence. This is a mistake unless the sentence is 2-3 words long. Otherwise, "się" is just movable. You can have a correct sentence with "się" and its verb being 10 words apart.


That makes sense now, dziękuję


Why is "z czego się śmiejesz" not accepted?


I am always confused about where to write się.

I have written both "Z czego pan się śmieje" , and "Z czego się pan śmieje" and one of them was marked wrong, but I can't remember which one. Help?

Also, can I say "On się śmieje z siebie" or should it be "On śmieje się z siebie"?


Both sentences are correct in Polish. But...

Polish words have stress on the penultimate syllable and unfortunately one syllable pronouns (się, mi, cię) must adapt to the rhythm of the sentence. SIĘ is mute (doesn't have an accent) so it must connect with other words, often other one syllable word in the sentece (because of this it can't be at the beginning and at the end of the sentence).

Proper Polish sentence is: "Z czego się-Pan śmieje? - You met some man who was laughing, and you want to know why? - Do you see (hear): się puts accent on the action.

You can say: Z czego Pan-się śmieje? - But the accent is on the person Pan not on the action. This is used when there something happened and some guy started laughing at it, but you don't think that this is the laughable situation.

But look at this: Z czego on-się śmieje? - On is a subject (Pan is polite return) so should be at accented position, don't use: Z czego się-on śmieje?

Z czego się-śmiejesz? - Się is not at the beginning or at the end of the sentence.
Z czego Ty-się śmiejesz? - The same case as with Z czego Pan się śmieje? - Ty is not mandatory, so you wanted to mark that action of this person is different from yours.

Unfortunately Duolingo don't teach you intonation of the Polish sentences (so we can only write what the possible context is). Good luck with Polish :)

PS. In Polish there are some reflexive only verbs (ALWAYS with się):

  • bać się - to be afraid, to fear
  • dziać się / dzieje się 3SG - go on, it is happening
  • podobać się - to be pleasing, to like
  • starać się - to try
  • śmiać się - to laugh
  • wydawać się / wydaje się 3SG - it seem
  • zdarzyć się / zdarzy się 3 SG - it will happen, occur

się is after this verbs, when this verbs don't occur at the end of the sentence. (exc. "mi, ci, mu, jej, nam, wam, im" in situation: verb pronoun-się)

Proper: On śmieje-się z siebie. and "less" "On-się śmieje z siebie.


Thanks. This is helpful. What does 3SG mean?


3rd person singular.


Well... it's complicated. In theory, both sides of the verb should be ok (unless 'się' ends up at the beginning or at the end), but sometimes one option just sounds bad although it's hard to say why.

"Z czego pan się śmieje" was the one marked wrong. But I think it's okay. Sounds a bit worse to me, but ok. Added now.

With "On się śmieje z siebie" it also sounds okayish to me, although worse than "On śmieje się z siebie". It sounds a bit like an explanation of 'at whom' he is laughing. But still, it looks correct.


I know it's explained below but " what are you afraid of?"..and " what are you laughing at?" seem similar in their construction and yet only the 2nd sentence starts with a "z" . Apologies for asking this again.


Structure-wise it's better to translate bać as "fear" than "be afraid of". When you write "What do you fear?" you realise it's just a normal verb and no preposition is necessary. English is the confusing thing here because "be afraid of" is an unusual construction.


If the helper text shows both "się śmiejecie" and "śmiejecie się", why is "śmiejecie się" wrong?


The hint can't guess the context. We usually don't accept się in stressed positions (e.g. at the end of a sentence), unless there's no other place you can put it.


I have a quick question - where do we use which expression czego vs z czego. Czego is what in the genitive, right? In a previous sentence with a similar example it was just "czego". Now here it is "z czego". Can someone explain please?


I guess it's there same reason why we don't say "what are you laughing". It's just the syntax required by the verb śmiać się.

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