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  5. "Kogo państwo szukają?"

"Kogo państwo szukają?"

Translation:Who are you looking for?

December 23, 2015



Why aren't these split up more? I feel like I'm learning 10 formal ways to say "you" at the same time...


Here's a list of formal yous in nominative case, depending who you're talking to:

one man - 'pan'

one woman - 'pani'

a group of men - 'panowie'

a group of women - 'panie'

a mixed-gender group - 'państwo'


And "pana" is genitive of "pan"?


Thank you so much!


What about państwa?


It's Genitive or Accusative of "państwo".


Yes, I agree. It wouldn't be a bad idea to split this lesson up into two or three smaller segments; to better show the different forms of formal you and what it does with a verb.

Also, I wouldn't mind learning which basic phrases to (not) use in formal situations, e.g. not cześć, dzięki, jak się masz or hej, but dzień dobry etc. It's already going in that direction, but it could use more examples and an explanatory text.


I think a general greetings section wouldn't go amiss; in what situations do you say "siema" vs "cześć", or what's the difference between "jak się masz", "co tam u ciebie" and "co słychać" regarding level of formality and how do you typically respond to each?


Agreed, they need a hints & tips section for this one


The translations could be better. Like, I might say ”where are you folks going” for "dokąd idzie państwa? 'Folks' is a polite group term


Polite and formal are not the same thing. E.g.: - "You, sir, are the worst kind of idiot": formal, but extremely impolite. - "Welcome, folks, make yourselves at home. Can I get you anything?": polite, but informal.


'Folks' doesn't strike me as particularly polite. In fact http://www.thefreedictionary.com/folks marks it as informal (definition 2).

More importantly, the translation should be 'Dokąd państwo idą'.


See here: http://www.learnersdictionary.com/qa/what-s-the-difference-between-folks-and-guys

"Folks is generally viewed as more respectful and polite and therefore tends to be used by adults talking to adults. For example, someone might ask an elderly couple, "Do you folks need help with your luggage?""

This might be a word in transition. I personally would use it to refer politely to a group.

Thanks for the fixup on my sentence. Jeszcze uczy się


I disagree with you. Folks is informal. If I were a waiter at a formal restaurant addressing a group, I wouldn't say "do you folks need anything else."

I would simply say "do you need anything else?"


I have had this discussion with others: http://www.learnersdictionary.com/qa/what-s-the-difference-between-folks-and-guys


And, I agree with you to some extend. I think this might be a word in transition from informal to formal depending on the cultural setting.

I can see, and have used "folks" to refer to elderly couples with the greatest of respect. However, too many politicians use it to try and be "one of your pals" so I get the informal part.


In my corner of the english-speaking world it's quite formal, but I can't speak for everyone else. We usually use "you guys" regardless of gender, or the occasional "ya guyses" if you're REALLY in a colloquial area like a bluecollar neighborhood of the city or a small town.


In England, your folls is sometimes used as a way of saying your parents, but is always quite informal. So I would say it is used informally with a preference for elderly people.


I would rather translate 'folks' as 'chłopaki'. Quite informal, imho.


Not a big deal, but the correct English for this is "whom are you looking for?" Not "who are you looking for?"


"Who are you looking for" is standard. But you could also say "Whom do you seek?" which is accepted.


It's not standard! It's common and has recently become acceptable in English, but the standard is "whom" when used as an object in a sentence. I really wish Duolingo would teach proper, correct English, not mutations. The word "whom" is unambiguously used as the object and does not create confusion. The word "who" does create confusion because using it as both a subject and an object are both acceptable, even though grammatically correct would be to use it only as a subject, not an object.


"Proper, correct English" is whatever variety of English accomplishes your goals in speaking English. If your goal is to sound refined and educated, then "Whom are you looking for?" is correct. If your goal is to sound casual and relatable, then "Whom are you looking for?" is certainly wrong, because the word "whom" doesn't sound casual and relatable at all.


Not whatever variety. Some varieties and evolutions of words and phrases. Some varieties are purely incorrect slang and are not correct English as defined by linguistics. All languages have guiding rules that change over time. Level of education in those rules matter in its correct usage, otherwise being ignorant of those rules will cause a speaker to choose incorrect grammar and lexicon as defined by the linguistics of the current time.



'Who are you looking for' is not correct English. It is commonly used, but nevertheless wrong.

"Who/he" are subject pronouns. "Whom/him" are object pronouns. The subject is DOING the looking, the object is RECEIVING the looking.


Person A: 'He is looking for him.'

Person B: 'Who is looking for whom?'

Person C: 'Yeah, whom is who looking for?'


I know about subjective and objective pronouns, but I think that whether we like it or not, the use of "whom" is dying out in today's English. I think that "whom do you seek?" is more clear and elegant than "who are you looking for", but the latter is so common and widespread that it might as well be considered the standard now.

In the end, your opinion on this will depend on whether you want to take a prescriptive or a descriptive approach to the study of language.


Sorry, but it is correct to say "For whom are you looking?" not "Whom are you looking for?" You dont put ''for" at the end of a sentence, and it looks foolish to be formally correct in one detail (who/whom) but incorrect in another! It's got to be all or nothing!


@AOwler That's a common misconception/myth.

You can definitely put 'for' at the end of a sentence.


"These are not the droids you're looking for."


That's an elementary school grammar rule before the 1980s. It no longer applies. You can definitely end a sentence with a preposition.

As much as "who" has overtaken "whom" in common colloquial English, who/whom is still a valid grammar rule just like he/him, she/her, I/me, they/them.

"That's the sort of pedantry up with which I will not put!" - Winston Churchill.


@va-dim Haha did Churchill really say that? That's hilarious.

Also you're giving @AOwler too much credit. It was never even a rule to begin with :p


Exactly. It is very old-fashioned, to insist on avoiding ending a sentence or even a clause with a preposition, and it may sound quite awkward to a modern ear, as Churchill was trying to demonstrate. It is, nevertheless, correct, grammatically speaking! And mis-use of this rule does not sit easily in a sentence in which pains have been taken over the correct use of who/whom! Anyone British remember Nellie Pledge? Do you really want to sound like her?


@AOwler are you referring to the eccentric 17th-century drivel of the late writer John Dryden? He was the first notable figure in the history of English grammar to insist that sentences must not end in prepositions, but it seems his colleagues did not agree with him. He was brilliant and highly respected, for sure, but on this point, he was merely spewing his opinion. Like @va-dim said, it's a style, not a rule.


Not true! You're wrong! It's not a grammar rule! Stop the propaganda!



Heh heh. Thank you for your link. The sentences marked as "unnatural" are certainly how my father-in-law would have spoken! Well-educated, and well before the 1980s. The phrasal verbs are, I think, pretty modern constructions, so would not have had a more formal/traditional equivalent in earlier days. Adding a noun after the directional verbs would avoid a prepostion at the end, eg go out + of the shop, or wherever (oops)! My Polish is pretty poor, so it does not behove me to criticise others' use of English. I really don't mind in what style you speak, you know! And (oops), by the way, I don't actually speak formally in real life.


kogo is "whom." Kto is "who"!


Kogo is genitive or accusative?


both, in this sentence it is genitive, because it is what "szukać" needs


Yeah, if someone wants to explain to me how I can clearly figure out the difference between dopełniać and biernik, that would be great. "Kogo czego" and "Kogo co" -- which gives not much to work with.


this might be helpful: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/16569658

(as a Polish native speaker I sometimes check in my mind which form of feminine word sounds OK)


Genetive is the "possesive" form, but as this shows, it's so much more. Thanks. I am reading it right now


Thanks for the confirmation it is genitive. But if so, why not Państwa?


It's the 'who' part that takes Genitive - it's the object that is being looked for ;) "państwo" is just the subject of the sentence.


"whom" might clarify it better for English speakers, although yes, I know that the incorrect but common form "who" has taken over English to now be considered correct. But for standard correct English, "whom" is the object, like kogo, and "who" would be the subject like kto.


Ah! That explains it. Thanks


Overall, English lacks specific formal words. We just tack a Mr./Mrs ./Ms. to be formally polite.


Don't forget "Miss."

Polish has that too. Pan Kowalski/Pani Kowalska


Hello! Is it me you're looking for? I can see it in your eyes....


Isnt it "who are they looking for" because szukają not szukacie?


In Polish you use pan/pani/panowie/panie/państwo with the third-person conjugation of the verb to address the person or people formally. It's essentially "you [formal]," singular or plural.


I noticed that the vocative case of pan is panie, which is also the feminine plural nominative. So would I address a Polish man formally as Panie the same way as I would refer to two or more Polish women???


I'm confused. Why is not the sentence: "Kogo państwo szukacie.", since the pronoun used is "you" not "they"?


The formal use of pan uses the third-person perspective


Oh yes. I had forgotten this. Thank you.


Why isn't it szukacie?


Because pan/panie/państwo etc. take the third-person perspective, not the second-person, even though they're used to address from the second-person. Ty, wy take the second-person perspective.


Ok, thanks. I guess then it's like the older English "Has madame had her tablets?" which would also use third person, even when acutally addressing someone


Great English analogy!


Yes, I got it backwards, so: For whom are you looking?


Who you are looking for?


In English questions, you have inversion. The declarative sentence may be "You are looking for...", but the question is "Who are you looking for?".


I do not think państwo is directly "you", it should be "you good people" even though that is not usually used in English.


English doesn't have a "you (plural)" or a "you (formal)." It's just "you."


That's not entirely correct va-diim. "You are", in modern English, can refer to both singular and plural "you" — depending on context. For example, when speaking to an individual you might say "I hope to see you later". In this instance you are using the singular "you", however, if you were to say "I hope to see you later" to a group of people, you would be using the plural "you".

As for English not having a "formal you", that's not entirely correct either! Back in the 1970's, there used to be an English television program called "Are You Being Served". The actors played sales staff in a large department store. Whenever they addressed customers, they would invariably use expressions such as, "Is sir/madam being served", "Does madam/sir want to try on the garment?" etc. The sales staff always addressed their customers using the "formal you" as is done in Poland today.

What I am trying to say is that although "formal you" is now archaic, it still exists, but is used very rarely these days. Nowadays, to be extra polite, a salesperson would most probably say something like, "Are you happy with your purchase, madam"? Whereas, in the past the salesperson would have said "Is madam happy with her purchase" — using formal "you".


For whom are you looking?

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