1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Polish
  4. >
  5. "There are no wolves here."

"There are no wolves here."

Translation:Nie ma tutaj wilków.

December 31, 2015



"nie ma wilków tutaj" was not accepted. Is there a word order preference here?


You can make this sentence and everybody will understand you. If you put "Tutaj" at the end you show that you emphasize that There aren't wolves HERE. Polish has free word order but it doesn't mean that you will always sound proper. Almost every sentence has its own order which looks and sounds properly. ;)


how do we know that the original English sentence is not also stressing that? I mean, in English, the sentence would be stressed in different ways to emphasise different elements. No way of knowing


True, but if we start accepting every possible emphasis, then you will not know what is actually natural. That's one of the limitations of Duolingo - there's no place for such additional instructions.


Yes. "Nie ma wilków tutaj" sound a bit unnatural.


Is there a semi decent explanation of word order yet? It seems unfair that I'm yet to come across a native who could explain these sentences and some solutions are rejected in a seemingly random fashion.


Well, it is hard to explain. While the most common word order is (S)VO, words can be moved around the sentence relatively freely to emphasize different things (with only a few hard limitations, like keeping the preposition and its following word together), but even then while some orders are grammatically correct, they sound odd and belong only in poetry and songs. A common example is the basic sentence "Ala ma kota", in which all three words can be arranged in all six possible combinations and keep the same meaning.


I get this but you know, people can't be expected to instantly find the "natural-sounding" version if they know nothing about what makes it natural-sounding or unnatural-sounding. Also, I suspect there are implicit rules here - as I tend to say, if a custom (created on-the-fly) sentence is understood by the participants, there simply must be a mutually known rule.

I have spent quite some time around the Hungarian course, I have even been a contributor for like a year so I know the quintessence of "word order problems". However, we did have (sometimes academic) material on the stuff, and also many forum posts that try to summarize the topic without being off the point. This is something you can show learners and they can at least calm down and accept this perspective. This is what I really miss here. Not even otherwise educated people seem to have provided analysis of the situation on the given examples - maybe apart from Łukasz who at least shared a couple of important guidelines regarding emphasis.

  • 1165

any way to use "tu" in this sentence instead of tutaj?


Sure. "tutaj" and "tu" are synonyms. Just try not to put it at the end of the sentence.

Learn Polish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.