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  5. "These are not tomatoes."

"These are not tomatoes."

Translation:To nie są pomidory.

January 7, 2016



Is there a reason this is "to" instead of "te"?


in sentences like this is. we always use to (or tamto =that)
also in sentences like Kasia is a girl we have Kasia to (jest) dziewczyna to doesn't change


Because it is negation?


No, this has nothing to do with negation. Both "These are tomatoes" and "These are not tomatoes" will translate starting with "To".

The word "these" here is not a determiner (as in "These tomatoes are tasty"), but a dummy pronoun serving as the grammatical subject of the sentence. There are several possibly dummy pronouns in English ("[This/That/It] is a tomato" / "[These/Those] are tomatoes", rarely "They"), but they all translate to Polish "To".

Therefore: "This tomato" is "Ten pomidor" because we have a determiner here, but "This is a tomato" is "To (jest) pomidor" because that's a dummy pronoun.


So it's like saying "It's not tomatoes?"


Yes, but the Polish sentence is undoubtedly grammatically correct and I have doubts about the English here ;)


Why then don't we use "Ci"? "To"; is, it is, this is. pronoun


Firstly, "ci" is a virile (aka 'masculine personal plural') form, which means it is only used for 'groups with at least one man'. So you'll use it for "these boys", "these men", "these people" (ci chłopcy, ci mężczyźni, ci ludzie), but not here. The nonvirile (aka 'not masculine-personal plural') form is "te".

Secondly, "these" has a different function in sentences "These tomatoes are red" and "These are red tomatoes". In the first one it is a determiner and that's when you'd use "te": "Te pomidory są czerwone". In the second one, it's a dummy subject pronoun, and the only dummy subject pronoun in Polish is "to" - regardless of the grammatical gender or number of the noun. So it will be "To są czerwone pomidory". That's also what we have in our sentence here.


"also in sentences like Kasia is a girl we have Kasia to (jest) dziewczyna " Why "to" here? Why not "Kasia jest dziewczyną"?


Both are equally correct, although I'd consider "Kasia jest dziewczyną" to be stylistically better, "Kasia to dziewczyna" (in my opinion at least) is a bit like "Kasia = a girl".


This word order is confusing


That's the very basic word order. The only difference from English is the placement of the negation. But you negate the whole notion of 'being tomatoes', not just tomatoes. Otherwise you'd end up at something like "These are not-tomatoes".


... I understand that this explains why "to są nie pomidory" is wrong... But I still don't understand the rule... Does the verb always come after the negation?... So we are negating the verb rather than the noun... Ah... Have I just got it?


That was a wonderful stream of consciousness haha, congrats!


Right, we negate the verb by placing the negation 'nie' in front of it.


Just trying to get my head around the use of nominative and genitive with negative sentences: tomatoes stays nominative here as the sentence is just a simple declaration(?) but if the tomatoes are the subject of a verb in the negative then they would be pomidorów?


It's actually easier. You have to look at how the 'positive' sentence would look like. If the positive sentence took Accusative, it turns into Genitive. Other cases just stay the same when negated.


Shouldn't pomidor be in the instrumental form?


This is my question too.


Mine too... From the tips in the Demonstrative lesson, under the "dummy pronoun to", they show that the "to" acts as the subject and the noun will be in nominative. They don't explain why it is not instrumental though.


Because a noun can't take two cases at once?

We explained that instrumental only works with nouns on both sides, but 'to' isn't a noun.

It's a 'dummy pronoun' which works as an expletive subject.


The word order usually reminds me of Spanish.


What looks like a tomato?


A second tomato.


Why can not we omit the verb "być" ("są") in this case?


Because that would leave you with "These not tomatoes". You don't omit it when it's singular, so I guess the rule continues through plurals.


Why don't we use ci in this case when we say "these"? Is it because ci is speaking of specific items?

Could i say ci pomidory nie są jabłka? (I'm assuming it's ci because tomatoes are male personal? Or am I really lost now? Tomatoes are magically animate, i do recall.


It's true that tomatoes are 'magically animate', but at least nothing is 'magically personal'. So "ci" can only be used with people - with plurals of masculine nouns describing people.

Also, your sentence apart from using "Te" (Te pomidory) should also use Instrumental for apples: "Te pomidory nie są jabłkami".


You used "Te pomidory" here, but why is it not accepted in the question? (Correct is To)


What I was trying to explain was that "te" could be used only if the subject of the sentence was "these tomatoes", but the subject here is "these", it's a dummy pronoun.

The dummy pronoun (e.g. "[This/That/It] is a tomato", "[These/Those/They]" are tomatoes" (they will be used relatively rarely) always translates to "To" (and its forms for other cases), regardless of the gender and grammatical number of what it refers to.


Pomidor is masculine ?


Yes, 99,9% of nouns ending with a consonant (in their basic, Nominative form) are masculine. The real meaning of the word is irrelevant*. Sometimes two synonyms can have different grammatical genders.

*But words like "mężczyzna" (a man) or "tata" (dad) are still masculine, despite ending with -a which is usually a feminine ending. So the meaning may not really be relevant, but the gender wouldn't defy logic like that.


Why do i have to use 'to' instead of 'tamta'?


Any sentence starting with "This/That is", "These/Those are", no matter the grammatical gender or number, will start with "To" which then serves as the subject of the sentence and not any kind of a determiner.

And if anything, "These" would be translated as "Te". "These tomatoes" = "Te pomidory".


I was trying to determine where you use "To" and where you use "Ci/Tamci and/or Te/Tamte", so this is a very clear explanation. May I suggest you add this to a 'Tips & notes' for the Plural lesson, as there isn't one and it's not easy to figure out.


Yes! fantastic explanation. Very clear. <3


...you are looking for.

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