1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Polish
  4. >
  5. "Oni państwa wspierają."

"Oni państwa wspierają."

Translation:They are supporting you.

January 8, 2016



I'll have lots of trouble with this... I'm sure D:


Why 'they are supporting YOU', not 'them'?


pan/pani/panowie/panie/państwo are all polite ways of saying 'you'


Dzienkuje za explanackje


When I click on 'państwa' it only shows 'you' and 'country' as translation so it's hard to tell who does this address. It should have "plural mixed gender or male 2nd person"


It is "plural mixed gender polite 2nd person"


Should the word państwa have a capital letter. I thought using a capital letter with the various forms of państwo was considered more polite, or I am hopelessly old fashioned?


It depends what are you writing. Is it a book? a transcription? a letter?

If you are writing to someone you use capital letter for ty/wy/pan/pani/państwo etc, if you are writing dialogue in a book you use small letters.


I'm generally writing letters to my pupils' parents so I guess I'm okay to continue capitalising pan/pani and państwo. I hadn't realised that ty and wy were included too. Does this rule include "pana" and "pani" meaning "your" or is it just for personal pronouns?

  • 1785

Capitalising is always used for addressing somebody in a polite way - in writing. See also Formal second- and third-person pronouns in Wikitionary.

Actually, in Polish, there are many nouns, that can serve as a pronoun. In the above mentioned article there are samples like "ksiądz" (priest), which serves a function similar to English "father". The difference is that when addressing someone the polite way, you use inflection as for 3-rd person, not the 2-nd person, which is not clearly put in that article. Sometimes it requires the use of "proszę" at the beginning. Sometimes nouns like "mama" [mom], "tata" [dad], "babcia" [granny] are used in the function of pronoun. Addressing the polite way in Polish is not that easy ;-)

Here are some samples: all the nouns in function of pronoun are italicised. Sometimes it is better to use such a word first as regular noun in vocative case, and then repeat it in the function of pronoun, i.e. in nominative case, 3-rd person singular/plural, which is often the same as vocative.

  • Czy Państwo planują skorzystać z mojego zaproszenia? = Sirs (or Madam and Sir), are you going to take advantage of my invitation? Drodzy Państwo, czy Państwo planują skorzystać z mojego zaproszenia? = Dear Sirs, are you going to take advantage of my invitation? - That is useful when addressing to a group of persons, and particularly a couple.
  • Dziękuję Pani za przybycie. = Madam, thank you for your arrival; Szanowna Pani, dziękuję Pani za przybycie = Honourable Madam, thank you for your arrival - "szanowny" (honourable, venerable) may seem a bit exaggerated in English, but in Polish it is just an everyday, polite title, used for example as standard beginning of a letter to any person or addressing the audience by a lecturer (in that case it would be plural, male: "szanowni").
  • Proszę Księdza (gen.), czy Ksiądz mógłby nas odwiedzić? = Father, could you please pay us a visit?; Księże Proboszczu (voc.), czy Ksiądz mógłby nas odwiedzić? = Father Provost, could you please pay us a visit? - this is a bit special, with "proszę" we use genitive case instead of vocative case.
  • Księże Biskupie, dziękujemy Waszej Ekscelencji za przybycie na tę uroczystość = Father Bishop, we thank Your Excellency for his arrival to this celebration - there are customary titles, that serve also as pronouns, adequate for every level of traditional hierarchy, e.g. when addressing a king: "Wasza królewska Mość" = Your Kingly Majesty, or "Wasza Miłość" = literally: Your Love; when addressing a cardinal or rector of a university: "Wasza Eminencja" = Your Eminency, etc...
  • Babciu, czy Babcia może dać mi chleba i mleka? = Granny, could you please give me some bread and milk? - addressing to one's own grandmother
  • Czy Mama może na to spojrzeć? Mamo, czy Mama może na to spojrzeć? = Mom, could you please take a look at that?
  • Ciociu, zapraszamy Ciocię do nas na obiad, w najbliższą niedzielę. = Auntie, we invite you to a dinner at ours, next Sunday.
  • Waćpanna czego tu szuka? = Miss, what are you looking for here? - I am actually unable to translate that accurately; "waćpanna" is not a just a miss - ("miss" would be "panna"). "Waćpanna" was anciently a pronoun used for addressing daughters of nobles, but currently it is used rather as a joke, so this expression is in a way polite, but rather joking towards a girl a lot younger than the person speaking.
  • Panie Kierowco, kierowca wysiądzie z samochodu i spojrzy na tamten znak drogowy = Mister Driver, will you get out of the car and take a look at that road sign - a patronizing, but still more-or-less polite addressing the driver of a car by a police officer, one quite popular amongst the Polish policemen.
  • Panu już dziękujemy = Sir, we thank you already (could you shut up, please) - this one is actually not polite at all, it is a polite expression used in a sarcastic way.


Amazing! Thank you so much!


Nie powinno tu być "państwo" a nie "państwa"? Państwo to rodzaj nijaki, dlatego odmiana w bierniku powinna być państwO. [chyba że czasownik wspierać jest jednym z czasowników, który wymaga tylko dopełniacza???


It IS "państwA" in accusative for "Ladies and gentlemen." Unless this means the "sovereignty, country" państwo, in which case it WOULD be państwO in accusative.

Stupid wiktionary.org throwing me off, giving me the wrong declension.


It doesn't actually – you are missing the fact that „państwo” as a pronoun/noun for addressing formally a mixed gender group is a plurale tantum(ie. exist as plural only) – plural accusative of states would also be „państwa”(though it differs in many other cases) , but natural word order would be different(„Oni wspierają państwa” – 'They support countries/states'). ;)


Is there a particular reason for the word order as shown in the exercise for "They are supporting you"?


I've learned from different resources that personal pronouns usually come before the verb although not always.


Thanks for that Zkamin. Sent you lingot!


How to use possesives with formal forms of address?


"your cat" would be "pana kot" or "pański kot" for "yours, sir", "pani kot" for "yours, madame", "państwa kot" for a mixed couple/group... but for "yours, gentlemen" and "yours, ladies" it's kinda problematic.

Technically, it would be "panów" and "pań", but especially with "pań" it sounds rather strange - at least in my opinion. Hard to say why, also for some other people it may look totally fine.


So, for instance, „I like your cat“ is „Lubię pańskiego kota“ or „Lubię kota pani/pana“, right?


"Lubię [pańskiego/pana/pani] kota" (although "Lubię pana kota", especially when spoken, can be interpreted as "I like Mr. Cat").

Your second word order is something that may work with "pań". I think "Lubię kota pań" is more probable than "Lubię pań kota"... but still, at least personally I would try to rephrase it anyway.

  • 1785

I got a strong impression, that - in order to avoid misunderstanding caused by one syllable words - in such cases, the possesive would be rather rephrased to a longer form. So, instead of "Lubię pań kota" or "Lubię kota pań" (I like the cat of yours, ladies) - we would rather say "Lubię kota należącego do pań" (I like the cat belonging to you, ladies).


Dziękuję bardzo za pana odpowiedź!


Does support in this sentence mean moral support, as in supporting a political candidate, financial support, or both?


Hmm... for sure it can be financial, it can also be moral... or maybe 'emotional' is a better word?

What I mean, "popierać" would be used if it's political "I will vote for that guy", and "wspierać" makes only sense if you actually know someone and can support them 'directly'. So perhaps another politician that is actually involved in the campaign could say "wspierać".

There's also "kibicować", for support in sports (being a fan).


Thank you for the very clear and detailed answer. It helped a lot.


I wish you had an article about this topic to use in preparing for this lesson. It feels quite complex for someone whose language lacks formal pronouns.


Thxs.you are right.i had noticed it myself in the meantime and deleted my comment.this is quite tricky in polish but I think I got it. Oni wspierają państwo would then mean they support the ladies and gentlemen ( noun) or they support the country.thxs for the quick feedback

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