Can "jajko" refer to something like "scrambled eggs" or does it refer to only one egg, like a hardboiled egg?
It means one egg - hardboiled, soft-boiled or otherwise. "Scrambled eggs" is "jajecznica", so the sentence would be "Jesz jajecznicę...".
"Scrambled eggs" might be a bad example. The more general question is, can "jajko" be used as as mass noun for the stuff inside of eggs, the way "egg" can in English?
yes, all what is inside is considered egg. for example one fried egg is = jedno jajko sadzone.
Why not "you eat an egg and are drinking tea" ? It's not really correct English to switch tenses but just wondering --jesz would translate to both "you eat" and "you are eating", correct?
In English, "an egg" is a countable noun (the things that come out of certain animals) and just "egg" is a mass noun (the edible stuff found inside eggs).
More generally, English requires articles ("a/an" or "the") or some other determiner ("this", "some," etc.) in most cases, especially in the singular. Mass nouns are a specific exception.
Thank you ! Knowing this, another question comes in mind : if eating implies taking something edible to our mouth, is egg a mass noun then?
Yes, "egg" can be used as a mass noun in this context. Examples:
(In all cases, when I call something "topical" below, I mean it's been established in recent usage as a subject of conversation)
"I am eating an egg:" eating one non-topical egg.
"I am eating egg:" eating some amount of (non-topical) stuff inside eggs.
"I am eating the egg:" probably eating one topical egg. Or, eating some amount of the stuff inside eggs, if that stuff is topical.
"I am eating eggs" or "I am eating some eggs:" eating several non-topical eggs.
"I am eating the eggs:" Eating several topical eggs.
All of which is distinct from:
"I eat eggs / I eat egg:" As a generalization, eggs (or the stuff inside them) are a thing I'm willing to eat.
Is there a way to differentiate between "I eat eggs" and "I am eating eggs" in Polish?
There is, but it's... higher level of Polish. There are some, let's call them, 'habitual verbs', and their name says it all. "jadać" is a habitual form of "jeść", so if you regularly eat eggs, you can say "Jadam jajka".
But "jem jajka" is perfectly fine for both those English sentences.
I discussed eating "egg" (without an article) with a native English speaker recently. When I asked her what she would call "egg" and not "an egg", she showed me pictures of something I wouldn't just call "jajko" but with a more specific word.
Interesting. In this case,jesz and pijesz are allowed. In the "type what you hear" exercise, however, only jecie and pijecie is accepted. Consistency required across the whole course as confusion as to what the right answer is could cause some people to stop learning?
Ehm... if you translate from English, then both versions are equally correct. But if you have a 'type what you hear' exercise, how could both be correct? You heard one of them. Not the other. Of course the other is wrong. 'type what you hear' exercise will always have only one correct answer - the exact sentence that was said.
It also cannot be a matter of consistency, because both types of exercises are based on the exactly same sentence with the exact same answers. They aren't put separately.
On a separate notion, I'm confused that you put this comment in the PL->ENG exercise discussion. Oh, and also the basic sentence (the one that was put in the Incubator and for which there is an audio file) is "Jesz jajko i pijesz herbatę", not the plural one.
I put it in this one because I noticed the use of Jesz not Jecie for this particular test but i still believe that, when you're asked to translate the English to Polish tests, both versions of "you" should be accepted. The fact is that one test has the singular as the correct answer (given at top of thread) and the other plural. I don't see any reason for both jesz/jecie not being right in these tests. I just want all tests to be consistent.
And unless we have a major oversight, they are consistent. Doesn't matter what is shown to you as the correct answer, the singular or plural one, the other is for 99% accepted and probably starred as well. Here as well.
That's the thing, it does matter. If I am going to learn Polish then I have to be given the right information. If I am being marked wrong, when I'm not, how am I supposed to learn, and improve, my Polish. To me, if you want to learn a language then you have to do it right. That can't happen if you're being told what you typed is wrong only to see another test show the sentence you were told is wrong. I might as well give up learning this language, or at least give up on Duolingo. Shame, because the app actually works in that words have stuck, which other courses have not succeeded in doing.