"We do not see the coffee."

Translation:Nie widzimy kawy.

January 21, 2016

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So word order does matter in Polish? I put widzimy nie te kawy


You somehow made a grammatically correct sentence with different meaning. In less "literal" meaning it would translate "we see wrong coffees" , I see coffees, but not the ones I need/want.

usually splitting "nie" and verb, either makes sentence ungrammatical or changes meaning signifficantly


Yes, it matters. "Nie" should be used before a word which it negates. So your sentence means something like: "We see NOT these coffees.". Moreover, there are common word orders, less common word orders and word orders which are simply wrong. The word order in a sentence can change depending what information you want to accent.


Would accusative also be acceptible here: nie widzę kawę? In Ukrainian one may say: Не бачу каву, або Не бачу кави


No, Accusative will work for "Widzę kawę", but in negation it will turn into Genitive.

[deactivated user]

    Is this a general rule ? Every time a verb is negated ("nie [conjugated verb in present tense]") the nouns following will be in Genetive ?


    Not exactly and it is crucial that you don't try to spread this rule too far.

    The only case that changes when negated, is Accusative. All other cases stay the same when negated.


    I was told I had a typo with "Nie widzimy kaw" (which I did because I was treating "coffee" as plural), but isn't that either right (and so not a typo) or wrong (and not a typo but the wrong number)? And which is it?


    Ok, if you can treat coffee as plural... added.


    I am confused. The answer was "Nie widzimy kaw." but when I went on the discussion too find out why it is kaw not kawy it says kawy...which is it?


    Hmmm... the main one is "kawy", "kaw" is technically possible but it's as if you were expecting to see plural 'coffies' (a jar of one brand and a jar of other brand?) and makes more sense if you at least make it "tych kaw" (these coffies).


    Tamtej really? It did not accepted it. It was supposed to!


    For "the" we accept forms of "ta" (so we'd accept "tej"), but not forms of "tamta". "tamta", "tamtej" etc. are really "that", or even more "that one over there".


    So why does "my kawy nie widzimy" work?


    It doesn't work here. It's not wrong, but pretty strange. Like "Coffee? What coffee? We do not see any coffee".

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