"Who would she help?"

Translation:Komu ona by pomogła?

February 1, 2016

This discussion is locked.


"Komu pomagłaby?" is not correct?


You could say "Pomogłaby? Komu?" which puts more stress on the fact that we don't believe she'd help anyone.


Not exactly natural sentence to say...


My response, "komu ona by pomagała", should be accepted.


Is this acceptable? Who would she be helping?


I think the Polish answer can be added as an interpretation of English "would help", but I don't know if "would be helping" can be accepted if Polish had "by pomogła".


Komu pomogłaby


what about : Komu ona pomogłaby?


I believe you shouldn't end a sentence with a form of the particle -by.


Why? According to my wife, who's Polish, "komu ona pomógłaby" is correct in the same way; and sentences ending with -by are even listed in our daughter's elementary schoolbooks.


Since I don't have a Polish wife, I obviously lack the necessary resources to make qualified statements on this matter, however, I can consult the Polish National Corpus.


Sentences with this configuration and a -by particle at the end have 3 occurences in the corpus. Code:

[base="kto|co"] [pos!=interp] [pos=praet] [orth=by] [pos=aglt]? [orth="[?]"]

Sentences which place the past-stem verb at the end can be found 46 times. Code:

[base="kto|co"] [pos!=interp] [orth=by] [pos=aglt]? [pos=praet] [orth="[?]"]

This is a clear indication that the word order you propose is unfavourable. Since this is a course of basic Polish, we are rather strict about sentences which are technically correct, but rare and not very natural. Feel free to try the search yourself and take a look at the sample sentences.


W języku polskim domyślnie obydwa zdania wyrażają to samo1. Komu ona chciałaby pomóc? 2. Komu ona by pomogła? Obydwa pytania dotyczą pewnej dozy wątpliwości i zaciekawienia i wyczekiwania: Kto będzie tym szczęśliwcem, któremu ONA zechce pomoc.


Zdecydowanie nie jest to to samo. Wariant 1. odnosi się do chęci okazania pomocy, wariant 2. natomiast jest znacznie bardziej ogólny i może być stosowany w sytuacjach, gdzie kwestia chęci lub niechęci w ogóle nie jest poruszana.


It's a part of the conditional mood, "would help".

The conditional mood is formed by: a participle identical to the 3rd person Past Tense form (here: 'pomógł' for masculine, 'pomogła' for feminine', 'pomogli' for virile, 'pomogły' for nonvirile) + a form of the particle -by.

The particle is: -bym for 1st person singular, -byś for 2nd person singular, -by for 3rd person singular, and then -byśmy, -byście and again -by.

This particle may be either 'glued' at the end of the verb (pomogłaby) or it can be separated and stand in front of it (by pomogła). That is mostly a stylistic difference, but it's also one of those words that shouldn't end up at the end of the sentence, which makes it "Komu ona by pomogła?" rather than "Komu ona pomogłaby?".


I get it - it was seeing the BY as a separate word that confused me. Clear now - I think!


That makes me think that yes, "by" can be 'a separate word' with a different meaning, it's a valid alternative for "żeby", just less common. There's also "aby".

"Potrzebuję komputera, [żeby/aby/by] móc pracować" = "I need a computer to be able to work".


And are żeby/aby/by completely interchangeable?


Yes, this is a stylistic difference, tops. I think that "żeby/aby/by" is the order from the most common to the least common, although that's just based on my feel and not on data.


Can i attach the -by to komu here, i.e. "komuby"?


No, forms of "kto" cannot have -by glued to it.


Whom would she help?


It's also an accepted answer.

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