1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Polish
  4. >
  5. "Oni kupują spodnie lub koszu…

"Oni kupują spodnie lub koszulę."

Translation:They are buying trousers or a shirt.

February 5, 2016



What is the distinction between "albo" and "lub"?


In logic, 'lub' is 'or' (true if any of the statements is true) and 'albo' is 'exclusive or' ( (A or B) and not (A and B)).

In practice, however, they are used interchangeably.

  • 1894

> In practice, however, they are used interchangeably.

... with an exception when using some expressions, like "Zdecyduj się: albo to - albo tamto" [You have to decide: either this one, or that one], "Albo jedno, albo drugie" [Either the first one, or the second one (but not both at a time)] - or an equivalent saying "Albo rybki, albo akwarium" [Either this or that]; literaly: [Either the fish or the fish-tank].

In such cases "lub" cannot be used.


hooooly this is confusing

  • 1894

hooooly this is confusing

Not really. I am sorry, maybe I have put it in a confusing way. In fact it is quite simple:

  • A lub B = A or B
  • A albo B = A or B - in everyday language
  • albo A albo B = either A or B - in everyday language
  • A albo B = either A or B - in mathematics


What is the distinction between „czy” and „lub”?

  • 1894

Lub is described above.

The usage of Czy:

  • It begins questions: "Czy chcesz herbaty (genitive case, meaning some amount of)?" [Do you want tea?]
  • It begins requests: "Czy możesz dać mi herbaty?" [Could you give me some tea?, Will you give me tea, please?]
  • Is used as "or" to offer a choice: "Czy chcesz kawę czy herbatę?", "Chcesz kawę czy herbatę?" [You want coffe or tea?]
  • Is used as "if" or "whether" to express doubt or hesitation: "Nie wiem czy chcę herbatę" [I do not know if I want tea]


That makes a lot of sense, thank you!


Koszula should be plural to make the sentence logical!


What's illogical in buying one shirt?


Translation: They are buying trousers or a shirt They (plural) are buying trousers (either plural or singular) or a shirt (singular)... Why would several people be buying 'one shirt'? Are they going to share it?

The shop has been busy this morning, people have been buying trousers or shirts.


They buy a shirt for one of them, like a married couple buying a shirt for the husband.

Although okay, I get your point. Still, I can't change the default Polish sentence.


W matematice A lub B oznacza ze może być A, B, jak oba razem. A albo B daje w wyniku samo A albo B i to wszystko Myślę że to jest tak samo w języku polskim "zwyklim" . En maths "A lub B" veut dire que cela peut être A ou bien B ou bien encore A et B, tandis que "A albo B", c'est A ou B et pas de 3e solution. En langage courant, on entend plutôt "albo" (dans les journaux, les livres, on voit les deux) J'espère que cela aidera ceux qui suivent ces cours et sont de langue française

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