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"Have we shown you our garden?"

Translation:Pokazywaliśmy wam nasz ogród?

February 13, 2016



I'm afraid I am not recognizing whether this is the perfective or imperfective verb here. "Have we shown" should be the perfective, though, right?


"Pokazywać" is imperfective form of the verb. "Pokazać" is perfective.




I am actually talking about the verb "pokazywac" here, which I would assume is the imperfective of something like "pokazac." "Have we shown" I would think of as the perfective though--a discrete action that occurred once and is over.


Perfective verbs accent that something was done. Imperfective verbs accent that something lasted - like here the action of showing lasted some time but it doesn't have to mean that the action hasn't been finished. This question is probably about whether they have seen our garden or not so such translation can be proper. Depending on context, both perfective and imperfective verbs can be translated into Present Perfect, but also into other English tenses. Simply, Polish tenses are different than English ones and put accent onto other aspects of time. There is no one-to-one correspondence.


Thanks. I suppose it has less to do with how one thinks of perfectives and imperfectives and more about how one thinks about showing gardens.


I know, I've just corrected my comment.


So, that is what I thought. Wouldn't "have we shown?" be the perfective though?


"Have we shown" sounds more like imperfective aspect to me, such as "Have we ever shown you our garden? [when? which time]" This sounds general and unspecific.

On the other hand, "Did we show you our garden last time? [when? last time--specific]" This sounds like a perfective verb aspect.

I don't think it sounds correct to ask, "Have we shown you our garden last time?" The specificity of "last time" conflicts with the generality of "have shown." On the other hand, "did show last time" fits perfectly. Therefore "have shown" is present perfect tense, but the context of the sentence is an imperfective verb aspect.


"Have we shown" is the present perfect tense; "did we show" is the past tense. English doesn't have perfective and imperfective verbs. The verb aspect is determined by context. Polish on the other hand doesn't have past tense versus present perfect versus past perfect. It's all just past tense, but the verbs themselves have either perfective or imperfective verb aspects.


Well, as you note, we do have the present perfect "have you shown." We also have the past continuous "were you showing," which I think I would only ever translate as an imperfect. It is the English simple past "did you show" that tends to cause the problems. Here, though, I could picture translating "have you shown the garden" with either perfect or imperfect, depending on how I was thinking of the "showing."



Yes, exactly, it's open to interpretation in English, based on context, and past continuous does seem to have an imperfective aspect.

I was showing him our garden. Pokazywałem mu nasz ogród.

Present perfect usually leans on the imperfective side but can denote perfective in the context of the sentence.

I have shown him our garden. (In general, unspecific, BUT...) Pokazałem mu nasz ogród. (One time, at some point in time, OR...) Pokazywałem mu nasz ogród. (Numerous times in the past)

Simple past tense, though, in English could have either a perfective or imperfective aspect, based on context.

I showed him our garden yesterday [pokazałem]. I showed him our garden (unspecified) [pokazywałem].

In Polish you specifically use a perfective or imperfective verb to express the thought.


And with "nigdy"? Is it possible to use both perfective and imperfective? Or is it possible to say only pokazywałem?


Both are possible. To me, perfective sounds like "I was supposed to do it on one occasion, but I ended up not doing it", and imperfective like "I just never did it". That's prone to be subjective though.


Can I use się or cię instead of tobie? Is there any rule about when I need to use tobie?


No, none of those. 'się' is a reflexive pronoun, so it doesn't make any sense here. 'cię' would be wrong case.

"pokazywać" takes Dative (you show sth TO WHOM?)

The Dative options for singular 'you' are either "ci" or "tobie". Actually, I'd use "ci" here, because I don't see any need to emphasize the pronoun. "tobie" is the emphatic version and it sounds kinda like "We showed him, we showed her... oh, and have we shown YOU our garden?"


Wouldn't garden be "ogródek"? From what I understand "ogród" to me indicates something that is much larger in size, such as a large backyard or an orchard/park.


I'd rather think of "ogród" as the basic form and "ogródek" being a small one, but as not many people can afford big gardens, it seems reasonable to accept it (though we usually don't accept diminutives, but this makes sense to me). Added now.


My response, "czy ci pokazaliśmy swój ogród", should be accepted.


My answer, "czy ci pokazaliśmy nasz ogród", should be accepted.

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