"On pyta czy jestem policjantem."

Translation:He asks if I am a policeman.

February 17, 2016

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  • 1014

I believe this could be interpreted as: “He questions if I’m a policeman. “


Do you mean, as in "he has doubts about whether I'm a policeman"? I don't think so.

  • 1014

I guess it could be inferred that way. But the actual words “asks”, “questions” and “inquires “ are synonyms. So I thought maybe it would work here.


Not really synonyms. To question has two meanings:

  • 1) To ask questions, to interrogate
  • 2) To raise doubts about sth.

In your sentence the verb is intransitive (not referring to a direct object), thus it can only have the meaning 2). And this meaning isn't covered by the verb ask.


Why can't 'He asks am I a policeman' work?


That sentence is not grammatical, because a conjunction is missing. I also believe that such a statement would be unintelligible without strong contextual support.


I have 2 different dictionaries that have pytać meaning to question or to ask, so wouldn't "He is questioning if I am a policeman" be correct?


As far as I understand, that would mean that "He doubts that I am a policeman", which is quite a different sentence.


Can you use jeśli/jeżeli here?


No, the rule is: if you can substitute if with whether, then it's always czy.


Would "On pyta jeśli jestem policjantem" technically be correct too?


Please read the other comments.


If the audio had accurately rendered "pyta czy" so that it was clear, I would have written it into my answer. Instead, I am forced to write "On [unintelligible] jestem policjantem." Not all audio questions are this bad, but it is frustrating when it happens, and it happens all too often.


Whats the difference between pytać and prosić ? Is prosić only used for "to ask for something" and pytać for "ask if/whether" ?


"prosić" is basically when you have a request, so yes, it's "asking for something".

"pytać" is "to ask any (other) question".

I guess the only reason you're asking this question is because this course teaches from English, in other languages (OK, maybe not all of them) people wouldn't even see any connection between those two, because they'd also have two separate verbs.

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