"This fish is not good."
Translation:Ta ryba nie jest dobra.
I typed "Ta ryba jest nie dobra" and got told that I had an extra space and the answer should be "Ta ryba jest niedobra". There is an alternate solution "Ta ryba nie jest dobra".
Can I assume that in general you use "nie" as a prefix to an adjective, and not a separate word, to negate it? So you could say "niezła" for "not bad" and "niemała" for "not small" if you wanted but not "nie zła" or "nie mała"?
Yes, you write "nie" as a prefix with some parts of speech, for example with adjectives. However if you stress "nie" (to confront, to oppose) you write both words separately, i.e. "Ta ryba jest nie mała, ale malutka!" (This fish is not small but tiny/very small). Nota bene, you always write comparative and superlative adjectives without "nie": niemała ryba, nie mniejsza ryba, nie najmniejsza ryba.
Thanks for the fast reply. I haven't gotten to the adjectives lessons yet but I'll bear what you said about superlatives in mind when I get there.
In English you can prefix some words with "un" to negate them, but not others. So for example you can say both "unhappy" or "not happy" although they have a pretty subtle difference that I would have a hard time explaining. With others you cannot do that, there is no "unbig", you must say "not big" or "small". Is the same true of Polish or can you prefix most adjectives with "nie" to get the inverted meaning?
Yes, you can add "nie" to most adjectives. And in this matter Polish is more regular than Eglish which has a few negative prefixes: a–, dis–, il–, im–, in-, ir–, non–, un–.
I cannot remember any adjective or participle that you cannot add "nie" to, but I know some adjectives that you cannot take "nie" out of like niebieski is just blue , not unbieski
–Jasiu, co to jest?
–Nie, Jasiu, to jest nietoperz.
–Jak nie toperz, to ja już nie wiem!
Sometimes the initial „nie” is just part of the word itself and has nothing to do with negation.
I got the same - seems odd - first time I've encountered it, i.e. "niemala". Because I didn't want to manage an instrumental case for dobry due to equating (using jest), I put in:
Ta ryba to nie dobra
This came up as incorrect. How come you cannot use "to nie" here?
Because "dobra" is not a noun. You cannot use the "X to Y" construction if Y is an adjective.
Besides, it would be "niedobra". "Ta ryba jest niedobra".
„To” can be used when comparing two nouns for example. And in a bunch of other situations when it has some different meaning. But you can't compare a noun and an adjective with it.