"Co państwo robią?"

Translation:What are you doing?

February 23, 2016

62 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/immery

polite you:

a lady - pani
a gentleman - pan
ladies - panie
gentlemen- panowie
ladies and gentelmen - literally panie i panowie, but usually "państwo"

Mrs and Mr X- Państwo X


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Centorior

Thank you Immery, always breaking it down in a way that's easy to understand! (And that's a skill I want to pick up from you additional to Polish!)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yab401

so what is the dieefrence between "Państwo" and "państwa". is it Nominative and Accusative? and what is the difference between "panów" and "panowie"? thanks


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/immery

yes Nominative - państwo genitive=accusative - państwa
N- panowie, G=A panów
N=A panie, G pań


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/udoyon

Very helpful! Just a question though, its often Mrs XYZa and Mr XYZi - that would then be Państwo XYZa or XYZi or a different suffix?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

Depends on the exact surname, and sometimes native speakers have problems with declension of their own surnames...

The probably most common ending is adjectival ending -ki (e.g. Kowalski, Lewandowski), the ending for "państwo" would be -cy. Państwo Kowalscy, państwo Lewandowscy.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ken693984

I agree, except in this case the verb "to do" should be conjugated as "robicie" not "robią". The difference being, "ladies and gentlemen" is replaced with the pronoun "you" in the translation, and not with the pronoun "they" which is required by the conjugated verb "robią" in the answer.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/immery

That is not how Polish works. What is more, if you used it this way it could be considered more rude than just using informal you.

In Polish, if you adress people with Pan/pan/państwo etc, you use third person.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tontonzark

uo Co państwo robią means what ladies and gentlemen are doing. Co pan robi = what Mister is doing, Co pani robi = what Mrs is doing


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yola448704

Co ci państwo (oni) robią? - What these/those ladies and gentlemen (they) are doing?/ What do these/those ladies and gentlemen do?
Co ten pan (on) robi? - What is the/this/that gentleman (he) doing?
Co ta pani (ona) robi? - What is the/this/that lady (she) doing?

Co państwo robią? - Ladies & gentlemen/Sirs, what are you doing?
Co pan robi? - Sir, what are you doing?/ Sir, what do you do?
Co pani robi? - Ma'am, what are you doing?/Ma'am, what do you do?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/p8c

yola448704, that is what i thought... using 'sir'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobinB896941

Sir is singular. But this exercise uses the plural "…państwo robią", so your answer needs a plural too, such as sirs – or maybe ladies and gentlemen, given that państwo implies a mixed group.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gbaldacci1309

I agree with above comment. If it is not acceptable to say "What are you ladies and gentlemen doing?" Then how would one say What are they doing, formally? Also, I am not finding any answers to any of my questions that I have asked since resuming my lessons a few weeks ago. Please advise where I can see any replies? Before, I would see a message somewhere at top bar that I know longer see. Finally, I see that people add me as a "friend". I would prefer that this does not happen without my consent. Please advise.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

@gbaldacci1309:

How would one say it in English? No idea, but English doesn't often go into such formality, I'd say...

About answers - well, I have no idea if you stumble upon my answer, but you need to go to your settings in the right upper corner -> Notifications -> tick "Somebody responds to a discussion I'm following". Then you will start getting e-mails whenever someone posts a comment in a discussion that you are following, and you automatically follow a discussion in which you wrote something - unless you click the "Following Discussion" button at the top and resign from following that one. You also need to make sure that you provided a valid e-mail address that you're checking.

About people adding you as friend - while I believe that does absolutely nothing nowadays and there's no harm, if you really don't want people to do that, you can go to Settings and untick "Make my profile public". This should do the trick. Note that a few days ago there was a bug which prevented people with 'unpublic' profile from writing on forums, but I think it should be fixed now. If by any chance you write a comment and see that it hasn't appeared, go to the settings and make your profile public again.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

Given that "państwo" is very commonly used when talking to a couple, and that "What are you doing, ladies and gentlemen?" somehow seems a lot less common than the already uncommon "What are you doing, gentlemen?" - we only accept simple "you" for "państwo".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lisboho

Sir or madam lol i was marked down on french because i put mr and mrs


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YungBoi1

Is there any reason "what are you gentlemen doing" should not be accepted as an English translation?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/immery

1) would you ever use that sentence?
2) would you use it to address a mixed gender group?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobinB896941

Duo currently rejects "What are you gentlemen doing?" with good reason, but surprisingly proposes "What are you guys doing?".

In UK English, at least, 'guys' is highly colloquial and thus in conflict with the formal/polite 'państwo'.

@immery:

  1. Indeed I might, if I were an hotel commissionaire or a butler admonishing a boisterous group of tipsy young gentlemen – or if I were P.G. Wodehouse writing about the incident.

  2. A valid objection – except that young mixed groups rarely trash the furniture, since young ladies, even if tipsy, exert a calming influence upon young gentlemen.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

I have no clue what was "you guys" doing here. We accept it for "wy" (it helps some AmE users in distinguishing between "ty" and "wy"), but obviously it doesn't work for "państwo". Removed now.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KlaraDahlb

Is państwo always a mixed group? Does it have to be two people or can there be more people included in the address?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

Mixed group, any number.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BernardoFon

How would you formally address a 3rd party person or group? For example, how would you say, in a formal manner, "what are they (those gentlemen) doing?"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

So in a way that is more polite than saying "those people/men/women"? Well, you can use the Formal You pronouns as nouns, but then they need some additional word, usually simply a determiner. And then you have "Co ci panowie robią?" (What are these gentlemen doing?) and similar.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MassoudSR

I answered " What are you ladies and gentlemen doing" and not accepted. I wonder why?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

As I answered in another discussion, "państwo" is problematic, as it doesn't have a good translation. You wrote "ladies and gentlemen", but it's very likely that it is said to just one lady and one gentleman, or two ladies but one gentleman, or one lady but two gentlemen...

Meaning aside, I don't recall ever hearing such a construction in English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rvabbott

What is the difference between panowie and państwo? Both are plural.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/immery

polite you:

a lady - pani
a gentleman - pan
ladies - panie
gentlemen- panowie
ladies and gentelmen - literally panie i panowie, but usually "państwo"

Mrs and Mr X- Państwo X


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChloeAna1

What about pana?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stewart156051

Oh dear, I suggested "What are you people making?" Can you explain where I went wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

"you people" doesn't exactly strike me as the most formal form in English...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stewart156051

Your right, a bit slangish and probably getting too close to "you guys" or "you folk"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Julia239728

Panstwo - "are you" realy?!why not - people?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

Well, "państwo" is a Formal You form used when you talk/refer to people of both genders at the same time. Other Formal You forms can somehow be translated into English (you, sir/you, madame/you, gentlemen/you, ladies), but we haven't found any natural translation of "państwo", apart from "you" itself, obviously. "you, people" doesn't exactly seem to be a polite form.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TAJPRU

Translated to'What are you doing' How would you translate 'Co ty robisz' which has exactly the same meaning. By including the word 'panstwo' should have some foremost in the translated answer.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

Well, "państwo" just translates to English "you", there's no other translation.

"Co ty robisz?" (singular informal "you") translates the same way.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/p8c

hmmm, shouldn't this be something like 'sir, what are you doing?' or 'what are you doing, sir?' ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

That is "Co pan robi?".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/abcdef933419

I know this is a lesson regarding formal/polite speaking.

Co państwo robią: "What are you (plural and polite) doing)*

But how would I say it if plural but not polite?

Maybe some people breaking my car or something.

Would it just be 'was'?

But that's accusative :(


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/abcdef933419

Sorry was is not right Maybe oni? But that's third person (i dont want to be polite so why would i use third person?)

Co wy robicie? Co oni robią?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

"Co wy robicie?" is 'basic' (non-formal) plural 'you'. Usually just "Co robicie?", you don't need the pronoun.

And "was" is also plural, but the wrong form, because it's Accusative, as in "Lubię was" (I like you, guys).

"oni" is undoubtedly 'they', it cannot be used to address 'you'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/abcdef933419

Yes sorry I got all tangled up. :(

I think I will take a break for a few days

BTW.... every time that you reply, I feel the need to reply 'ok thanks'

But it probably congests the discussion board, let alone you receiving an email notification every time.

But I always still feel the need.

If I don't have any follow-up comments, would a 'thumbs up/like/upvote' etc show you that I've read your reply and understood your answer? Would that show on your side?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

I can just imagine that you're always grateful :D Upvotes and lingots are anonymous, but it's still nice ;)

I wish the forum had a few options more, e.g. a "thank you" button that would also not be anonymous, or a "Moderator confirms" button that would show that we confirm that everything the learner wrote is correct... but I guess I can dream ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/abcdef933419

Yes I am always grateful but I think 'grateful' is an understatement. :)

I sometimes visit other random websites just to get a 'fresh perspective' on grammar, and the comments sections on there, although helpful and well-meaning, often leave me with more questions. They will state something which is factually TRUE but leaves a grey area (for example "object of nie lubię takes genetive because you are negating a verb". Now we both know that statement is technically true, but it should have ended with "negating a verb which usually takes accusative")

That's just one example but there are so many more all the time and I always find myself thinking "Jellei or Alik1989 would have never left any room for doubt, or grey areas"

(And even when you do, you say "there will be exceptions")

So the quality of your replies is very helpful and I think unrivalled really.

When other people have thanked you guys here, I always try to add my 2cents to agree to their original comment.

But yeah, ok I won't thank you every time now because you and other 'followers' of the topic will get unnecessary emails for no reason.

By the way, if they do ever add those little features, it will also be good to know the date of a comment on the mobile app. I often find myself replying to a beginner's question (only if I'm 100% sure of the answer as I don't wanna mislead anyone) but sometimes those questions are 5years old and I can't see that on mobile app.

Anyway, I guess it would still help new viewers to the question so I'll carry on.

Thanks guys!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Davidsk4

The text in the lesson states painstwo is for the mixed plural I would translate it as what are you two doing?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alik1989

"Mixed" refers to any number of people, not necessarily two of them.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

And "you two" does not sound formal to me at all.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Davidsk4

That's right. It's not formal , in fact informal and Sir/ Madam would be better in English for formal but the point I was making was the Polish sentence appears to have NO formal or informal address. So I was saying if it has to be a formal one, how about inserting painstwo somewhere in this sentence? (I gather this word is the formal address for a male and female couple in Polish but it's missing from the sentence.)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

I'm sorry, but I am utterly confused. You are commenting under the sentence "Co państwo robią?", so it already has "państwo"...

This is the top of this discussion:

The only other idea that I have about what you could mean is that the English sentence doesn't have any translation of "państwo", but... well, there just isn't any. Sometimes "ladies and gentlemen" could be okay, but that only covers a part of potential meanings of "państwo".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Davidsk4

Sorry for that. I think a day or two ago there must have been some technical glitch causing the sentence to omit the word painstwo or another sentence to come up in its place. The grammar appears okay now. So I am happy. Thanks for your help.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ubeogesh

I just had this idea\feeling that these formal\polite words could be used in "passive aggressive" tone. Could they?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

You mean, that you could use a formal pronoun when addressing in a 'passive agressive' way someone that you know and usually call by their first name? I don't think so...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marty1550

Would "you are doing what?" be an acceptable translation?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

That's a really rare syntax, which also doesn't seem probable given the formal context used in Polish (usage of "państwo"). I can maybe imagine informal "Robisz/Robicie CO?!" as a Polish equivalent to what you wrote.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marty1550

Thank you.
Thinking about it in context now, I would really only say "you are doing what?" if someone told me what he was doing and I didn't hear him clearly, or if i was shocked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lisboho

I typed what are they doing ...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PopCultureTime

What's wrong with saying, "What are they doing to you?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

Well... it's totally not what the Polish question says, I don't know how you arrived at such an interpretation.

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