"Co państwo robią?"
Translation:What are you doing?
62 CommentsThis discussion is locked.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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'.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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'
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?
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 ;)
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.
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.)
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".