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  5. "What would you talk about?"

"What would you talk about?"

Translation:O czym byś mówił?

February 27, 2016



Does the "by" separate from the verb only in the second person?


no, it can happen in all persons.
bym mówił, bym mówiła; byś mówił; byś mówiła
by mówił; by mówiła; by mówiło
byśmy mówili; byśmy mówiły, byście mówili; byśmy mówiły
by mówili, by mówiły

  • 1795

I think it is worth to add, that this contains a phenomenon very specific to Polish language: in 1-st and 2-nd person singular and plural, the ending of verb is moved from the verb to the particle "by", that is why "by" gets endings -m , -ś , -śmy, -ście:

  • 1st person singular: by mówiłem -> transformed to bym mówił, by mówiłam - bym mówiła,
  • 2nd person singular: by mówił -> byś mówił, by mówił -> byś mówiła,
  • 3rd person singular: by mówił; by mówiła; by mówiło - no transformation
  • 1st person plural: by mówiliśmy -> byśmy mówili, by mówiłyśmy -> byśmy mówiły,
  • 2nd person plural: by mówiliście -> byście mówili, by mówiłyście -> byście mówiły,
  • 3rd person plural: by mówili, by mówiły - no transformation


Why is "O czym rozmawiałbyś?" incorrect?


I think it is technically correct, nut I would never say it this way. I think we apply the same rule to "by" as to the pronouns (not at the end if possible) , but I do not know for sure.


Why is my answer "O czym bys gadal" incorrect? Gadac is the verb to talk? Mowic is to say, no?

  • 1795

The verb "gadać" is not exactly "to talk". It is closer to "to schmooze", "to twaddle", "to gab". It is highly colloquial and slightly pejorative. You can say to your friend or family member "Nie gadaj głupot" [Do not twaddle fluff], or scold your child "Nie gadaj, jedz obiad" [Do not gab, eat the lunch]. You can say that some people eating and drinking at the table "Gadają o różnych sprawach" [Are schmoozing on various subjects]. You could comment a politician's speech "Gada głupoty" [He is jawing ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤], but you can also jokingly hail someone's speech "Dobrze gada, dajcie mu wódki!" [He is talking right, give him some vodka!]

"O czym bys gadał" could be OK when addressed to a close friend, but when addressed to a stranger, or someone who is preparing an important discourse - it would rather be considered disrespectful.


OK, I understand. That's a bit more clear.


So byście cannot follow mówili? It must go ahead of the verb?


Then it would be glued to the verb (mówilibyście), but it does seem strange to put such a word at the end of the sentence. I don't know if this is a rule, but I see above that immery thinks the same, so maybe let's leave it like that.


Not sure about this one, but wouldn't "o czym rozmawiałbyś?" be acceptable?

  • 1795

The word order is awkward, it would require an unusual context to be correct.

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