"There is a desk between the window and the door."

Translation:Pomiędzy oknem i drzwiami jest biurko.

March 10, 2016

82 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anna678613

Why is "biurko jest między oknem i drzwiami" not accepted?


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

Biurko jest pomiedzy oknem a drzwiami. To jest poprawnie po polsku!!!


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

Traktując ten wątek jak śmietnik (powtarzając swoje wypowiedzi i ignorując nasze odpowiedzi) pozbawiasz się możliwości korzystania z tych for.


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

Polish.

But seriously, Alik wanted julisiec to stop writing the same comment all over again and stop ignoring our answers.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mrd815495

I agree, this should be accepted, otherwise the English sentence should be changed to "Between the window and door is a desk."


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

But it's not the most common word order in English for this phrase. The Polish and English most natural word orders for this type of sentence are completely different and I believe it's important to show it. We have some sentences with 'your' word order in English, but then if we only had those, people would try to translate "There is an X somewhere" starting with "Jest", which is really pretty uncommon.


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

You started your sentence knowing about the existence of the desk (The desk is between...). In the Polish sentence, this is a new piece of information.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anna678613

Isn't it too much for one sentence, to make us mind the newly learned household words, the newly introduced preposition and the new case endings, and to top it with this theme/rheme thing which has never been stated expressly in previous lessons? Are situations like "There's a lot of things between the window and the door. Lampa jest między oknem i drzwiami. Lustro jest między oknem i drzwiami. Biurko jest między oknem i drzwiami. And a lot more things too" totally impossible in Polish?

Not that I'm insisting, it wouldn't be the only odd sentence to memorise, so I can do this too. But I've seen much more dubious variants allowed on the course and I am somewhat at a loss here, I really can't see reasons for this sentence to be rejected as completely wrong.


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

Those are perfectly possible and natural, but that's the thing - if you say "Biurko jest między oknem [a/i] drzwiami", that means that you know that the desk exists and state where exactly it is located. While in "Między oknem [a/i] drzwiami jest biurko", you start with the knowledge of 'the window' and 'the door', and give an information that there is a desk between them.

Teaching such nuances isn't easy (and it's not easy to be consistent in this - in terms of your 'dubious variants allowed'), but well, we shouldn't accept every sentence that is more or less similar, as it won't help understand the exact meaning.


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

There's an ambiguity in the english sentence though, which I think is the problem. "there's a desk between the window and door" can be used to describe the location of a desk or can be used to describe what sits between the window and door, and the only accepted translation here appears to be to the latter while without context it seems english speakers seem to assume the former.

As an example, you say "Biurko jest między oknem [a/i] drzwiami" means you start with the knowledge of the desk's existence and you describe where it was located, which is precisely what the English sentence we're asked to translate can mean: "I need you to do me a favour: go into my into my office; there's a desk between the window and the door. In the upper left drawer of that desk is an envelope I need you to bring me". This is opposed to what the only accepted translation would be, which is more like: "I don't know where to put my bookshelf" "why don't you put it between the window and door?" "there's a desk between the window and the door"

Thus, it makes sense that both translations should be accepted. If only the latter remains accepted, the English sentence should be changed so that it can only mean the latter


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anna678613

Yeah, for the record, I second jwkrasow's opinion above. The grammatical subtleties of "there is" constructions are too elusive to make them a firm ground for insisting on the sole Polish variant chosen by Duo. More logical would be either to make the point clearer and shape the English sentence in a more defined way to avoid ambiguity, or to allow both Polish variants. The current situation, not very logical, makes the user memorise rather than understand the principle and use it knowingly.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Popo-lsku

I understand what you mean, but the english sentence, what we have to translate into polish, starts with the knowledge of the desk, too!? Isn´t it?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Popo-lsku

"Biurko jest..." really translates to "The desk is...". OK, that´s it! Thank you Jellei !!! :)


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

If the English sentence was to end in an exclamation point or question mark, it would be a good translation from either side. Otherwise we are translating an English sentence where we know the existence and location of the desk into a Polish sentence where we do not.


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

FINALLY! I understand your point. I retract my statement ;-)

"There is a desk" - using the indefinite article 'a' is in the word of Jellei 'unknown'

If the English sentence was "The desk..." , using the definite article 'the', then we would have a 'known' item which we could place at the beginning of the Polish sentence.


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

The additional punctuation from the English side would imply that the existence of the desk was unknown.


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

Why would an exclamation mark or a question mark change something here?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mrd815495

So then the English sentence should be changed to reflect what Duo expects as the Polish answer otherwise it's not really translating the English text it's morphing it in to something different to appease Duo.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jeanette364461

But the english version of the sentence starts with the desk, ie the desk is known about first.


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

Well... the word "desk" is closer to the beginning of the sentence, but as it's "a desk", while you also have "the window" and "the door", I believe that you learn about the existence of this desk only after hearing this sentence.


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

On top, I didn't learn about między so far ;)


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

Well, when translating from english "there is a desk..." i cannot catch a difference between polish sentences


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

If this is explained in a tips section for one of the modules, it would be greatly appreciated if they'd be added to the app soon (like, ASAP). I know I could just find them on the desktop version, but the app is so useful & convenient for my busy lifestyle, despite having to continually get certain nuances wrong before getting to read the comments to learn how to think about it.


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

I'm afraid Duolingo won't put the current T&N in the app version, until the new format (available e.g. for Spanish) will be available for all the courses.


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

On the polish wiktionary page for drzwi I noticed that there isn't a plural version for drzwi. Is that right or is it just not on the webpage?


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

there is no singular version of drzwi. It is always plural like trousers


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

Why instrumental and not locative?


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

While of course Locative is used for many locations, it's not for every preposition denoting location. "między" is among those others, and it uses Instrumental. A few others (nad, pod, za, przed, probably something else) do as well.


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

Is the preposition usually used to start the sentence in Polish? It is sometimes awkward to do so in English.


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

It's common to start the sentence with the preposition ("Na ścianie wisi obraz" - "On the wall there hangs a painting" woah that sounds so weird in English). I'd say you start a sentence with the preposition when you're speaking about "a picture" (not defined), but when you want to say about "the picture" (defined) you start with the noun because you want to put an emphasis on the thing you're describing ("Obraz wisi na ścianie" - "The picture hangs on the wall"). But that's just a subtle difference, basically a matter of what you want to emphasize. But starting with a noun in this case ("Wisi na ścianie obraz") sounds very unnatural unless it's poetry.


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

This sentence is normal. If I were to say: Biurko jest ... that would probably be: The desk is ...

To say „a desk” I would use aforementioned order or add another word: „Jakieś biurko jest ...”.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/OlegOleg747282

can 'a' be used instead of 'i' and what is the difference?


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

"i" is a normal "and", "a" gives contrast. So here, it can work just fine. Doesn't really make any important difference in this sentence. But in most cases, only one of those makes sense.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Xavier.eH

Could it also translate to "Between the window and the door, there is a desk."?


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

Yes, it works.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sana672658

why is "to jest biurko pomiędzy oknem i drzwiami" not accepted?


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

It means "This is a desk [...]", not "There is a desk [...]".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pam833405

I still hate this sentence. 'Between the window and the door is the desk' is a logical english sentence and a translation of the polish.


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

Moreover, it's listed as an accepted answer.


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

Why is "To biurko pomiędzy oknem i drzwiami" wrong? Thanks.


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

It misses a verb.

"To biurko" generally means "This desk", it may also possibly mean "This is a desk" but rather when you're pointing at it. "To biurko pomiędzy..." definitely seems to miss something.


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

Thanks. Hmm so will it be possible with masculine or feminine nouns since "to" can only mean" to jest" in these cases? "To torba pomiędzy oknem i drzwiami".


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

It's still weird to say: This is 'a bag between the window and the door'. As if the part put in inverted commas was one noun phrase. This is a bag, and where it is located is another matter.


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

What is the plural of door?


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

"drzwi" only have a plural form in Polish.


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

I thought drzwiami was a plural. Mea Culpa


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

Could be singular or plural, but that's Locative.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Inge452707

Why not: "to jest biurko pomiędzy oknem i drzwiami"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JaniceSchl1

There is a lack of lessons overall. I thought the Duo Plus would explain more. It doesn't and was a waste of money.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Inge452707

There is no such promise. With the plus version you get rid of the advertisements.

For the explanations: I always get them in the discussions. I ask and I get an answer. And in the Polish course, the answers usually are given quickly.

For me, just doing the exercises of the crown levels one by one is not enough to memorise the vocabulary, word order and grammar in polish. So I often only use the practice button and do a lot of Tinycards.


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

What Inge said.

If you want Prime service that is essentially basic, you can try Busuu. I am - for my part - very happy with my basic Duolingo, and to be honest, I learn much about the structure of the language by "hey, what is that?! Lets look into discussion. Ahhhh... Okay? Hm. Strange, too. Okay, let's ask about this. - Cool, got it, thx." I think you even can't teach some details in normal lessons, like, to explain in each sentence why this verb or that case is used like that. Duolingo does way more, optional to see by one tap or click. And if not, as Inge said, you can ask for it. For free ^^


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JaniceSchl1

What case is biurko?


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

you wouldn't use biurku?


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

It's the wrong form. You need Nominative, 'biurku' is Locative or Dative.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Wiesaw268747

Why not: "Biurko jest pomiędzy oknem a drzwiami"?


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

Oryginalne zdanie mówi "co znajduje się między oknem a drzwiami".

Twoje zdanie mówi "gdzie jest biurko".


The original sentence says "what is located between the window and the door".

Your sentence says "where the desk is".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jan61006

Why "biurko jest pomiędzy oknem a drzwiami" is not accepted? I think there is a bug in Duolingo, because this form for me is correct. I'm from Poland and for me this answer should be accepted.


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

Please read the other comments, for example my comment that is displayed just above yours right now: "To zdanie informujące o istnieniu biurka, więc biurko nie może być na pierwszym miejscu".

Your sentence translates to "The desk is between the window and the door".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/amyb317

This might sound like a strange question - previously we used "nie ma" to say "There is not", why can we not use "ma" for "there is". So could it be, "Pomiędzy oknem i drzwiami ma biurko". I know this is probably wrong but I'm struggling to see the difference. Thanks!


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

The Polish translation of "there is not" uses a weird construction, "nie ma". That's something you need to remember.

The translation of "there is" is much more logical, using the actual verb "to be", not "to have" like in the negated one.

Your sentence makes some sense, but only if you translate "ma" literally as "has". "Between the window and the door [known 3rd person singular subject] has a desk".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/amyb317

Thank you - makes a lot of sense now.


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

My Polish native wife also agrees that the sentence "biurko jest pomiędzy oknem i drzwiami" should be accepted. Way too nit picky


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

Well, I'm sorry you consider it too nitpicky, but we won't change our minds on not turning the grammatical construction 180 degrees.


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

This answer insists on a pwrticular word order which is not required. Unfair answer


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

Let me guess, you wanted to answer with "The desk is..."? No, that is not a correct translation.

If my guess is wrong, please provide your answer so we can comment whether it should have been accepted or not.


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

Biurko jest między oknem a drzwiami. Tak jest prawidlowo po Polsku


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

Tak jest prawidłowo, jeśli wiesz, że ktoś w ogóle ma w pokoju jakieś biurko.

P.S. Jak już jesteśmy przy tym, co jest prawidłowe, to pisze się "po polsku".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jarek7781

Biurko jest między oknem i drzwiami - gdzie jest błąd?


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

Czytaj poprzednie komentarze.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gavinwhite857753

Why is buirko nominative please?


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

I think we could say that it's the subject of the sentence, even if it's in an unusual position.

P.S. Typo, "biurko".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gavinwhite857753

That makes sense,thank you


[deactivated user]

    Why do we not use biurko as instrumental, since it is after być?


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

    We use Instrumental in "[noun] is [noun]" or "[pronoun] is [noun]" sentences. Not where "something is somewhere".


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

    "Biurko jest między oknem i drzwiami" - why is wrong?


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

    To musiałoby być "The desk is...".

    Konstrukcja "There is a desk..." oznacza, że informujemy o istnieniu biurka, nie może więc ono być podmiotem polskiego zdania.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ewa24036

    Jest biurko pomiędzy oknem i drzwiami. To jest poprawnie po polsku

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