"Lepiej tego nie rób."

Translation:You had better not do this.

March 12, 2016

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Super correctly would be to say: "you had better not do this". "You better not do this" sounds marginally ungrammatical, though it may technically not be.


Added "you had better not do this".


How about: 'Better not to do this'. It may not be grammatical but many people choose to say this. If your sentence had Robisz not rób then I would agree your translation, but rób is imperative?


Yes, "rób" is imperative and therefore it translates simply to "do". Just like "Do it" is imperative.

"Better not to do this" means "It is inadvisable to do this", right? So it's "Lepiej tego nie robić".

You can easily imagine that there's nothing wrong about 'this' generally, but 'you' shouldn't do it. So in this sentence it's really too much.


In GB English, the "to" is too much, and jars, so "Better not do this" is better here ;-)


I like it when we get these sentences that have numerous possible word orders and possible translations into English. It's fun. Definitely, in such examples it makes one realise just how difficult learning English can also be for Polish students.


Could this also mean "Don't do better than this"?


Literally, it would be "don't do it better", but I think some additional info/word is needed for that context, or at least "nie rób tego lepiej"


Thanks, immery! I realize that there could be less ambiguous ways to say the sentence with the alternative meaning, but I was curious if there was some reason the original sentence could not have both meanings.


Technically yes, but it would be easy to confuse. Just compare how often you need to say somebody each sentence and you'll see why. Maybe something like „Zrób to nie lepiej niż tak”?


Hmm. "you better don't do this"?


I was told that it doesn't really work in English, unless it's something regional...


"You'd better not do this!"


How about: It's better for you to not do it


Well, that's not a sentence in the imperative mood.


"...not to do it" would be better than "...to not do it".


I have both hearing aids in and I hear time and again, lepi, the e and j are silent.


Would tend to agree, for the male voice at least. Compare with https://translate.google.com/#view=home&op=translate&sl=auto&tl=en&text=Lepiej (and click the speaker button)


"Jedi są przeciwko mnie. Ty lepiej tego nie rób!!"


"better to not do this" would be a more literal translation, and conveys the same meaning


"better not to do this" sounds like a general warning. In some context it might be directed to one person, but nothing in the sentence itself tell us that. In Polish it would be expressed as "lepiej tego nie robić".

"lepiej tego nie rób" is unambiguously directed at one person that you are talking to at the moment. The lack of personal pronouns doesn't mean we have to guess, because Polish grammar have other ways of making the subject clear. It's also a more direct way to express it than the former version using infinitive.


I'm afraid that this is not a sentence in English, as there is no subject. And it's not even more literal. The Polish sentence clearly has a second person singular subject which is implied in the verb conjugation (rób).


Au contraire. As in the Polish version, the subject is IMPLIED. Admittedly, the implication is at least as subtle as in Polish. Given the number of examples on Duolingo po polsku where this occurs, that should not shock you. BUT, it is not the end of the world, either :-D


Why is the implication subtle in Polish? Rób is second person singular imperative, there is no ambiguity.

'...to not do' on the other hand is an infinitive, there is no subject at all.

We could add a dummy subject to make it a complete sentence: "It would be better to not do this." But even then, it's still a general statement, not an imperative. And still no indication which person it refers to (we? you? they?).


Please trust me on this one. To a native speaker, it may have all the subtlety of a falling piano. People don't LEARN their native language. They ACQUIRE it. And therein lies the distinction. :-D


Sometimes i feel like I am learning English, not Polish.


Well... yeah, one kinda learns both here.

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