"Chcę zjeść coś dobrego."
Translation:I want to eat something good.
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Polish ditinguishes between perfective and imperfective verbs:
jeść [imperfective] - zjeść [perfective]
So this sentence means something like: "I want to have eaten something good".
"Chcę jeść coś dobrego" would mean that "I want to be eating something good [now]" or "I want to eat something good [regularly]"
Often one English verb can translate to 2, 3 (or even more) different verbs in Polish, depending on tense (and additional adverb) used in English phrase. See "Aspect of Verbs in Polish, Verbs of Singular, Multiple and Completed actions"
I think dobrego is an adjective describing the noun coś, which appears to be in the Accusative. Is dobrego in the Genitive, or is it actually Accusative masculine personal or animate? If Genitive, why would that be? If Accusative, what makes it personal or animate as opposed to the expected inanimate (assuming the something you want to eat is not still alive and kicking :-)
I thought I was getting the hang of perfective, and then I skidded off the road with this one. This is not a completed action, and it is something you want now, not in the future, and present does not exist in the perfective. And of course I want to eat something good, but I might go to a restaurant and have a bad meal. I have read all the Forums on perfective/imperfective and durative, (which I assume is perfective?), and still I am completely in the dark as to why this is perfective. I still haven't found anything that really explains aspect; there is this occult and maybe even capricious quality to it. Thanks for the help!
Please do not consider the Polish "perfective" to be the same as the English "perfective". And Polish "durative" is another name for "imperfective".
In Polish, when you say that you want something and you use a durative/imperfective verb - it means that someone wants something just for the reason of doing it. See:
- Chcę pić zawsze moją poranną w spokoju, proszę nigdy mi nie przeszkadzaj między 8 a 8:30 rano. - I want to be always having my morning coffee in peace, please never disturb me between 8:00 and 8:30 am.
- Chcę spędzać całe moje życie z Tobą - I want to be spending all my life with you. (I want to enjoy every moment of my life because of having you at my side.) - it is probably not the most common usage of Present Continuous, but you would understand if someone said that, wouldn't you?
But you may also want something with a perfective verb. Some perfective verbs focus on starting something, some focus on completing that. The verb "zjeść" has a focus on the completion of an action.
- Chcę zjeść coś dobrego. - I want to eat something tasty (I want my desire to be fulfilled.)
- Chcę spędzić całe moje życie z Tobą - I want to spend all my life with you. (I want to be with you till the end of my life.)
You may read something more about the aspect of Polish verbs here: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/12724322
"coś" is neuter http://sgjp.pl/leksemy/#90003/co%C5%9B - more precisely, n2 = 2-nd type of neuter i.e. it takes cardinal numerals, while nouns type n1 take collective numerals https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish_grammar#Numbers_and_quantifiers
You may check the pronunciation in wikitionary. Not all the words, but there are many words there, and a big part of them with their pronunciation. In the English wiktionary, there is IPA phonetic alphabet, but in the Polish version, there is also AS version , which is more practical for Slavic languages. In AS, the softened consonants are marked with a
' sign (placed after or above the letter - depending on whether a letter with that mark exists or not). You may compare: