"Pracowałam przez sześć godzin."

Translation:I was working for six hours.

March 27, 2016

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Please. It is not about the verb but it is an issue that is important. Can someone remind me the weird things with numbers? the different forms that words take depending on what number is before them? like lat and lata, or żłoty, żłote, żłotych or i dont know what else??? like here for example. would it be jedna godzina, dwie ??? and siedem godzin. and with which numbers you have which different form of words? THANKS a lot!


jedna godzina ( normal cases, singular)

dwie, trzy cztery godziny (22,23,24, 32,33,34 ...)(normal cases, plural)

pięć (6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,---25,26,27...) godzin

N pięć godzin (nom+gen)
G pięciu godzin (gen+gen)
D pięciu godzinom (dat+dat)
A pięć godzin (acc+gen)
I pięcioma godzinami (instr+instr)
L pięciu godzinach (loc+loc)

in this sentence you need accusative so: jedną godzinę
dwie, trzy cztery godziny
pięć sześć, siedem ... godzin


Thank you, immerry! Your explanation sheds light on our difficulties of learning the numbers in Polish. One lingot for you!


Great explanation although remembering which to use in which kind of context seems ridiculously hard to impossible


There are two correct translations suggested - "I was working" and "I have been working." The former implies that all work was completed at sometime in the past, whereas the latter implies that the work in the past is continuing into the present. Can the imperfect past tense be understood either sense? If so, how do you distinguish which meaning is being conveyed.


how do you distinguish which meaning is being conveyed?

you can't which is why English tenses are so incredibly hard.

This is hard even harder with pracować, which does not have good perfective equivalent.

Lets use different verb "prasować"=to iron

Prasować is imperfective. Wyprasować is perfective.

Prasuję to od sześciu godzin - I have been ironing for six hours, I'm still doing it.

Prasowałam to przez sześć godzin- I was ironing it for six hours, I have been ironing it for six hours - I spent six hours ironing it, I'm not doing it anymore, but it's not clear if it's actually ironed.

Wyprasowałam to w sześć godzin - It took me six hours to iron it. It's finished.


This makes this and the perfective verb section seem much more understandable,. I wonder why they didn't put the two sections back to back. Anyway, thank you for explaining



Thanks! One lingot for you!

I translated your excellent text into Portuguese to help other Portuguese speakers in this so difficult task of learning the perfect and imperfect aspects of Polish verbs.

Eu traduzi o seu excelente texto para o Português, para auxiliar outros falantes do Português nessa tarefa dificílima de aprender os perfectivos e imperfectivos aspectos dos verbos poloneses.

Prasować é imperfectivo. Wyprasować é perfectivo.

Prasuję to od sześciu godzin - Eu estou engomando isto por seis horas, eu ainda estou fazendo isso.

Prasowałam to przez sześć godzin - eu estive engomando por seis horas, eu engomei durante seis horas - eu passei seis horas engomando, eu não estou fazendo isso mais, mas não está claro se a roupa está realmente engomada.

Wyprasowałam to w sześć godzin - Levei seis horas para engomá-lo. Está concluído.


That basically made me understand the difference between the tenses...ty jesteś najlepszy!!


One thing: as immery is a woman, that's "Jesteś najlepsza" in this case :)

  • 2554

In most cases, to know which English tense should be used, you have to make it out of the context. Often, when we describe something that is still taking place, we use rather present tense, but past tense also can be used, with some special words, adding some meaning.

  • Pracuję (present tense, durative verb) od (od, not przez) sześciu godzin - I have been working for six hours (and I am still working)
  • Pracowałem (past tense, durative verb) przez sześć godzin - I have been working for six hours (and I still do, but it is totally unknown whether the work is completed) OR AS WELL I was working for six hours (then I stopped, but but it is unknown whether the work is completed).
  • Wypracowałem (past tense, perfectibe verb) to przez sześć godzin - I have compleded (worked out) that within six hours.
  • Przepracowałem (past tense, perfectibe verb) sześć godzin - I have worked for six hours.

See also: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/12724322


It is usually clear from context what you mean. Imperfective verbs accent the fact of lasting of the action and "working" can be treated as continous action. If I have been working till now, it doesn't have to mean that I haven't finished it. Neither "I was working for six hours" has to mean that I finished it, it just accents its continous property.


Thanks for this useful confirmation!


Neither of those conclusions is totally right. "I was working" means that you ceased working at some time in the past but it does not imply that your work was completed. E.g. you could say: "In the 80s I was working on a triple homicide for a whole year, it remains unsolved to this day." I have been working is incorrect in this case because there's no connection between the work and the present.

On the other hand, "I have been working" does not require the work to continue into the present, it merely requires the work to affect the present. E.g. if you did two shifts of janitorial work on Monday and Tuesday night, with no intention of ever working as a janitor again, on Thursday night you could still say: "This week I have been working as a janitor." The work was completed in the current week so there's still a connection to the present even though the work is completed.

I think that people sometimes fall in the trap of defining English aspects in terms of completion, when that's not it at all.


I'm still a bit confused by this. I would have translated "pracowałem przez 6 godzin" as "I was working..." or "I worked...". Br0d4 says it can mean "I've been working ( but it's unclear if the work is complete)" - but if the work were complete you wouldn't be working any more so that doesn't make sense to me. I would have translated "I've been working for 6 hours" as "pracuję od sieściu godziń" . Can someone help me understand how it can be the other sentence? (Sorry I know it's been explained but I still don't get it)


Yes, simple "I was working" seems to be a better answer. Changed now.

"I have been working" also works, although of course it suggests that I am still at work. But that's possible. Also, it's not the only interpretation anyway. It could be "I am tired, because I have been working for six hours".

"Pracuję od sześciu godzin" :)


Yes if you modify it with a reason like you have it does make sense to translate it as "have been"

  • 2554

if the work were complete you wouldn't be working any more so that doesn't make sense to me.

It is not strange that someone stops working on given task after some time, goes home, takes a sleep, and the next day continues working on the same task, until it is completed.... ;-)


Why not "I was working over 6 hours"? It can be interpreted as both "for" 6 hours, and for more than six hours, but I think it should work here, especially with the use of przez.


Is przed before, but przez means for?


More generally przez means 'through', but of course prepositions never translate exactly between any languages, which is why it can sometimes be translated as 'for'. I would have said that przed means 'in front of' but I suppose that's the same in English as 'before' really.


I was working during six hours


I asked and got an answer that this doesn't really make sense in English.


That's a pretty weird thing to say. It sounds like you're talking about a particular day, and you're saying that if you made a list of all of the 24 hours in that day, and then you put a dot next to each hour in which you spent at least some amount of time working, then there would be at least 6 dots.


why can't i say i was working six hours


Unless the sentence said something like "I was working 6 hours a week", this doesn't seem to be correct in English.

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