"Uwierzyłaś nam?"

Translation:Did you believe us?

April 3, 2016

22 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/tgbarnett

"have you believed us" is an awkward answer. Normally I'd say "did you believe us"

April 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/DarkDireDragon

"Did you believe us?" is a valid answer :)

July 11, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/WarsawWill

"Did you believe us?" is THE valid answer, and now appears to be the answer Duo's giving. We wouldn't use Present Perfect here, although it would be possible with "ever" or "never".

May 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/mihxal

It seems that these sentences are a bit different but Polish sentence can mean both.

April 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/WarsawWill

But not here. See my other comments.

May 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/mihxal

So how would you translate "Wierzyłaś nam?" Is it better when two different sentences are translated in the same way? Or maybe it is beneficial for learners to underline some difference? The issue has already been raised. You can read this discussion where immery provides some biblical quote: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/13389795

May 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/WarsawWill

Part 1. Hi. That's going to involve a bit of work. There seems to be a problem with that discussion in that it seems to totally ignore the fact that not all verbs in English function in the same way, and that "believe", in particular, is used in very specific ways. This is perhaps an inherent problem with the translation method of language learning.

I haven't read it all yet, but for starters, being a state verb, "believe" is not used in Continuous, so "I was not believing" is not possible. (Although it's OK in Indian English).

We don't normally use it in Present Perfect in affirmative statements either. But questions with "ever" and negatives with "never" are possible:
"Have you ever believed us?"
"You have never believed us"

And in some examples on that page where Present Perfect is being used, we'd in fact use Present Simple. In fact "believe" is overwhelmingly used in Simple aspect.

As for the biblical quote:
Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."

Firstly it's in biblical language, which is not necessarily a good model for everyday English, and secondly "believe" is being used intransitively here (without an object), which does not happen in normal English except to say that you have religious faith, and here again it tends only to be used in Simple tenses.

So I think the answer to your question is simply "You believed us" or possibly "You used to believe us". Here's an example from that discussion:

*"Nigdy nie wierzyli córce co do jej chłopaków" *

We have, I think, three options, but we need to add a couple of words for it to make better sense in English:

"They never believed (what) their daughter (said) about her boyfriends."

In the second option we substitute "never used to believe" for "never believed", and in the third "used to say" for "said". (But we wouldn't usually use two used tos together).

I'll perhaps add a bit more when I've had a better look at that page (which needs a lot of correcting from the English point of view, I'm afraid).

May 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/mihxal

Yes, I know that it is not used in Continous tenses and nobody claims that it is. But then how to explain to someone the difference between "uwierzył" and "wierzył" if you translate both sentences as Past Simple?

May 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/WarsawWill

But yes, some were putting forward Continuous on that page. How to tell the difference? First of all, I have to say that I'm not an expert on the Polish usage, so I'm guessing a bit, but in a word, as with almost all translation - context:

"When she told him she was leaving him he didn't believe her"
Specific event at a specific time - "uwierzyć"?

"When she was very young she always believed her sisters when they told her it was Santa Claus who brought her all those presents
Permanent state or repeated action in the past - "wierzyć"?

But most important, people should realise that the verb systems in the two languages are very different, and should try to think in the verb system of the target language, try to feel it, not translate tense for tense from their own. In fact I try to ignore the more technical explanations in the comment pages, and just note what Polish verb forms are used in what contexts - you can sometimes have too much grammar. And that's coming from somebody who used to write a grammar blog!

With my Polish students of English, Polish tenses are rarely mentioned (everything is in English), except that with lower levels I sometimes point out that with action verbs dokonany tends to equate to Past Simple, and niedokonany often equates to Past Continuous. But it's not a perfect fit, and we don't include Present Perfect (the most difficult tense for Polish learners to get their heads round) in this distinction, as the concept behind Present Perfect doesn't exist in Polish, just as the concept of perfective and imperfective doesn't really exist in English.

May 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/mihxal

So you are not an expert in Polish and yet you know how it should be translated, am I right? Regarding your advice to think in a target language. Yes, you can do this if you understand some basic concepts. Moreover, you should achieve decent vocabulary. Otherwise, your medium of expression is rather crude and limited. So maybe you will provide interpretation to every sentence?

May 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/WarsawWill

Part 2 . I've added a couple of comments on that other page. So were my hunches right then? To be honest, my ideas about Imperfective mainly come from the use of Imperfect in Romance languages, which I think is fairly similar to that of Imperfective Past in Polish.

May 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/mihxal

Mostly yes, but it doesn't mean that there is only one way to answer the question. I argued why Present Perfect should be accepeted and perhaps even preferred. The default answer doesn't have to be the most natural or the most usual way of expressing. Essentially, it may be subjective.

Present Perfect option may be also accepted for imperfective "wierzyć" but with different meaning than with the perfective "uwierzyć".

May 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/WarsawWill

So, sorry, as a native English speaker who dislikes seeing my language mistaught, I have to disagree - "believed" is rarely used in Present Perfect in an affirmative statement; that is not subjective, it's a fact.

https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=I+believed%2CI+have+believed

I'm afraid your reply goes against all my experience and intuition as an English teacher and language blogger. Of course the most natural answer should be the default answer: the whole point of language teaching is to use natural language. Apart from anything else so that the student can get a feel for what the target sentence actually means in their own language. It makes no sense at all to me to have as the preferred option a sentence that no native speaker would say. And which would suggest to the many non-native speakers on this course that we actually spoke like that.

But thanks for putting me on to that other page. All the best.

http://en.bab.la/dictionary/english-polish/believe

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english-polish/believe

May 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/mihxal

Interesting diagram but I am not sure how it should be read. There are big fluctuations within 50 years. In some periods both sentences reach even 0. Before 1700 there was a big rise in "I have believed" (when it was even more popular than "I believed") and then suddenly it reached 0.

Since 1900 to 1975 both were declining and then both started rasing. Nowadays, "I have believed" is used less often than in 1900. While "I believed" reached the level from 1900.

BTW, Are you sure that "nobody" and "never"?

How do you get a feel for what the target sentence actually means when it is not expressed explicitly in your own language? Notice that this course is not used only by English native speakers. So what does "Did you believe us?" mean in Polish? Are you able to translate it? Or are you supposed to and an interpretation to every sentence?

May 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/WarsawWill

I'm a native speaker English teacher who is simply concerned about the use of natural English, and I think I've said everything I need to say. For the Polish, you need to ask a competent Polish speaker, which I am not.

May 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/mihxal

You don't need to say anything. Basically, you claim that you know when you don't know. That's all.

May 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/LICA98

most of these "have" answers are awkward, they just put them here to emphasize the past perfect

November 7, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/WarsawWill

Hi. But this is more than awkward, it's not natural English. And as dokonany more often equates to Past Simple there's no need to use unnatural sentences like this. Especially when it seems that a lot of those doing this course aren't native speakers of English, which is really great. I'm a language teacher, and I don't believe it's ever justified to mangle one language to teach another.

The good news, however, is that Duo is now showing the answer in Past Simple, at least in the Android app. Well done Marek et al.

May 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/WarsawWill

Hi Tim (tg). I'd go further and substitute "always" for your "normally", unless we added "ever". :)

May 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Walkinthedog

So how do you say, do you believe us?

April 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/alik1989

"Wierzysz nam?"

April 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Walkinthedog

Dzieki.

April 6, 2019
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