"O czym myślisz?"

Translation:What are you thinking about?

April 10, 2016

This discussion is locked.


I was always taught that proper English does not end sentences with prepositions, but this is an old rule and leads to even older style sentences like "About what are you thinking".


In case you would like to read more about the rule's origins: https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/why-cant-you-end-a-sentence-with-a-preposition

It's indeed an old and preposterous rule I would not generally follow. I usually make it a question of aesthetics rather than a coercive mantra that determined one's fidelity to the English grammar.


That article was disappointing and more obsessed about Dreyden than really offering insight on preposition stranding. It's pretty hilarious when people such as yourself call the rule "preposterous" when as far as I can tell every other Indo-European language has this rule (with very few exceptions). Why do people always think that imposing common sense, universal grammatical rules on English is based on Latin principles, when such rules were far more likely inherited from its direct antecedents: Old French and Old English. And is it really such an outrageous idea that a word which governs an object should have that object written directly after it, especially in an analytic language? I really don't understand most of these anti-prescriptivist arguments.


Europe and many other areas of the world are linguistically so diverse due to the fact that languages evolve and digress from one another. The features that changed compared to their predecessors is what makes those languages distinct, it's what makes English English. Adhering to certain rules, which belong to a former stage of development of a language, but ignoring other rules that were observed at the same time in the past is a highly arbitrary and unjustifiable decision.

I often like to compare language evolution to biological evolution. This is like trying to convince every human on earth to surgically attach a tail to their coccyx, because that's what all our ancestors used to have. Now that would be preposterous, wouldn't it?

It is believed that during the course of history languages go through a circular development, where they switch back and forth between being analytic and synthetic. English being analytic is just a stage the language is currently in, and there's no point in clinging to rules that may be associated with that classification.


Thanks for your comment. I'm certainly not arguing that the evolution of language is a bad idea, nothing I've written suggests that. I don't agree with everything you've said but I appreciate you taking the time.


At least in terms of this issue, we do not need to go as far back as the PIE languages as syntactical structures as much of its vocabulary derives from mere opinions and constructions artificially retrieved through analysis of known lexical expressions. I am neither well-trained in either language, Old French or Old English, but at least about the latter I know quite a few things, including its strict relation with the Germanic languages, so that I could certainly opine that there is no rule that tells for prepositions must never be left in the back of the sentence. It seldom is even possible in high German, let alone in its ancient dialects.

As for Latin principles, I didn't say that at least in this comment, but as I haven't read the article I linked for a couple of years now, I do believe that it was mentioned as the reason by the man who introduced the “rule”. I still would agree if you said that it didn't make sense to apply rules of grammar derived from languages that did not have even the smallest impact on the language to which one would like to apply the prospected rule, it likely didn't even match up with preexisting conditions in the subjected language.


doesn't work well with "Mayday! Mayday! We are sinking!" joke.


In Polish you can try to think of something using "Toniemy!" (We are sinking) and "To nie my!" (It is not us/It wasn't us) ;)

Even "To nie my toniemy!" (It is not us who is sinking), although I have doubts about it being a funny joke.


I frequently say 'Of what are you thinking?' of, substituting for about, but I guess ye computer considers that a trifle archaic


The "about" seems normal to me a retired English teacher.


Why are you to use "czym" here?


"thinking about X" = myśleć o X.

When "o" means "about" (on some topic), it takes Locative. "czym" is Locative of "co" (what).


Oh god! I did not know that. Thank you so much. These answer, even simple, has been really revealing for me.


What are you thinking of?

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Is the pronounciation in the audio for this one realistic? To me it sounds like there is something between the two m's, but I don't know if it is meant to sound like that or not.


The problem is that Duolingo is conducting an experiment with a new voice, so right now I can't be sure if I hear the same one as you - I hear the new, male voice but perhaps you still hear the female one. Anyway, the male one seems good to me apart from the intonation, which is of a declarative sentence. Nothing apart from a short pause to separate two words is there.

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