"Nie mogę napisać tego za ciebie."
Translation:I cannot write this instead of you.
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Usually I type instead of using the word bank but decided to try tapping instead of typing to give myself a chance to get used to the new verb forms.
An interesting thing here is that "instead of you" is not offered in the word bank, only "for you". I thought nothing of that, since "for you" is exactly what I would say in English in this context. It was marked wrong.
Also, "instead" is not offered as a translation of "za" in Wiktionary.
However, I understand that the important thing here is that I know that in Polish it is "za ciebie". :-)
I agree. Typing is absolutely the way to go. I have been working on Polish for over a year now and have always restricted myself to typing. Then when I got to past perfective, it seemed like to much too soon, so I decided to stop moving forward in the tree and just review verb forms. Using the word bank during my review of the perfective allowed me to concentrate more on the verbs and less on the pronoun forms, for example.
Funny you should mention those particular words. I remember my very first polish lessons when "mężczyzna", "dziewczynka" and "ciasteczka" seemed so daunting, and now it feels quite natural to use them and spell them.
Here „Zamiast” would also refer to pisać.
Nie mogę napisać tego zamiast ciebie. Would be understood like: Nie mogę napisać tego zamiast (napisać) ciebie. Hm. It's something like this: I cannot change the thing I write from you to this.
Wybieram ją zamiast ciebie = I choose her instead of you.
Wybieram ją za ciebie = I choose her and give you away. Alternatively: I choose her, but I's you who originally should choose.
Well, but if you want someone to write this essay that you're supposed to hand in tomorrow, you would want it to be written as a whole, not just started.
"Nie mogę pisać tego za ciebie" would sound like "I cannot write your weekly column in the New York Times for you, I'm busy on Fridays!"
I see. So niedokonany is a valid sentence, it just means something completely different.
By the way, is there any pattern at all to how to change the perfective form of a verb to the imperfective or vice versa? At this point it looks completely random to me.
Edit: Typo. Thanks Jerry!
" I may not write this instead of you." means that somebody has forbidden me to do so, whereas "cannot" should mean that I don't have the capability do so so. However, using "may" in this sense is very old-fashioned, and has pretty much dropped out of use in the U.K., to the despair of the older generation of English teachers. I think it's more common in the U.S.A; for example: Q to a wait-person: "Can I have another glass of wine?" A:"Yes, you may."
Then the question would have to be : "May I have another glass of water ?"
"May I" and "You may" are no longer common in the U.S. even though I still hear it in some more formal contexts and even still use it in certain circumstances.
Usually, if someone answers the question "Can I ... ?" with "You may", it someone of an older generation (or an English teacher) trying to "correct" the younger person or teach him/her the form "may".
Yes, you could imagine the situation that you have to write an essay and don't know how to do it. So I say "I can help you, but I cannot write it for you. You have to do it yourself". To use "instead of you" here would sound rather odd in English, but that's the literal translation of the Polish sentence.