"I cannot do it."

Translation:Nie mogę tego zrobić.

May 29, 2016

4 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Zed895

how could I know that it is 'zrobić' instead of 'robić'?

May 29, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Jellei
Mod
  • 3

What is distinguished in English as perfective/imperfective, is called in Polish dokonany/niedokonany. Roughly translating: accomplished/not accomplished. Zrobić is 'accomplished' - you did it, finished the job. Robić is not. By logic, you cannot use verbs that are 'accomplished' (perfective) in present tense.

Here, the precise difference would be:

Nie mogę tego zrobić (you asked me to do something, and I cannot do it. by 'do it' we understand accomplishing it to the very end)

Nie mogę tego robić = I cannot be doing that. For example, a man cheating on his wife, who suddenly realizes that he loves his wife and has to stop the affair, can say to his lover: Nie mogę (dłużej) tego robić = I cannot be doing that (any longer). OK, that would probably still be simple 'do' in English, but I hope it helps.

May 29, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Zed895

Thank you

May 29, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Rimdus

Good explanation about perfective and imperfective. I hope someday not far to have this course in Spanish too.

May 13, 2018
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