"That small animal is a dog."

Translation:Tamto małe zwierzę to pies.

May 29, 2016

This discussion is locked.


I don't understand why sometimes they use "to" to translate is


That's just a way of creating sentences of the "X is Y" type, with both X and Y usually being nouns or noun phrases. They're both used in Nominative.

  • Pies to zwierzę (A dog is an animal).
  • Twój tata to miły człowiek (Your father is a nice man)
  • Poprawna odpowiedź to "Czechy" (The correct answer is "Czech Republic")

But not only:

  • Zielony to mój ulubiony kolor (Green is my favourite colour) - this could go the other way round as well.

This does not go well with using pronouns ("On to lekarz" would be a rather unnatural sentence), so be careful.


But is using "to" in both instances not repetitive? Can in not be replaced by "jest"?


Yeah, a bit, and Polish doesn't like repetitions. Sure, the second one could be replaced by "jest".


I tried "Tamto małe zwierzę jest pies" and it was rejected, is that normal?


Should be rejected. Correct versions are: „Tamto małe zwierzę to pies” (to requires noun in nominative) or „Tamto małe zwierze jest psem” (noun in instrumental).


As far as I understand, "Pies, to zwierzę" is a short form of "Pies, to jest zwierzę". The verb may but does not necessarily need to be silent. Therefore, could we possibly accept the bellow translation? "Tamto małe zwierzę, to jest pies."


and what about : moim ulubionym kolorem jest zielony ?


That is correct. It's also the less common word order, in which the first part takes Instrumental, not the last part, as usually. But it makes more sense, if you're asked 'what's your favourite colour', then the information about the actual colour usually ends up at the end of the Polish sentence. But still only the 'colour' part can take Instrumental, because it's "Green is a colour", not "A colour is a green" (which is nonsense).


Thanks a lot for your quick reply

  • 1478

Do these two following sentences have the same meaning? Tamto małe zwierze to pies. & Tamto małe zwierze jest psem. And if they do, which is more correct and common in Polish?


Those constructions are equivalent and generally mean the same, although of course there are some shades of meaning, which are rather hard to explain. "to" is a bit like a "=" sign. "jest" is more... like a description. That animal belongs to the canine family.

In this particular sentence, I would choose "to". A simple "Yup, that's a dog". But on the learner's level, they're generally similar enough.


I just used the Tamto małe zwierzę jest psem and it said I was wrong. Guess I'm gonna tell it that in fact it is wrong


A report that matches the timestamp of your comment says that you used "tamten" instead of "tamto".


Yeah I think I figured that out after I made this comment but couldn't figure out how to get back to it.


Oh, why can't I say "tamto małe zwierzę jest pies"? "Tamto małe zwierzę to pies" - is right?


In such a sentence ("[noun] is [noun]"), you can either use "to" + Nominative case ("... to pies") or "jest" + Instrumental case ("... jest psem").

"jest pies" would be wrong here.

More info: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/16373167


Uważam, że tłumaczenie "tamto małe zwierzę, to jest pies" nie jest błędne. Tak mówimy również w wielu sytuacjach codziennych, np. do dzieci. Tłumaczenie "tamto małe zwierzę to pies" jest skrótem, do którego dla uczących się języka, lepiej przejść później.


Większość ludzi uczących się polskiego nie jest jednak dziećmi. W dodatku nikt wcześniej (a jednak sporo Polaków nawet dla zabawy zaczyna ten kurs) takiej konstrukcji nie sugerował, przynajmniej niczego takiego nie kojarzę).

Tak czy siak, wtedy po angielsku to musiałoby być coś w stylu "That small animals, that is a dog".


Zwierzątko = diminutive from "zwierzę" = little animal, so it's correct, it just depends on how the course creators look at diminutives. I'll ask.

EDIT: And yes, it was added.

[deactivated user]

    I'm confused, if zwierzę is masculine, why is it "tamto małe" in that case?


    It's not masculine. It's neuter, so "tamto" and "małe" are exactly the right forms.


    Hi Jellei- your answer suggests we're getting into diminutives...a bit early? I also wrote "psem" (accusative). Diminutives are a whole other mature skillset, no doubt?


    Yeah, diminutives aren't even taught in this course and they are really rarely accepted. But it makes sense that piesek/pieskiem was accepted here (just accepted), and well, if the algorithm suggested it to the user because it seemed like the closest answer, we can't really control it.


    Why do i always have to read the discuss stuff for grammar explanation...


    There are also Tips&Notes (until some point in the course), but unfortunately they are only available in the browser version. You can use that link though: https://duome.eu/tips/en/pl

    [deactivated user]

      I still don't understand why "Tamto małe zwierzę jest pies" is wrong...


      Then please read the link that Alik sent in a reply to the comment to which you replied.


      ? What is the rule, please?


      The rule for what, exactly?

      "zwierzę" is a neuter noun, so it needs the neuter forms "tamto" and "małe", that's what I can say for sure.


      The rule for using "to" in place of "jest," please.


      I typed "jest psem" instead of "to pies" and I'm still wrong, why? I don't get it. Help please


      That is correct and should have been accepted. Maybe you made a typo somewhere.

      Learn Polish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.