1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Polish
  4. >
  5. "I am ashamed of you."

"I am ashamed of you."

Translation:Wstyd mi za was.

June 3, 2016



Could someone break this one down please?


"You (my children) did something awful and I am ashamed because of that and because I am your father and I failed in your upbringing" - I'm not sure if that's the only interpretation that English allows, but it's the one in Polish.

"za was"/"za ciebie"... well, I don't know how to explain it, but that's just what Polish uses in such context. I guess it's also similar in "Zrób to za mnie" (Do it instead of me, while I'm gonna lie on the sofa and watch you work), and probably some other constructions that do not come to my mind now.

"Wstyd" is the noun form of "shame", I guess "wstyd mi" here is more of a fixed phrase. Using a verb: "Wstydzę się" would work perfectly as well (no 'mi', then - it's like 'shame to me' vs normal 'I'm ashamed').


So 'za mnie/ciebie/etc.' is like 'on my/your/etc. behalf'?


Hmmm... I'm not sure if it's the best way of treating it... maybe? Depends on the specific sentence...


It usually does. But in this case it's more like "becuse of you". "I am happy for you" in English works in a similar way that "wstyd mi za ciebie" in Polish - you are the subject of this 'action' (feeling), but the object is someone else ("Cieszę się za ciebie" could be used as a translation for "I am happy for you", but I think it's just a calque from English and doesn't exist in Polish otherwise). We also use "za ciebie/was/kogoś..." with the verb "modlić się" (to pray), and then it means "for you". I think these are the only cases where "za" doesn't mean just "on your behalf/in your stead".


Why is "Wstydzę się ciebie" not accepted as a correct answer?


We discussed the exact meaning of "Wstydzę się za ciebie" and "Wstydzę się ciebie", then consulted those meanings with our British contributors.

"Wstydzę się za ciebie" is "I'm ashamed of you", "I'm ashamed by what you did."

"Wstydzę się ciebie" is "I'm embarrassed by you", "I don't feel comfortable changing my clothes in front of you", "I feel embarrassed being seen in public with you.", "You make me feel uncomfortable.". Those are the interpretations we came with.

It seems that they wouldn't be put as "I am ashamed of you" in English.


Za tobą? Why notm


"za tobą" (Instrumental) is "behind you", so it makes no sense here.


I thought every sentence needed a verb. I guess not.


In this sentence wstyd is a so-called defective verb (predicative verb), which means that some (or even all) inflectional forms are missing.



Huh. I've never thought about it as a verb, but I guess it makes sense...


Wstyd mi za cię?


Unaccented pronouns (cię, ci, mi, go, się) never appear after a preposition. You'll need the 'longer' forms (in this case 'ciebie').


why not ? .. jest mi za Was wstyd...

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