What is Czy?

What does the "Czy" in "Czy jesteś mężczyzną" mean? Is it like か in Japanese or 吗 in Chinese?

June 5, 2016


Well, I don't know how probable is that someone will answer you with the Japanese/Chinese comparison... ;)

"Czy" starts a question which has a Yes/No answer. It's usually not necessary actually, it emphasizes that it's a question.

It also can be "if/whether", or may be the 'or' in questions.

June 5, 2016

Jesteś mężczyzną = You're a man. / Czy jesteś mężczyzną? = Are you a man? /

Ty pijesz mleko = You are drinking milk. / Czy ty pijesz mleko? = Are you drinking milk? /

Ona lubi czytać. = She likes reading. / Czy ona lubi czytać? = Does she like reading?


October 14, 2016

If you want a comparison, it's a bit more like 'cxu' in Esperanto. Cxu vi estas viro? Czy jesteś mężczyzną? (I dare say Zamenhof got it from Polish, as he was a Polish speaker.)

June 5, 2016

also like Ukrainian чи and Russian ли (though ли is not used exactly the same way)

June 5, 2016

Doesn't 'чи' mean 'or'? I've never seen it used for a yes/no question

June 5, 2016

it does, but so does "czy" too

well if you google "чи ви" or "чи ти" you'll find a lot of questions

June 6, 2016

I'm Polish and I'm learning Ukrainian, so I think that Polish "czy" means Ukrainian "чи", so it starts some questions, the yes/no ones (it can, but doesn't have to) or means "or".

June 10, 2016

yeah well that's what I said

June 10, 2016

Czy chcesz zjeść pierogi czy bigos? = Do you want to eat dumplings or a stew?

First 'Czy' makes a question, the second means 'or'! But remember that in Polish we also use 'albo' and it means 'or' too.

Być albo nie być - oto jest pytanie! = To be or not to be - that is a question!

October 14, 2016

By the way, polish "li" (sounds simillary to ukrainian "ли") is an archaic version of "czy" and was used centuries ago.

August 28, 2016

I guess it is the equivalent of the question particles, "ka" or "ma".
"Czy" is like adding the word, "whether".

June 5, 2016

Ok, I guess I understand now. Thanks! : )

June 5, 2016

Yep, 'czy' is analogous to the Mandarin '吗' when it's at the front of the sentence, see:

Jesteś mężczyzną (You are a man) --> Czy jesteś mężczyzną? (Are you a man?)

你是男人 (You are a man) --> 你是男人吗? (Are you a man?)

BUT, in some respects, it isn't. It can also be translated as 'whether (or not)' or 'if', see:

Nie wiem czy lubię ser. (I don't know whether (or not) I like cheese... OR I don't know if I like cheese...)

Nie wiem czy on mnie kocha czy tylko lubi. (I don't know whether he loves me or just likes me)

June 12, 2016

The "Czy" is indication of question in Polish, also a one that gives options to choose between.

<h1>Czy będzie dzisiaj padać? - Will it be raining today?</h1> <h1>Czy dam radę zjeść dwie pizze jednego dnia? - Will I manage to/handle to eat two pizzas in a one day?</h1> <h1>Wolisz Japoński czy Chiński? - Do you prefer Japanese or Chinese?</h1> <h1>Kawa czy herbata? - Coffee or Tea?</h1> <h1>Zielony czy czerwony? Zastanawiałeś się nad tym? - Green one or red one? Have you thought about it already?</h1>
August 14, 2016
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