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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.


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?



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.)


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


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


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)


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>
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