1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Polish
  4. >
  5. "Nie rozumiałem, co mówił."

"Nie rozumiałem, co mówił."

Translation:I did not understand what he was saying.

June 23, 2016



In English, a comma would not be necessary, can someone help me to understand why a comma would be used in Polish?


It is always (I think so) needed to separate a subordinate clause.


Shouldn't " I didn't understand what he said" be accepted as well?


that's "co powiedział". The original sentence sounds more as if you didn't understand because he was muttering or something, and not that you didn't understand the meaning.


Thanks for the clarification, i tought that "what he said" and "what he was saying" were interchangeable/synonymous.


In English, a comma is used when a subordinate clause begins a sentence but is not necessary when a subordinate clause is at the end.


Why can't I use "I was not understanding..."? Rozumieć is the imperfective form, isn't it?


I don't think "understand" is really used in the Continous aspect in English.


Thank you Jellei. I am not a native english speaker myself, so I was not aware of that fact.


Czy "was" i "he" można zamienić miejscami w tym zdaniu?


Nie. Wielu uczących się tak zrobi, ale skoro to nie jest pytanie, tylko zdanie podrzędne - szyk wyrazów powinien być 'normalny'.


Why is it rozumiałem, and not zrozumiałem?


It could easily be "zrozumiałem" as well. "Nie rozumiałem" sounds like "I wasn't understanding", which suggests that he was talking either in a very complicated way (difficult topic, perhaps?) or perhaps that he was simply mumbling. "Nie zrozumiałem" sounds more like "I didn't understand his message, what he meant".


I thought in a sentence like this one, 'co' would be in genitive. 'Nie zrozumiałem czego on mówił.'

Is it totally wrong, or are both possible?


There are two clauses here, which are seperated by a comma. The "co" obviously belongs to the verb in the second clause, which is mówić. And since it's not negated, it takes the accusative.


That's not the answer. We have the expression "nie wiem, czego chcę" (it's even a song). There must be another reason.


No, there isn't another reason. The verb chcieć is an exception.


I wrote "HE did not understand" because it was a woman reading it! It make it really confusing!


But rozumiałem can only be first person masculine, past tense. "I understood"


In mowil (sorry no accents) the o sounds like English o not like English oo and I thought o with an accent was approximately the same as the oo in cook


You are right with the "cook" thing (approximately, though, and rather shorter), but I think the voices sound fine.


The comma in the Polish made the sentence appear to be a combined sentences, so "I did not understand, what did he say" would work.


No it wouldn't, because a seperate question needs a question mark.


Shouldn't 'rozumiałem' here be translated as "I was not understanding," because of it being an imperfective verb?


Not necessarily. Perfective/imperfective in Polish doesn't directly translate to simple past tense vs. past continuous in English. The understanding is based on context, not A to A translation.

English doesn't use perfective/imperfective aspect verbs, and Polish doesn't use past continuous, past perfect, pluperfect, etc.


Why "I did not understand, what was he saying" not accepted? Judging by the coma I would say it's even more correct.


But the interpunction is not considered by the system when accepting answers. The thing is that "what was he saying" is wrong in English in this context. If it was a question of its own, it would of course be the only right answer. But in "I did not understand, what... you need to get back to the declarative word order, "I did not know what he was saying."


Well than the coma is not only unneeded, it is misleading and wrong in the English sentence.


I don't see a comma in English translation though? In Polish, so called 'comma slice' is actually mandatory, it's ungrammatical to NOT use it, but English translation should use the English interpunction rules.


My answer, "I didn't understand, what did he say" should be accepted.


It's not common in English. It's two sentences. "I didn't understand. What did he say?"

The more common single-sentence translation is "I didn't understand what he said."

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