"Do kogo dzwonisz?"

Translation:Who are you calling?

June 25, 2016

This discussion is locked.


Gdy jest coś dziwnego w okolicy


Is it always genitive after "do"?


Should be whom, not who


This was my "natural response" and a phrase I use "To whom do you call?". It was marked incorrect.


Okay, added.


I don't think I've ever heard "to" used with "call", unless you're talking about the overall geographic location of the person you're calling ("It's more expensive if you're calling to France.")


Dzwonisz, like "dzwonka" (bell)! Finally an easy one to remember


The base forms are actually dzwonek (diminutive) or dzwon. Dzwonka is the genitive of dzwonek.


would "who are you ringing?" be correct?


Using "ringing" instead of "calling" is fine, and is a translation accepted by dictionaries. And secondly, using "who" would be much more natural here than "whom". Nobody I know would ever say "Whom are you calling/ringing/phoning?". From Oxford Dictionaries:

"In practice, most people never use whom like this in speech because it sounds extremely formal They don't use whom at all, and instead use who in all contexts, i.e.:

Who do you think we should support?
Who do you wish to speak to?"



Added 'ringing'. Who/Whom is a neverending discussion here, usually both ways are starred.


Hi, I know, you can't win. If you use "who" here you'll get the pedants screaming at you. But I'm an EFL teacher, and we tell it like it is - "whom" is virtually never used in this sort of informal question. Accept it by all means, but it's not natural English.


Hallo, I grew was born and grew up in London, and "whom" is natural for me. I couldn't say "who are you calling" without feeling very strange. I'm not screaming at you, but I'd like to know what you mean by "natural".


Hi. I'm also British and an ageing RP speaker to boot, but I don't use "whom" very much in everyday language, especially not in a simple question like this. And evidence suggests that not many other educated speakers use it much either. This evidence comes from corpora, huge computerised collections of language usage, used by linguists, dictionary compilers and the writers of EFL (English as a foreign language) learning materials. As it's rather a subjective area I think I'll leave it to the experts (all sources are British). Note that when they say "informal", they mean normal, not colloquial.

This is from Practical English Usage, Michael Swan, OUP, a very influential book in the EFL world:
"Whom is not used much in informal English. We prefer to use who as an object, especially in questions.
Who did they arrest?
Who did you go with?
We use whom in a more formal style; and we must use whom after a preposition."

And here's Raymond Murphy, another very popular EFL author, writing in English Grammar in Use, CUP., talking about its use in defining relative clauses, eg "The man (who/whom/that) I love", where we generally leave out the pronoun anyway:

".. we do not often use whom. In spoken English we usually prefer who or that, or nothing"

You'll see much the same in dictionaries. I've already quoted and linked to Oxford a couple of comments back. This is what other British dictionaries have to say:

"In everyday spoken or written English, people usually use who rather than whom"

"We don’t use it (whom) very often and we use it more commonly in writing than in speaking" Cambridge

"Whom is only used in written English and in formal spoken English"

"whom ... often replaced by who, especially in less formal usage Chambers

I've written about the use of whom in some detail here:


I was an English teacher for many years, and you are correct. People often use "who" in a sentence of this type, however, it is not grammatically correct.


how do you say "who is calling you?"


Kto do ciebie dzwoni?


"Who are you calling for?"


I don't think that your sentence has anything to do with phone calls.

Edit: Ok, Jellei pointed out to me that this does in fact work. Added now. But note that this implies a context where you are not acquainted with the caller, so you would most definitely use the formal pronouns.


Why is Who are you calling TO? wrong?


Because to my knowledge this would be like "a mom calling to her son through an open window" (Polish "wołać") and "dzwonić" is on the phone.


My sixpence worth-It is nominative case before and after "verbs to be" -am are art is was were wert be been and being" therefore is who . Back when I was in school in the 50's and 60's. However "is calling" I don't think is classed as a "verb to be " It drives me crazy when I hear people mixing up he and him etc especially in the papers and with newsreaders.


I just realised that the words for bell and calling are very similar to each other. Dzwonek i dzwonić. It's almost like ringing a bell to call someone!

The word for sound is dźwięk, again, similar to the above two words. Incidentally, the word for sound in Hindi is dhwani.


What about 'calling ' someone i.e from upstairs? Would you use the same verb?


Very good question, and the answer is: no. "dzwonić" is definitely via phone (or nowadays also apps like let's say Skype or Messenger). Shouting "Adam, come here!" is "wołać".

"wołać" can use "do", but then it's more like "shouting something to someone", generally if I am calling Adam telling him to come downstairs, then it's just "Wołam Adama".


If someone calls an office and the receptionist picks up the phone, is this the question she would ask (ignore the formal part for a moment)? Or if someone else is sitting with the caller watching him call, would he ask this question to the caller? I suppose it's the latter.

In English, the receptionist would ask something like who would you like to talk to, or who are you calling for. How would you say that in Polish?


It's rather the latter, you see your friend calling someone and you're curious whom they're calling.

Yes, the recepcionist context would rather need something more polite, and I'd go with "Whom would you like to talk to?", which uses the conditional mood and conditional mood in Polish is gendered. So it would be "Z kim [chciałby pan/chciałaby pani] rozmawiać?", with the first version being "you, sir" and the latter "you, ma'am".

Informal singular options would be "chciałbyś/chciałabyś" (to a man/to a woman).

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