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  5. "Fish is not a vegetable."

"Fish is not a vegetable."

Translation:Ryba to nie warzywo.

July 6, 2016



The further I go into this course the more confused I am getting. How come "Ryba nie jest warzywo" is incorrect? I am not saying it's right (because it almost certainly is not), but can someone explain to me the multitude of ways this can be said, and what common pitfalls are?


No problem! As your question is among the absolutely most common ones, recently I decided to collect all the rules on this and similar topics into one place. Please have a look here, this sentence matches Part 1 perfectly. Other options are discussed as well.

In a short way, your sentence would be correct if you put "warzywo" in Instrumental case: warzywem.


Jellei you are a legend, I've learnt an unbelievable amount from your comments. Many thanks!


And has the patience of a saint


I am so confused.


I came to ask the exact same question and could not understand why it was wrong. I derped on the cases.


English sentence has IS NOT (to be) the Polish does not have NIE JEST, why? I wrote ryba to nie est wzrzywo and it not correct, why?


Your "phrase" is an incorrect combination of two Polish constructions.

In the construction presented in this exercise, the Polish "TO" refers
back to the subject, just like in the English sentence, where predicate nominative after the verb "to be" refers back to the subject (the "fish"):

Fish is a vegetable (nominative) - Ryba TO (jest) warzywo (Mianownik)
Fish is not a vegetable (nom.) - Ryba TO nie (jest) warzywo (Mianownik)

To use and negate the verb: JEST/NIE JEST, you need the instrumental
case (Narzędnik - kim? czym?), because both: JEST and NIE JEST do not
refer back to the subject:

Fish IS a vegetable - Ryba JEST warzywem (kim? czym? - Narzędnik)
Fish IS NOT a vegetable - Ryba NIE JEST warzywem (czym? - Narzędnik)

It is important to know both constructions. In many instances they have
the same meaning, but in reference to people (and personal pronouns)
the construction with Polish "TO" cannot be used:

You can use both constructions:
Fish is a vegetable - Ryba TO (jest) warzywo/ Ryba JEST warzywem
Fis is not a vegetable - Ryba TO nie warzywo/ Ryba NIE JEST warzywem

But, you can only say:
I AM a man/a woman - JESTEM mężczyzną/ JESTEM kobietą
I AM NOT a man/a woman - NIE JESTEM mężczyzną/ kobietą


Jellei. Your explanations are great and just the right amount of detail needed at the time. Duolingo can be very confusing because it introduces so many grammatical forms without the benefit of any explanation. Thank you


You're welcome! ^^


This wasn't a multiple choice exercise, and the link you have highlighted in blue (here) does not appear to go anywhere. And this new word took me by surprise


The links seem not to work well in the app. It was leading here: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/16373167

What was the new word for you?


Fish this is not a vegetable?


Well, this doesn't look like a correct sentence to me...


Is this in nominative case ?


I will live in Poland and rely on lovely people to understand me


Well until I have grammar skill


Yes, both nouns are in nominative.

  • 1616

Jellei kindly put in a link but the app doesn't allow me to follow it or even to see the link text ...


I also am confused now as I thought that if a verb was negated it took the genitive case. So what would that be for warzywo?


Genitive would be "warzywa". However, not every negation results in Genitive. Only negated Accusative. More info here: https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/28545847


Ryba to nie JEST warzywo


It's an acceptable answer (added now) but it's not a common construction.


Duolingo is teaching incorrect Polish!!! Same with lunch and dinner. Obiad i kolacja is dinner an supper. They know about it and don't want to change it.


Even if you were right, and you aren't because standard American English definitely does not use those words the way you use them, wouldn't it mean that we teach incorrect English rather than Polish?

We had arguments about meals all the time here before we decided to use "lunch" for "obiad" and "dinner" for "kolacja". After that change, almost all the complaints are from Polish people taking this course because we are used to the 'more British' way. Which, from what I'm told, isn't even that common in Britain.

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