"Fish is not a vegetable."
Translation:Ryba to nie warzywo.
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.
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
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.