"How can you not know what shape it is?"

Translation:Jak możesz nie wiedzieć co to za kształt?

July 9, 2016

15 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/No46
  • 1157

"Jak możesz nie wiedzieć co to za kształt?": What does za stand for in this context?

July 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Jellei

It doesn't have any English equivalent in the sentence, but is needed in such a construction. Compare with simpler sentences:

"Co to był za hałas?" - What was that noise?

"Co to był za fantastyczny mecz!" - What a fantastic game that was!

"Co to za kobieta?" - Who is that woman? (Yes, 'co' is used here and not 'kto')

Without 'za' the sentence either wouldn't make sense, or would ask to define the last word: What is "a woman"?

July 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/No46
  • 1157

So I assume "co to za" is kind of like asking for the definition of something. Thank you!

July 11, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Jellei

No, it's not that! That's what I tried to say with the last sentence, that it's not that. For example if you really had no idea what "a woman" is, in Polish you'd say: Co to jest "kobieta"? (Or: Kto to jest "kobieta"? if you at least understood that it's a human person)

It's hard for me to explain it differently than by putting these examples... it mostly implies either wondering about something (the examples with noise and woman, also let's say "Co to za zapach?" = "What's that smell?"), and sometimes it strengthens what you say as in the example with the 'fantastic game'. Also for example: Co to była za piękność... = What a beauty she was...

July 11, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Ten_Pies_I_Brew

Forms of wiedzieć are usually followed by a comma, aren't they? Is it okay if I put a comma after it here?

November 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Jellei

Yes, that would be correct. Some sentences in this course could definitely use a comma.

I'd just rather say that a comma precedes a new clause, and "Co to za kształt?" can easily be a sentence on its own.

February 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/AramGoridt

Why is the third option wrong?

November 17, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/immery

nobody knows what "the third option" is. the wrong answers are generated by the program.

November 17, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/couvertrash

It's like every sentence in this language is a ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤ tongue-twister.

June 26, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Kendra800150

Can you use jaki here, for instance, "Jak możesz nie wiedzieć, jaki to kształt"?

February 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Jellei

Yes, you can. Added now.

February 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/stevenprob

Why wiedzieć not znać?? Another similar question in this lesson uses znać???

February 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Jellei

Generally:

"znać" = to know X

"wiedzieć" = to know about X, to know that X

So this sentence is rather like the latter, it has "to know what X is...".

February 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/stevenprob

I agree, however a previous question asking about shape uses znać in the answer, next time i see it I will point it out. Great course by the way, I spend far too much time on this!

February 28, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Jellei

Thanks :) I mean, I didn't create it, but still ;) And I don't know if you can spend 'too much time' learning... ;)

The sentence you're referring to is "Przepraszam, nie znam tego kształtu." ("Sorry, I do not know this shape.") - grammatically it's constructed as 'to know X'. It's like saying "I am not familiar with this shape". Meanwhile here, it's grammatically "to know what this X is", so it's different.

March 1, 2019
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