"Do you know where the subway is?"

Translation:Wiesz gdzie jest metro?

July 31, 2016

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In British English this would mean przejscie podziemne, rather than metro.


OK, good to know. Added.


Translate please : przejscie podziemne?


a passage under a road or railway for people to walk through



What Americans call an underpass.


It is also common in British English to use the word underpass as a synonym for subway.

Underground trains in Britain are metro, underground or (particularly in London) tube.

Unfortunately subway is now mainly used to refer to a fast food outlet :-(



znać - to know X (to be familiar with)

wiedzieć - to know, that X; to know about X, etc. (to have the knowledge about something). So also here.


Thank you, my Russian prompted me wrong


Then could znać be correct in a context like: Do you know where the metro is? The bookstore is right behind it.

Do you know where the Metro is? If not, I'd be happy to walk you there.


The verb znać is strictly transitive, which means that it always requires a direct object. The only way znać can appear without a direct object, is when it is mentioned in the previous statement and implied in the subsequent one:

Znasz go? - Do you know him?
Znam. - I do.

But in this sentence, the direct object is replaced by an subordinate clause (yes, there's a comma missing between wiesz and gdzie) so due to the aforementioned rule, znać stands no chance here.

Wiedzieć, on the other hand, does not take any direct objects, except for a limited set of pronouns (to, coś, wszystko, nic, cokolwiek).

If wiedzieć refers to another noun, then the two must either be separated by a conjunction/relator or a preposition. And "when" functions as a conjuction here.

Znać also works with the abovementioned pronouns, in which case the distinction mentioned in Jellei's comment applies.


The underground


What is the differemce between wiesz and znasz?


"wiedzieć" (wiesz) is more about having some knowledge and "znać" (znasz) about being familiar with something/someone.

In terms of grammar, it's easy to say that "znać" takes a direct object (I know this actress) and "wiedzieć" does not (I know where the museum is).


Hmmm, Wiktionary also says that 'wiedzieć' is intransitive, but it can actually take a few direct objects like 'to', 'nic' or 'wszystko'.


OK, my answer was too simplified, then, you're right.

By the way, "Znam to" (I am familiar with this kind of situation) makes sense, but "Znam nic" nor "Znam wszystko" do not seem to have any meaning, in my opinion.


There's no such thing as "British" English: Scottish, English, Irish and Welsh usages are very often different, and there are differences within each country too. The underground railway in Glasgow is regularly called the subway.


actually there is such a thing as British English: linguists use the term to decide a series of linguistic practices and spelling common to the UK. Rigour, not rigor; epilogue, no eliplog and so on. What is said in Glasgow is a a local variant. There are many words and phrases used in Western Scotland, but not in Eastern Scotland. So "Scottish English" is also problematic by this logic. "British English" refers to a standard agreed by authorities such as the Oxford English dictionary. It is like "Hochdeutsch" which many Germans do not speak, but they write it in formal (legal, etc.) communications.


What would be the correct word order using the formal you: "(Czy) wie pan/pani..." or "(Czy) pan/pani wie..."? Or are both okay?


Both are okay, but I recommend "Czy wie pan/pani", it feels more common and more natural to me.

But that's probably the only context in which it is fine to put the subject after the verb. "Czy wiesz ty..." would be quite strange, for example.


Thank you, that confirms the impression I got so far. I'll try to keep it in mind.


Why is 'pan wie' not appropriate. If you are asking a stranger you'd say this not 'wiesz'.


"Pan wie gdzie jest metro?" is an accepted answer.

If you choose not to put 'czy' in front, I recommend the word order: "Wie pan...". It's a bit more common.


Why not stacja metro?


Well... I know that there are some people that still are used to the way similar nouns (radio, metro, studio) have been declined decades ago - i.e. they didn't, all the forms used to be identical. But I'm pretty sure that most native speakers would consider it wrong. I checked the national corpus and it found 4 results for "stacja metro" and 312 results for "stacja metra". It seems safer to me to reject it.


Why isn't "Czy wiesz, gdzie metro jest?" accepted? Does it sound unnatural or is it plainly wrong?


Unnatural. As if 'being' was the most important notion in the sentence, instead of 'subway'.

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