"Dwa ptaki siedziały na dachu."

Translation:Two birds were sitting on the roof.

August 3, 2016

19 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Miknairb

Why is my answer " Two birds sat on the roof." incorrect?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EwaPink

It's "were sitting" vs "sat"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vladimir632817

How would we say "sat" if you don't mind?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Arthur871611

The answers below still left me scratching my head. Would love for someone to give a thorough explanation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alik1989

Technically, 'the birds sat on the roof' can mean that they were just sitting there, but our British native advisors said that it is very likely to be understood as 'they [landed/sat down] on the roof'. That meaning would require a different Polish verb. We feel it's important to teach that 'siedzieć' does not mean 'to sit down', hence we reject 'sat' here. It was a difficult decision to make, but proper didactics are really important to us.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joe19902

So, would "Ptaki usiadły/wylądowały na dachu" be the correct translation for "The birds sat on the roof"? Dzięki.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

Yes, although of course the second verb is more like 'landed on the roof'.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JanKLinde

I don't think it's a good idea to reject a correct translation because it's ambiguous, even if the other meaning may be more likely. Using "sat" instead of "was sitting" is not just technically correct, but still more or less common. I've found a lot of examples on the web...

By the way, it sounds quite odd to me that birds "sat down" on a roof. By definition, to sit down means to move from a standing to a sitting position, but do birds really do that? I'd definitely prefer "landed".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

OK, we're going to add "sat" here.

If the sentence had "usiadły"... then I guess maybe the main translation would be "sat" rather than "sat down"... and I'd accept "landed" as well if that was the case. But the sentence we're discussing has "siedziały" :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JanKLinde

Well, the second part of my comment didn't refer to our given sentence but to the comments above... What I meant is that, after the landing, birds would rather stand than sit on a roof. But that's an anatomical issue ;D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarjanvanK

why the feminine ending of the verb has been used here ?

ptak is a masculine word


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jellei

But it doesn't denote a person. There is no 'feminine' in plural. There is 'masculine personal' and 'not masculine-personal' (a.k.a. 'everything else'). Birds belong to the second type.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WquDT
  • 1228

Yes women, children and furniture in one group and men and boys in their own special group .


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ankbhatnagar

Ptak is masculine, so shouldn't it be Dwa ptaki siedziali na dachu?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alik1989

There is no distinction between masculine, feminine and neuter in plural, only between virile (masculine personal) and nonvirile (everything else).

So, siedzieli could refer to two men, for example: "Dwaj mężczyźni siedzieli na dachu."

Also, note that there is a vowel mutation ia -> ie

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/siedzie%C4%87#Conjugation

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