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"These men have asked if I was a driver."

Translation:Ci mężczyźni zapytali czy jestem kierowcą.

August 18, 2016

12 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Olly_1052

Why the answer is "jestem", if the original sentence is "was"? This "byłem\byłam" is considered an error.


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

This is the logic of English, with its sequence of tenses. The Polish phrase "zapytali czy jestem" translates to "asked if I was".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Olly_1052

Thanks for the explanation. Unfortunately, there is no Russian(or Ukrainian) training course. Thus, when performing tasks, in my head there is English-Russian-Polish. This is not always the same :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Henryk7

Hi. So how is to translate this sentence? "Ci mężczyźni zapytali czy BYŁEM kierowcą"


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

I believe that: "These men (have) asked me if I had been a driver".

I'm not an English native though.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Henryk7

thank you, I'm learning English until one year and your English is for me very well. Lingot for you but you deserve more of your work in Duo :-)


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

"Jestem kierowcą" is entirely incorrect. I consulted my mother who is a native speaker of Polish and translates between English and Polish for a living. In her words it is most definitely "...ja byłem kierowcą."


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

I am sorry, but "jestem kierowcą" is surely correct. In English you have the sequence of tenses. In Polish, there's nothing like that. So if they asked me (10 minutes ago, yesterday, last month), English will use past tense for the driver part. Polish will use present in 99% of the cases.

I mean, it can say 'byłem kierowcą', but that would imply that I am not anymore. Or maybe mean "I was the driver", i.e. if I was driving at the specific moment, e.g. when the accident happened.


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

The phrase "These men have asked if I was a driver" implies that you are no longer a driver. "These men have asked if I am a driver" is asking if they drive in general. "These men have asked if I am the driver" is asking whether you are the driver of a specific vehicle. "These men have asked if I was the driver" is asking whether you were driving a specific vehicle say at the time of an accident.


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

Sorry, but there is no sequence of tenses as the first part of the sentence is Present perfect. Wikipedia says that "main verb in present perfect, not past tense, so no backshifting". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sequence_of_tenses I guess "byłem kierowcą" should be correct, as TonksM wrote.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/breintje1

Another solution to the confusion, perhaps:

Change english sentence to "These men (have) asked whether I am a driver". That definitely translates to "Ci mężczyźni zapytali czy jestem kierowcą".


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

Yes, we will do it. Thanks :)

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