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  5. "I am standing opposite you."

"I am standing opposite you."

Translation:Stoję naprzeciwko was.

August 27, 2016



Would cię not work here, instead of was? Was (here) is the genitive of wy, but nothing in the English sentence indicates this is speaking to more than one person, so the genitive of the singular version of wy (ty), cię, seems like it would fit?


There are two possible options for Genitive of singular 'you': accented "ciebie" and neutral 'cię'. Only the accented form should be at the end of the sentence (unless the sentence is literally 2, sometimes 3 words long). So it would be "Stoję naprzeciwko ciebie".

It's hard to say when 'cię' would be okay for 3-word sentence and when it's not. It sounds wrong to me here.


Isn't there a rule saying that after a preposition the accented form must be used? So it shouldn't matter how long the sentence is, it has to be 'ciebie' anyway...


You're absolutely right, naprzeciwko is a preposition, so the post-prepositional form must be used.

Note, that accented and post-prepositional forms are the same for the first and second person, but they have separate forms for the third person (e.g. naprzeciwko niego).


Good to remember, I have hardly encountered 'niego' (or 'niej') so far.


The notes said that the n-forms should be used after pronouns, but it never said anything about accented forms being used. Could you explain?


I believe you mean "after prepositions". Let's take a look at the table for 3rd person pronouns here: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Appendix:Polish_pronouns#Third-person_pronouns

Some of them have even 4 forms (this "-ń"), but let's keep it aside, it's rare and kinda dated/poetic.

So let's look at Genitive masculine. A simple sentence like "I am looking for him" will be in Polish "Szukam go". "go" is this basic, neutral form of the pronoun.

Now, let's contrast "him" and someone else, like simply "you". "I am looking for him, not for you!" will be "Szukam jego, a nie ciebie!" with both pronouns taking the emphasized form. If no separate emphasized form exists for a given example, then you just use the basic one, of course.

And finally we have the "n-forms" to use after a preposition, provided of course that such a separate form exist - you can see that they exist only for Genitive/Dative/Accusative in 3rd person. This would be like "I am standing opposite him" = "Stoję naprzeciwko niego".


What is the etymology of naprzeciwko?


Similar etymology with Russian. Stoju naprotiw tiebia.


Na (prepositional prefix) + przeciw (meaning: against, versus) + ko (optional suffix).

As to przeciw, wiktionary states the following:

From Proto-Slavic *pretivъ, *protivъ, *protivo, *protivǫ, *proti, from Proto-Indo-European *preti, *proti.


So, why not "...naprzeciwko Pana?"


No one asked for the formal pronouns yet, but I've just added them.


I'm still trying to wrap my brain around the formal you in Polish. So in this instance, how would I say, "I am standing opposite the gentleman"?


Possibly also "naprzeciwko pana", perhaps better "naprzeciwko pewnego pana" (opposite some gentleman). Or if we interpret 'the' as 'this', "naprzeciwko tego pana".


So the first option sounds exactly the same, determined by context, but is written with a lower case "p" while "you" takes a capital "P"?


If it's written in a direct message to 'you', then yes, it should be with a capital P. Like, imagine sending a text to someone you were supposed to meet (formal settings).

But if you find it in a dialogue in a book or movie subtitles, then it is just 'writing down what someone said' instead of addressing someone directly, and therefore it's not capitalized. That's why no Duolingo sentence (I think...) capitalizes any form of you/your, because those are sentences without context.

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