"To nie był przypadek."

Translation:It was not by accident.

August 29, 2016

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What is the difference between przypadek and wypadek?


"Przypadek" is a "case", but can also be used as "coincidence" (To zdarzyło się przypadkowo = It happened by coincidence).

"Wypadek", on the other hand, means "accident" (Mój ojciec miał wypadek = My father had an accident).

Now, Duolingo uses "accident" in the English sentence here, but only in the context of something happening by coincidence or "by accident" while the Polish wypadek refers to accidents such as a car accident or some other health- or life-threatening accident.


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Why not, "That was not the case."


This sentence is a very good example of what difference does using definite form in Polish.

"To nie był TEN przypadek" - "That was not the (this) case"

"To nie był przypadek" - "That was not an accident"


Thank you for this information. It is an interesting case. ;)


Good question :)

In Polish, even though technically the word "przypadek" does indeed mean "case", in this case (pun intended), it can only mean "accident" because in Polish we would never say "This was not the case" literally and keep the same meaning it has in English.

What we would say would be either "To nie o to chodziło" or "To nie to". The first one would make no sense in English when translated literally ("It didn't went about it"...?), the second one would be "It's not it" which you could actually say in English.

I think it may become clearer once you know that the word "przypadek" is related to "przypadkowo" so the sentence "To nie był przypadek" could also be said like this: "To nie zdarzyło się przypadkowo" - that would be "This didn't happen by accident".

I hope someone else manages to explain it better as it's a very interesting "case" ;) You've provided the correct literal translation of the Polish sentence, but in Polish this sentence would never have the meaning your English translation has.


I see Jellei already replied before I submitted this so FWIW, I wasn't referring to your explanation when I said I hope someone else explains it better :)


Although "a case", like "a case that an investigator investigates" can be translated as "przypadek", in my understanding of your phrase I'd probably translate it as "(To) nie o to chodziło" (It wasn't about that) or "Nie w tym była rzecz", which sounds quite weird in a tense different than Present.

And of course it's not about any car accident or anything like that - it didn't happen by chance, it was on purpose.


Sounds like Russian "prypadok" - seizure/stroke/fit


Would "it was no accident" also be an acceptable translation? Subtle change in meaning.


Yes, it is already accepted.


"This was not a mistake"?


It by that you mean "I didn't press the 'cancel' button by mistake, I did it on purpose", then yes, it works. Added.

By the way, I changed the main English answer to use 'by accident', which may be different in terms of syntax, but the message becomes clearer.


Could we have "by chance" as a translation too, please?

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