Znały one bowiem

This has to be one of the hardest word orders to wrap my head around. You see something similar with Wiec(so). I think because the literal translation means something very different in english?

Literal 'They know because.'

Proper 'Because they know' ?

This comes from "Żyło tam mnóstwo pingwinów, lecz Józefina spędzała większość czasu z innymi zwierzętami. Znały one bowiem mnóstwo ekscytujących zabaw."

I think its saying.
She spends most of the time with different animals, because they know many exciting games.

November 12, 2016


Try with children books they said. It will be easy they said :-P

Sometimes I prefer 'hard' articles because they use a lot of 'international' words and language that is not stylised.

Literal 'They know because.' - They knew because

Your translation is rather good. I'm not a native speaker (of English), but I would consider usage of past tenses as the narration in Polish uses the past tense.

Many penguins had lived there, but Josephine spent most of her time with other animals. (It was so) because they knew many exciting games.


1) Bowiem znały one mnóstwo ekscytujących zabaw.

2) Znały bowiem one mnóstwo ekscytujących zabaw.

3) Znały one bowiem mnóstwo ekscytujących zabaw.

4) Znały one mnóstwo bowiem ekscytujących zabaw.

5) Znały one mnóstwo ekscytujących bowiem zabaw.

6) Znały one mnóstwo ekscytujących zabaw bowiem.

1) this construction should be merged with previous sentence by a comma ',' . That is the reason why this sentence isn't started with 'bowiem'. This book is designed to be read to children so the sentences must be short, easy to read and not complex. Placing bowiem inside the sentence allows to achieve this.

2-3) Are equally good with slight advantage of 3

4)-5) Are starting to sound bad.

6) No, bowiem shouldn't be at end, sounds bad as there are much better alternatives

November 12, 2016

Thanks a bunch, its nice to know that option 1 is okay.

I will have to start reading more hard articles as well x)

November 13, 2016

And what about: "Zabaw ekscytujących one mnóstwo bowiem znały" ? ;-)

May 21, 2019

the link does not work- which book are you reading? whichever- they are rather old, and very stilized, they often have unusual word order for stylistic purpose.

November 12, 2016
November 13, 2016

oh, it's a translation. Good side- the language isn't "dated". bad side, it feels like "fan translation".

November 14, 2016

The word ''bowiem'' is NEVER used in every day speech. You can encounter it commonly in a Polish translation of Bible.

November 20, 2016

Well, it is used but it's rather archaic word.

December 11, 2016
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