Translation:What kind of relationship do you have with your mother?
I think "How is..." is more of a temporal state, whether the Polish sentence asks more about... something established, something... constant?
For your question, I'd use a more colloquial construction and ask "Jak tam twoje relacje z matką?"
More formally, maybe "Jak wyglądają twoje relacje z matką?" - here you would be able to substitute 'normal you' with Formal You.
"relacje" are plural, not neuter, są "jakie są twoje"... which actually, I think, is an option that should be accepted. Added.
I think I disagree. In my opinion, "How is..." can ask for an "established, constant" description of something rather than a status. For example, you can ask "How is his height?" to mean something similar to "Is his height good or bad?" So, the question "How is your relationship with your mother?" is ambiguous; it could refer to either a temporary state or a more permanent description.
I (UK native) agree in part with both of you. The following Q&A's might be heard when a daughter visits her aged mother and talks to the nursing home staff:
– What's her weight? – 121.4 kilos.
– How's her weight? – Her BMI is still far too high, but it's unlikely to go down: she enjoys her food and won't eat less.
– What kind of relationship do you have with your mother? – It's changed over the years. When I was small she always preferred my brother, but after Dad died she needed a friend to talk to, and that was me. When I was a teenager she became overprotective; we drifted apart. But much later she could no longer live alone, and stayed with us for a few years until she needed 24/7 trained nursing care.
– How is your relationship with your mother? – It varies a lot. A fortnight ago she didn't recognise me, and screamed until I left the room, but the past few days she calls me by name and knows I'm her daughter.
It had been a while since I'd last done this question so i have the above answer again but then saw this conversation and remembered, so the second time I wrote, "What is your relationship like with your mother?"... but that wasn't accepted either.
The word order "What is your relationship with your mother like?" sounds more natural to me.
- "What kind of relationship with your mother do you have" also isn't accepted
- "what is your relationship with your mother" should be accepted
- How about "What relations do you have with your mother?"
- "What kind of relations do you have with your mother" also should be accepted.
In the following, please bear in mind that I'm a UK native speaker with only amateur knowledge of US English; some expressions which don't work for me might be OK in the US.
In UK English it's risky (risqué, even!) to confuse relationship and relation(s) even though many in the UK do so.
relationship refers to a social interaction between two persons.
relations are relatives, members of the extended family; a relation is one relative (sibling, parent, great aunt, 2nd. cousin, ...). Both nouns are often qualified (close/distant relation or relative).
relations was once (e.g. 1960's UK) and is, in some societies, a euphemism for an interaction that might theoretically result in pregnancy (as Mrs.Mop and Ten_Pies_I_Brew warn us, further down this page). Many learners of English as a foreign language will prefer to avoid this trap by using the safer (and correct!) relationship, which I recommend whenever it's not clearly wrong.
Now to your sentences. My first impulse was to favour 1 & 2 (relationship) but to reject 3 & 4 outhand (to avoid the pregnancy risk of relations), but it's slightly less simple:
What kind of relationship with your mother do you have? – to me that's "Yoda English": the very end of the sentence is an unnatural position for ... do you have. I'd correct it to What kind of relationship do you have with your mother? – which currently happens to be Duo's favourite solution at the top of this page.
What is your relationship with your mother? – perfect English, though the Polish differs somewhat in meaning. So (cf. polargorilla further down this page) I'd add a single word: What ... mother like? to restore the Polish meaning and hopefully resolve AlisonEtte's confusion further down.
What relations do you have with your mother? – What relations do you have in common with your mother? might possibly make sense if mother is a distantly-related stepmother and the question is about living relatives common to stepmother and stepchild...
What kind of relations do you have (in common) with your mother? – the answer (if 3 makes sense) might be: "Many are high-earning professionals, but some live on the breadline. A few are even criminals."
[08 Feb 2019 18:15 UTC; last ed. 09 Feb 08:29 UTC]
Added all of those, with some feedback from a native:
"The first two are ok. The third sounds like "Is she your real mother or your stepmother" or something like that, though it could work in context I suppose. The last one is kind of clunky word order, but I guess it works."
Next time please rather edit your comment instead of writing four separate ones.
can you help me parse the word 'your' here? i am missing something, but don't remember where the 'your' comes from in the sentence. thanks.
From logic, I would say ;) Unless it's specified otherwise, it seems logical to assume that this is 'your mother' (the subject of the sentence's mother). It is then redundant to use it spefically.
ah, yes. so, although not in the actual sentence, it is naturally implied? i am also thinking of conversations with my brother and sister and in that context (say someone wanting to ask a favor of our mom) and saying this like 'well, what kind of relationship do you have with mom'. in that case, it would be 'our' mom. so, probably context is the driver (as usual).
Yes. Or rather, it's "your" mom, but as she is also "my" mom, it's then "our" mom by definition :D Anyway, the most logical "mom" in this conversation.
A typical natural English question here would be, "What is your relationship with your mother like?" or, "What is your relationship like with your mother?"
@Jellei: Since you posted, karaluh's four versions have become widely separated on the page, and may even have changed order, so your response now needs slight editing to indicate which were the "first two", "third" and "last"...
EDIT [08 Feb 2018, 13:20 CET]: Whilst I was at lunch, karaluh kindly put all four into one post, so you now (at most) need only check that 'your' native speaker's feedback uses the same numbering.
Thanks, that makes it all much easier :) I hope to comment on them later. [08 Feb 2019, 12:23 UTC]
Sorry karaluh, has to be relationship. To contrast..do you have relations in poland? Or another meaning.. Abraham had relations with Sarah and she gave birth to a son.
What does this even mean though? I'm genuinely confused. If someone asked me that, I would answer, "She's my mother" or "I'm her daughter".
You're answering the question: What is your relationship to your mother? – the preposition makes the difference here.
As I mentioned a little further up this page, I prefer What is your relationship with your mother like? – which restores the Polish meaning and hopefully resolves your confusion.
Even after reading the questions below, I am confused by this. What is the difference between "what kind of" and "how"?
This is one of those sentences that you know the answer to the first time you see it, but end up typing it three times before you get it right.
"What kind of relationship do you have with your mother?"
and Duo responded:
Another correct solution:
"What kind of relationship do you have with your mother?"
Spot the difference? I can't!
EDIT: Two months later, Duo still responds identically...
I'm sorry, I know you already discussed this a year ago, but what's the use of such a strange-sounding question? As moderator Jellei already wrote it's neither conversational nor a formal question. Simply put, no one talks like that, right?
I imagine this question being asked by
- A psychoanalyst
- Someone admitting "your" mother into a home for the aged, but questioning your motives
- The prosecution in a court of law.
The 3rd one definitely fits the best :) I'm not sure even a psychoanalyst would ask like that in English :D
Could this also be allowed: “ What type of relationship do you have with your mom/ mother?”
My response, "what kind of relationship do you have with the mother", should be accepted.
The words: masz ( you have ) and matką (mom/mother ) help identify that it is a personal child/ mother relationship. Specifically, the “ą” on the word for “mom / mother” let’s us know this?
As I understand it:
- masz indicates that "I" (the speaker) am asking about your relationship with (your) mother (who could, of course, be "my" mother too).
- The ending -ą indicates z matką in the instrumental case, affecting the meaning of the preposition z:
- z + genitive = from; out of
- z + accusative = circa, approximately
- z + instrumental = with; together with.
[5 Mar 2019 15:25 UTC; corr. 15:41 UTC]
I don't see why it wouldn't be 'our' mother, actually. Well, apart from the formality of the word "matka", but that's a subjective thing anyway.
Hmm, you're right, of course, Jellei – I somewhat painted myself into a corner there, whilst concentrating on the right cases of z. I've amended my post appropriately... :-/
@KVRMx – I've absolutely no coffee excuse here in late afternoon Germany (UTC +1): I've already had several mugfuls today.
[5 Mar 2019 15:32 UTC; ed. 15:54]