I'm confused. Why is it dative here and not genitive (because of the negation?)
The accusative-genitive rule only works for direct object, the indirect object(ie. receiver of action) is in dative in both positive and negative sentences – this sentence only has indirect object(I'm pretty sure you can't actually use direct object with „pomagać”), so lets consider another example:
- „Daję (kogo? co? accusative) prezent (komu? czemu? dative) chłopcu” – I give a present to a boy
- „Nie daję (kogo? czego? genitive) prezentu (komu? czemu? dative) chłopcu” – I do not give a present to a boy
Now, if you will remove direct object(the item act upon):
- „Daję (komu? czemu? dative) chłopcu” – I give [something, probably mentioned earlier] to a boy
- ”Nie daję (komu? czemu? dative) chłopcu” – I do not give [something, probably mentioned earlier] to a boy
And this is pretty much how this sentence works:
- „One pomagają (komu? czemu? dative) swoim kolegom” – 'They help their colleagues'
- „One nie pomagają (komu? czemu? dative) swoim kolegom” – 'They do not help their colleagues'
This suggests to me aquaintances or friends at work or some other field, what would be the word for school mates
"koledzy" itself can work, you may make it "koledzy ze szkoły" to make it clear they're from school.
Well... frankly, yes. But 'colleague' at least shows some difference between this words, even if it narrows the meaning too much...
We actually decided to make 'friend' the main translation of 'kolega' in the Tree 2.0, but I think that changing it in the current version could create more chaos than help, given the fact how big change this is and people are used to this answer.
At times I wonder, why is English so vague sometimes... three Polish words (przyjaciel/kolega/znajomy) and all of them would feel most natural in English as "friend"... but then again of course there are situations when English is a lot more specific (like the many translations of "bluza") :)
I think my sentence was correct . They are not helping their colleagues.
Possible, but the meaning is different.
"One nie pomagają ich kolegom" = They (Anna & Barbara) don't help their (Claire & Donald's) colleagues.
"One nie pomagają swoim kolegom" = They (Anna & Barbara) don't help their (their own) colleagues.
Isn't the choice for kolega friend, collegue, I believe both apply unless you want me to broaden my knowledge.