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  5. "Napiszę do was list."

"Napiszę do was list."

Translation:I will write a letter to you.

February 10, 2017



Is it necessary to use : "do" ?


You either should use "do was" (I will write a letter to you), using Genitive, or "wam" (I will write you a letter), using Dative.

"was" on its own will not make sense.

Similarly, for singular 'you': "Napiszę do ciebie list" vs "Napiszę ci list".


Naspisze looks like present tense to me .What makes it future? (squiggle omited


The preposition na- turns piszemy it into a perfective verb. Perfective non-past stems are interpreted as future tense.

Non-compound tenses:

perfective imperfective
past stem past tense past tense
non-past stem future tense present tense

Compound tenses:

Future form of być + imperfective past stem or imperfective infinitive.

  • 1852

I will write to you a letter, which is marked wrong is the same thing as I will write you a letter.


Two natives of different dialects told me that this really doesn't sound like natural English.

  • 1852

That it does not "sound" like natural English does not mean it is wrong.


Are you a native English speaker? Your suggested construction of “I will write to you a letter” is something you might only encounter in a poem or song lyric, where the author is intentionally playing with the language in order to fit a rhyme scheme or meter. I’ve never heard anyone actually speak that way. If you did, although your meaning would be understood, anyone hearing that would likely assume you don’t know the language that well.


True, but my first thought is "To you I will like Yoda speak"... It's unnatural to the point of being wrong, IMO. Also, check out this page. It only gives the "V + N (direct object) + Prepositional phrase (indirect object) construction as an option. Cambridge also says "indirect + direct object" or "direct object + prepositional phrase with to/for".


But it's often a pretty good guide. Language courses tend to use the standard language, and "I will write to you a letter" would be marked wrong in any English exam.


We can use an indirect object on its own before the direct object, "I'll write him a letter", "He'll make us a cake".

Or we can use it with "to" or "for" after the verb, "I'll write a letter to him", "He'll make a cake for us".

But we don't use it with a preposition before the verb, (NOT "I'll write to him a letter", NOT "He'll make for us a cake")


A native English speaker here..one can say "i will write you" .. and it is assumed it will be a letter. Older generations will know this.. i think heath ledger had this line in a film. " Can i have permission to write her (the man's daughter).? :-) .. but im not arguing about the lesson. Thanks.


One can say .. i will write you..and we assume it will be a letter. Older generations know this form of speaking. Heath Ledger had this line in a film "can i have permission to write her? (Referring to the mans daughter). Nothing to do with translating this lesson of course.


"I will write a letter to you," while acceptable in English to mean multiple people, doesn't show the fact that the original Polish sentence said "do was" plural and not "do Ciebie" singular, therefore the answer "I will write a letter to you all" should also be accepted, as the point is to show that you understand the Polish sentence in its entirety.


Sure, added. It's helpful to many people, so we try to accept it when applicable.


What indicates that this is future tense? On another point I would certainly never write or say "To you a letter" Although I might say "write a letter to you" but it would be very formal almost a threat.


The word "napiszę" is perfective, it's impossible to use it in the Present Tense. Although it looks so similar to "piszę", it's undoubtedly Future Tense.

As for the "Write to you a letter", of course you wouldn't use this word order in English, but you would in Polish.


'I will write you a letter' is also correct English!


Is "Napiszę wam list" also possible? Dzięki.


Yes, it's possible, and somehow it was missed. Added now.


It is ok, but it could also be understood as "I will write it for you".


Doesn't "wam" (dative) mean "to you"? If that's so, how can it be understood as meaning "for you"? Dzięki.


There is no exact equivalent for the dative case in English. Sometimes it's 'to you', sometimes it's 'for you', sometimes just 'you'.

Ugotuję wam obiad. - I will make you lunch.
Otworzę wam drzwi. - I will open the door for you.

The indirect object is often understood as the beneficiary or the sufferer of an action.


Many thanks for your very clear explanation, Alik. Cheers!


I am afraid it is both "to you" and "for you", and without the preposition as well, as in "I'll help you" = Pomogę wam or "I'll tell you" = Powiem wam. So, it can be "I give it to you" = Daję to wam, "I'll do this for you." = Ja wam to zrobię. = Ja zrobię to dla was.

As I searched for more examples I noticed that translations of "wam" with the use of 'for you" are rare when compared with "to you" of just "you".


Thanks so much for your research and examples Kristine. The examples you and Alik have provided have cleared up the matter for me. Cheers!


I left out "will" because I expected "będę" if that were the case. The answer may be in the texts above but I couldn't deal with the arguing. Please tell me if a future tense works without the use of "będę" and the like? Dzięki!

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