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Translating "and" into Polish explained

  • 1370

In other words: the English conjunction "and" is Polish "a" or "i"?

AND = "A" when there is any type of contradiction between the parts of the phrase .

If in English phrase you can replace and by but, while, whereas without changing much of the meaning - then in Polish it has to be translated into a.

  • "I love you and you love him" - "Ja kocham ciebie a ty (kochasz) jego."
  • "He cooks and she cleans the house" - "On gotuje a ona sprząta dom".
  • "She is young and he is old" - "Ona jest młoda a on (jest) stary." (In the phrases containing contradiction, the repeated verb can be omitted). BUT: if the contradiction is not real, you only use different words to describe similar state, you go into nuances: "He is old and she is also not quite young" - "On jest stary a ona też niemłoda" (there is however some age difference between them, so she is younger than him) or "On jest stary i ona też niemłoda" (they are pretty similar, only you want to be polite and do not use the word "old" to describe a woman).
  • "Her blouse is white and her skirt is red" - "Jej bluzka jest biała a jej spódnica (jest) czerwona." - it is so when the used verb is concerns the clothes, not the person who wears them; It works the same for longer lists: "Her hat is blue, her blouse is white, her skirt is red and her shoes are black" - "Jej kapelusz jest niebieski, bluzka biała, spódnica czerwona, a buty czarne." see also below.

AND = "I" when there is a clear connection or similarity between both parts:

If in English phrase you can replace and by also, as well as, in addidion - then in Polish it has to be translated into i.

  • "I love you and you love me" - "Ja kocham ciebie i ty kochasz mnie." (Attention, in this very case it would be also correct "Ja kocham ciebie a ty mnie", to underline sort of dualism: "you"-"me", while usage of i underlines the mutual similarity. With the usage of a, the repeated verb can or sometimes even should be omitted).
  • "He cooks and she cooks, too" - "On gotuje i ona też." or "On gotuje i ona też gotuje." or "On gotuje i ona gotuje."
  • "She is young and he is young" - "Ona jest młoda i on jest młody."
  • "Her blouse is white and her skirt is white" - "Jej bluzka jest biała i jej spódnica jest biała." or "Jej bluzka jest biała i jej spódnica też."
  • BUT: when you enumerate the parts of clothing that somebody wears i.e. it is about the person, and not about the clothes, you rather use i no matter, whether they are similar or different (as there is no contradictory within the person itself, and the verb relates to the person, not the clothing): "She wears a white blouse and a white skirt" - "Ona nosi białą bluzkę i białą spódnicę."; "She wears a white blouse and a red skirt" - "Ona nosi białą bluzkę i czerwoną spódnicę."

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DISCLAIMER

I am not a linguist, but an engineer who loves his mother tongue. If there is something missing above, something is wrong or unclear, please do not hesitate to suggest corrections.

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October 4, 2017

6 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Okcydent

Nice summary. I'd like to add some further examples and meanings from Wikisłownik:

  • (implication) As pogryzł Alę, a to oznacza wściekliznę. - As (Ace) has bitten Ala. That means (she will get infected with) rabies.
  • (explanation) Ala ma Asa, a jest to mądry pies. - Ala has As, which (by the way) is a clever dog.

Also a can be used to start a question or to stress something.

  • A nie mówiłem! - I told you so!
  • A ten cały austriacki kapral,... jak on się nazywał? - This Austrian corporal... what was his name?
  • Porozmawiajmy chwilę. -A musimy teraz? - Let us talk for a moment - Do we really need to do it now?
October 4, 2017

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  • 1370

Thanks. Have a lingot!

October 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Funky_FEZ_OWL

Polish is hard but I want to learn it for all those people who work abroad in Europe

October 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/KVRMx

Thank you.

October 5, 2017
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