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Thread: Telling the time in Polish

  1. #1
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    Telling the time in Polish

    Hi. A question in another thread has inspired my question. I was really surprised that such forms of telling the time as 13:50 pięćdziesiąt po trzynastej or 15:40 czterdziesci po piętnastej are acceptable these days. Is it really true? Can you say: Jest czterdziesci po piętnastej. It is something totally new to me, if this is really true.

  2. #2
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    Re: Telling the time in Polish

    Hi Liliana,
    this is new to me too.

    I'd say:
    13:50 -- trzynasta/pierwsza pięćdziesiąt; za dziesięć druga (I think you may also hear za dziesięć czternasta on some rare occasions)
    15:40 -- piętnasta/trzecia czterdzieści; za dwadzieścia czwarta (za dwadzieścia szesnasta, the same as the above)
    Last edited by Thomas1; 20th January 2013 at 9:21 PM. Reason: mistakes
    Please correct my errors! Thanks.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Telling the time in Polish

    Thank you. This is what I thought.

  4. #4
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    Re: Telling the time in Polish

    I've heard people speak like that but to me it sounds odd.

  5. #5
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    Re: Telling the time in Polish

    I think there's no way of telling whether it is acceptable or not. There's nothing wrong with it in grammatical terms. It's just that it sounds odd. I don't think we normally use the '.... po ....." pattern for numbers greater than '29'.

    Dwadzieścia dziewięć po czternastej would sound entirely natural to me, which can't be said for 'trzydzieści po...' (for that I'd use 'w pół do') and higher.
    Last edited by dreamlike; 20th January 2013 at 11:07 PM. Reason: tweaks

  6. #6
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    Re: Telling the time in Polish

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas1 View Post
    Hi Liliana,
    this is new to me too.

    I'd say:
    13:50 -- trzynasta/pierwsza pięćdziesiąt; za dziesięć druga (I think you may also hear za dziesięć czternasta on some rare occasions)
    15:40 -- piętnasta/trzecia czterdzieści; za dwadzieścia czwarta (za dwadzieścia szesnasta, the same as the above)
    Hola, both above mentioned examples are OK. Actually, you may hear them very frequently in conversations, on TV or radio. It sounds OK, except one point. I believe it isn´t used for a range of time between a full hour and an hour and half (12:01 - 12:30). You mau say:
    za dziesięć druga - for 13:50
    za dwadzieścia czwarta - for 15:40
    za dwadzieścia pięć czwarta - for 15:35

    even, but not very likely, as this really sounds strange... za dwadzieścia siedem/osiem/dziewięć czwarta 15:33/15:32/15:31

    for anything around half past... you will rather say: dwie/trzy/cztery po wpół do czwartej - 15:32/15:33/15:34

  7. #7
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    Re: Telling the time in Polish

    When it comes to telling the time, regardless in which language, I always round the "irregular" ones off to 15:05, 15:10, 15:15, 15:20 and so on and so forth; unless, of course, it's essential to provide the time exactly as it is.

  8. #8
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    Re: Telling the time in Polish

    It would seem that there are no rigid rules governing telling the time in Polish, and we go about that all we like

    Quote Originally Posted by tengounaduda View Post
    for anything around half past... you will rather say: dwie/trzy/cztery po wpół do czwartej - 15:32/15:33/15:34
    I can't really imagine myself saying that, it sounds very media-like. I'd simply say Piętnasta trzydzieści dwa and so on.
    Last edited by dreamlike; 21st January 2013 at 11:57 AM.

  9. #9
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    Re: Telling the time in Polish

    I agree with most of the methods of telling time in Polish -- I just think forty six after sixteen-- czterdziesci sześć minut po szesnastej sounds a little weird. It was definitely not the atandard before (some years ago) and nobody spoke like that. I was just wondering if it was something new, or plain wrong -- this particular construction (including po and a number bigger than 29).

  10. #10
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    Re: Telling the time in Polish

    Hi, Liliana

    I don't think there exists a rule that says it's incorrect to say that. The construction is readily understandable and grammatically correct, it's just that it sounds a tiny bit weird -- but that alone does not render it incorrect, I think.

  11. #11
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    Re: Telling the time in Polish

    Quote Originally Posted by LilianaB View Post
    I agree with most of the methods of telling time in Polish -- I just think forty six after sixteen-- czterdziesci sześć minut po szesnastej sounds a little weird. It was definitely not the atandard before (some years ago) and nobody spoke like that. I was just wondering if it was something new, or plain wrong -- this particular construction (including po and a number bigger than 29).
    Technically it might not be wrong, but I think this way of telling the time isn't standard Polish.
    Please correct my errors! Thanks.
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