Her (Jej/Swój) numer telefonu

gvergara

Senior Member
Castellano (variedad chilensis)
Hi,

This is my first time ever on here (the Polish forum, I mean), so I will start out by sending out a big hello to everyone around. I started learning Polish like six weeks ago, so my level is close to zero, so do not expect sophisticated questions which will require that you delve into the nitty-gritty of the Polish language. I appreciate in advance your understanding and kind help.

Well, this is it. If I say:

Moja córka mieszka z mamy. Her (= My daughter's) numer telefonu to 98435839405

, is there a way to express this using a possessive? I mean, either way (Jej or Swój numer telefonu) I get the impression that the possessive is ambiguous and could be referring either to my daughter or her mum. Also, if I wanted to refer to her mum's telephone number, my doubts remain the same. Finally, I am not even sure whether the reflexive possessive swój (and its inflected forms in the nominative case) can be used in the subject of a sentence. Thanks a lot in advance.

G.
 
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  • rotan

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Since the daughter is the subject, the following pronoun should logically refer to the subject, shouldn't it?

    That being said, jej would clearly refer to the daughter

    You can either use jej or even leave the word out, because the context still makes it quite obvious

    The main point is a way of contacting the daughter; we don't care who owns the number, we care that we can stay in touch with the daughter, so we assign the number to her anyway

    And no,  swoj doesn't work here
     

    gvergara

    Senior Member
    Castellano (variedad chilensis)
    Dziękuję. And since jej makes it absolutely clear that I am talking about my daughter's telephone number, how would your answer change if I wanted to refer to my daughter's mother's telephone number?
     

    rotan

    Senior Member
    Polish
    I am talking about my daughter's telephone number,
    You're not - you're just assigning the number to her because it allows you to contact her, but in actuality it could be her mother's
    It's just that it doesn't really matter who's the owner here, which this example still actually reveals on its own, because if the daughter used another number allowing you to contact her freely, what's the point of saying that she lives with her mother?
    So how I see it is that it's more the context itself which indicates whose number it is rather than the pronoun
    But at first sight it refers to the daughter, because your first thought is "how to contact the daughter", not "who owns the number"
     

    Panceltic

    Senior Member
    Slovenščina
    Moja córka mieszka z mamy.

    Did you mean Moja córka mieszka z mamą? The preposition z takes the instrumental case in this instance.

    Anyway, regarding your question, only jej is possible. Which should not be a surprise, because English and Spanish alike can’t differentiate between who her or su refers to in this sentence.
     

    Ben Jamin

    Senior Member
    Polish
    In the XX century Polish there was a clear rule: only swój could be used to denote a possesive relation to the acting subject of the sentence:
    Tomasz spotkał swojege ojca = Tomasz met his (own) father. The pronoun jego/jej couldn't be used, as this was ambiguous whose father he met. The standard supposition was it was another person's father. Now, under the destructive influence of English many Polish speakers don't understand this distinction and use "jego/jej" instead of "swój".
     

    rotan

    Senior Member
    Polish
    The pronoun jego/jej couldn't be used, as this was ambiguous whose father he met.
    Has this actually changed?
    Without any background information, the sentence "Tomasz spotkal jego ojca" still doesn't really tell me whose father he met
     

    Ben Jamin

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Has this actually changed?
    Without any background information, the sentence "Tomasz spotkal jego ojca" still doesn't really tell me whose father he met
    Of course, you are right, but tell it to those who speak and write this wrong way. Native speakers are generally unconscious to such creeping changes in their language, and the prescriptive grammarians still attack only old enemies like "włanczać".
     
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