jest / to / to jest

kanadaaa

Senior Member
Japanese (Tokai)
Hi, I have a question about the following sentences: how are they different in interpretation?
(I'm just collecting data and don't understand Polish at all.)

(1) Jan jest moim najlepszym przyjacielem.
(2) Jan to moj najlepszy przyjaciel.
(3) Jan to jest moj najlepszy przyjaciel.
 
  • jasio

    Senior Member
    They mean the same thing. It's "mój", though.
    Except that the first variant sounds the most natural and universal to me. I can think of a context where the second variant is OK as well, but I could hardly imagine where or when I would use the third one. Perhaps during a longer conversation about Jan - but then I would skip the subject.
    (we're talking about Jan)
    - To mój najlepszy przyjaciel (he's my best friend)
    (...)
     

    jasio

    Senior Member
    Are you being descriptive or prescriptive?
    Did I write "I would skip" or "you should skip"? :-D

    I've heard people say things like (3) all my life.
    With exactly this wording? What can I say?
    In my bubble I would use #1 anyway, then perhaps #2 (or perhaps on equal chances at the best). But never #3. As long as I'm sober, that is. But apparently in your bubble it's the other way round.
     

    Henares

    Senior Member
    Polish
    To me #1 sounds more natural. #2 would be the second choice. I would only use 3 if I wanted to emphasize it.
     

    gvergara

    Senior Member
    Castellano (variedad chilensis)
    Sześć,

    I am reviving this thread, as I hope this helps me clarify this subject. As stated in my first question posted on this forum (this is my second one, just starting out with the language...), I am pretty much new to Polish, so up to now I have been exposed to very basic sentences that describe/define something or someone, some using być, some using to (To jest długopis/Mój numer telefonu to 243982734). Despite the fact that I still cannot quite figure out when to use which, while studying the days of the week, I came across two example sentences using both in the same sentence: Poniedziałew to jest dzień godnia/Wtorek, środa, czwartek to są dni tygodnia. And to conclude, the third example only uses to: Siedem dni to tydzień, which really left me puzzled. Could anyone please explain to me why the first two sentences were constructed using them both in the same sentence?

    Z góry dziękuję!

    G.
     

    jasio

    Senior Member
    If it's an intentional joke (quite common in Polish) then :thumbsup:; if it's a typo, the spelling is "cześć".

    I am reviving this thread, as I hope this helps me clarify this subject. As stated in my first question posted on this forum (this is my second one, just starting out with the language...), I am pretty much new to Polish, so up to now I have been exposed to very basic sentences that describe/define something or someone, some using być, some using to (To jest długopis/Mój numer telefonu to 243982734). Despite the fact that I still cannot quite figure out when to use which, while studying the days of the week, I came across two example sentences using both in the same sentence: Poniedziałew to jest dzień godnia/Wtorek, środa, czwartek to są dni tygodnia. And to conclude, the third example only uses to: Siedem dni to tydzień, which really left me puzzled. Could anyone please explain to me why the first two sentences were constructed using them both in the same sentence?
    From grammatical standpoint, both variants, with or without the copula "jest" are correct most of the cases. Using it or omitting is primarily stylistic choice, sometimes hinted by the context. For example, if you show someone a pen, it would be more naturally to say "to jest długopis". However, if someone else shows you a pen and asks "co to jest?", you would naturally respond: "to długopis" - using a full phrase would sound somewhat bookish (albeit it would be correct).

    The last phrase, "siedem dni to tydzień", is an exception as "siedem dni to jest tydzień" does not sound natural to me; technically it's correct, but I would probably prefer to say something like "siedem dni tworzy tydzień", "siedem dni nazywamy tygodniem" - that's why skipping the copula makes it sound better.

    As an L2 beginner, it's probably safer for you to use the copula if unsure, unless you deal with the fixed, memorised phrases.


    I hope that it was clear and helpful.
     
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