nastrasza kolce

Tom87

Senior Member
English, USA
Hi, I'm not sure how to interpret this phrase. Here is the sentence, which refers to a hedgehog:

Cieszy uratowanie takiego zwierzątka, które jest tak podobne do człowieka. Boi się, jest głodne, nastrasza kolce, prycha, bywa zagubione.
 
  • zaffy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    No, it's a verb "stroszyć".

    That example could also read "Boi się, jest głodne, stroszy kolce, prycha, bywa zagubione." I'd say it would sound even more natural that way.
     

    elroy

    Imperfect mod
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Why “nastrasza” and not “nastroszy”? Isn’t the infinitive “nastroszyć”?
    That example could also read "Boi się, jest głodne, stroszy kolce, prycha, bywa zagubione." I'd say it would sound even more natural that way.
    Is there a difference in nuance? Why does “stroszy” sound more natural to you?
     

    rotan

    Senior Member
    Polish
    I feel like in such cases you need to stick to one form
    First, ask yourself "co zrobi jeż" (what will a hedgehog do) and "co robi jeż" (what a hedgehog does)
    Then pick the suitable words

    Personally I wouldn't say e.g "Jeż w razie niebezpieczeństwa zwija się w kłębek i nastroszy kolce"
    Well, as natives we obviously get the meaning, but this looks odd to me, judging from what I said about the form either "stroszy" or "nastrasza" is needed

    That's as if you said:
    "A thief hides and will wait for an opportunity to attack" instead of "A thief hides and waits for an opportunity to attack" - you pick the better option and I'm pretty sure it's the second one

    "nastroszy" would be correct if you said "Jeż w razie niebezpieczeństwa zwinie się w kłębek i nastroszy kolce"
    And it works the same as above, but the other way around - with "zwinie" I wouldn't use "nastrasza"
     

    zaffy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Why “nastrasza” and not “nastroszy”? Isn’t the infinitive “nastroszyć”?

    There are two verbs "stroszyć się" and "nastroszyć się". They mean the same thing, yet "nastroszyć" sounds like the perfective aspect, at least to me.

    Jeż nastroszył się kiedy zobaczył lisa. - The hedgehog ruffled when it saw a fox. (perfective)
    Jeż stroszył się zawsze kiedy widział lisa. - The hedgehog ruffled each time it saw a fox. (imperfective)

    Why “nastrasza” and not “nastroszy”? Isn’t the infinitive “nastroszyć”?
    It was was used in the imperfective mode, which I don't particularly like. But this might be just me.

    So someone might say:
    Jeż nastrasza się codziennie. - A hedgehog ruffles every day.
    And I would say:
    Jeż stroszy się codziennie. - A hedgehog ruffles every day.
     

    jasio

    Senior Member
    Why “nastrasza” and not “nastroszy”?
    As @zaffy already explained, the former has an imperfective aspect, while the latter - the perfective aspect.
    The grammatical difference is that the perfective verbs do not have a present tense (it would be illogical because either the action is completed, ie. it has already happened in the past, OR it's happening now, which means that it's not completed yet), so the non-past form of the perfective verb refers to the future instead (ie. it's a simple future tense). In short, "nastrasza" is in the present tense, while "nastroszy" - in the future tense, which would be inconsistent with the rest of the phrase.

    To make the picture complete, a non-past form of the imperfective verbs has a present meaning (ie. present tense), and the future tense is formed using an auxilary verb "być" (ie. future compound tense) with either the infinitive or the past participle (which in the Polish grammar is referred to as an "ł-form"), ie. "będzie stroszyć", "będzie stroszył", "będzie stroszyła" or "będzie stroszyło".

    Isn’t the infinitive “nastroszyć”?
    In the Slavic grammars - and Polish is not different with this respect - the aspect is "above" of all the conjugations, and is a lexical phenomenon rather than grammatical. In simple English it means that the verbs in question ('stroszyć', 'nastraszać' and 'nastroszyć') are considered independent from one another (except for the related meaning) and each of them has its own infinitive.

    Is there a difference in nuance?
    "Stroszy" would sound more natural to me as well. However when I looked for it in google, to my surprise it found more hits with "nastraszać" than "stroszyć". Perhaps because it could be also derived from "nastraszyć", which is ambiguous. .

    Why does “stroszy” sound more natural to you?
    A logical explanation would be based on how the perfective vs. imperfective verbs function together.
    As I explained earlier, the aspect is a lexical rather than grammatical category, so perfective and imperfective verbs function fairly separately. Never the less, grammatical tools exist which may convert one into the other - although as a foreigner you should not rely on them, as the results may be poor.

    Some prefixes may (optionally) modify the meaning of the verb (similarly to the phrasal verbs in English) and can (optionally) also change the verb's aspect. "Stroszyć" is imperfective and the prefix "na-" - which often conveys the meaning of "on" or "onto", but this time it's neutral with this respect - changes the verb's aspect to perfective - hence "nastroszyć".

    On the other hand, certain infixes or stem modifications - such as a vowel change to '-a-' - can change the verb's aspect from perfective to imperfective - and often from "just imperfective" to the repetitive. They are often used if the prefix changed the original meaning of the root verb, or if it is the perfective verb which is simpler and is a base for creating related vocabulary.
    In this case, the imperfective verb "nastraszać" could be formed this way from the perfective verb "nastroszyć". The issue is, there already exist a simpler imperfective form, "stroszyć", so "nastraszać" seems to be unnecessary.

    Nevertheless, relashinships between related perfective and imperfective verbs may be complex and misleading. Occasionally you may try to use your logic to derive the specific meaning of an unknown verb, but in general I would encourage you to learn them by heart - just as we have to learn that, say, "give up" means something totally unrelated to both giving and to the upward direction.


    There is also a lexical explanation: "nastraszać" can be a form derived from "nastroszyć", but also from "nastraszyć", which creates ambiguity. Not in this particular case, because it would be difficult for a hedgehog to frighten its own spines, but still.

    And a usage explanation: we (ie. @zaffy and myself) simply do not use the word "nastraszać", so it sounds strange to our ears.
     
    Last edited:
    OK so is "nastrasza" an adjective here? I should say I'm a beginner with Polish.

    I 'm not a beginner with Polish .., but it seems difficult to me.. ;)

    Verb
    stroszyć impf. (perfective nastroszyć)
    on stroszy = on nastrasza

    (transitive) to dishevel, to ruffle, to rumple, to tousle.
    Synonyms: czochrać, jeżyć, kudlić, mierzwić, tarmosić, wichrzyć.

    (reflexive) to posture, to preen, to show off.

    (adjective) nastroszony
     

    Ben Jamin

    Senior Member
    Polish
    I 'm not a beginner with Polish .., but it seems difficult to me.. ;)

    Verb
    stroszyć impf. (perfective nastroszyć)
    on stroszy = on nastrasza

    (transitive) to dishevel, to ruffle, to rumple, to tousle.
    Synonyms: czochrać, jeżyć, kudlić, mierzwić, tarmosić, wichrzyć.

    (reflexive) to posture, to preen, to show off.

    (adjective) nastroszony
    Nastraszać is a secondary imperfective verb, formed from the perfective nastroszyć. Using this verb in present tense is actually superfluous and stylistically wrong.
     
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