po niemiecku/francusku - no 'po'?

涼宮

Senior Member
Sbaeneg/Castellano (Venezuela)
Good evening! :)


I was practicing Polish and I wrote something, a native speaker corrected me but I don't understand why he corrected 'po'. I had thought that when you ''mówić'' a language, you add 'po' by default.

Here is a part of what I wrote, the red part is what he left out:

Podsumowując, on umie mówić po hiszpańsku, po niemiecku, po francusku i po angielsku, co bardzo pomaga w rozumieniu języka rosyjskiego z różnych perspektyw.


Was it left out because it's not necessary due to the first 'po' or due to something else? :confused:. Long before that, I had written something similar, and the Polish person who corrected my mistakes didn't say anything about the multi po's with several languages listed in that similar way. So, now, I'm confused.

Thanks in advance!
 
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  • Ben Jamin

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Podsumowując, on umie mówić po hiszpańsku, niemiecku, francusku i angielsku, ...

    This sentence is correct in Polish, you don't have to repeat 'po', as the meaning is obvious to a native speaker without the repetition. If you repeat it, it is not ungrammatical, but stylistically bad (fussy).
    The same will also be true in English: I was in England, Wales and Scotland. You don’t usually write: I was in England, in Wales and in Scotland.
     

    LilianaB

    Banned
    Lithuanian
    You, could say it either way. Po could be dropped the way sometimes indefinite articles and other words are dropped if we are talking about two or more things of the same sort. His sisters and brothers, for example. His sisters and his brothers. The seconds his is often dropped in English. I like it with the po better however: it sounds more professional. In formal writing I would not drop it I do not think it is stylistically bad at all, with the po, not to say is is grammatically wrong. There is nothing grammatically wrong about it. It is just more emphatic, and clearer, depending what effect you want to achieve. You better ask us on this forum about language problems. That somebody is Polish does not mean they know grammar well. Some people also want to be more holy than the Pope. Plus, you cannot apply all English rules of dropping to Polish. Polish language is less strict as dropping of certain words and word order, especially, are concerned. Even in English you do not have to drop certain words in certain contexts which might be dropped from a grammatical point of view. If you want to drop the po, you have to drop three of them, not just two. Otherwise it is not grammatical, or at least looks very weird.
     
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    涼宮

    Senior Member
    Sbaeneg/Castellano (Venezuela)
    Now it's clear! I had thought of the dropping when I was writing that but I didn't dare to be creative :D . Thank you both of you!
     

    kknd

    Senior Member
    polski / Polish
    Podsumowując, on umie mówić po hiszpańsku, niemiecku, francusku i angielsku, ...

    This sentence is correct in Polish, you don't have to repeat 'po', as the meaning is obvious to a native speaker without the repetition. If you repeat it, it is not ungrammatical, but stylistically bad (fussy).
    The same will also be true in English: I was in England, Wales and Scotland. You don’t usually write: I was in England, in Wales and in Scotland.
    i don't consider repetition of po bad (or fussy); maybe little bit more precise or formal but i don't feel that using po is disturbing in some way… when i'm trying to imagine myself uttering something like: mówię po angielsku, hiszpańsku, rosyjsku i grecku i feel then quite sure of my abilities and i deliver it straightforward; when i'm saying mówię po angielsku, po hiszpańsku, po rosyjsku i po grecku i see myself as pondering, trying to recover each language in my command from memory. this mental experiment hints me to skip multiple po in writing… :p
     

    POLSKAdoBOJU

    Senior Member
    Canadian English, Polish
    You, could say it either way. Po could be dropped the way sometimes indefinite articles and other words are dropped if we are talking about two or more things of the same sort. His sisters and brothers, for example. His sisters and his brothers. The seconds his is often dropped in English. I like it with the po better however: it sounds more professional. In formal writing I would not drop it I do not think it is stylistically bad at all, with the po, not to say is is grammatically wrong. There is nothing grammatically wrong about it. It is just more emphatic, and clearer, depending what effect you want to achieve. You better ask us on this forum about language problems. That somebody is Polish does not mean they know grammar well. Some people also want to be more holy than the Pope. Plus, you cannot apply all English rules of dropping to Polish. Polish language is less strict as dropping of certain words and word order, especially, are concerned. Even in English you do not have to drop certain words in certain contexts which might be dropped from a grammatical point of view. If you want to drop the po, you have to drop three of them, not just two. Otherwise it is not grammatical, or at least looks very weird.
    You ever heard of the expression "Brevity is the soul of wit?" (Polonius in Hamlet)

    BTW his/her are not indefinite articles, but possessive pronouns.
     

    LilianaB

    Banned
    Lithuanian
    Indefinite articles and other words. His and her are personal pronouns. Even a person who has been learning Enflish for two months knows about, or at least they should. Don't pick on people and misquote. I think you probably have nothing to do.

    Sometimes they are also called possessive pronouns, but they are really personal pronouns.
     
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