Tyś, myśmy...

Discussion in 'Polski (Polish)' started by slavic_one, Oct 26, 2008.

  1. slavic_one

    slavic_one Senior Member

    Prague, Czech Republic
    Croatian (štokavski, jekavski)
    I have seen these short variations of "ty jesteś" and "my jesteśmy". Are those literaly correct and free to use, and is there also some fore other persons (I guess there could be for 2nd pl. wyście, but for other can't tell I have ideas) ?
  2. dn88 Senior Member

    I think those forms would be considered archaic in the context you're talking about. I'd never use them in that way unless I wanted to sound funny.

    "myśmy" is, however, often used in constructions such as (and here it means something different):

    Myśmy to zrobili.

    The statement above is equivalent to:

    Zrobliliśmy to./My to zrobiliśmy.

    I assume it's a contracted version of "my żeśmy" and it's really common.

    The same rule applies to "wyście":

    Wyście to zrobli. = Zrobiliście to./Wy to zrobiliście.

    Generally speaking, in most cases, you can "take" the śmy/ście part from the ending of a verb and "connect" it to my/wy.

    Hope that gives you a starting point, if not confuses you even more. :D
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2008
  3. ryba

    ryba Senior Member

    I agree.

    They can also sound more dramatic than other forms and thus have a bigger expressive potential. That's why, let's say,

    Tyś to zrobił.

    sounds more like a reproach than the neutral

    Ty to zrobiłeś.

    Ty to zrobiłeś would need "To" to convey the approximate meaning of Tyś to zrobił: To ty to zrobiłeś (= It was you who did it.).

    I guess the construction has this value because

    1. it is archaic

    2. the stress is put on the gramatical person to a bigger degree than in other structures due to two facts:
    a) it always appears in the beginning
    b) it is reacher in meaning than the simple "ty" as it has the -ś part that prepares the listener to listen the resting part knowing beforehand what kind of verbal tense they should expect so they are more focused on the meaning.

    That's what has occurred to me. Let's see what others say.


  4. slavic_one

    slavic_one Senior Member

    Prague, Czech Republic
    Croatian (štokavski, jekavski)
    Thank you, guys!
    I think I get the piont, and I guess there's no such form for ja, on/ona/ono and oni/one/ona then.
  5. njumi Senior Member

    For ja you can use the form jam: jam to zrobił... in the case of on/ona/ono, oni/one I can't find any forms that match the pattern (probably they don't exist).
  6. slavic_one

    slavic_one Senior Member

    Prague, Czech Republic
    Croatian (štokavski, jekavski)
    "Jam" sounds a bit strange to me, but thanks!:)
  7. CapnPrep Senior Member

    The third person ending is ∅ so there is nothing to move around. I.e., jam (jestem, byłem), tyś (jesteś, byłeś), on-∅ (jest-∅, był-∅).

    These endings don't just go with verbs and subject pronouns. They sometimes appear on other words, especially adverbs and question words (see also żeśmy mentioned by dn88 above). These examples are from Swan's grammar (p. 255):

    • Dlaczegoś tak wcześnie wstała? Why did you get up so early?
    • Trochęśmy się niepokoili. We were somewhat concerned.
    • Jużem ci powiedział. I've already told you.
    • Gdzieście byli cały dzień? Where have you been all day?
    He says these are colloquial/dialectal (particularly southern Polish), sometimes archaic or odd, and should not be imitated by learners.
  8. ryba

    ryba Senior Member

    I second everything said by CapnPrep.

    I only wanted to say how I feel about each of given examples (I am basing on my post #3):

    • Dlaczegoś tak wcześnie wstała? Why did you get up so early? Natural sounding, used for reproaching.
    • Trochęśmy się niepokoili. We were somewhat concerned. Archaic but still quite normal, I would use it in a conversation, there's no problem about it.
    • Jużem ci powiedział. I've already told you. Kind of archaic and solemn although I would still use it to reproach, with a tone suggesting my patience is failing/exhausted. Anyway, in case of the 1st person singular adding -m to something that is not a verb sounds particularly solemn.
    • Gdzieście byli cały dzień? Where have you been all day? Natural sounding, used for reproaching.

    Where I said I would reproach someone for something using the above structure it doesn't mean it can be used only for that purpose. It just means in different contexts it works as a pure archaism (solemn sounding but understandable for any Polish native speaker).
  9. Piotr_WRF Senior Member

    Polish, German
    I'll just add my 2 cents. All the examples given by CapnPrep sound natural and are what I would say given the context, except the one in 1st pers. sg. This one sounds truly archaic.
  10. slavic_one

    slavic_one Senior Member

    Prague, Czech Republic
    Croatian (štokavski, jekavski)
    Now I can add my opinion as a foreign speaker. As I already told, 1st person sg. sounds pretty odd to me, but rest of it sounds ok, especially for perfect, I'd say it's more similar to Croatian and other Slavic languages then the "usual" form is.
  11. mcibor Senior Member

    One more thing. Jam is not used so much, but Żem, in my opinion is used a bit more often:

    Jak żem powiedział,
  12. JakubikF Senior Member

    "Ja żem powiedział" is an INCORRECT form! You must not use it. It is a very common mistake nowadays. "żem/żeś" can be used only in subordinate clause np. "Film tak bardzo mi się spodobał, żem postanowił obejrzeć go jeszcze raz."; "Słyszałem, żeś w końcu zdał egzanim na prawo jazdy" etc.
  13. mcibor Senior Member

    hmm, I didn't know that, but you made a small mistake - I didn't write Ja żem powiedział only jak. Meaning, that it's not end of sentence. E.g.

    Jak żem powiedział, powinniśmy się spotkać.

    So it is in subordinate clause ;)
  14. JakubikF Senior Member

    I think I need to buy new glasses :p. Anyway, it is true you wrote "jak żem..." but is it really a subordinate clause? Don't you think that more correct would be to say: "Jak powiedziałem, powinniśmy się spotkać"? If we transform your sentence it could be written as: "Jak że powiedziałem, powinniśmy się spotkać" - in this sentence "że" is a particle, but using it in this case does not make sense and it is incorrect in my opinion.

    That what you suggest, I think, may be expressed in this example: "Jakem powiedział, powinniśmy się spotkać" or "Jakem powiedział, takem zrobił". Both are correct but rarely used.

    As far as I know, the particle "-że" or "-żeż" in some situations can make a verb stronger but there must be a verb ("jak" is not a verb). E.g. "Wróćże/Wróćżeż do domu, jest już póżno." etc.

    One more think come to my mind. Your example may also be a dialect. In Silesia region, people tend to use some variations of this "żem", "żeś" but then it is Polish never more. We have to consider grammar of Silesian language which is different from Polish one.
  15. njumi Senior Member

    In my opinion the proper form in this case is jakem:

    jakem postanowił, takem zrobił
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2008
  16. mcibor Senior Member

    Maybe, though I am positively sure I have heard in Szczecin someone saying:

    Jak żem powiedział... to enhance that it was me who said it. But we have many people from Silesia here, so that may be true.
  17. jazyk Senior Member

    Brno, Česká republika
    Brazílie, portugalština
    To bardzo przypomina język czeski: Jak jsem pověděl/řekl.
  18. kknd Senior Member

    Polska / Poland
    polski / Polish
    jak żem generally is incorrect (see notices about subordinate clause above); correct version differs in writing: jakżem should be perfectly fine here (e.g. :tick: Jakżem już powiedział, :cross: Jak żem już powiedział; in first particle -że makes utterance stronger, enclitic -m was moved from verb; in second że is not particle but conjuction).
  19. Thomas1

    Thomas1 Senior Member

    polszczyzna warszawska
    It is indeed similar and reminiscent of old conjugation we used to have in Polish in the past.

    Polish verbs used to be conjugated with the auxiliary verb być.

    These along with the active past participle formed the past composed tense:
    Ja jeśm poszedł.
    Ty jeś poszedł.
    On jest poszedł.
    My jesmy poszli.
    Wy jeście poszli.
    Oni są poszli.
    The participle was changed for feminine and neuter conjugation.

    The auxiliary could stand after the active past participle:
    Ja poszedł jeśm.
    Then it evolved, due to pronunciation I suppose, into one form and hence we have endings in the past tense today (there is ø for third persons)):
    Ja poszedłem.
    Both forms I described above were still alive in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. In the fifteenth century they gradually started to change and the auxiliary for the third persons to disappear.

    Initially, the endings were tucked to a word they followed if the auxiliary preceded the participle:
    Ty jeś poszedł. -- Tyś poszedł.
    My jesmy poszli. -- Myśmy poszli.
    Oni są poszli. -- Oni poszli.
    If they followed the participle they were attached to the participle:
    Ty poszedł jeś. -- Ty poszedłeś.
    My poszli jesmy -- My poszliśmy.
    Oni poszli są. -- Oni poszli.
    The paradigm grew in strength in the sixteenth century and has survived up until now.

    Sentences of the type:
    jakem postanowił, takem zrobił
    are indeed correct
    jak jeśm postanowił, tak jeśm zrobił
    the auxiliary precedes the active past participle and yields jakem postanowił, takem zrobił.


    I don't think jakżem or jak żem are correct at all in standard Polish, even though they are used.


    To me
    Jam poszedł.
    type of sentences sound archaic.
    Tyś poszedł.
    is a bit old-fashioned, but I wouldn’t rise my brows at it and know many people who will use them (mainly elderly).
    Myśmy poszli.
    Wyście poszli.
    are perfectly natural and commonly used in modern Polish.

    Ty ześ poszedł.
    is not correct but you can often hear it in modern Polish, is has a certain folksy tang to it and can definitely be more robust/ reproachful than Tyś poszedł. given the proper intonation. An even more reproachful verging on being rude could be Ty żeś polazł. ;)

    Last edited: Oct 28, 2008
  20. slavic_one

    slavic_one Senior Member

    Prague, Czech Republic
    Croatian (štokavski, jekavski)
    Yes, that's why I already said this form is more similar to other Slavic lngs :)

    Tomasz, thank you very much for that brilliant post!!!
    That's all about it! I didn't know that existed in Polish, but I's preatty much logical because all other Slavic languages have that form (except those ones that don't have auxiliary verbs, like Russian).
  21. ryba

    ryba Senior Member


    I would perfectly use it to reproach:

    Gdzieżeś polazł?!

    and it would mean basically the same as

    Gdzieś polazł?!


    Gdzieś ty polazł?!

    I think the first one (the -żeś ending form) is the heaviest sounding one and it definitely has that dialectal taste we all love.:)

    It would like to rectify one thing. The word "correct" has been used many times in this thread with the meaning of 'normative'.

    There are many things that are gramatically correct (do not present any crime against logic) but are not normative and thus not recommended for non-native users.

    Jak żem chciał, tak żem zrobił.

    is an archaism/dialectalism that is perfectly logical and keeps on being used, the thing is it is used more often in some regions than in others.

    This kind of usage is not a normative one and a scholarised speaker will know in what kind of contexts it's O.K. for him to use the expression and in what king of context it would not be appropriate.
  22. jazyk Senior Member

    Brno, Česká republika
    Brazílie, portugalština
    Dopiero co znalazłem się z jakem w Quo Vadis:

    Stara to siedziba - odrzekł Plaucjusz - w której nic nie zmieniłem od czasu, jakem ją odziedziczył.
  23. Thomas1

    Thomas1 Senior Member

    polszczyzna warszawska
    My sentiments exactly. ;)
    Wersja, którą się słyszy najczęściej nie ma ł:
    Gdzieżeś polas?!
    No gdzieżeś polas?! :D

    W tej książce ta konstrukcja akurat pasuje. Wydaje mi się, że Sienkiewicz świadomie jej użył.
  24. jazyk Senior Member

    Brno, Česká republika
    Brazílie, portugalština
    To tak napisałem, bo to jest tak dobra książka, że miałem wrażenie, że w świecie jesteśmy tylko my z nią. :)
  25. werrr Senior Member

    Czech uses the modern Polish way too, but only for the singular second person.

    It is rather rare (poetic) for the verb “to be” as for the verb of meaning:

      podobnas… (you are similar to…)
      tys krásná (you are beautiful)

    It is very frequent for the verb “to be” as auxiliary:

      šel/šla/šlo jsi → šels, šlas, šlos

    and as in Polish it could be contracted with other words, mainly with the interrogatives:

      kde jsi byl(a/o) → kdes byl(a/o)
      co jsi to udělal → cos to udělal

    It is even obligatory with the reflexives:

      :tick: učil ses × učil jsi se :cross: (common mistake)

    I only wonder why you all call it ending. Isn’t it misconception? For us it is contraction with the enclitic form of the verb “to be”.
  26. Thomas1

    Thomas1 Senior Member

    polszczyzna warszawska
    It's what it is called today. You have to bear in mind that the auxiliary "be" was common in Polish a few centuries ago and today practically no one knows about that. It is much easier to call them endings than enclitics formed on the basis of the old conjugation of the verb to be.
  27. kknd Senior Member

    Polska / Poland
    polski / Polish
    Thomas1 is probably speaking about czas zaprzeszły (past participle?). I have a question: was this auxiliary (modal?) 'be' used in other constructions?

    Ok. I have probably one answer: passive voice in Polish where forms of 'to be' (być) or 'to become' (zostać) are engaged with adjectival participle (passive) and compound nominal predicate(?) (orzeczenie imienne, does someone know the names of those in English?), where 'to be', 'to become', 'to get' (robić się) or even particle 'to' (translated as 'is') is used as a linker (?) (łącznik, again: name please! :rolleyes:).
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2009
  28. robin74 Senior Member

    Actually, Thomas1 is talking about simple past tense. Historically, "zrobił" is a participle. And while "zrobił był" (past perfect) is still used even if considered archaic, it used to be, similarly, "zrobił jest" in the simple past (which in modern Polish reduced to just "zrobił"). In the other persons the auxiliary form of "to be" (as in "zrobił jeśm") got assimilated with the verb (to become "zrobiłem", with removable ending).
  29. BezierCurve Senior Member

    Exactly so, I remember professor Miodek got very emotional about it in one of his programmes. He compared that to its Czech equivalent at that time too.
  30. Ben Jamin Senior Member

    Well, Russian went through a similar process of formation of the compound past tense, but it went further than Polish, and dropped all the auxilliaries alltogether, leaving only the participle (but they were there earlier).
    So we have three stages of development in the Slavic languages:
    separate auxilliary verbs + participle (Czech, Serbian)
    incorporated auxilliary verbs as endings + loose endings (Polish)
    lost auxiliaries (Russian).

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