w Warszawie i we Wrocławiu

LeTasmanien

Senior Member
English British
Hi all,
Can anyone tell me how we can know when to use 'we' in cases such as these,
n.p. we Włoszech, we wtorek, w wrześniu ale
w Warszawie, w Wiedniu i.t.p.

Is it simply that when the letter after the 'W' in the noun is a vowel then 'w' is used and otherwise 'we' is used?

Thanks
Philip.
 
  • zaffy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    you use 'we' if a word begins with the 'w' and then there comes another consonant.

    eg, We Francji

    However, sometimes a 'w' is also acceptable, eg, w środę or we środę
     
    Last edited:

    Ben Jamin

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Hi all,
    Can anyone tell me how we can know when to use 'we' in cases such as these,
    n.p. we Włoszech, we wtorek, w wrześniu ale
    w Warszawie, w Wiedniu i.t.p.

    Is it simply that when the letter after the 'W' in the noun is a vowel then 'w' is used and otherwise 'we' is used?

    Thanks
    Philip.
    We say "we wrześniu". It all depends on how difficult the cluster feels for the speaker, so there are some variations.
     

    jasio

    Senior Member
    Hi all,
    Can anyone tell me how we can know when to use 'we' in cases such as these,
    n.p. we Włoszech, we wtorek, w wrześniu ale
    w Warszawie, w Wiedniu i.t.p.

    Is it simply that when the letter after the 'W' in the noun is a vowel then 'w' is used and otherwise 'we' is used?
    If fact, in practce it may be quite complex - "we" behaves like an archaic form of "w" which partially went out of usage. The most obvious rule says that "we" is used before words beginning with labiodental fricatives ("w" i "f") followed by a consonant: "w Warszawie, Falenicy, Wiedniu" but "we Wrocławiu, Frankfurcie, Francji". This rule is purely based on phonetics, so we say 'w opowiadaniu', but 'we wzruszającym opowiadaniu'.

    However, sometimes "we" is also used before other consonant clusters, especially in specific contexts:
    • we środę (on Wednesday), but "w Środzie Śląskiej" (in Sroda Slaska) - although the form "w środę" is also correct and some sources prefer it
    • we czwartek (on Thursday) vs. w czwartym domu (in the fourth house) - likewise
    • we dwóch / trzech / czterech (np. poszliśmy tam we dwóch - two of us went there) vs. "w dwóch / trzech / czterech otworach" (in two wholes).
    • Similarly, we dwoje, we dwie, we dwójkę - but w dwanaście, w dwanaścioro
    • we dworze (in the mansion house) vs. w dworzyszczu (in a manor) or w dworskiej kuchni (in the court's kitchen)
    • we mszy (w mszy is also correct) but w mszale
    • sometimes 'i' is fonetically considered as consonant, so we Fiorentinie, we fioletach - although 'w' is also ok in these cases, and in 'w fioletowej sukni' "w" is the only option. "we Wiedniu is a similar example - although I have only heard it as an artistic archaisation, because normally "w Wiedniu" is used.
    • we Lwowie but w lwiej grzywie
    • we mnie, vs. w mniemaniu
     

    LeTasmanien

    Senior Member
    English British
    If fact, in practce it may be quite complex - "we" behaves like an archaic form of "w" which partially went out of usage. The most obvious rule says that "we" is used before words beginning with labiodental fricatives ("w" i "f") followed by a consonant: "w Warszawie, Falenicy, Wiedniu" but "we Wrocławiu, Frankfurcie, Francji". This rule is purely based on phonetics, so we say 'w opowiadaniu', but 'we wzruszającym opowiadaniu'.

    However, sometimes "we" is also used before other consonant clusters, especially in specific contexts:
    • we środę (on Wednesday), but "w Środzie Śląskiej" (in Sroda Slaska) - although the form "w środę" is also correct and some sources prefer it
    • we czwartek (on Thursday) vs. w czwartym domu (in the fourth house) - likewise
    • we dwóch / trzech / czterech (np. poszliśmy tam we dwóch - two of us went there) vs. "w dwóch / trzech / czterech otworach" (in two wholes).
    • Similarly, we dwoje, we dwie, we dwójkę - but w dwanaście, w dwanaścioro
    • we dworze (in the mansion house) vs. w dworzyszczu (in a manor) or w dworskiej kuchni (in the court's kitchen)
    • we mszy (w mszy is also correct) but w mszale
    • sometimes 'i' is fonetically considered as consonant, so we Fiorentinie, we fioletach - although 'w' is also ok in these cases, and in 'w fioletowej sukni' "w" is the only option. "we Wiedniu is a similar example - although I have only heard it as an artistic archaisation, because normally "w Wiedniu" is used.
    • we Lwowie but w lwiej grzywie
    • we mnie, vs. w mniemaniu
    Thanks very much Jasio.
    A very comprehensive reply but more complicated than I had expected!
     

    jasio

    Senior Member
    Thanks very much Jasio.
    A very comprehensive reply but more complicated than I had expected!
    I'm sorry to hear that, but that's a nautural language. ;-)

    Anyway, for practical reasons, you may safely master the basic rule ("w/f + consonant") and perhaps a few exceptions which you feel likely to encounter and then rely on the native speakers you're dealing with, with regards to the rest. The long form is gradually disappearing, so probably there's no point in memorising exceptions which you may not have an opportunity to use.

    PS. A similar case is with z/ze, even the rules are similar, except that a cluster of "z"-"z/s"-"consonant" is avoided.
     
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