ze

kanadaaa

Senior Member
Japanese (Tokai)
Hi, I have no knowledge on Polish but would like to ask something about the following ungrammatical sentence.

(1) :cross:Kto myslisz, ze Jan to jest?
who think that Jan Pron is

A similar thing can be observed in English, for example:

(2) :cross: Who do the students think that the teacher is?

But this sentence would be good if it was not for that:

(3) :tick: Who do the students think the teacher is?

Then my question is, what happens when the ze in (1) is gone?

(4) Kto myslisz, Jan to jest?

Thank you for your help in advance.
 
  • ornityna

    Member
    Polish
    In Polish it does not work like that. If you want to ask "who do you think X is?" you would probably use a different construction, depending on the situation. But if we are looking for this particular translation, I would suggest, e.g.:
    Jak myślisz, kim jest X? (Literally 'what do you think, who X is?') (kim is kto in the instrumental case.)
    In general, you cannot get rid of że, like in English. E.g., in English, you can say either 'I think that you are slim' or 'I think you are slim,' but in Polish you need to use that preposition: Myślę, że jesteś szczupła.
     

    ornityna

    Member
    Polish
    or "Kim myślisz jest X?" for example "Kim myślisz jest jego ojciec?"
    True, although this would be an intrusion: Kim, myślisz, jest jego ojciec?
    The full uninverted sentence wouldn't be the following? Myślisz, że kim jest jego ojciec?
    This was what I was getting at with the preposition. But I didn't think of this intrusion.
     

    jasio

    Senior Member
    (1) :cross:Kto myslisz, ze Jan to jest?
    who think that Jan Pron is
    It's ungrammatical indeed, both in Polish and English. Are you trying to translate this sentence from Polish to English, or from English to Polish?

    For example in the above sentence, in Polish "myślisz" is expressed in the second person singular, present tense, ie. in English it should already include a personal pronoun, "you think", which in Polish is not necessary. Besides, in English this type of question is asked with the use of an auxiliary word, which in Polish is not used at all. So it's not quite clear, what are you trying to express.

    On the other hand, "kto myślisz" is just plain wrong. If it's going to begin with "kto", then it should be followed by a verb in the third person singular, just like in English: "kto myśli", "who thinks" - and it's a question for a person who has a certain opinion. On the other hand, if you're asking a person you talk to for an opinion about someone else, then the whole question should be expressed in a completely different way:
    Za kogo uważasz Jana?
    Jak myślisz, kim jest Jan?
    (3) :tick: Who do the students think the teacher is?
    Actually, I would translate this phrase without the "thinking" word whatsoever:
    Za kogo studenci uważają nauczyciela?
    Anyway, a context would be handy indeed, otherwise it's difficult to understand, what are you looking for - especially that the phrases are ungrammatical, as you noticed yourself.
     

    kanadaaa

    Senior Member
    Japanese (Tokai)
    Thank you all for your comments.

    In general, you cannot get rid of że, like in English. E.g., in English, you can say either 'I think that you are slim' or 'I think you are slim,' but in Polish you need to use that preposition: Myślę, że jesteś szczupła.
    This is precisely what I wanted to know.
    (P.S. It's interesting that że is in fact a preposition, because English doesn't allow such a structure.)
     
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