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Autor:  wixer [ 2012-09-26, 00:17 ]
Tytuł:  no

Hi , I'm trying to find out more about the Polish word 'no'. What exactly does it mean? When is it used? Is it good Polish to use it, or is it just a slang word used mainly by young Poles? The dictionary says it means ' well ', but many people say it is mainly used for the English ' yes '. I would welcome your views as ever.

Dzięki Wixer

Autor:  honia [ 2012-09-28, 12:34 ]
Tytuł:  Re: no

"no" doesn't mean well
and you are right, "no" means yes, but more informally
so you can use it to your friends, better not to use to boss:D

Autor:  honia [ 2012-09-28, 12:51 ]
Tytuł:  Re: no

one more
"no" is also used as confirm someone that we are listening to him. When someone is explaining us something, then not to interrupt their talking we just say from time to time "no" instead of "tak", but also only to friends
talking about well, "no" can be used in context of "ok, I will do it" or "good", not that something is done well
I hope I helped you:)

Autor:  wixer [ 2012-09-28, 19:50 ]
Tytuł:  Re: no

Thanks for your reply Honia. It was very helpful :D

Autor:  silversplit [ 2012-09-28, 21:08 ]
Tytuł:  Re: no

try to think of some example sentences/situations when you heard it. always better explaining in context

'no' could also be used to mean 'kmon'. get on with it' i'm waiting for you to do/say it/something - a form of encouragement - with rising intonation (i think it is rising - just tried saying it and it does sound rising to me)

(also informal use)
as in: two guys talking about asking a girl out - they can see the girl ordering a drink. one guy boasts he's going to go and ask her out but doesn't move an inch - still debating whether to go and risk losing face if she says no.
his mate says 'no' or 'no dawaj' (as in 'and..? 'go on' 'get on with it' (go and ask her out)

also in addition to what honia said - a few more subtleties - 'no' has this somewhat nagging quality to it - so when someone is telling you about something and you kind of keep on nodding and saying 'no' it means - ok yes and what next...' could be well-intentioned and just mean that you are dying to know what happened but also if you overdo it or use strong intonation it might sound impatient and as if you're waiting for the end of the story so that you could get on with something else, or go out of the room or finish the conversation - depending on the context. so the intonation is important here. just as when you are using 'yes' or 'yeah' or 'and' when it becomes 'aaaandd'? it might start sounding nagging. 'noooooo'

yeah pay attention to the intonation with this word. or generally intonation with any word or exclamation or filler like this- it will change the meaning of many words depending on context - as in any language.

Autor:  bag_of_bones [ 2012-09-29, 00:50 ]
Tytuł:  Re: no

There are some other uses of the word... It can be used

1/ to enhance an order, to hurry up somebody and the like.

It is clear that it can be mostly used for example by a teacher to a pupil or by an older boy to a younger one.


Chodź no tu!

No, szybciej, szybciej!

No, mów!

It sounds quite rude for me.

2/ at the beginning of a question

No i co ja mu powiem?

Here's a musical example for the use :>

Autor:  silversplit [ 2012-09-29, 17:51 ]
Tytuł:  Re: no

no is informal so a teacher wouldn't always use it - depending on the type of relation they have with the students. definitely if you're teaching buisness English to a group of serious looking adults - you wouldn't use it. if you're talking to a friend it just sounds informal. unless you want to use specific intonation that converys boredom, impatience, etc etc

the ones below, depending on the intonation and who you're talking to, could be humorous or nagging or full of anticipation and wouldn't have to sound rude unless you specifically mean to sound rude.

also you wouldn't say any of these, with or wthout 'no' , to anyone you don't know well because of them being too direct/ imperatives/commands

Chodź no tu!

No, szybciej, szybciej!

No, mów!

Autor:  wixer [ 2012-09-30, 13:14 ]
Tytuł:  Re: no

Thank you silversplit and b-o-b as ever for your two very comprehensive answers. It seems to me that this very small word is also a very tricky one to use. It's probably not OK to simply say it means ' yes '. I think it takes a native speaker to be able to use it correctly. I'm very grateful for your explanations of its meaning and use.


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