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Help me with formal and informal forms!

Gosia
2010-08-05
15:38
Help me with formal and informal forms!
Hello, I have a question about how one should to new people. What are the rules of using you (ty) for and ‘pan/pani”? Is it a big faux pas to use the wrong one?
Gosia
2010-08-06
20:35
Hey, I’ve noticed that the fact in Polish there are two different forms is very confusing for English-speaking students. In general, you can use ‘ty’ form when you talk to young people (up to age, let’s say, 20-23) or to people you know well. It always safer to use the offical form „Pan/Pani”. After you know someone for a while you can suggest to move to ‘you’ form. Still, in official situations it’s rather uncommon to use ‘ty’ form and it’s always safer to use ‘Pani/Pan’ when speaking to adults.
Gosia
2010-08-10
19:17
[quote:pomocny]Hey, I’ve noticed that the fact in Polish there are two different forms is very confusing for English-speaking students. In general, you can use ‘ty’ form when you talk to young people (up to age, let’s say, 20-23) or to people you know well. It always safer to use the offical form „Pan/Pani”. After you know someone for a while you can suggest to move to ‘you’ form. Still, in official situations it’s rather uncommon to use ‘ty’ form and it’s always safer to use ‘Pani/Pan’ when speaking to adults.[/quote]

I don’t know if I get it right. Do I have to wait till someone offers to move to ‘you’ form? What is someone uses it from the very beginning? Should I do the same thing?
Gosia
2010-08-10
21:03
[quote:miki][quote:pomocny]Hey, I’ve noticed that the fact in Polish there are two different forms is very confusing for English-speaking students. In general, you can use ‘ty’ form when you talk to young people (up to age, let’s say, 20-23) or to people you know well. It always safer to use the offical form „Pan/Pani”. After you know someone for a while you can suggest to move to ‘you’ form. Still, in official situations it’s rather uncommon to use ‘ty’ form and it’s always safer to use ‘Pani/Pan’ when speaking to adults.[/quote]

I don’t know if I get it right. Do I have to wait till someone offers to move to ‘you’ form? What is someone uses it from the very beginning? Should I do the same thing?[/quote]


There are no strict rules considering the right form. Actually, even Polish people sometimes have problems with deciding which one is more adequate. It’s rather a matter of intuition. If you want to understand how it works, don’t learn any rules! You should observe how Polish people use it and then you will know more ore less how it works.
frdalloway
2011-01-06
15:04
I had the same dilemma before coming to Poland - I didn't know how to address my teachers at the Polish course, but they soon made it clear to address them by their names.
However, it was more difficult e.g. in the shops, buses etc. I used the form Pan/Pani excessively, even to people my age (20-25), and I could see that they sometimes felt awkward.
Polish lessons wg Elisabeth
Elisabeth
London (Wielka Brytania)

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