sobota, 18 czerwca 2011

Speaking of the word opinion, here is another case involving this word.  It's also one of many situations  in which one Polish word has two different English meanings.  We'll be looking at quite a few of these situations in the future.

The Polish word in this case is zdanie.  Sometimes it means opinion and sometimes it means sentence.

INCORRECT: I agree with Mr. Lis's sentence.
Opinion means “what a person thinks about something.”  We all have opinions—about politics, about the arts, about other people.  See the entry of 28 May for the difference between opinion and reputation.
Each member of the group had a different opinion.
I agree with Mr. Lis's opinion.
Sentence usually means a group of words that work together to express one idea.  A sentence can be a positive or negative statement, a question, or a command.
I’ve read this sentence five times and I still don’t understand it.
But the word sentence has two different Polish meanings!  A sentence can also be a punishment (wyrok).
The prisoner has served seven years of a ten-year sentence.
Sentence can be used as a verb, too.  To sentence means to decide on somebody's legal punishment.  For instance:
The judge sentenced the murderer to life in prison.
This is often used in passive voice:
The murderer was sentenced to life in prison.
This is an example of why we should be careful when finding words in a dictionary--it's not always as easy as it looks!

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