Nieśmiały ze mnie chłopiec. (Question)


#1

Some advice please … I understand that ‘ze mnie’ literally means ‘with me’ and can be used in this kind of context in Polish e.g. ‘Kasia nie była ze mnie zadowolona’ (Kasia wasn’t happy with me). However, in the original Polish sentence here ‘Nieśmiały ze mnie chłopiec’ it is expressing ‘I am’. I’m guessing that there is a stylistic (as well as grammatical) difference to simply saying ‘Jestem nieśmiałym chłopcem’ but can anyone explain it please? Thanks!


#2

You’re right here, the difference is mainly stylistic, and I’m not sure if there’s a stylistic equivalent of this in English. It’s a moderately colloquial structure, and it’s somehow difficult for me to put a finger on what extra information is conveyed by phrasing a sentence this way. Maybe there’s simply not that much to it, and the structure is chiefly used to put emphasis on the adjective.

A quite common use of this is something like “Kiepski ze mnie kucharz” (I’m not really a good cook). You can also often hear “Dobry z ciebie człowiek” or “Dobry z ciebie kolega” (You’re a good person / friend), which isn’t ironic at all, and goes well together with a pat on the back :wink:

There’s also a known Polish song that goes “Już taki ze mnie zimny drań” (which could be freely translated as “I’m a cold bastard; deal with it.”)