Episode 41: In Order That You Would Have Known!

Żebyś wiedział(a)!

English Phonemes: “[Ż]EH-bihsh VYEH-jahw/vyeh-JAH-wah”

Literal Translation: In order that you would have known!

Elegant Translation: So you know!

English Equivalent: Definitely! And how! If you only knew!

This is a higher concept idiom. This phrase is used to confirm with emphatic fervor something that was said. Example: Someone tells you that your kid has a lot of energy. You say “żebyś wiedział!” as a way to say “and how!” or “if you only knew!”

This is an informal phrase. Don’t use this in a formal setting! 

If the person you are speaking to is male, you say “wiedział”. 
If the person you are speaking to is female, you say “wiedziała”.

The word “żebyś” is also a more complex idea because it doesn’t have a one-to-one translation in the dictionary. We have words like it in English. For example, pretend you are explaining “would” to a non-native speaker. Also, “żebyś” combines “że” (so that, in order to) with “byś” (you[singular informal] would) to make the word that is most closely translated as “so that you would”. 

Żebyś = in order that you would [informal, singular]
Wiedział(a) = he(she) knew [past verb, 3rd person singular]

Watch the "duck face" video!

Email us! mailbag@howyousay.fm
Visit the website! www.howyousay.fm
Tweet us! @HowYouSayFM
Rate the show!

Julia Tutko