Return PolishForums LIVE
  PolishForums Archive :
Archives - 2005-2009 / Language  % width 12

What is the name for "I would", is it conditional mood or something else?


Michallikes 10 | 34  
26 Aug 2009 /  #1
What is the name for "I would", is it conditional mood or something else?

For example, if I won the lottery I would buy a BMW.
niejestemcapita 2 | 561  
26 Aug 2009 /  #2
I think it's called the "second conditional" and is a remnant of the subjunctive mood/aspect/
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595  
26 Aug 2009 /  #3
"I would" is the conditional form of 1st person singular.

One of the most commonly used in Polish is probably conditional form of 1st person singular of the verb chcieć; 'chciałbym' (I would like).

In the same way, You would is the conditional form of 2nd person singular (and plural as well actually).
Lyzko  
28 Aug 2009 /  #4
From the verb 'chieć'

Chciał(a)bym - I would like (masc. and fem.) Chcielibyśmy - We would like
Chciał(a)byś - You would like Chcielibyście - You (all) would like
Chciał(a)by - He/she/it would like Chcielbylą - They would like
mafketis 24 | 9,144  
28 Aug 2009 /  #5
It is the conditional.

One easy thing about Polish is that there's only one conditional (which also does duty as a subjunctive and some other stuff)

Also, Polish doesn't really distinguish between

"I would (and still might)" and "I would have (but now it's impossible)"

If I won the lottery I'd buy a new house. (and I might win the lottery in the future)

Gdybym wygrał w lotto, kupiłbym nowy dom.

If I had won the lottery, I've have bought a new house. (but it's too late, I didn't win)

Gdybym wygrał w lotto, kupiłbym nowy dom.

Nice to find something easy!
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595  
29 Aug 2009 /  #7
One easy thing about Polish is that there's only one conditional

I understand how you're thinking.

But there are still 2 forms of the conditional tense, perfective and imperfective. And the meaning can differ quite a lot.
mafketis 24 | 9,144  
29 Aug 2009 /  #8
I find it's better to think of perfective and imperfective verbs as separate verbs. The traditional practice of pairing up verbs in 'aspect pairs' creates more problems for learners than it solves. I only began making real progress when I gave up that whole idea.
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595  
31 Aug 2009 /  #9
I have been thinking about that. And I guess it depends on the verb. Some of them appears rather "clearly" when you compare perf. and imperf. forms. Some of them just make you confused. But I assume that this is a part of the language that becomes more natural when you get more and more used to the language.
Ziemowit 13 | 4,239  
1 Sep 2009 /  #10
One easy thing about Polish is that there's only one conditional

The funny thing about it is that the third conditional can still be very rarely heard among Polish speakers. I was truly amazed to hear a rather young voice using it spontaneously and in a most natural way on the radio about half a year ago. Obviously, you won't hear the Past Perfect tense being used in the streets or in a shop, but it can occasionally be quite useful in a intellectual discussion on the radio to make the speaker sound precise and elegant. The other funny thing about it is that the old and middle-age generation (I'm not sure about the young generation) can still be sure about its grammatical forms (which are easy), though they don't seem to use them in their everyday life.

If I had won the lottery, I've have bought a new house. (but it's too late, I didn't win)
Gdybym wygrał w lotto, kupiłbym nowy dom.

Just for the curosity of some PF members - the above sentence with the use of the Polish Past Perfect tense (czas zaprzeszły):
Gdybym był wygrał w lotto, kupiłbym był nowy dom.
nailatte - | 1  
17 Sep 2009 /  #11
Well, actually there could be a difference between 1st and 2nd conditional in polish.

If / when she calls me, I'll go. - Jak do mnie zadzwoni, pójdę.

If she called me, I would go. - Jeśli / gdyby do mnie zadzwoniła, poszedłbym / poszedłabym.

There is a slight difference between jeśli, gdyby and jak. "jak" is usually used if something's going to happen sooner or later. If you doubt, that

she will call you at all
then you should use "jeśli / gdyby".

And I would rather use "gdybym" instead of "jeśli" if I want to create 3rd conditional.

So:
1st conditional => jak
2nd => jeśli
3rd => gdyby

For instance, you shouldn't say:
Gdybyś podgrzał(a) wodę, to się zagotuje = If you heat the water, it boils.
Because it literally sounds like 3rd conditional.
People usually say: jak / jeśli podgrzejesz wodę, to się zagotuje.

And I think that "jak" is the most universal phrase in polish conditionals.

But it's just a detail, so not to worry if you mix "jak / jeśli / gdyby" up.
mafketis 24 | 9,144  
17 Sep 2009 /  #12
Well, actually there could be a difference between 1st and 2nd conditional in polish.

It might be important to remember that 1rst, 2nd and third conditionals are not terms that native speakers of English are liable to be familiar with (unless they've had training to be English teachers). They're sort of an artificial construction for the benefit of learners of English.

The only distinction I remember specifically being taught was the idea of "could still happen" vs "can't happen anymore".

Also, while "Jak do mnie zadzwoni, pójdę." will normally be translated into English as a conditional, it's not really a conditional in Polish (if we want to keep semantic and grammatical categories separate, which I do). It can also be translated non-conditionally into English "I'll go when she calls".

Archives - 2005-2009 / Language / What is the name for "I would", is it conditional mood or something else?Archived