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Past and future tense examples in Polish

porta 18 | 297  
4 Sep 2007 /  #1
I was looking at this sentence last night:

...........nowy projekt w przyszłym tygodniu.

The verb to put in is "zaczynać".

I know the correct answer is "zaczynam" ,but does one use the same word for future and past?

What if i where to say "I started a new project last week." ?

Would "Zaczynam nowy project w ubiegłym tygodniu." be correct?
Gosiaa 2 | 89  
4 Sep 2007 /  #2
Gee you are complecated !
Who gave you this homework ??
OP porta 18 | 297  
4 Sep 2007 /  #3
Me :P

I'm just trying to learn ,the sentence was taken out of the "Polish In 4 weeks" book ,but the question about what to say for past is mine.

You have any sugestions for what would be better? Or am i correct in the sentence i typed?
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,161  
4 Sep 2007 /  #4
Would "Zaczynam nowy project w ubiegłym tygodniu." be correct?

Gosiaa 2 | 89  
4 Sep 2007 /  #5
there are some grammar rules there .

I am a native speaker can speak correctly but cannot remember the rules we used to
lear by heart at school. You should get hold of old grammar book if you live in poland.

present perfect
zaczynam projekt w przyszlym tygodniu = starting new project next week.

past tense
zaczolem ( don't know how to type the L with the top ) projekt w zeszlym tygodniu = started pjoject last week

future tense
zaczne nowy projekt w nastepnym tygodniu (e with the thing at the end ) will be
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,161  
4 Sep 2007 /  #6

OP porta 18 | 297  
4 Sep 2007 /  #7
Hmm, I am working hard to understand the polish grammar ,it's so different than Norwegian. I have to think in a whole new way.

But i wont quit untill i get it.
Michal - | 1,865  
4 Sep 2007 /  #8
"Zaczynam nowy project w ubiegłym tygodniu." be correct?

I think it would look better to say something like 'ja zaczalem nowy projekt w ubieglym tygodniu as in fact you are refering to the past, i.e. last week. I would use the perfective verb zaczac, sorry for the lack of Polish lettering.

However, ja zaczynam nowy projekt w przyszlym tygodniu meaning next week is permissible. Or ja zaczne nowy projekt w przyszlym tygodniu will mean a one off event in the future
OP porta 18 | 297  
4 Sep 2007 /  #9
Hmm, i found this site: polish grammar and polish-dictionary. Looks like a good place to get some basics. Right?
Krzysztof 2 | 973  
4 Sep 2007 /  #10
ah, the verbs, the most difficult part to learn, I guess
so here we go

the only good thing about Polish tenses is that there are 3 of them, not 16 like in English :)
past - present - future, you basically have to learn 4 forms of the verb -

A/ imperfective (robić = to do, to make):
1/ past (robiłem/robiłam, I'll give ONLY examples of 1st person, singular, both male/female, if the difference exists)
2/ present (robię)
- future - created by the use of the future tense of the verb być + infinitive or past tense form (since the auxiliary verb "być" has normal conjugation here, the forms of "robić" used are only those of 3rd person m/f of singular/plural,

so "(ja) robiłem/robiłam, but "(ja) będę robił/robiła, "(my) robiliśmy/robiłyśmy, but "(my) będziemy robili/robiły)

so the future tense of robić is będę robić or będę robił/będę robiła (for a foreigner it's easier to use być + infinitive scheme, because you don't have to worry about the femimnie/masculine and singular/plural endings in case of być + past tense form)

B/ perfective (zrobić):
1/ past (1st person - zrobiłem/zrobiłam)
2/ future (1st person - zrobię)
- there's no present tense for perfective verbs

and of course the division of imperfective/perfective it's not that easy like with the verb robić/zrobić, where you simply add the affix "z-"

- other popular affixes are:
- (prefixes - usually create the perfective form) 'po-" (imperfective jechać - perfective pojechać) , "prze-" (imperfective szkolić - perfective przeszkolić), "za-" (imperfective proponować - perfective zaproponować),

- (suffixes - usually create the imperfective form) "-yw/aw" (perfective być - imperfective bywać, perfective dać - imperfective dawać )
that's off the top of my head, the list of affixes (mostly prefixes) is longer.

and sometimes the stems (roots) differ a lot:
in your example
"zaczynać" is imperfective, while the perfective form is "zacząć"
other examples with quite different roots (at least apparently):
imperfective - perfective
iść - pójść (to go, by foot or figuratively)
przychodzić - przyjść (to come)
brać - wziąć (to take)
zabierać - zabrać (to take away)
mówić - powiedzieć (to talk, to speak, to tell, to say)

technically (or rather grammatically) the sentence
"Zaczynam nowy projekt w przyszłym tygodniu" is in PRESENT tense, it's the "w przyszłym tygodniu" that makes it has a meaning of the future tense,

the same in English
"I'm starting to like him" (Zaczynam go lubić) is present, but "I'm starting my holidays tomorrow" (Jutro zaczynam wakacje/urlop) is future because of the use of the adverb "tomorrow"

brać - wziąć (to take)zabierać - zabrać (to take away)

if you look closely at those verbs, you notice the "false" (apparent) perfective form:
why isn't 'zabrać' (prefix "za-" + imperfective verb "brać") simply the perfective form of "brać"?
those prefixes very often modify (sometimes a little, sometimes much) the meaning of the original stem (root), and become separate dictionary entries, so even if they are indeed perfective, they don't match with the original imperfective form, but create an perfective-imperfective pair of their own
OP porta 18 | 297  
4 Sep 2007 /  #11
Jestem bardzo wdzięczny za pomoc. :)
Krzysztof 2 | 973  
4 Sep 2007 /  #12
I hope you don't get scared, I have the tendency to bomb you with too many details, but just take them step by step, noone is expecting you to be fluent within two weeks, I hope :)
OP porta 18 | 297  
4 Sep 2007 /  #13
No ,i'm not easy to scare ;) The more info and details i get the more i want to learn.
Michal - | 1,865  
5 Sep 2007 /  #14
"Zaczynam nowy project w ubiegłym tygodniu." be correct?

Zaczynalem nowy projekt w ubieglym tygodniu.
Krzysztof 2 | 973  
5 Sep 2007 /  #15
zaczalem nowy projekt w ubieglym tygodniu

post #8

Zaczynalem nowy projekt w ubieglym tygodniu.

post #16

Michal, don't try to ruin the thread, it's already been answered and even you agreed (your post #8)
(Zacząłem nowy projekt w ubiegłym tygodniu. - that's how we say it),
using the imperfective form (zaczynać) would require a very specific circumstances in this case, the perfective form is the way to go.

Sometimes there is an analogy with the use of perfect/continous tenses in English and Polish perfective/imperfective verbs, for example:
I was starting to like the guy, but then he did something so stupid that I don't want to see him ever again - Zaczynałam lubić faceta, ale wtedy zrobił coś tak głupiego, że nie chcę go więcej widzieć. (continuous in English, imperfective in Polish)

Zaczęłam czytać "Ogniem i mieczem" - I've started reading [to read] "With Fire and Sword"
(perfect in English, perfective in Polish)

unfortunatelly it's not a rule, just a hint for someone coming from other linguistic tradition, who might have problems with understaning the difference in usage of Polish perfective/imperfective verbs.
Michal - | 1,865  
6 Sep 2007 /  #16
I think really he needs to buy a simple book and learn as he goes. If you try to 'spoon feed' someone with too much too soon, it becomes an 'uphill struggle'.
nukefusion 2 | 6  
17 Apr 2009 /  #17
Merged: Past Tense conjugation - Can someone check this please?

Transparent Language post up a "Word of the Day" on their site each day.
There's a little widget there where you can click "Conjugate" and see all the conjugations of the verb in the different tenses. I'm just a beginner, but I'm sure that the past tense conjugations are all mixed up - the masculines are where the feminines should be and vice-versa. Could some one more knowledgeable check please and let me know if it is the case:

sausage 19 | 777  
17 Apr 2009 /  #18
yes, they have reversed masculine and feminine
nukefusion 2 | 6  
17 Apr 2009 /  #19
Thanks a lot sausage. I thought that was the case but having just started out I couldn't be sure. That's all I need, more confusion! :)

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