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Polish verbs are conjugated with a separate ending for all six persons: I, you, he, she, it, we, you


Achilles  
20 Nov 2006 /  #1
Polish verbs are conjugated with a separate ending for all six persons: I, you, he, she, it, we, you and they. The verb in the present and now in the past is formed with no auxiliary. When the verb is in the future it is formed with auxiliary, which corresponds to the word: will.

In Polish the verb concentrates on the action, emphasising whether the action has been completed or whether it is unfinished. This differentiation is achieved by verb pairs; almost every verb has its twin. One is the imperfect form and the other is the perfect form. In the imperfect and unfinished activity is indicated, whether it is past, present or future, and finished activity is signified by the perfect verb twin. Poles complain that the English verb has far too many tenses, they prefer not to be reminded that it requires two Polish verbs albeit twins to do the work of one English verb.

There is no longer any Past Perfect in Polish (it disappeared in 1945), meaning that it is impossible just using a verb to say "I had eaten" or "I had lived". It should also be noted that in the Present there is no distinction between "I do something" and "I am doing something". In Polish language the past is the past, it is either "I was eating" or "I ate". Another deficiency is the absence of the Present Perfect and thus there is no concept of "I had eaten". A Polish verb cannot express the concept of now being in the state of having done something in the past. Even the state of being drunk has nothing to do with drinking in the past. The Polish verb does not have the means of linking the two states of affairs. To make these connections other grammatical devices must be employed. These apparent deficiencies are compensated by the advantage of being able to distinguish very clearly between what has been achieved, and what has not.

Polish verbs have a passive form but the passive is not used as frequently and generally as it is in English, while the reflexive form is frequently used when speaking about self or others.

Because the verb itself reveals, who is speaking, or being spoken of and whether they are male or female or indeed neuter, there is no need to use the personal pronouns. Personal pronouns are normally used for emphasis or in answer to questions without their verb.

The verbs fall into three conjugations, so there are three grammatical sets of rules to be learnt in order to decline verbs in their tenses. Are there no exceptions? I hear you ask. Yes, there are exceptions, but only, literally a handful of Polish verbs are irregular. It is really worth making the effort to learn these three conjugations thoroughly. In my personal experience this is even more important than the grammar of declining the noun, in order to express oneself. Then one should identify and learn the basic verbs, such as walk, ride, carry and a score or so other basic verbs. These verbs are varied by the incorporation of conjunctions at the front of the verb, thus from walk, walk to, from, around, through, over, under and several other derivative meanings are created. These derivatives follow a pattern, so this approach would reduce the time taken to acquire a really substantial number of verbs. Furthermore it is these verbs, which are continually used.

Achilles Węgorz
blur13  
21 Nov 2006 /  #2
A very informative and interesting read, cheers! :)
Huegel 1 | 296  
22 Nov 2006 /  #3
Nice one Achilles, very useful post! Thanks.
Nay  
1 Dec 2006 /  #4
thanks for the info. pozdrawiam!
Marek 4 | 867  
20 Feb 2007 /  #5
Hi, Achilles!

DIfficult for foreigners are also the different "perfective"/ïmperfective" aspects (dokonany/niedokonany) in Polish, e.g. "brac" vs. "wziac", "podobac sie" vs. "spodobac sie"etc.

What do you think?
Marek
NoFear  
21 Feb 2007 /  #6
"I was eating" or "I ate"

That's exactly what's Marek talking about

In english when u say "I was eating" u mean that u just was eating, but u dont say if u finished that but if u say "I ate" u mean that u was eating and u ate it all :)

U know... in polish when u want to say "I was eating" u say then "jadłem" and when u mean "I ate" u say "zjadłem".

So theres no separated tens, but there are aspects - thats like done/undone (jadłem=undone, zjadłem=done) because if I "jadłem" i've been only doin that, anif I "zjadłem" then ive been doin and finished.

If u think thats complicated, dahell ure wrong :) If u had grammar lessons in polish school you would have more toys like that.
Marek 4 | 867  
21 Feb 2007 /  #7
Huegel, hi!

I was wondering how useful it is for someone such as yourself who already knows German, to compare the usage of aspect in Polish with certain inseparable prefixes in German, e.g. "steigen"/BEsteigen/ ERsteigen etc., in order to indicate the degree of action.

Lots of stuff has been written on this topic, enough to fill several library rooms.
Just was interested in your thoughts.

Marek
NoFear  
21 Feb 2007 /  #8
Greetz Marek,

Hmm yep I think I can :)
Your polish is quite good, although let me correct some your mistakes :)

"Znasz wielu wyrazów" there is wrong form of word. In that sentence you have to say "Znasz wiele wyrazów".

"Jest trudny poprawnie pisac" the same - "Jest trudno poprawnie pisać"
(I know that inflection isn't easy :) )

"na telewizye z Ameryki slyche sie" should be "w telewizji z Ameryki słyszy się"

Have fun with polish language :)

PS. can you talk in polish ?
bsbdesja  
16 Jun 2007 /  #9
Hi

Achilles mentions in the opening post that there are three main ways of conjugating Polish verbs. I can't find examples of what they are on the internet. Does anyone know of anywhere that teaches how to conjugate Polish verbs (for free)?

Or would anyone be willing be give me an example of the type of conjugation, using for each a different verb??

Thanks

Sarah (a Polish beginner)
knolleke  
26 Jan 2008 /  #11
to bake
preetampatel200  
13 Feb 2008 /  #12
kupować
Alex Willcox - | 2  
14 Feb 2008 /  #13
There is no longer any Past Perfect in Polish (it disappeared in 1945)

Eh?
That's a bit precise! Normally, changes like this take place over many years, as the grammatical tense gradually falls into disuse, until it is only remembered by academics.

How on earth did an entire tense disappear in a single year??
Krzysztof 2 | 973  
14 Feb 2008 /  #14
How on earth did an entire tense disappear in a single year??

maybe it was a process and in 1945 they officially considered it complete, that's what you do, you write new grammatical (or spelling, phonetics) rules sometimes in order to reflect the new state of things.

it also had a symbolic meaning, in 1945 they wanted to underline the the non-communist Past hadn't been Perfect :)
but why the hell didn't they introduce Perfect Present?
CRAIG BROWN  
3 Aug 2008 /  #15
Ćęść jestem nowy tutaj lubiem polsku

searching for an easy way of learning verb tenses is this possible in polish ?

CZYTAĆ UMIEĆ VIDZIEĆ PRACOWAĆ
CZYTAM UMIEM VIDZĘ PRACUJĘ
CZYTASZ UMIESZ VIDZISZ PRACUJESZ
CZYTA UMI VIDZI PRACUJE
CZYTAMY UMIEMY VIDZIMY PRACUJEMY
CZYTACIE UMIECIE VIDZICIE PRACUJECIE
CZYTAJĄ UMIEMEJĄ VIDZĄ PRACUJĄ
miranda  
3 Aug 2008 /  #16
VIDZIEĆ

widzieć
tornado2007 11 | 2,278  
3 Aug 2008 /  #17
CRAIG BROWN

as in the Ex Scotland football manager??
Switezianka - | 463  
4 Aug 2008 /  #18
Achilles, sorry to say that but your 'essay' contains a lot of errors:

Polish verbs are conjugated with a separate ending for all six persons: I, you, he, she, it, we, you and they.

Errr... there are only 3 persons in most languages...

You forgot that in present tense 3rd person singular has only one ending (the same for he she and it) but in past tense and future tense for perfective verbs 1. and 2. person singular have different endings for masculine and feminine gender and 3rd person has 3 gender endings (masc. fem. AND neuter) and in plural each person has two endings for each gender (virile and non-virile - męskoosobowy i niemęskoosobowy).

When the verb is in the future it is formed with auxiliary, which corresponds to the word: will.

Future forms of perfective verbs have no auxiliary. Imperfective verbs future forms are formed using the auxiliary but then, what corresponds to that auxiliary in English would be: will be -ing.

I will do - zrobię
I will be doing - będę robił/robiła/robić

There is no longer any Past Perfect in Polish (it disappeared in 1945), meaning that it is impossible just using a verb to say "I had eaten" or "I had lived".

Wrong. It is very rare and sounds old-fashioned but it's still in use (by old people or some academic freaks), so you can't say it disappeared.

It should also be noted that in the Present there is no distinction between "I do something" and "I am doing something".

Sometimes it depends on whether the verb is perfective or imperfective.
I go to the cinema - Chodzę do kina.
I'm going to the cinema - Idę do kina.
However, it is not possible most of the verb pairs, e.g. in case robić/zrobić (to do) because "zrobić" has no present form.

Even the state of being drunk has nothing to do with drinking in the past.

'Cause, you know, adjectives do not have an inherent concept of 'past' in them, usually. Yeah, in Polish 'He's drunk' is expressed by copula+Adj. 'On jest pijany'...

while the reflexive form is frequently used when speaking about self or others.

obejrzeć - to see/watch something
obejrzeć się - to look back
nosić - to wear
nosić się - to dress (in a certain way); e.g. nosić się elegancko - to dress elegant
Polish reflexives are more complicated...

The verbs fall into three conjugations, so there are three grammatical sets of rules to be learnt in order to decline verbs in their tenses.

A bit more (click on Classical tables of the Polish conjugation.)
grzegorj.w.interia.pl/gram/gram00.html
osiol 55 | 3,923  
4 Aug 2008 /  #19
there are only 3 persons in most languages

There are three persons, but sometimes there's more than one of them.

sorry to say that but your 'essay' contains a lot of errors

I just found it a little difficult to read. It didn't have any pictures.
Marek 4 | 867  
13 Aug 2008 /  #20
Adding something 'original' of Marek's very own: WOOOOOOOOOOWWWW!!! AWESOMEE, DUDE! I've been scanning the depth of pages from the above listed web sites/links and man!!! Forget the fractured English of Grzegorz' translation in spots. the sheer wealth of info. about language, considering its accuracy though, is tremendous! Right on there, somebody in Pole-Cyberland-:)
qazsedcft  
16 Aug 2008 /  #21
The verbs fall into three conjugations

Three? Actually, there are four, plus the verb być. To remember them you only need to learn three things (called principal parts by grammarians): the infinitive, the present first person singular, and the present second person singular.

Conjugation 1: 1st person -ę, 2nd person -esz
Conjugation 2: 1st person -ę, 2nd person -isz/-ysz
Conjugation 3: 1st person -am, 2nd person -asz
Conjugation 4: 1st person -em, 2nd person -esz
Być: completely irregular

In addition, there are some verbs that have a change in stem. There are rules for that too but it's easier to just learn them by heart.
Kurconi - | 1  
12 Sep 2008 /  #22
How can I read Polish words?Are they reading the same like when you write them,like in my (Serbian) language or?ex I don't understand is writing "Ne razumem" but reading also "Ne razumem"...I didnt want to open new topic for just one question.And can someone give me the link where can I hear Polish words by voice?Thanks in advance.
intervigilium - | 9  
12 Sep 2008 /  #23
can someone give me the link where can I hear Polish words by voice?

youtube.com/v/vK7ya63I6-c
It's a Polish lesson on TVP Polonia. The first part is a dialog. After that you see senteces from the dialog and someone reads them.
sausage 19 | 777  
12 Sep 2008 /  #24
And can someone give me the link where can I hear Polish words by voice?

Lots of examples on here...
goethe-verlag.com/book2/EN/ENPL/ENPL002.HTM
Guest  
23 Dec 2008 /  #25
hehe I'm a fluent speaker born in the USA thanks to my parents. Though I can't write at all and my reading is extremely limited. My only restriction on speaking in polish is vocabulary.
cjjc 29 | 408  
24 Mar 2009 /  #26
A great thread.
specialist klen  
4 Jun 2009 /  #27
That's not exactly true. When we say "I was walking", we are using the past continuous tense. It could be a week ago or even a year ago. Example (Last tuesday, I was driving down Marietta Street when a car hit me from the side.) We use the present continuous tense to explain the context of a more important action. The "was driving" is the less important action, and mentioned only to give context. Example: It was raining really hard when all of a sudden we were struck by lightning. We would not say "It rained really hard when all of a sudden we were getting struck by lightning.

The was + -ing ending verb is always used to express what was happening when something more important happened. If someone walked up to you and said, "I was eating," and said nothing else, you would think that was weird. You would be waiting to hear what he or she really wanted to say. If he said "I was eating lunch when a bum stole my bag," you would know that he really wanted to tell you is that his bag was stolen. You would also know that this happened while he was eating lunch.
bakergirl  
15 Aug 2009 /  #28
Thankyou so much for this thread.

It's sorted out a misunderstanding between my polish przyjaciel and me, when I asked if he'd eaten, he didn't understand. So I said, Have you ate anything? Eaten and ate were hard for him to understand. So I ended up asking. When you were in your house did you eat any food? He said he doesn't understand when I used words like "eaten" and "ate", only eat.
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595  
15 Aug 2009 /  #29
He said he doesn't understand when I used words like "eaten" and "ate", only eat.

Because he only knows infinitive forms of verbs.


Poland Archives - 2005-2009 / Language / Polish verbs are conjugated with a separate ending for all six persons: I, you, he, she, it, we, youArchived