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Ways of Expressing the Future in Polish


Ivonka  
3 Nov 2006 /  #1
It is generally known that there are few possibilities to express future in English. I would like to compare them with Polish and show the similarities as well as the differences.

Firstly, there is:

Zamierzać (be going to) – we use it when we talk about zamiary (intentions) which is also the case in Polish. In both languages there is bezokolicznik (infinitive) after zamierzać (be going to).

Liczba pojedyncza (Singular)

ja zamierzam studiować, kupić (I’m going to study, buy)
ty zamierzasz studiować, kupić (you’re going to study, buy)
on, ona, ono zamierza studiować, kupić (he, she, it is going to study, buy)

Liczba mnoga (Plural)

my zamierzamy studiować, kupić (we’re going to study, buy)
wy zamierzacie studiować, kupić (you’re going to study, buy)
oni, one zamierzają studiować, kupić (they’re going to study, buy)

Zamiary (Intentions)

Zdanie twierdzące or twierdzenie (Affirmative Sentence)

In English:
I’m going to study Psychology.
She’s going to visit me next Saturday.

In Polish:
(Ja) zamierzam studiować psychologię.
Ona zamierza odwiedzić mnie w przyszłą sobotę.

Zdanie pytające or pytanie (Question Sentence)

As in all pytania ogólne (general questions) in Polish, we put czy at the beginning of the question – we do not have any inversion.

In English:
Am I going to study Psychology?
Is she going to visit me next Saturday?

In Polish:
Czy (ja) zamierzam studiować psychologię?
Czy ona zamierza odwiedzić mnie w przyszłą sobotę?

To answer shortly in a positive way we say Tak (Yes, I am./Yes, she is.) or Tak, zamierzam/zamierza (Yes, I’m going to./Yes, she’s going to.) and to give a negative short answer we say Nie (No, I’m not./No, she isn’t.) or Nie, nie zamierzam/nie zamierza (No, I’m not going to./No, she isn’t going to.).

In pytania szczegółowe (Specific Questions) we have słowo pytające (Question Word) in the first place and no inversion.

In English:
Where am I going to study Psychology?
Where is she going to visit me next Saturday?

In Polish:
Gdzie (ja) zamierzam studiować psychologię?
Gdzie ona zamierza odwiedzić mnie w przyszłą sobotę?

Zdanie przeczące or przeczenie (Negative Sentence):
To make such a sentence we add nie (not) before the word zamierzać (going to).

In English:
I’m not going to study Psychology.
She isn’t going to visit me next Saturday.

In Polish:
(Ja) nie zamierzam studiować psychologii.
Ona nie zamierza odwiedzić mnie w przyszłą sobotę.

In English, zamierzać (be going to) is usually contrasted with ‘will’ which is Polish czas przyszły (Future Simple).

Liczba pojedyncza (Singular)

ja będę robić/robił (men/boys)/robiła (women/girls), zrobię (I’ll do)
ty będziesz robić/robił (men/boys)/robiła (women/girls), zrobisz (you’ll do)
on będzie robić/robił, zrobi (he’ll do)
ona będzie robić/robiła, zrobi (she’ll do)
ono będzie robić/robiło, zrobi (it’ll do)

Liczba mnoga (Plural)

my będziemy robić/robili (men/boys/mixed)/robiły (women/girls), zrobimy (we’ll do)
wy będziecie robić/robili (men/boys/mixed)/robiły (women/girls), zrobicie (you’ll do)
oni będą robić/robili, zrobią (men/boys/mixed) (they’ll do)
one będą robić/robiły, zrobią (women/girls) (they’ll do)

When it comes to the use of ‘will’ it is similar as both in English and Polish it is used to talk about:

- fakty w przyszłości (facts in the future) e.g. W przyszły piątek będę mieć 15 lat. (Next Friday I will be 15.)

- decyzja, zgoda na zrobienie czegoś (decision, agreement to do something) e.g. (Ty) jesteś zmęczona. (Ja) pozmywam. (You’re tired. I will do the washing-up.)

- przewidywania dotyczące przyszłości (predictions about the future) e.g. (Ja) myślę, że (oni) wygrają ten mecz. (I think they will win this match).

In English, when we want to express przewidywanie na podstawie tego, co widzimy (prediction based on what we see) we use the construction zamierzać (be going to), whereas in Polish we do it by means of czas przyszły (Future Simple) e.g. Popatrz na niebo. Będzie padać. (Look at the sky. It’s going to rain).

Zdanie twierdzące or twierdzenie (Affirmative Sentence)

In English:
I will sing his song tomorrow.
She will write a letter tomorrow.

In Polish:
(Ja) będę śpiewać/śpiewał/śpiewała, zaśpiewam tą piosenkę jutro.
Ona będzie pisać/pisała, napisze list jutro.

Zdanie pytające or pytanie (Question Sentence):

We do it by putting czy in front of the question in pytania ogólne (general questions) – no inversion here.

In English:
Will I sing this song tomorrow?
Will she write a letter tomorrow?

In Polish:
Czy (ja) będę śpiewać/śpiewał/śpiewała, zaśpiewam tą piosenkę jutro?
Czy ona będzie pisać/pisała, napisze list jutro?

Short positive answers are: Tak (Yes, I will./Yes, she will.) or Tak, będę/zaśpiewam./Tak, będzie/napisze. (Yes, I’ll sing./Yes, she’ll write.)

Short negative answers are: Nie (No, I won’t./No, she isn’t.) or Nie, nie będę/nie zaśpiewam./Nie, nie będzie/nie napisze. (No, I won’t sing./No, she won’t write.).

Pytania szczegółowe (specific questions) are formed with słowa pytające (question words) At the beginning of the question, but again without inversion.

In English:
Where will I sing this song tomorrow?

Where will she write a letter tomorrow?

In Polish:
Gdzie (ja) będę śpiewać/śpiewał/śpiewała, zaśpiewam tą piosenkę jutro?
Gdzie ona będzie pisać/pisała, napisze list jutro?

Zdania przeczące or przeczenia (Negative Sentences):

Nie (not) is the key word here.

In English:
I won’t sing this song tomorrow.
She won’t write a lettere tomorrow.

In Polish:
(Ja) nie będę śpiewać/śpiewał/śpiewała, zaśpiewam tej piosenki jutro.
Ona nie będzie pisać/pisała, napisze listu jutro.

Określenia czasu (Expressions of Time):

- jutro (tomorrow)
- następnego dnia/lata (next day/summer)
- w następnym tygodniu/miesiącu/roku, w następny piątek (next week/month/year/Friday)
- za 2 dni/tygodnie/miesiące/lata (in 2 days’/weeks’/months’/years’ time)
- w przyszłości (in the future)

As far as English is concerned, we also use present tenses to talk about future in some situations. This is also the case in Polish.

We all know that Present Continuous can express not only things happening now, but also czynności przyszłe zaplanowane (future arrangements). The situation is similar in Polish, but we use czas teraźniejszy (Present Simple) in this respect as we do not have Present Continuous as such.

In English:
I’m going to the cinema tomorrow.
She’s meting Paula tomorrow.

In Polish:
(Ja) idę do kina jutro.
Ona spotyka się z Paulą jutro.

Talking about rozkłady jazdy, harmonogramy, plany lekcji (timetables), in turn, we have czas teraźniejszy (Present Simple) in both languages.

In English:
The train leaves at 5.30 tomorrow.
The match starts at 7.00 tomorrow.

In Polish:
Pociąg odjeżdża o 5.30 jutro.
Mecz zaczyna się o 7.00 jutro.

English Also Has Expressions:

- mieć coś zrobić (be to do something) for things that are officially arranged e.g. (Ja) mam iść do szpitala w maju. (I’m to go to hospital in May.) or Ona ma odwiedzić Hiszpanię w przyszłym roku. (She’s to visit Spain next year)

- zaraz ktoś coś zrobi (be about to do something) for activities that will happen in the very near future e.g. Ona jest na scenie teraz. (Ona) zaraz zacznie śpiewać. (She’s on the stage now. she’s about to start singing.) or Pożegnaj się z nim. (On) zaraz wyjdzie. (Say goodbye to him. He’s about to leave.) – as you notice, in English we have bezokolicznik (infinitive) and in Polish it is forma czasu przyszłego (Future tense form).

Zdania czasowe (time clauses) are also connected with the future. There is one significant difference between English and Polish here.

After the following words and expressions:

- po tym jak (after)
- ponieważ/jako, że (as)
- jak tylko (as soon as)
- przed tym jak, zanim (before)
- do czasu gdy (by the time)
- aż do momentu gdy (until)
- kiedy (when, while)

In English, we use either Present Simple or Present Perfect whereas in Polish it is czas przyszły (Future Simple) e.g. (Ja) przyjdę do ciebie jak tylko skończę pracę. (I’ll come to you as soon as I finish work.) or Ona wyśle ten list po tym jak go napisze. (She’ll post this letter after she writes it.).

As the article shows, expressing the future in the Polish language is quite similar to English and there are not so many differences as in other aspects of this language. As long as we have the same, or almost the same, rules in both languages it is much easier to acquire the foreign one and communicate without making a lot of mistakes. Without doubt, when we learn something quickly and without much challenge it gives us more pleasure and will to broaden our knowledge.

Ivonka
Shelley  
3 Nov 2006 /  #2
I think english is much more simplistic, e.g. numbers...time...if something is plural we dont distinguish between fem masc. and neu....I have been learning Polish and its so complext...Im learning from an 8 year olds school book........ and I enjoy and pick up languages well, but Polish is hard, even names depend on how you spell if your fem or male if you shorten them......its hard but so rewarding when you manage to make to right sound for a word....

I bought my friend an Eng. Gram. book because she was teaching me Polish (she didnt expect, but I thought it would be a nice gesture) and whilst she has used this, we have found that her vocab has exted because I can give her variations on english ( like a thesaurus when she is teaching me)..

I have found that some Polish words are similar to English - that'll be the latin!!

Its a difficult lang. like I have said, but when you master the sounds and composition it starts to make sense
Bartolome  
5 Nov 2006 /  #3
I have found that some Polish words are similar to English - that'll be the latin!!

Our languages are just latin derivatives contaminated with local dialects :)

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