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What does the conditional/imperative tense mean in Polish?


Lexie0987 1 | 4
4 May 2011 #1
I am trying my best with some Polish conjugation. I think, although I'm not entirely sure, that the conditional tense is an if/then statement. Let me use the verb to cry as an example. The verb "to cry" (I'm assuming that this is also true to express someone crying, not calling out to someone or something) in Polish is płakać; the conditional tense is płakałabym (if you are female) or płakałbym (if you are male.) The question here is what would that mean in English? Does that mean "I will cry if" or "I would cry."

The imperative is another story. Does that mean a command, like "You do this, or you do that"? The imperative second person is niech płacze. Does that mean, "You cry" like a command?

I'm just trying to clear these conjugations out in my head.
GrzegorzK
4 May 2011 #2
Płakałbym. OR płakałabym means exactly what you said, it means "I would cry if....."

Yes, Niech Płacze Is like a command BUT it also depends on how it is used, it depends on what you are trying to say. Niech Płacze is like if you said in english "let him cry" or let her cry" as if you don't care if they are crying. So in a sense it is LIKE a command but you are not actually directly comanding the person not to cry, you are just telling someone else to "let them cry" or "let him cry"
tygrys 3 | 290
4 May 2011 #3
the conditional tense is płakałabym (if you are female) or płakałbym (if you are male.) The question here is what would that mean in English?

I would have cried
GrzegorzK
4 May 2011 #4
Also like tygrys says "I would have cried"
gumishu 15 | 6,186
4 May 2011 #5
The imperative second person is niech płacze.

niech płacze is a third person imperative-sort-of - it more or less means let him/her/it cry (niech word had very similar meaning in old Polish to English let)

simiarily chodźmy (a first person plural imperative of to go) is translated as let's go
alexw68
4 May 2011 #6
that the conditional tense is an if/then statement

Conditional mood, actually - it's not a tense. Imperative, ditto.

There's a difference between if/then conditionals with ordinary indicative mood, and the conditional you've mentioned.

1. Jeśli on to zrobił, to on powinien dostać mandat -> If he did that, he ought to get a ticket
2. Gdyby on to zrobił, to dostałby mandat -> If he had done that, he would have got a ticket

2. is either improbable or impossible (counterfactual), while 1 is possible.

Conditional mood is also used for polite requests - zrobiłbyś to dla mnie? ->would you mind doing that for me?
gumishu 15 | 6,186
4 May 2011 #7
1. Jeśli on to zrobił, to on powinien dostać mandat

dostać = to get, to receive

zostać = to remain; to become
alexw68
4 May 2011 #8
Thanks - corrected it :)


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