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Perfective vs Imperfective - grammar

scrivomcdivo 3 | 10
12 Nov 2008 #1
I am just reading through the below site to begin studying Polish grammar:

The site basically says that "Czytam" means "I read" whereas "Przeczytam" means "I will read." I am now confusing as to how to conjugate future tenses in Polish. Do you add a prefix to the verb, such as "prze" and then just conjugate the verb using the present tense endings or do the verb endings differ? What I am trying to say is, is there a different verb for future tenses than the verb used in the present tense?

I am really confused now!!!

OK, so I've just found this site that now explains it
12 Nov 2008 #2
I am really confused now!!!

so don't read these stuff...
osiol 55 | 3,921
12 Nov 2008 #3
these stuff

This stuff.

Perfective v Imperfective

We're taking bets on which one is going to win... or going to be winning.
12 Nov 2008 #4
This stuff.

yeah...i was thinking about typing 'this'...
Polonius3 990 | 12,349
24 Nov 2008 #5
-- Adding a prefix (eg prze-) to an imperfective verb such as czytać in the present tense gives it a future meaning. There are no separate future endings in this case.

-- The future can also be formed with będę, będzie, etc. in which case the imperfective infitive czytać or past participial form czytał/czytała (depending on the speaker's gender) is used. Będę/będzie may not be used with perfective verbs.

-- There is a difference in meaning between przeczytam: very definite and determined: I WILL read a given book,. article, etc., whilst będę czytał/czytała (dependign on the speaker's gender) is more vague and indefinite (I will be reading, I'm going to read) and suggests some unspecified time in the future.
Derevon 12 | 172
2 Jan 2010 #6
Jan 2, 10, 18:36 - Thread attached on merging:
Perfective vs. Imperfective aspect

What is the difference in meaning between:

"zdawał sobie sprawę" and "zdał sobie sprawę"?
ShortHairThug - | 1,101
2 Jan 2010 #7
"zdawał sobie sprawę" meaning he knew what he was doing, or he was conscious, aware of his actions while "zdał sobie sprawę" means he had realized what he had done.

In the first case he is aware of what he is doing while he later becomes aware of his action and the consequence it brings in the second case.
Derevon 12 | 172
2 Jan 2010 #8
So the first means like "was aware" and the second "became aware", right?
strzyga 2 | 993
3 Jan 2010 #9
yes, that's right
chaza 50 | 253
3 Jan 2010 #10
hi there
hoew do you turn round something. if i say 'i will'. how do i say ' will you'

strzyga 2 | 993
3 Jan 2010 #11
I will - ja będę
will you? - czy ty będziesz?

you don't turn the words round. If you want to make a simple question (answered yes or no), just add "czy" at the beginning.

On czyta.
Czy on czyta?

Ty idziesz.
Czy ty idziesz?
chaza 50 | 253
3 Jan 2010 #12
what about 'you will'
is that ty będziesz
Omar 1 | 6
27 Apr 2010 #14
Apr 27, 10, 18:27 - Thread attached on merging:

hello everybody my name is Omar from morocco 9months I`m in poland I speak a few polish, I have question what is deffirence between imperfictive verbs and perfictive? dzienki
Leopejo 4 | 120
1 Apr 2011 #15
Merged: A question about perfective vs. imperfective?

A question about perfective vs. imperfective (dokonany/niedokonany)

They teach that you have to use imperfective with repeated events, even if "completed". But how would you translate for example "I PASSED an exam every day"?

Can you say "Codziennie zdałem egzamin (a nie tylko zdawałem)"?
strzyga 2 | 993
1 Apr 2011 #16
You may add: i zdałem wszystkie :)
Leopejo 4 | 120
1 Apr 2011 #17
Oh, now it's clear. You simply can't use dokonany with repeated events, but have to change the sentence ("wszystkie" zamiast "codziennie").

Thank you!
1 Apr 2011 #18
Merely confirming the usage of 'dokonany' (perfective) ONLY with 'one-time' actions/events-:)
The addition of 'codziennie' 'zawszwe' and other conjunctive adverbs turns the sentence therefore into imperfective, conversely 'teraz' etc.. make the sentence perfective:

Idę (teraz) do szkoły. - dokonany
Chodzę (codziennie) do szkoły. - niedokonany

The rules seem easy, application though can be more than a little tricky, 'specially when to a non-native speaker, a particular action might not even seem 'repetitive', except to a Pole (..and vice-versa!)


Koncert spodobał mi się. - dokonany (TERAZ)
Muzyka klasyczna podoba mi się. - niedokonany (ZAWSZE)

Leopejo 4 | 120
1 Apr 2011 #19
The problem for me is that usually an aspectual pair correspond to one only "meaning" in your native language(s). But there are exceptions, where niedokonany and dokonany "mean" different things: for example uczyć się/nauczyć się polskiego (in English both are "to learn Polish", but in other languages the first is "to study" and the second "to succesfully learn"), or zdawać/zdać egzamin (to take an exam/to pass it).

So you can wonder how to express such concepts as "to learn and become fluent in a new language every month" (as opposed to just studying it), or "to pass an exam every day" (as opposed to just take it).
Polish Tutor - | 80
2 Apr 2011 #20
Lyzko, I am really sorry to say, but you are wrong.
“Chodzić “as well as “iść” are both imperfective.
“chodzić” has no perfective equivalent
“iść” has “pójść” as an perfective equivalent.
But what is more important:
the point is that the theory of imperfective versus perfective verbs does not work for foreigners.
I have been teaching Polish for foreigners for over 10 year and I cannot understand why Polish teachers repeat these confusing clichés.
Anyway I wish you success in learning Polish.
Good night and good luck!
2 Apr 2011 #21
Polish Tutor, perhaps a better choice of words would have been:

"chodzić"/"chadzać" - iterative (imperfective= repeated or daily activity!!)

"iść" - determinate (perfective = occurring at the present time, as in my above example)

'.....Anyway, I wish you success in learning Polish.'

Any time you'd like a few extra pointers on learning more English, I too am always ready, willing and able-:))

"Good night and good luck!" Hmmm, sounds like you've been listening to old broadcasts of Edward R. Murrow LOL

"nauczyć" without reflexive may also be "to teach" as well as "to learn" (not that the two actions aren't in a philosophical sense related..something far too many teachers (nauczyciele) often forget or ignore-:) ) "Wykładać" + genitive I've also seen and used for "teach", more in the sense of "to give a formal lecture", "hold a class", "give a lesson" etc.

"Wykładam języka angielskiego na uniwersytecie." = I teach English at university

My Polish teacher whose English was awful, would say if someone interrupted her class by knocking on the door, "Plisss, aj emm LAATURRINK rrrajt naouu!", instead of "Sorry, but I'm TEACHING right now."

2 Apr 2011 #22
"Wykładam języka angielskiego na uniwersytecie."

Wykładam (kogo? co?) język angielski na uniwersytecie.
Uczę (kogo? czego?) języka angielskiego na uniwersytecie
2 Apr 2011 #23
Ach. so-:)
cinek 2 | 345
4 Apr 2011 #24
"I PASSED an exam every day"?

I'd say:

Pozdawałem wszystkie egzaminy, codziennie jeden.

You simply can't use dokonany with repeated events

Yes, it's a gap in out otherwise perfect grammar system he he ;-)

We usually don't notice things like that unless trying to teach someone speaking Polish. I observerd my daughter when she was learning speaking and noticed many interesting things. Children, in general easily adopt all rules and often extend them and use beyond what is allowed in 'official' grammar, so sometimes they fix gaps like this one. I think a smart kid would say here: 'zdawywałem'. It's of course incorrect from 'official' grammar poit of view, but personally I think it perfectly expresses what you need :-)

AdamKadmon 2 | 499
4 Apr 2011 #25
Pozdawałem wszystkie egzaminy, codziennie jeden.

More naturally you should say:

Dzień w dzień zdawałem jakiś egzamin i wszystkie je zdałem.
Ziemowit 14 | 4,258
5 Apr 2011 #26
Very often, to be honest, there is no difference between the perfective and the imperfective aspect: 'koncert spodobał mi się' and 'koncert podobał mi się' are virtually the same. But often there is such a difference, for example when we are describing repetitive actions: "codziennie znajdowałem jakieś pieniądze na ulicy ..." means that I performed a perfective action every day to pick it up, but I can add that: "... i dzisiaj także je znalazłem" using the perfective aspect, since 'dzisiaj' introduces a one-time event.
tomek_g 1 | 3
25 Jun 2011 #27
So if I wanted to express an action in the past tense, would it be safe to say that imperfective/niedokonany translates to the English "was doing" or "used to do", and the perfective/dokonany would be "did"?
gumishu 15 | 6,186
25 Jun 2011 #28
yes, it is largely so - I cannot think of any exceptions now but I'm pretty sure there are some - appart from verbs and expressions that perfective and imperfective interchange smoothly like in the example Ziemowit has given
woodgey - | 28
26 Jun 2011 #29
Can you say "Codziennie zdałem egzamin (a nie tylko zdawałem)"?

Yes. Yes you can
strzyga 2 | 993
26 Jun 2011 #30
Leopejo: Can you say "Codziennie zdałem egzamin (a nie tylko zdawałem)"?Yes. Yes you can

no, you can't, since the action is repetitive

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