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Which preposition for 'at'?

Moonlighting 31 | 234
1 Jan 2010 #31
he/she/it (on/ona/to) był/była/było

Allow me to correct a small mistake: he/she/it (on/ona/ono) był/była/było
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595
1 Jan 2010 #32
It was not a mistake, both ono and to are associated with the 3rd person singular of neutral gender.
But I prefer to. You see sentences with "to było..." much more often.
Moonlighting 31 | 234
1 Jan 2010 #33
Indeed, but the list you mentioned is a list of personal pronouns, therefore it should be "ono".
"To" is a demonstrative pronoun and belongs to the series "ten / ta / to".
Karinka 9 | 28
2 Jan 2010 #34

I too, am trying SO HARD to learn the Polish language. I already have a small library of "Learn Polish" CDs and books.

By the time I have figured out "who" I am talking to, "what" I am talking about, "what" context the conversation is, what "gender" the words are, what "case" I'm in and whether the conversation is "formal" or "informal", I'm exhausted and frustrated! By then, I've forgotten what I wanted to say in the first place! :(

Going to try the books recommended above.

Derevon 12 | 172
2 Jan 2010 #35
It seems to me the only people who actually manage to learn to speak/understand Polish (or other complicated languages) are the ones who don't really try that hard and who don't really care much about grammar. They simply immerse themselves in situations where only Polish is spoken. They make loads of mistakes at first but gradually get better and better.

I've also noticed that black people and Arabs tend to pick up difficult languages much faster than most white Europeans etc. I once met a Nigerian guy in Arkhangelsk, Russia, who told me that he didn't really manage to learn Russian until he stopped thinking about what he was saying and just started to say what came to him naturally. The fact that he had a Russian girlfriend who didn't really speak much English helped a lot too of course.

I also read somewhere that Eritrean immigrants in Finland learn Finnish much, much faster than Swedish immigrants. I'm not saying it's about genetics or anything. I would rather guess it's that they have a more relaxed approach to language acquisition and perhaps that their native languages are more complex. Maybe certain other factors too, like being less "obsessed" about thinking in terms of rigid rules and correct vs incorrect.

What you do when you use multi-language text books and grammar books is that you learn to understand a foreign language from the point of view of your own, and this, I believe, is the main reason why it simply doesn't work. I think that in order to really achieve any success you somehow have to unlearn or forget everything you know about your own language, and try to learn things as if you were a little child who sees things for the first time. I also believe it's important not to spend too much time on the "why's". It's much better to focus on the "how's". Languages are not known for their infallible logic after all, and if you try to make sense of everything you're just bound to be confused and frustrated.
OP chaza 50 | 253
2 Jan 2010 #36
i have got some info on conjugation till my book comes, as you said it is much cleare now where ia going wrong. its still a mine field though.

every ić,ać,zć has a different conjgation, looks like im hear for the long haul guys.

thanks you have been great.

SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595
2 Jan 2010 #37
It seems to me the only people who actually manage to learn to speak/understand Polish (or other complicated languages) are the ones who don't really try that hard and who don't really care much about grammar.

A good point to start with.

It's necessary to learn a language step by step in a logical order.

My advice would be to start with very basic grammar, and focus on learning expressions and basic vocabulary instead.

Then you can build up the grammar step by step. Many people get angry when they can't learn all the grammar at once. But believe me, that's impossible even if you are very talented. There are so many other aspects of a language to learn as well.
OP chaza 50 | 253
2 Jan 2010 #38
ill do my best, but im one of those who want to learn it all, but i take your point and i will do that. wish me luck,

SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595
2 Jan 2010 #39
You can learn it all. But you have to take it slowly step by step.

Good Luck!
OP chaza 50 | 253
2 Jan 2010 #40
can i do i small test, so to see if what i'm reading is being undertsood. i've used otrzymać to get, and pić to drink.

otrzyłem = i was to get
będzie otrzymać = i will get
i really wanted to say 'got'

pił = he drinks/will drink
piłem =i drink/will drink
piliśmy = you drink/will drink
będziesz pić = you will drink/will be drinking
pibym = i was drinking

is that right if not why
im still stuck a bit with the perfect and imperfect. im used to saying ' ing, and ...ed. and its putting me wrong.



the more i read the more questions i get than answers. i have a word był =he was, how is it formed.
byłby = would how is that formed.
i know im being told step by step, but i just seem to bogeed dowm with other questions relating to the same thing, these damn perfect things.
Derevon 12 | 172
3 Jan 2010 #41
Chaza, you're mixing up everything. I will try to explain how Polish verbs work.

First of all most verbs have 2 forms, an imperfective and a perfective. The imperfective form is used when emphasis is on the action itself rather than completion, and when it's about habitual actions. Perfective verbs are used when emphasis is on the completion (only in the past and in the future, never in the present).

Every verb (imperfective as well as perfective) has an infinitive form. The basic form which is equivalent with for example "to talk", "to run" etc.

All imperfective verbs have 6 forms for simple present. 1st, 2nd and 3rd person singular and plural (3*2=6).

Let's take the verb "czytać" (to read):

Infinitive: czytać (to read)

The stem from which all forms of this verb are formed is "czyta".

Simple present forms:
1p sg: czytam (I'm reading)
2p sg: czytasz (You're reading)
3p sg: czyta (He/she/it is reading)
1p pl: czytamy (We're reading)
2p pl: czytacie (You're reading)
3p pl: czytają (They're reading)

The perfective verbs don't have a form for present actions, so their equivalent forms describe actions in the future (with emphasis on completion).

Infinitive: przeczytać (to read [through to the end])
1p sg: przeczytam (I will read)
2p sg: przeczytasz (You will read)
3p sg: przeczyta (He/she/it will read)
1p pl: przeczytamy (We will read)
2p pl: przeczytacie (You will read)
3p pl: przeczytają (They will read)

To form the future form of imperfective verbs, the verb "być" + infinitive, or "być" + 3p sg. past are used:

będę czytać/czytał/czytała (I will read)
będziesz czytać/czytał/czytała (You will read)

Next we have the 13 past forms:

czytałem (I read/was reading [male])
czytałam (I read [female])
Czytał (You read [said to a male])
Czytał (You read [said to a female])
czytał (He read)
czytała (she read)
czytało (it read)

czytaliśmy (We read [at least one of "we" is a man])
czytałyśmy (We read [non-men only])
czytaliście (You read [at least one man])
czytałyście (You read [non-men only])
czytali (They read [at least one man])
czytały (They read [non-men only])

Przeczytać is conjugated in the exact same way, but with emphasis on the completion of the reading and the result.

Finally we have the conditional mood which is formed using the particle "by":

Czytałbym (I would read [male])
Czytałabym (I would read [female])
Czytałbyś (You would read [male])
Czytałabyś (You would read [female])
Czytałby (He would read)
Czytałaby (She would read)
Czytałoby (It would read)

czytalibyśmy (We would read [at least one man])
czytałybyśmy ( We would read [non-men only])
czytalibyście (You would read [at least one man])
czytałybyście (You would read [non-men only])
czytaliby (They would read [at least one man])
czytałyby (They would read [non-men only])

Study these patterns carefully, and try to understand the logic behind them. Not every verb follows the exact same pattern, though, there are many other forms. Just remember to take one thing at a time, and don't move on until you fully comprehend something.

There are of course other forms to like the imperative mood, verbal nouns etc, but one thing at a time...
SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595
3 Jan 2010 #42
the more i read the more questions i get than answers. i have a word był =he was, how is it formed.
byłby = would how is that formed.

You will learn this when you get the books. Now you just make things more difficult for yourself, stop that and wait until you get the books.

And when you get the books, do the lessons one by one. Don't jump around between the chapters.
OP chaza 50 | 253
3 Jan 2010 #43
Hi there.
thanks for you input, what you sent makes a lots of sense although the penny hasn’t dropped yet. As I see it the
Present form
Are what I am doing now.
The past forms
are what I have done, and the only difference is the ł and its also the ….ing of what I am doing.

While the conditional makes sense too, it seems to be something you might do ‘would’.
I have to say the przeczytać is unclear. Is the prze a prep, I don’t have that one unless przy is the same one.

Będe czytać
Both mean the same, so why both

Derevon 12 | 172
3 Jan 2010 #44
Przeczytać is the perfective equivalent of "czytać". The difference is:

przeczytam - I will read (emphasis on the result of the reading or the completion)
będę czytać/czytał/czytała - I will read / be reading (emphasis on the ongoing action itself, or that it's a habitual action)

Będę czytać/czytał/czytała codziennie tego roku - I will read every day this year
Przeczytam ten list - I will read this letter (read it through completely)

Most verbs have imperfective and perfective forms, but they don't always have the same prefixes, and sometimes not even prefixes at all. Here are some pairs (imperfective/perfective):


Common prefixes for perfective verbs are for example "po-", "za-", "z-" and "s-"

Sometimes the words are even totally different:
OP chaza 50 | 253
3 Jan 2010 #45
can you expand a bit, its still not clear.

strzyga 2 | 993
3 Jan 2010 #46
PrzeczytaćBęde czytaćBoth mean the same, so why bot

Think along these lines:
I will read (przeczytam) / I will be reading (będę czytać).
OP chaza 50 | 253
3 Jan 2010 #47
so then
przewitać i will welcome
będę witać i will be welcoming


strzyga 2 | 993
3 Jan 2010 #48

only it's przywitać - the prefixes may vary from word to word, you must check it up every time

and in the past:
przywitałem - I welcomed
witałem - I was welcoming

that's as close as it can get
OP chaza 50 | 253
3 Jan 2010 #49
is it przy or prze
if its prze = will
i have a prep przy which is by, at, next.

im confused again guys

Derevon 12 | 172
3 Jan 2010 #50
Prepositions have nothing to do with this. You have to see the verbs as a whole. I told you that many different prefixes are used, and sometimes not even prefixes, but endings...

For every English words, you need to know two forms for it in Polish (sometimes even three). If you want to learn the word for "write", you have to find both the imperfective and perfective forms (pisać and napisać). You have to look up both forms, because the perfective verbs can be formed in many different ways.
strzyga 2 | 993
3 Jan 2010 #51
It can be przy-, prze-, and million other things, that's why I say you need to check it up each time, for every specific verb.

For witać it's "przy" - przywitać.
And don't confuse that "przy-" with the pronoun "przy". Historically they are related, but it's of no use for beginners. For now just treat them separately.

"Prze" is not "will". In the specific case of the verb "witać" "przy" is the prefix that changes it into a perfective verb "przywitać" and that's all there is to it.

"Will" is an auxiliary verb designating the future. In Polish we don't have auxiliary verbs and future sentences are formed using the proper conjugation forms of ordinary verbs. "Przywitam" and "przeczytam" are future forms already, as both verbs are perfective. With imperfective verbs - "witam" and "czytam" - you must add the proper conjugated form of "być": będę witać, będę czytać - this is future tense. So with these expressions you might say that "będę" is the "will" part, as in "I will be reading, I will be welcoming".

and a correction to the previous posts:

przewitać i will welcome

it should be przywitam
OP chaza 50 | 253
3 Jan 2010 #52
i suppose i willl be right by saying a cant use przy i all verbs, that would be too easy yeah.

Derevon 12 | 172
3 Jan 2010 #53
that would be too easy yeah.

Yeah, the rule is that if anything ever seems easy in Polish, you probably misunderstood it. ;)
OP chaza 50 | 253
3 Jan 2010 #54
my god that certainly fits my experience so far. the light is getting a bit brighter though.

or should i say

Mój bóg ze oczywiście dostosowuje mój doświadczenia, dotychczas światło jasny

krysia 23 | 3,057
3 Jan 2010 #55
Or you can say:

my god that certainly fits my experience so far. the light is getting a bit brighter though.

Mój Boże, to rzeczywiście pasuje to moich dotychczasowych doświadczeń. Ale jednak to światło staje się trochę jaśniejsze.
OP chaza 50 | 253
3 Jan 2010 #56
which is right, or where have i gone wrong
cinek 2 | 345
6 Jan 2010 #57
where have i gone wrong

I have read this whole thread and I think your main problem is that you're trying to see a language as a set of words that can be translated one to one between diferent languages. This is definitely wrong. You must understand that a language is more like a 'way of thinking' and words are just tools to express it. There are some elements in every language which are more important and some that are less (or even not existent at all) e.g. in Polish there are things like verb aspect, noun gender, cases, making new words by prefixing, which are completely unknown for an English speaking people. And, what's worse, those things are crucial elements of the language.

So, first of all, stop translating single words and read a book which explains the phylosophy of the language (i.e. the grammar). You must be prapared for learning not new words (because they can be always easily found in a dictionary) but new logical concepts which must be 'felt' before you can start making proper use of the words.

pawian 176 | 15,392
26 Sep 2020 #58
you're trying to see a language as a set of words that can be translated one to one between diferent languages.

It works in 50% of utterances while doesn`t in the remaining 50%. There is a perfect balance in nature, as usual.

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