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How can I tell which conjugation group a verb ending in ~eć belongs to?

Shapeshifter 2 | 3
20 Nov 2010 #1
Hello everyone,

I'm trying to learn polish on my own, and I thought grammar would be a good place to start. I was looking at conjugation tables link I found on wikipedia, and I saw that rozumieć belongs to the 2nd group, but posmutnieć belongs to the 3rd group.

It confuses me that they have the same ending. How can I know which group a verb ending in ~eć belongs?
chaza 50 | 253
20 Nov 2010 #2
well shapeshifter, let me tell you its a mine field. i too tried to learn on my own, and when i say its confusing that is an understatement. its hard but you have to stick with it and try to speak it as much as you can. i think i have come across dozens of confusing issues, and conjugation is one of them, cases is another, not to mention the grammar. i wish you well.

20 Nov 2010 #3
Looking at those wiki tables is sometimes enough to frighten anybody away from Polish verbs, Shapeshifter-:)) The best I can tell you, is try not to worry all too much about the correct infinitive right at the beginning! Sure, grammar's important. Try though to learn each new verb in its context from the start and then you'll gradually begin to apply the correct case, the endings and that sort of stuff.

Believe me, as with Romanian, any inflected language is gonna be a killer when you're learning. The trouble with grammar in itself is that it's often too isolated from the real language. I know from experience. Luckily, I learned how to speak long before I knew an Instrumental or an Accusative from a whole in the ground-:))

This is my advice.


....make that '....a HOLE in the ground'. (No snide cracks, please!)

Guess I need some of those wiki charts for English spelling he-he LO

OP Shapeshifter 2 | 3
20 Nov 2010 #4
Luckily, Romanian holds no challenge for me, as I'm a native speaker :)
But Polish on the other hand, holds quite a few :D

It's great that I found this forum, though :)
A J 4 | 1,088
20 Nov 2010 #5
I pretty much agree with Lyzko there, I think the best way to learn Polish is just to learn it by practicing, and just getting the feel of the language. Maybe once you're starting to get the hang of it you should worry about applying the correct cases. (It's giving me multiple headaches anyway!)

OP Shapeshifter 2 | 3
20 Nov 2010 #6
I'm trying to do that. So far I have been learning words and some phrases. However, learning with this approach seems very mechanical to me, and I feel that I will never be able to speak correctly ( no Polish person will be able to understand me ) unless I have a feel about correct grammar.

Do you guys think I should continue learning words and try to use them without learning conjugation properly? How did you guys did it?
Polish Tutor - | 80
21 Nov 2010 #7
Let me not agree with Lyzko.

if you are able to understand logical rules,
you do not need to use the parrot method.
I know that people on this forum usually do not need Polish teachers,
but I can help you (for free). If you are really interested, e-mail me at polish.language.tutor@gmail
and I will send you a chart with a system that is consistent and easy to use.
Thanks to this you will be able to use all Polish verbs in the Present Tense.

Polish works like an algorithm. I admit it is sometimes a bit complicated but almost always logical.
I would prefer to understand an algorithm than learn it by heart. But people say there are different learning styles (-:

Good night and good luck!
OP Shapeshifter 2 | 3
21 Nov 2010 #8
Your examples and your chart have shed some light on my question. Thank you Polish Tutor!
21 Nov 2010 #9
I will concur as one who knows Polish fairly well, and who has both learned as well as speaks a number of other inflected languages, such as German and Latin, that learning conjugations indeed has a mathematical consistency about it, albeit Polish has a chaotically inconsistent


Again though, don't get too hung up on the minutiae of grammar before developing an organic feeling for the language. Otherwise, Polish may never become quite 'real' for you if it simply remains a daunting series of rules to be memorized rather than of thoughts to be expressed.

I rest my case on that-:))
Polish Tutor - | 80
21 Nov 2010 #10

My job is to find regularities in Polish to help people
to start to speak Polish as soon as possible.
And I can do it.

Polish Present Tense is regular and consistent if you know the system.
You can talk about it like about the same glass of water: that it is either half full or half empty. But I say that the glass is almost full. And it really is!

I speak German (as far as I remember you are German (-:) and I read a few Latin texts. These two languages are also quite regular.

I think the point is that your perspective is different. You know foreign languages and you enjoy learning them. I work with people who hate learning Polish. They do it to express respect to people they love or to work more efficiently in the Polish environment. They do not care about all details which may be interesting for you. They need Polish as a tool.

Polish as a tool - this is my focus.

There are people who first build their emotional attitude to a thing and then they start to understand the thing, and others who first want to understand what’s going on and then start to feel (-:

BTW this issue in scholastic philosophy was one of the biggest controversy between St. Augustine of Hippo and St. Thomas Aquinas

I like complicated issues but not when I teach Polish (-:
Good night and good luck!
chaza 50 | 253
22 Nov 2010 #11
well said polish tutor
i have been saying that for ages.

SzwedwPolsce 11 | 1,595
23 Nov 2010 #12
I work with people who hate learning Polish. They do it to express respect to people they love or to work more efficiently in the Polish environment.

That makes it (at least) 10 times harder to learn the language.
23 Nov 2010 #13
Why? Okay, the "hate" part I can understand, but if they're willing to work twice as hard as the person who's only learning out of love for Polish, I'd think that's make it ten times easier, for the teacher, that is.

Or don't you agree?

I agree to a degree with Polish tutor-:)) Yes, I know German, but am in fact from the States. I also teach German at all levels, as you probably do Polish, and find that while a solid grounding in the fundamentals can help, if done injudiciously, it could also hurt.....big time!!
23 Nov 2010 #14

I have a question for you. How did this old lady from Lwów (your former teacher you have mentioned in one of PF threads) taught you to pronounce ę at the end of the words?

I wonder does it changed during the years...
24 Nov 2010 #15
Nikt, do you mean "How did this old lady from Lwów TEACH me...."? -:))) Remember in English 'zawsze bezokolicznik po czasowniku pomoczniowym' - always infinitive following auxilliary verb!!

With considerable difficulty. LOL I stunk at French in grade school and those nasals were killing me. As far as their pronunciation, I WAS TAUGHT (passive) that they should not be stressed or one's Polish tends to sounds exaggerated and unnatural.
cinek 2 | 346
25 Nov 2010 #16
po czasowniku pomoczniowym

A co to? Chyba 'pomocniczym' lub 'posiłkowym'.

they should not be stressed or one's Polish tends to sounds exaggerated and unnatural.

They are stressed exactly the same way as other vowels. The 'unnaturality' you're mentioning is when one is trying to pronounce them too perfectly, especially 'ę' at the end of words (which tends to be pronounced almost 'e'). You must just not to focus on them too much and they'll sound properly.

And leave stress when it should be (usually on the penultimate syllable) :-)

26 Nov 2010 #17
Precisely what I meant to say, Cinek!

Tak jest. "Czasowniki posiłkowe" = helping verbs
5 Jan 2011 #18
Thank you Polish Tutor! Your chart and the explanation was really helpful.


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