Category: Advanced



For most Polish learners variety of numeral forms as well as their usage are extremely difficult. But don’t worry, even native speakers of Polish struggle with them from time to time! Pictures bellow present all forms of numbers 1-10  and syntactic constructions with them.





Time to practice

If the exercise doesn’t work you may find it here.


More about numerals in Polish you may read here.



Look at the sentence in the post’s title. Do you understand it? It contains two interesting forms called rzeczownik odczasownikowy (prasowanie, a noun discribing action of ironing) and imiesłów (sprzątając, which can be translate as ‘while cleaning’).

How to create and use both of the forms?


rzeczownik odczasownikowy


It’s an equivalent of English gerund form. Although it might resemble a verb, it’s a noun – is used and declied like all nouns.

Look at the exemples:
Gotowanie jest relaksujące. – Cooking is relaxing.
Nie lubię pływaniaI don’t like swimming.
Muszę kupić proszek do pieczenia.I need to buy baking powder
Pamiętaj o zrobieniu zakupów. – Remember about shopping.

To form rzeczownik odczasownikowy, three endings are used
nie – with verbs that end in -ać and -eć e.g. pływać : pływanie, gotować : gotowanie, myśleć : myślenie, pisać : pisanie
enie – with verbs that end in -ić and -yć e.g. chodzić : chodzenie, mówić : mówienie, uczyć : uczenie, tańczyć : tańczenie
cie – with short verbs and those that end in -ąć e.g. pić : picie, myć : mycie, zamknąć : zamknięcie

imiesłów czynny

It’s an adverbial participle that express a simultanious action and carries the meaning while …-ing
Wracając do pracy spotkałem starego kolegę. – Coming back from work I met an old friend.
Gotując lubię słuchać muzyki. – While cooking I like listen to music.
Będąc w Krakowie, odwiedzi koleżankę. – While being in Kraków, she will visit her friend.

Imiesłów is created simply by adding -c to the 3rd person plural form (present tense) e.g czytają : czytając, pracują : pracując, idą : idąc. The exeption is the verb być which uses the future stem – będą : będąc.

Imiesłów is indeclinable.


let’s practice

link to the exercise




Just one week left until Christmas. On the radio we hear Christmas songs and carols. Do you know any in Polish? If not, here’s something for you!

Complete the exercises and practice your listening skills by listening to the Polish carols.


cicha noc

link to the exercise


pójdźmy wszyscy do stajenki

link to the exercise


gdy się chrystus rodzi

link to the exercise




Aspect as a grammar category shows how actions are extended in time and whether they were completed or not. Ways the aspect can be expressed in languages are various. English for example uses complex tense system. In Polish aspect is expressed by different form of the same verb.

Let’s have a look at the examples:
Wczoraj gotowałem obiad. – Yesterday I was cooking a dinner.
Wczoraj ugotowałem obiad.  – Yesterday I cooked a dinner.
Oglądałam telewizję, kiedy zadzwonił telefon. – I was watching TV, when the phone rang.




As you may see in the exemples Polish imperfective verbs (gotować, oglądać) corespond with English Past Continuous tense. In most cases that rule works but there are some exeptions. The picture below showes the usage of the aspect in Polish.




There are few ways of creating aspectual pairs but predicting which one should be used with which verbs is almost imposible. Thus the best options is to learn aspectual pairs by heart. Here you can download a list of most commonly used verbs.



Play ‘Who wants to be a millionaire’ to practice aspectual pairs.



If the game doesn’t work, you may find it here
Check if you understand when perfective and imperfective forms should be used.


If the exercise doesn’t work, you may find it here



MÓWI SIĘ, ŻE WIDZIANO ICH RAZEM – impersonal constructions in Polish

MÓWI SIĘ, ŻE WIDZIANO ICH RAZEM – impersonal constructions in Polish

The term ‘impersonal construction’ refers to a sentence with no grammatical subject. This is quite a foreign concept to English speaking learners, however there are some structures in Englishwhich play similar role.  Take the sentences with ‘one’ (One shouldn’t smoke here.), ‘you’ (You should keep the quiet here.) or ‘they’ (They say it’s going to be sunny tomorrow.) – the pronouns don’t refer to anyone in particular. Such sentenses in Polish can take numbers of forms. Let’s have a look at two the most popular constructions.


Tu się nie pali – constructions with ‘się’


Very often to form an impresonal sentence we use a verb in third person singular  and add the reflexive pronoun ‘się

Tu się nie paliOne cannot smoke here.
Tę zupę gotuje się bardzo szybko! – You can cook this soup quickly. This soup is easy to cook.
Dawniej pisało się listy a nie maile – In the past one/we wrote letters not emails.
W przyszłości będzie się robić zakupy tylko online. – In the future one will shop only online.

There are some sentences – expressed by the same structure- which translate in English diferently.

Dobrze się czyta tę książkę – This book is well written. (lit. One reads this book well)
Przyjemnie się spaceruje, kiedy jest ładna pogoda. – It is nice to walk when the weather is good.
Komputer się zepsuł. – The computer is broken. (lit. The computer broke itself.)


Ten dom zbudowano 15 lat temu – forms with the endings -no and -to


Another way to create impersonal forms is by adding to a verb the ending -no or -to instead of the personal endings.

If the stem of the verb ends in -a or -e we add the ending -no

pisać – pisano,  myśleć – myślano,  czytać – czytano, rozumieć – rozumiano


If the stem of the verb ends in y/i or grup of consonant, the ending is -ono

uczyć – uczono,  bawić się – bawiono się,  tańczyć – tańczono, jeść – jedzono


The ending -to is used when the stem ends in or -u, with one syllable verbs and some of the perfective forms of the verbs.

wynająć – wynajęto, pić – pito, odkryć – odkryto,  myć – myto, wypić – wypito


The forms with -no and -to translate in English to passive voice and can be used only in the past tense.

Szkołę zbudowano trzy lata temu – The school was built 3 years ago.
Pytano mnie o to wczoraj. – I was asked about it yesterday.
Uczono go, żeby traktować kobiety z szacunkiem. – He was taught to treat women with respect.


In the title of this post you may see the sentence: Mówi się, że widziano ich razem. Do you understand now what it means?




If the exercise doesn’t work, you may find it here




Reading the previous post you learned how to build conditional verbs. Let’s have a look now how to form conditional sentences to say or speculate about what will happen, would happen or what could have happened.


Gdybym miała więcej pieniędzy, kupiłabym te buty.
If I had more money I would buy those shoes.

Widziałam wczoraj piękne buty! Gdybym miała więcej pieniędzy, kupiłabym je.
Yesterday I saw beautiful shoes. If I had had more money I would have bought them.


Note that in Polish the same sentence can refer to the past or the present, it depends on the context.


How to form conditional sentences?


Gdyby była ładna pogoda, poszlibyśmy do parku.

gdybygdy (if) plus the ending -bym, -byś, -by, etc. depending on a subject of a sentence (here the subject is ‘pogoda’ therefore needs to be used the ending -by)
byłathe past tense form of a verb (third person singular or plural, depends on a subject of a sentense)
poszlibyśmyconditional verb


Note that the ending with particle -by- is used twice, which means that literal translation of this sentence is: If the weather would be nice, we would go to the park.


Few more examples. Can you tell which sentences refer to the past and which to the present?
Gdybyś wstał wcześniej, nie spóźniłbyś się na samolot.
Gdybyśmy mieli więcej pieniędzy, pojechalibyśmy do Japonii.
Gdybym nie zapomniał o jej urodzinach, nie byłaby teraz taka smutna.
Na pewno moglibyście zdać ten egzamin, gdybyście tylko uczyli się więcej.
Nie musiałbym teraz iść pieszo, gdybym nie spóźnił się na autobus.


Future conditional forms


Previous sentences refer to the past and the present. The future conditional is formed by using the particule jeśli and the future tense (perfective or imperfective) and is used to talk about things which might happen in the future.

Jeśli będzie ładna pogoda, pójdziemy do parku. – If the weather is nice, we will go to the park.
Jeśli zrobisz obiad, ja pozmywam. – If you cook today, I will do the dishes.







Read the text below. Can you guess the meaning?


Czy mógłbyś podać mi moją walizkę? Leży bardzo wysoko. Chciałabym być taka wysoka jak moja koleżanka. Ona na pewno nie musiałaby prosić nikogo o pomoc tylko zrobiłaby to sama. Dziękuję! Czy chciałbyś pójść na kawę?

Could you pass my luggage? It’s lying very high. I wish I was as tall as my friend. I bet she wouldn’t have to ask for help and would do it by herself. Thank you! Would you like to go for a coffee?


As you may see in the exemples, by adding special endings to the past forms of the verbs we get conditional forms. The usage is very similar to the English sentences with would and could. In Polish conditional verbs are used to express an invitation, a wish and a hypothetical situation or to ask a question politely.

Chciałbyś iść wieczorem do kina? – Would you like to go to the cinema this evening?
Chciałabym być wyższa… – I wish I was taller…
Myślę, że ona mogłaby to zrobić. – I think she could do that.
Czy mógłbyś podać mi książkę? – Could you pass me the book?




Conditional forms are build by adding particle -by (with personal endings) to a past tense form of the verb (third person singular or plural). Like in the example:


(ja)   chciałbym,   chciałabym
(ty)     chciałbyś,   chciałabyś
(on) chciałby,       (ona) chciałaby

(my) chcielibyśmy,   chciałybyśmy
(wy) chcielibyście,    chciałybyście
(oni) chcieliby,           (one) chciałyby


note that in conditional forms we mostly use the perfective verbs

poszedłbym do kina not szedłbym do kina
zjadłbyś coś? not jadłbyś coś?



If the exercise doesn’t work, you may find it here.



KTOŚ, COŚ, KIEDYŚ – indefinite pronouns and how to use them

KTOŚ, COŚ, KIEDYŚ – indefinite pronouns and how to use them

Indefinite pronouns alow us to talk about non-specific things, people, places etc. The way they are formed in Polish is pretty easy. Let’s have a look!


Obejrzyj krótki film. Jak minął dzień Tomka? Jak poszła jego klasówka z matematyki? Jak Natalia (mama) powinna z nim rozmawiać?
Watch the video. How was Tomek’s day? How did his math test go? How should Natalia (the mum) speak to him?


if the video doesn’t work you may watch it here



For all the previous questions there is just one answer:

JAKOŚ = somehow



By adding the ending or -kolwiek to the question pronouns we get indefinite pronouns – equivalents of English some- and any-/-ever forms.


coś – something               cokolwiek – anything, whatever

Czy chcesz coś do picia? – Would you like something to drink?

Cokolwiek nie zrobię, jesteś wciąż niezadowolona! – Whatever I do you are always unhappy about it.


ktoś – someone, anyone          ktokolwiek – anyone, whoever

Czy ktoś zna odpowiedź? – Does anyone know the answer?

Ktokolwiek to zrobił, jest geniuszem. 🙂 – Whoever did this is a genius.


gdzieś – somewhere                 gdziekolwiek – anywhere, wherever

Gdzieś to już  widziałam.

I’ve seen it somewhere already.

– Gdzie mam to położyć?     – Gdziekolwiek.

– Where sould I put it?           – Anywhere.


skądś – from somewhere            skądkolwiek – from anywhere

Znam cię skądś! – You look familiar! ( I know you from somewhere).

Skądkolwiek to masz, nie mów mamie – However you got it, don’t tell mom.



jakoś – somehow, someway                         jakkolwiek – however, whatever

Jakoś to naprawię. – I will fix it somehow.

Kupno tego domu to strata pieniędzy, jakkolwiek by na to nie spojrzeć. – Buying the house is a waste of money, whichever way you look at it.



jakiś/jakaś/jakieś – some kind, any                      jakikolwiek/jakakolwiek/jakiekolwiek – any sort of, any

Podaj mi jakiś kubek, proszę. – Pass me any mug, please.

Możemy spotkać się jutro, albo w jakikolwiek inny dzień. – We can meet up tomorrow or in any other day.



czyjś/czyjaś/czyjeś – someone’s, somebody’s    czyjkolwiek/czyjakolwiek/czyjekolwiek – anyone’s, anybody’s

Czyjeś dziecko płacze. – Someone’s baby is crying.

note, dziecko, as a neuter noun, requires the form czyjeś; with masculine and feminine nouns we would use respectively czyjś, czyjaś

Dlaczego to powinien być czyjkolwiek interes, co ja robię? – Why should it be anyone’s bussines, what I’ve been doing?



kiedyś – someday, oneday, ever, back in the day                          kiedykolwiek – ever, whenever

Kiedyś pojadę do Japonii. – I will go to Japan oneday.

Czy byłeś kiedyś/kiedykolwiek w Japonii? – Have you ever been to Japan?

Kiedyś mieszkałem w Japonii – I used to live in Japan.

Możemy pojechać do Polski, kiedykolwiek chcesz. – We can go to Poland whenever you like.



Practice Polish indefinite pronouns



More about Polish pronouns and their declansion patterns you may find here





ONI IDĄ ZE MNĄ DO NIEJ – Polish personal pronouns and their declension patterns

ONI IDĄ ZE MNĄ DO NIEJ – Polish personal pronouns and their declension patterns

Polish personal pronouns


Pronouns refer to nouns and noun phrases, therefore also are inflected for genders, number and, most importantly, for cases. The table below presents Polish personal pronouns and their declension patterns.
Many of the personal pronouns have more then one form. Which one we should use in a sentence depends on whether the pronoun is emphasized of follows a preposition.


download zaimki osobowe


As you can see in the table, the cases of some personal pronouns have two (or even three) possible options. The short forms are the basic, the long one can be used to provide emphasis.

e.g.  Znam go. – I know him
Znam jego, nie ją. – I know him, not her.
Nie słyszę cię. – I can’t hear you.
Słyszę jego, ale nie słyszę ciebie. – I can hear him, but I can’t hear you.

The long form can stand anywhere in a sentence, while the short form usually stands next to a verb (can’t be used to start a sentence).

e.g. Wczoraj widziałem go.
Widziałem go wczoraj.
Go widziałem wczoraj.

Wczoraj widziałem jego, a nie ją.
Wczoraj jego widziałem, a nie ją.
Jego wczoraj widziałem, a nie ją.

The long pronouns go after prepositions.  3rd person both singular and plural have special forms with the n- prefix (niego, nią, niemu nich etc.).

e.g. To jest prezent dla ciebie. – This is a present for you.
Mam wiadomość dla niej. – I have a message for her.
Nie idziemy bez niego. – We are not going without him.
Możesz na nich liczyć. – You can count on them.


Czas na praktykę


DLATEGO, PONIEWAŻ, WIĘC.. – Polish conjunctions

DLATEGO, PONIEWAŻ, WIĘC.. – Polish conjunctions

To build a well-structured, complex sentence we need conjunctions. They are used to combine words, phrases or clauses and might be a bit problematic for beginner learners (doesn’t matter what language you’re learning). Even though you can check the meaning in a dictonary, it takes time and practice to use them correctly in sentences.

The graphic below showes the most common Polish conjunctions with exemples of the usage. Some conjunctions have the same meaning but one is typical for the spoken language the other one (I marked them in red) for written Polish.


 download the handout


Note that the conjuction ‘czy’ is used both as ‘if’ and ‘or’  in negative sentences (or questions)

Chcę kawę albo herbatę.  (I want a tea or coffee)
Chcesz kawę czy herbatę? (Would you like some tea or coffee?)
Nie chcę kawy czy herbaty, wolę sok! (I don’t want a tea or coffee, I prefer a juice)

Pójdę na spacer, jeśli będzie ładna pogoda (I’ll go for a walk if the weather is nice.)
Nie wiem, czy będzie ładna pogoda jutro. (I don’t know if the weather will be good tomorrow.)


Let’s put the theory into practice – complete the exercise