Category: Intermediate

A czy I? – Polish conjunctions

A czy I? – Polish conjunctions

The conjunctions I and A often confuse English speakers as they both translate as the english ‘and’. What is the difference between them than?

I – is used to combine the same ideas and meanings, or ideas that go together
e.g.  Ja lubię sport i mój brat lubi sport – I like sport and my brother likes sport (the same idea)
Spotkałam się z koleżanką i poszłyśmy na kawę – I met with my friend and we went for a coffee (the ideas go togehter)

A – also translates as ‘and’ but carries a meaning of a subtle contrast. It is used when the contrast exists but we don’t want to emphesise it
e.g. Ja czytam gazetę, a mój mąż ogląda mecz. – I’m reading a newspaper and my husband is watching football (contrast of actions)
Wczoraj byłam w kinie, a dzisiaj idę do teatru. – Yesterday I went to the cinema and today I’m going to the theatre (contrast of places)

If you can translate the sentence to English using both and and but and getting similar meanings, it means in Polish the conjunction a needs to be used.
Ja idę na zakupy, a ty umyj naczynia – I’m going shopping and you wash the dishes/ I’m going shopping but you wash the dishes

 

Let’s pracitse

Complete the exercises to check if you understood the difference. Don’t get discourage if it’s still confusing! It takes time to master those two conjuctions 🙂 Good luck!

 

 

Check my previous post to learn more about Polish conjunctions.

POLSKI SUPERBOHATER – PRACTISE POLISH CASES

POLSKI SUPERBOHATER – PRACTISE POLISH CASES

Wszyscy znają Kapitana Amerykę, Spider-Mana, Batmana czy Iron Mana, ale czy słyszeliście o Białym Orle. To polski superbohater. Jeśli chcesz dowiedzieć się o nim więcej, zrób ćwiczenie poniżej. Powodzenia!

Jeśli ćwiczenie nie działa, możesz znaleźć je tutaj.

PRACTISE POLISH WITH A SONG – VERB CONJUGATION

PRACTISE POLISH WITH A SONG – VERB CONJUGATION

Learning grammar doesn’t have to be boring! Are you, like me, a fan of The Lion King (Król Lew)? 🙂 Listen to the Polish version of one of the songs from the film and practise Polish verb conjugation. Below the exercise you will find a list of the verbs from the song and their conjugation types. Good luck!

If the exercise is not working you may find it here.

Verbs from the song:
przychodzić (-ę, -isz) – to come
posyłać (-m, -sz) – to send
spełniać się (-m, -sz) – to be fulfilled, to come true
czuć (czuj-ę, czuj-esz) – to feel
przybywać (-m, -sz) – to come (used mostly in literature and poetry)
wiedzieć (wie-m, wie-sz) – to know
wirować (wiruj-ę, wiruj-esz) – to spin
mieć (ma-m, ma-sz) – to have
odnajdować (odnajduj-ę, odnajduj-esz)/forma perfective odnaleźć – to find, to rediscover
trwać (-m, -sz) – to last

 

Interesting fact!
In the lyrics you can find the word swe which is a version of the posessive pronoun swoje. Feminine and neuter pronouns: moja/moje, twoja/twoje and swoja/swoje have shorter versions ma/me, twa/twe, swa/swe which are used in very formal texts or poetry.

 

If you like the post check also Learn Polish with a song – miejscownik case (locative)

Wielkanocne Tradycje – Vocabulary

Wielkanocne Tradycje – Vocabulary

In Poland Easter (Wielkanoc) is a time full of unique rituals, traditions and delicious food. How well do you know them? Complete the exercises and learn useful vocabulary.

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

 

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

DO YOU KNOW THOSE POLISH PHRASES? – QUIZ

DO YOU KNOW THOSE POLISH PHRASES? – QUIZ

Do you know how to say ‘hello’ in Polish? How would you respond if someone says Miłego weekendu? Take the quiz and check how well you know (or learn) common Polish phrases!

At the end of the post you will find a pdf with extra tips how to use the phrases from the exercise.

Phrases from the quiz

If the quiz is not working, you may find it here

 

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LEARN POLISH WITH SONGS – CHRISTMAS SONGS

LEARN POLISH WITH SONGS – CHRISTMAS SONGS

It’s just few weeks left until Christmas. Why not get into the holiday spirit with some classic Christmas songs and practice the language at the same time?

Listen to the songs and complete the lyrics.

Coraz bliżej święta

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

 

A kto wie..?

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

 

Read my previous post to learn about Christmas traditions in Poland

PAN, PANI, PAŃSTWO, PANOWIE… – FORMS OF ADDRESS IN POLISH

PAN, PANI, PAŃSTWO, PANOWIE… – FORMS OF ADDRESS IN POLISH

In all languages two types of contact can be distinguish – formal and informal. In English the difference between those two is little but in Polish the cultural context is strongly expressed in grammar structures.

Formal contact in Polish

Addressing someone formally in Polish we replace the standart forms ty or wy with their formal equivalents:
pan – addressing a man
Jak się nazywasz? – Jak się pan nazywa?
pani – addressing a woman
Gdzie mieszkasz? – Gdzie pani mieszka?
państwo – addressing a couple or a group of men and women
Co robicie? – Co państwo robią?
panie – addressing a group of women
Gdzie idziecie? – Gdzie panie idą?
panowie – addressing a group of men
O czym rozmawiacie? – O czym panowie rozmawiają?

Structure of a formal sentence

As you may notice in the exemples above in formals senctences we not only add the words like pan, pani, państwo..but also change the form of the verbs to third form singular or plural. So in the sentence like Gdzie pani mieszka?  what we say exactly is Where does the lady live? (Gdzie pani mieszka?), the same Gdzie państwo idą?Where are they going? (Gdzie państwo idą?). Not addressing a person directly as ty or wy but as on/ona or oni/one is a sign of respect.

When do we use the formal forms?

Polish is a quite formal language so talking to a person we don’t know (doesn’t metter their age as long as they’re not underage), to someone who is older that we are or in any kind of oficial situation the formal forms need to be used. What’s interesting, even people arguing on the street and using invectives far from appropreate will still adress each other as pan/pani.

Nowadays due to the influence of English, usage of the forms pani/pani has becoming less strict between young people especially in the Internet communication and some formal situations.

In written Polish

It is worth to mention that in written Polish, no matter if it is a formal or informal conversation or what age the person is, the forms of the pronouns ty and wy are always spelled with a capital letter.
e.g. Mam się dobrze, dziękuję. A Ty? – I’m well, tank you. And you?
Czy Twoja mama przyjeżdża na weekend? – Is your mom coming for the weekend?
Czy mogę Wam pomóc? – Can I help you?

Let’s practise

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