LESSON: W czym mogę panu pomóc? – speaking formally (A2)


This post includes:

  • declined forms pan/pani and rules how to use them in formal sentences;
  • an online exercise;
  • a handout to download

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. The pronouns ty (you) and wy (you all, you both) are replaced by their formal equivalents.

To learn when formal addressative forms are used in Polish and how to structure formal sentences, please check our previous post here.

The words pan and pani, same as the pronouns ty, have different case forms. The table below presents the declined forms of those two words.

Here you can see how those forms are used in sentences

informally: Nie znam cię (I don’t know you) -> formally: Nie znam pana. / Nie znam pani. (dopełniacz)

informally: Czy mogę z tobą porozmawiać? (May I speak to you?) -> formally: Czy mogę z panem porozmawiać? / Czy mogę z panią porozmawiać? (narzędnik)

informally: Miło cię poznać (Nice to meet you) -> formally: Miło pana poznać. / Miło panią poznać. (biernik) ​

informally: Wiem, że uczysz się języka francuskiego. (I know you’ve been learning French) -> formally: Wiem, że uczy się pan języka francuskiego. / Wiem, że uczy się pani języka francuskiego. (mianownik, check the rules for changing the verbs in our previous post here)


  1. In written Polish (in formal emails, documents and letters) all the pan/pani forms need to begin with capital letters.
  2. In a shop or a restaurant, you will hear słucham panią not słucham pani (although the verb słuchać takes dopełniacz).

Complete the exercise:


About the Author



I have started my career as a tutor at Jagiellonian University and now I have been conducting Polish lessons working both with private and business clients from all over the world. I'm a big fan of grammar - Polish grammar especially ;)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *