oni pływają / oni płyną

Discussion in 'Polski (Polish)' started by redirie, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. redirie

    redirie Senior Member

    English - UK/US
    I am using Rosetta Stone and I cannot figure out the differerence between these two based on the picture. :(
  2. dreamlike

    dreamlike Senior Member

    Could you please provide us with the picture? This would it make easier for us to answer your question because the two can be used in a variety of contexts and take on a variety of meanings.
  3. Roy776

    Roy776 Senior Member

    Kraków, Poland
    German & AmE
    I remember this from when I thought about using Rosetta Stone. This program is a waste of money and time. It's not gonna get you anywhere, if you ask me. This situation was even the one that made me decide not to use it.
    As far as I remember, the picture to "oni pływają" showed a few persons swimming in a pool, while "oni płyną" showed a group of persons in swimsuits standing in front of the pool. Back then, I didn't understand the difference, but I think that I get it now, but please correct me immediately if I'm wrong!

    The difference here is that "oni płyną" (płynąć) is a general statement. They swim. That's what they do, because of their job or their hobby.
    "Oni pływają" (pływać) implies that they are swimming. That's what they're doing at that moment.

    Well, that's at least the best explanation I can give to how I understood the difference here. Mind you though, I'm pretty sure that is not the only difference between the two verbs but only the one in this given situation.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2012
  4. kknd Senior Member

    Polska / Poland
    polski / Polish
    as far as i know it is question about iteratives: i suggest you searching through this forum extensively for phrases containing word "iterative". (or even "vs.") searching for "continous" might be also helpful. :p
  5. LilianaB Banned

    US New York
    Oni płyną implies a particular direction or purpose. Pływają -- it is osmething done more at random, for recreation. 1. Oni pływają w sobotę. They usually swim on Saturday-- something done habitually. Oni pływają w płytkich miejsacach. Threy swim in quite shallow water, not as deep.
  6. NotNow Senior Member

    The technical terms are determinate and indeterminate. Indeterminate verbs describe a habitual or repetitive action. Determinate verbs, such as płyną, describe a progressive action (that is, something that is taking place now).
  7. BezierCurve Senior Member

    I find NotNow's general explanation good, however, in case of "pływać" it can be used (as LilianaB noted) for a recreational, random action too. For example:

    Pływają teraz w basenie. / [They] are swimming in the swimming pool at the moment.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2012
  8. LilianaB Banned

    US New York
    Yes, you are right, but płyną and pływają can also be happening now -- both. They just mean diffrent things. The first one indicates that it is being done with a purpose -- Statki płyną do portu (with a purpose). Wokół pływają ryby (chaotically, just for fun, or just because this is what they are doing at the moment, or habitually do, in a different context). But, łososie (ryby) płyną na miejsce tarła. (with a purpose to lay eggs, to a particular location). Pływacy płyną do mety. (the swimmers are swimming to the finish line). Dzieci pływają w basenie (chaotically, just for fun, or as a practice or warm-up) The children are swimming in a pool. (swimming pool)

    Last edited: Dec 6, 2012
  9. dreamlike

    dreamlike Senior Member

    Adding to the previous explanations, here are a couple of sentences which might enhance your understanding of these two, Redirie:

    Dzieci pływają teraz w basenie, a ich mama ich pilnuje. --> The children are swimming in a pool and their mum is watching them.
    Dzieci płyną (pływają :cross:) do brzegu. --> The children are swimming to the shore .
    Oni płyną (pływają :cross:) pod prąd. --> They are swimming against the current.
    Dzieci pływają w morzu od jakiegoś czasu. --> The children have been swimming in the sea for quite some time now.
  10. LilianaB Banned

    US New York
    Pływają is possible too, with do brzegu: Dzieci często pływają do brzegu. (repetitive action)
    Oni często (czasem)pływają pod prąd.
    The children often swim to the bank.
    They often (sometimes) swim against the current. (up the river)
  11. dreamlike

    dreamlike Senior Member

    Yes, you may have a point there, but "pływają" would be graringly incorrect in the examples I've given.
  12. LilianaB Banned

    US New York
    Yes, without the adverbs, most likely. Perhaps just in a very specific context.
  13. Lorenc Senior Member

    Here's my two cents, feel free to correct me :)
    Płynąć/popłynąć/pływać are verbs of motions, and that's why they come in triplets, much like iść/pójść/chodzić, lecieć/polecieć/latać, biegnąć/pobiegnąć/biegać and a handful of others. So there are no additional peculiarities to płynąć/pływać a part from being verbs of motion. The difference between the three forms (determinate-imperfective/determinate-perfective/indeterminate-imperfective) has already been discussed and is described in many (all?) grammars.

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