Polish tenses

Smsh

Member
Dutch
Hello,

I've been reading a lot about Polish tenses, and I think I've moslty understood how it works:

Imperfective

Incomplete action

with the verb 'czekać' (to wait):

Present: czekam = I am waiting
Past: czekałem = I was waiting
Future: będę czekać or będę czekał = I will wait/I am going to wait

Perfective

Completed action

Here, because it is perfective, I have to use 'poczekać':

Present: doesn't exist
Past: poczekałem = I have waited
Future: będę poczekać or będę poczekał = I will have waited

Is it correct?
 
  • CapnPrep

    Senior Member
    AmE
    perfective poczekać (or zaczekać):

    Present: doesn't exist
    Past: poczekałem = I have waited
    Future: poczekam

    You must not use będę with perfective verbs!
     

    Smsh

    Member
    Dutch
    Thanks for the help =).

    But how about conditional? I couldn't find anything about it, is it a tense that doesn't exist in Polish?
     

    jazyk

    Senior Member
    Brazílie, portugalština
    Conditional: use the past (imperfective or perfective) and add bym, byś, by, byśmy, byście, by.

    You can also translate this tense in English as the past in conditional clauses: If I had money, I would buy a big house = Gdybym miał pieniądze, kupiłbym duży dom.
     

    przemo84

    Senior Member
    Hello,

    I've been reading a lot about Polish tenses, and I think I've moslty understood how it works:

    Imperfective

    Incomplete action

    with the verb 'czekać' (to wait):

    Present: czekam = I am waiting
    Past: czekałem = I was waiting
    Future: będę czekać or będę czekał = I will wait/I am going to wait

    Perfective

    Completed action

    Here, because it is perfective, I have to use 'poczekać':

    Present: doesn't exist
    Past: poczekałem = I have waited
    Future: będę poczekać or będę poczekał = I will have waited

    Is it correct?

    No, you're not right.

    poczekam/zaczekam = będę czekać/czekał

    We have two ways of saying that sth will happen in the future.

    Perfective - it's used in the past for example:

    Pomalowałem ścianę - I've painted a wall [completely].
    Malowałem ścianę - it doesn't say if it's been painted completely it only means that I've done it it but doesn't suggest that I already finished painting.
     

    przemo84

    Senior Member
    Conditional: use the past (imperfective or perfective) and add bym, byś, by, byśmy, byście, by.

    You can also translate this tense in English as the past in conditional clauses: If I had money, I would buy a big house = Gdybym miał pieniądze, kupiłbym duży dom.

    You can use in the present jeżeli [Conditional 1]:

    If I have money, I'll buy a car = Jeżeli będę miał pieniądze, kupię samochód - but remember - in Poland you have to use the future tense in both sentences.
     

    jazyk

    Senior Member
    Brazílie, portugalština
    Why did you add this? I don't think it has anything to do with the original question.
     

    kknd

    Senior Member
    polski / Polish
    You should note that information below is incomplete:

    Present: czekam = I am waiting
    Past: czekałem = I was waiting
    Future: będę czekać or będę czekał = I will wait/I am going to wait;

    because it can also mean

    Present: czekam = I wait / I've waited
    Past: czekałem = I waited / I've waited / I've been waiting / I had waited / I had been waiting

    depending on context (rest of the sentences' tenses in paragraph) which explains why Poles (at least me) have hard time with English (Romance/Germanic languages) tenses! ;P (I'm not good with future tenses)
     

    Smsh

    Member
    Dutch
    because it can also mean

    Present: czekam = I wait / I've waited
    Past: czekałem = I waited / I've waited / I've been waiting / I had waited / I had been waiting

    How can 'czekałem', mean 'I waited / I've waited / I've been waiting / I had waited / I had been waiting' , as 'czekałem' is a conjugated imperfective verb?

    All of what you have written, means that the action is complete, so shouldn't I use the Polish verb 'poczekać' ?
     

    kknd

    Senior Member
    polski / Polish
    My English can be little off, but I think those examples should be ok:

    Czekałem na nią dwie godziny. → I've been waiting for her for two hours.
    Czekałem wczoraj na ciebie. → I waited for you yesterday.
    Czekałem na to od dawna. → I've waited for this all my life.

    At the moment I don't have any examples with past perfect tenses, but somebody should convey some if you ask for them. ;)
     

    Virtuose

    Senior Member
    Polish/Poland
    It won't be easy to find a direct equivalence of the Polish perfective/imperfective aspect in the English grammar (I wouldn't even try:D).

    Every time you have some difficulties to choose the right form of the verb (e.g. you don't know if "czekałem" fits), try to ask the question "co robić? / co zrobić?". The former introduces an imperfective form, while the latter is attached to the perfective one.

    Ang. to go = pol. iść (imperf.); pójść (perf.)

    szedłem / poszedłem

    .... tą drogą przez dwie godziny. (co robiłem? co zrobiłem?)------ szedłem ("co robiłem?" fits well, so "szedłem" would be the good one)
     
    Last edited:

    Greg from Poland

    Senior Member
    Polish
    I cannot agree with you, kknd.

    Czekałem na nią dwie godziny.
    Czekałem wczoraj na ciebie.


    We do not know whether these actions were completed or not. Polish language can't convey such information.
     
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