spać vs sypiać


Senior Member
Good morning ladies & gentlemen, I knew the verb spać but not the verb sypiać. What is the difference between spać and the maybe rarely used sypiać? Is sypić an archaic, formal, regional verb? Thank you in advance & have a productive day. Enco from Prague
  • ornityna

    Sypiać denotes a regular, habitual behavior, while spać is more of a singular event. However, you may be right that people tend to abandon sypiać and use spać with some time marker instead. For example, sypiam w samochodzie vs. śpię w samochodzie vs. często śpię w samochodzie. The first wants to say "I regularly sleep in the car," the second "I sleep in the car these days" OR "I am sleeping in the car," and the third is simply "I often sleep in the car." A similar example, sypiam dobrze vs. śpię dobrze, is basically the same - sypiam sounds more archaic.
    Another thing is that sypiać can be used to say that you sleep with someone (meaning sex) on a regular basis. Spać, not so much. If you say śpię z nią często it rather sounds like you actually sleep with her often, nothing more. On the contrary, sypiam z nią często means sexual relations.


    Senior Member
    Sypia z wieloma kobietami - sexual meaning

    Ostatnio nie sypiam dobrze. - regular activity, though most people will say 'nie śpię'


    Senior Member
    I think there are no such clear-cut differences as ornityno presented. Depending on the context they may mean opposite things.
    I wouldn’t say that “Ostatnio nie sypiam dobrze” is a regular activity.