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Senior Member
English - Northeast US
Cześć wszystkim,

Just wondering if there is any fine distinction in meaning between these two verbs and their imperfective counterparts (wracać/powracać)? I know they both mean "to return" or "to come back to," and it seems to me that "wrócić/wracać" is used more often than the other term.

So, would "Wracam do miasta" and "Powracam do miasta", for example, mean exactly the same thing? Is either one more natural/colloquial?

Dziękuję bardzo.
  • jasio

    Senior Member
    For me "powracać/powrócić" sounds somewhat bookish and more solemn than "wracać/wrócić". Typically the more natural is the latter and actually I can't even recall hearing the former in the present tense. In the past or future tense:
    • "Wrócił do miasta" - sounds more like a temporary trip, like a weekend or a trip in the country, perhaps a holiday
    • "Powrócił do miasta" - sounds more as if the subject had moved to a countryside, lived there for a while and then decided to come back to live in the city again. But "wrócić" can also be used in similar cases, perhaps depending on the broader context.
    • "Powrócił do ojczyzny" - actually, I could hardly accept "wrócił" in this context; 'fatherland' is a word of pathos, and "powrócił" matches it perfectly
    I hope that helps.


    Senior Member
    Yeah, 'powrócić' is not used in everyday language. It sounds a bit literary or at least formal. Often used in papers.

    "Po 146 dniach smog powrócił do Rybnika."
    "Papież Franciszek powrócił we wtorek do Rzymu z tygodniowej podróży do Tajlandii i Japonii."
    "Aziz Karaoglu udanie powrócił do walk."

    Those are newspaper examples. I guess I would use 'wrócił' in all of them, though I quite like 'powrócił' in the last one.
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