To have, to live, to love: Polish Class 3 Verbs

In the last language post Where are you from? Where do you live?, we met mieszkać, meaning ‘to live’.

This verb belongs to the third of the four verb classes in Polish (also known as the -am -asz verbs), and to conjugate mieszkać, we remove the and add the endings shown below. Once these endings are committed to memory, you can use them on lots of other useful verbs in this class.

 

Polish Class 3 Verbs - Present Tense

 

Notice that Polish distinguishes between you (singular) and you (plural), the latter being used to address more than one person.

Now, in addition to being able to say sentences such as mieszkam w Londynie (I live in London), you can see that we can easily make new statements and questions, such as:

Mieszkają w Londynie They live in London
Mieszkacie w Nowym Jorku You (pl.) live in New York
Mieszkamy w Paryżu We live in Paris

 

Other class 3 verbs are shown below. With this simple set of endings, we can form lots of simple sentences in the present tense:

Verb Example
mieć to have mam I have
kochać to love kochasz you love
czekać to wait czeka he/she/it waits
śpiewać to sing śpiewamy we sing
pytać to ask pytacie you (pl.) ask
biegać to run biegają they run
grać to play gram I play
czytać to read czytasz you read
pływać to swim pływa he/she/it swims

 

But how can we say something a little more useful than ‘she waits’ or ‘you read’?

You could combine a form of kochać with the infinitive of another verb to talk about things that you love to do. For example:

Kocham spiewać I love to sing.
Kochamy grać We love to play.
Kochasz czytać You love to read.
Kochają pływać They love to swim.

 

So now after reading a few short tutorials, it’s possible to say where you live, where you’re from and what you love to do, and to ask the same of others. Next we’ll look at Polish numbers, and see how to ask and answer the question ile masz lat? (how old are you?).

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