Time expressions in Polish classes cause a lot of pain. Actually my student recently asked me for this post and I finally decided to publish it. I hope it will be useful for you!
Let's start with some basic words you need to know:
- chwila / moment - moment
- sekunda - a second
- minuta - a minute
- godzina - an hour
- dzień - a day
- tydzień - a week
- miesiąc - a month
- rok - a year
- dekada - 10 years
- wiek - century
You can use them without any change if they are the subject of the sentence for example.
Rok to za mało, żeby nauczyć się polskiego - A year is too short to learn Polish.
Dzień był słoneczny i ciepły. - The day was sunny and warm.
Some of the words will just change and won't need prepositions to express the time relation. For example:
- dzisiaj - today
- wczoraj - yesterday
- przedwczoraj - the day before yesterday
- jutro - tomoroow
- pojutrze - the day after tomorrow
Now I'm going to present you different ways to express time and segments of time. Look carefully because they will change their forms:
- W tym momencie / tygodniu / miesiącu / roku - this moment/ week / month / year
- W tej chwili / sekundzie / minucie - this moment / second / minute
- O tej godzinie - at this hour
- Obecnie - currently
- Natychmiast - immediatelly
- W dzisiejszych czasach - nowadays
- W ciągu tygodnia / miesiąca / roku - during a week / month / year
- Podczas spotkania / kolacji / wakacji - during the meeting / dinner/ holidays
When we talk about past we need to use different prepositions
- w zeszłym / tamtym/ ubiegłym * tygodniu / miesiącu / roku - last week/ month/ year
- tydzień / miesiąc / rok temu - a week / month / year ago
- dwa / trzy / cztery tygodnie / miesiące / lata**temu - 2/3/4 weeks / months / years ago
- pięć/ sześć .... tygodni / miesięcy / lat temu - 5/6 ... weeks / months/ years ago
- (nie) dawno temu - (not) long time ago
- od dawna - since long time ago
- kiedyś - sometime ago (also: in some time)
*all these forms can be used interchangeably
** all digits ended with 2, 3, 4 except 11, 12, 13 will follow the pattern. The rest of numbers will follow 5,6 pattern.
When we talk about future the phrases look like this:
- za dzień tydzień / miesiąc / rok - in a day/ week / month / year
- za dwa dni/ tygodnie / miesiące / lata - in two days/ weeks / months / years (look the rule above **)
- za pięć dni tygodni / miesięcy / lat - in days/ five weeks / months / years
- Zaraz! - It's an expression you would use when someone is calling you and asking to hurry up but you need a few seconds more
- Wkrótce / (Za) niedługo - soon
You may also need these words to express something what happened a certain amount of time after another event. Then you need preposition "po".
- po chwili / sekundzie / minucie / godzinie - after a while / second / minut / hour
- po dniu / tygodniu / miesiącu / roku - after a day / week / month / year
If you know "po" means "after", you probably wonder if you can also use the word "przed" - before. The answer is - yes but some of them would sound posh and the grammar will get complicated. Have a look:
- Przed dwoma dniami / tygodniami / miesiącami / laty (sic!)
On the other hand it will sound totally normal if you say:
- Przed chwilą - a moment ago
If you likes this post, please help me spread it and share with other learners in Social Media! Dziękuję :)
Learn the names of the months in Polish and practice them with interactive games which I've prepared for you.
Months in Polish don't have much to do with their Latin names but they make sense if you look closely enough.
styczeń - January
Stykać means to link, to connect. Styczeń connects the Old Year and the New Year!
luty - February
Long time ago this word meant something very cold and of course luty is one of the coldests months in Poland.
marzec - March
Nothing original here. We also have it from Roman's god - Mars
kwiecień - April
Do you know the word "kwiat" - "a flower". Flowers blossom in kwiecień. It's such a nice name!
maj - May
As in the case of marzec we share the name of this month with many other languages.
czerwiec - June
If you know the word czerwony you can easily make a connotation. In June the temperature rises and what is the colour of heat? Czerwony! But the truth is both Czerwiec and czerwony come from a small worm czerw which our ancestor used to pick up and dry in the sun to make red pigment.
lipiec - July
It's me! It's me! Lipiec is my last name and it comes from a linden tree - lipa. Lipa blossoms in July.
sierpień - August
Do you know sierp - sickle, the old farming tool which you can see in the emblem of USSR? Sierpień is a very hot month when grain ripens and farmers could take their sierpy and cut it. Thankfully they don't have to do it anymore but the name of the month is not that hard to memorize,
wrzesień - September
Wrzos is heather. I'm not sure if wrzos really blossoms in wrzesień because the climate change is playing with our months names but for sure it used to :)
październik - October
Another month related to farming. The cicle of nature was very important for farmers so the names of the months were obcious consequences of it. Paździerze were dry stems of linen which were swingled in październik.
listopad - November
I don't have to explain much to those who know words liść - leaf and padać - to fall. Leaves fall in listopad... Nah. Actually listopad is just disgusting in Poland. It pours, the sun is always hidden behind clouds and people are gloomy. I hate listopad.
grudzień - December
Gruda is a lump of soil. When winter is in its peak the soil is frozen and if you take a lump of it you can probably kill someone with it. As you can assume, I am not a fan of grudzień too :)
And now time for exercises!
Drag and drop the months into correct season
Match Polish names of the months with their English translation
Put the months in an order
And something more advanced - Polish holidays! Click on the blank and choose the correct month!
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