Time expressions in Polish you must know!

Time expressions in Polish you must know!

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 :)

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