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Must-Know Advanced Polish Phrases

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An important step in mastering Polish is learning how to form and use more advanced Polish phrases. Of course, you can learn a lot from various sources as you read, listen to, and speak the language. However, studying a handy list of expressions is a much faster way of improving your language skills.

In this article, we’ll outline a few key categories of advanced Polish vocabulary: academic phrases, words you can use on your resume, smart phrases to use in the business world, advanced conversational phrases in Polish, and idiomatic expressions often used by native speakers. Learning all of this will help your Polish sound much more natural and enable you to make a better impression on people.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Polish Table of Contents
  1. Useful Phrases for Academic Writing
  2. Power Phrases for Your Resume
  3. Smart Phrases for Business Meetings
  4. Advanced Idioms, Sayings, and Proverbs for Everyday Usage
  5. Final Thoughts

1. Useful Phrases for Academic Writing

A Graduation Cap

Are you thinking about studying in Poland? If so, you’re going to need a specific set of vocabulary in order to sound sophisticated and ace your academic/formal writing. We recommend you start by memorizing the advanced Polish phrases below. 

  • Po pierwsze… Po drugie… Po trzecie (Firstly… Secondly… Thirdly)

    Po pierwsze to ważny temat. Po drugie mało się o nim mówi. Po trzecie to wciąż tabu w naszej kulturze.
    Firstly, it’s an important topic. Secondly, it’s not discussed enough. Thirdly, it’s still a taboo in our culture.
  • Należy zwrócić uwagę, że… (It’s important to note that…)

    Należy zwrócić uwagę, że nie wszyscy Polacy zgadzają się z tą postawą. 
    It’s important to note that not all Polish people agree with this attitude.
  • Jak się okazuje… (As it turns out…)

    Jak się okazuje to nie do końca prawda. 
    As it turns out, it’s not entirely true.
  • Zakładając, że (Assuming that…)

    Zakładając, że autor ma rację jest to poważny zarzut. 
    Assuming that the author is right, it’s a serious accusation.
  • Według autora… (According to the author…)

    Według autora nie jest to najlepsze rozwiązanie. 
    According to the author, it’s not the best solution.
  • Warto podkreślić… (One should emphasize…)

    Warto podkreślić, że to tylko teoria. 
    One should emphasize that it’s only a theory.
  • Można powiedzieć, że… (One could say that…)

    Można powiedzieć, że ludzie reagują w takich sytuacjach impulsywnie. 
    One could say that people react impulsively in such situations.
  • Nie ulega wątpliwości, że… (Undoubtedly…)

    Nie ulega wątpliwości, że to nie jest idealne rozwiązanie. 
    Undoubtedly, it isn’t a perfect solution.
  • Wbrew zdaniu… (Contrary to…)

    Wbrew zdaniu wielu osób to nie do końca prawda. 
    Contrary to what many people believe, it isn’t entirely true.
  • Mogłoby się wydawać… (One could conclude that…)

    Mogłoby się wydawać, że to definitywnie zakończy dyskusję. 
    One could conclude that it’s the end of this discussion.
  • Prawdopodobnie… (Probably…)

    Prawdopodobnie nigdy nie dowiemy się prawdy. 
    Probably, we’ll never learn the truth.
  • Ogólnie rzecz biorąc… (Generally speaking…)

    Ogólnie rzecz biorąc, tendencje destrukcyjne nie biorą się znikąd. 
    Generally speaking, destructive tendencies don’t appear out of nowhere.
  • Badania wskazują, że… (Research suggests that…)

    Badania wskazują, że u większości osób nie ma tej cechy. 
    Research suggests that most people don’t have this trait.
  • Dla przykładu warto przywołać… (As an example, one could mention…)

    Dla przykładu warto przywołać badania doktora Nowaka.
    As an example, one could mention the research conducted by Dr. Nowak.
  • Większość pytanych… (The majority of respondents…)

    Większość pytanych niechętnie wypowiada się na ten temat. 
    The majority of respondents are reluctant to discuss this subject.

Naturally, this isn’t a comprehensive list of all the advanced Polish words and phrases used in academic writing. However, the ones mentioned above can be extremely helpful when it comes to expressing yourself and ordering your thoughts. To broaden your vocabulary on this topic, visit our lesson on common terms in academic writing. Are you out of ideas on how to practice writing? We have a lesson about that, too!

2. Power Phrases for Your Resume 

A Resume

There are also some advanced Polish words and phrases you’ll need to know if you want to succeed in business contexts. The first step is to make your resume shine. Below are several phrases you should consider upgrading your resume with:

  • umiejętność radzenia sobie w trudnych sytuacjach 
    the ability to work under pressure
  • umiejętność pracy pod presją czasu 
    the ability to work in a fast-paced environment
  • dobra organizacja pracy 
    the ability to work in an organized manner
  • umiejętność pracy w zespole 
    being a team player
  • umiejętność zarządzania czasem 
    time management skills
  • wysoka kultura osobista 
    impeccable manner
  • nastawienie na rozwój i realizację celów 
    career-driven and goal-oriented
  • umiejętność rozwiązywania konfliktów 
    being a conflict-resolver
  • umiejętność przystosowywania się do zmian 
    high adaptability
  • zdolność szybkiej i efektywnej nauki 
    fast and effective learner
  • umiejętność samodzielnej pracy 
    the ability to work independently
  • umiejętność wyznaczania priorytetów 
    the ability to prioritize tasks
  • biegła znajomość MS Excel 
    advanced use of Excel
  • zdolność zarządzania projektami 
    project management skills
  • szeroka wiedza z zakresu [X] 
    broad knowledge on the topic of [X]
    For example:
    szeroka wiedza z zakresu bankowości internetowej 
    broad knowledge on the topic of internet banking

Phrases like those above usually end up on your resume as bullet points. You could also mention these characteristics during a Polish job interview!

3. Smart Phrases for Business Meetings

A Business Meeting

People working in Polish offices use a lot of anglicisms. In order to communicate at an advanced level, it’s necessary that you’re able to understand the way they’re pronounced in Polish. To get you started, here are several advanced Polish conversational phrases, expressions, and words often used during business meetings:

  • ASAP / do zrobienia na wczoraj (things to be done ASAP)

    Ten projekt musi być wykonany ASAP. / Ten projekt jest do zrobienia na wczoraj. 
    This project should be completed ASAP.
  • brif / brief (brief)

    Jaki jest brif/brief? 
    What’s the brief?
  • dedlajn / deadline (deadline)

    Jaki jest dedlajn/deadline? 
    What’s the deadline?
  • dreskod / dress code (dress code)

    Jaki jest dreskod/dresscode w twojej firmie? 
    What’s the dress code in your company?
  • fakap / poważny problem (a serious problem)

    Mamy fakap. / Mamy poważny problem. 
    There’s a serious problem.
  • feedback / informacje zwrotne (feedback)

    Mamy feedback/informacje zwrotne od klienta? 
    Do we have the feedback from the client?
  • kol / call (call)

    Nie mogę, mam wtedy kola/calla z klientem. 
    I can’t do it; I have a call with the client then.
  • ołpenspejs / openspace (open-space)

    Nie lubię pracować w ołpenspejsie/openspace. 
    I don’t like working in an open-space office.
  • risercz / research (research)

    Muszę zrobić risercz/research. 
    I need to do some research.
  • target (target)

    On nie wyrabia targetów. 
    He doesn’t meet the targets.

These advanced conversational phrases in Polish will help you understand others and express yourself in the way that Polish people actually speak in the workplace. Here are some additional lessons that you may find useful:

Don’t forget to brush up on your business meeting etiquette and learn how to dress for one before you go to meet your Polish clients!

4. Advanced Idioms, Sayings, and Proverbs for Everyday Usage

Another key group of advanced Polish phrases for learners aspiring to reach fluency consists of idioms, sayings, and proverbs. Here’s a list of the most common ones:

  • Wszystko jest na jedno kopyto. 
    Everything is (done) in the same way.
    Literally: Everything is (done) according to the same hoof.
  • Żadna praca nie hańbi. 
    No work is shameful.
  • To wisienka na torcie. 
    It’s a cherry on top.
  • Lepiej późno niż wcale. 
    Better late than never.
  • Połamania nóg! 
    Break a leg!
  • Ogarnij się! [slang]
    Get your act together!
  • O wilku mowa. 
    Speaking of the devil.
  • Nie ma co płakać nad rozlanym mlekiem. 
    Don’t cry over spilt milk.
  • Cisza przed burzą
    The calm before the storm
  • Nie wywołuj wilka z lasu. 
    Let sleeping dogs lie.

You’ll sound much more natural once you start using these advanced conversational phrases in Polish. If you’d like to learn more of them, have a look at the following lessons on PolishPod101.com:

You can also look for advanced Polish phrases in books and articles you read as well as listen for them when talking with native speakers. 

5. Final Thoughts

PolishPod101’s Logo

There are countless advanced Polish words and phrases you can learn to improve your language skills. Our list is a great place to start as you begin improving your Polish and leveling up. Above all, knowing these phrases will help you feel much more confident in your everyday life.

Unfortunately, no matter how many advanced Polish conversational phrases you memorize, there will always be other aspects of the language you’ll have to cover. The best thing you can do is get access to a tool that will help you learn advanced Polish in a well-structured way.

An amazing tool that will help you do exactly that is our platform, PolishPod101. There are countless audio and video recordings available to students of all levels. Our personalized pathways will help you work on the most relevant skills, no matter where you are on your learning journey. For advanced Polish lessons designed to help you reach your fluency goals, we recommend our Level 5 pathway. Apart from lessons, we also offer various vocabulary learning tools as well as MyTeacher (for Premium PLUS members). 

Don’t hesitate. Join us today!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Polish

Handy Intermediate Polish Phrases

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Once you’ve mastered the beginner level of Polish, you can start learning useful intermediate Polish phrases. The benefit of learning entire phrases instead of just words is that you’ll become familiar with the natural patterns of speaking. This is important because, as an inexperienced learner, you run the risk of putting words together in a way that a native speaker never would.

But what is an intermediate level, and how can you know you’re already there? The intermediate stage is where you’re comfortable with all of the necessary “beginner” things but are not yet fluent in the language. You can speak the language enough to get around, but you often don’t have the right vocabulary or make frequent mistakes. 

There are many Polish phrases at the intermediate level that you should learn, but we recommend you start with the most handy ones. In this blog post, you’ll find out how to talk about past events, make and change plans, explain and list reasons, and much more.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Polish Table of Contents
  1. Talking About Past Events
  2. Making and Changing Plans
  3. Explaining and Listing Reasons
  4. Making Recommendations and Complaints
  5. Reacting to Everyday Situations
  6. Etiquette Phrases in Social and Business Settings
  7. Final Thoughts

1. Talking About Past Events

People Having Fun at a Party

Being able to talk about past events is important when you’re talking with your friends and colleagues. In everyday conversations, it’s common for people to ask about how someone spent their weekend, holiday, or another notable day such as a religious or national celebration.

Here are some useful Polish phrases for intermediate students that you can use to talk about past events: 

  • Świetnie się bawiliśmy. – “We had a great time.”

  • Tańczyliśmy do białego rana. – “We danced until early in the morning.”

  • To było niesamowite doświadczenie! – “It was an amazing experience!”

  • Bardzo się wtedy bałam/bałem. – “I was really scared then.”
    • The first form is feminine, and the second is masculine.

  • To był najlepszy/najgorszy dzień w moim życiu. – “It was the best/worst day of my life.”

  • Kiedyś lubiłam/lubiłem czytać powieści romantyczne. – “I used to like reading romance novels.”
    • The first form is feminine, and the second is masculine.

  • Wypoczęliśmy na urlopie. – “We relaxed during our holiday.”

  • To bardzo bolało. – “It hurt a lot.”

What else could you talk about? Well, maybe about how you spent your last vacation or holiday! In Poland, for example, the first day of spring is a pretty big deal and often creates fond memories. Remember to take every opportunity to practice Polish by telling people about your experiences and asking them about theirs. It’s by speaking in real-life circumstances that you’ll improve your language skills.  

2. Making and Changing Plans

A Person with an Organizer

In business and social contexts alike, we all need to make—and sometimes even change—plans. Being able to suggest getting a beer or coffee with someone (and understanding when others ask us the same) is an important social skill.

Here are some useful intermediate Polish phrases for such situations: 

  • Masz czas w ten weekend? – “Do you have time this weekend?”

  • Masz ochotę na pizzę/piwo? – “Fancy a pizza/beer?”

  • Czy mogę kogoś ze sobą przyprowadzić? – “Can I bring someone with me?”

  • Możemy przełożyć nasze plany? – “Could we postpone our plans?”

  • Przepraszam, ale jutro jednak nie mogę. – “I’m sorry, but I can’t make it tomorrow, after all.”

  • Umówmy się na wtorek. – “Let’s meet up on Tuesday.”

As we stated above, being able to make plans is a key social skill. That’s why we have numerous lessons on this topic. Would you like some words and expressions to complement the intermediate Polish phrases you just saw? We recommend starting with these lessons:


3. Explaining and Listing Reasons

A Man Explaining Something

At this stage in your Polish studies, it’s equally important to learn how to explain and list reasons for doing (or not doing) something. This would come in handy, for example, in situations where someone was angry with you or where you had to explain a plan of action.

Here are some relevant Polish phrases for intermediate-level students:  

  • Zrobiłam/Zrobiłam to, ponieważ…
    “I did it because…”

[The first form is feminine, and the second is masculine.]

Zrobiłam/Zrobiłam to, ponieważ tak wypada. 
“I did it because it’s what’s expected.”

Zrobiłam/Zrobiłam to, ponieważ nie miałam wyjścia. 
“I did it because I had no choice.”

  • Myślę, że tak powinnam/powinienem postąpić. To dlatego…
    “I believe this is the right thing to do. That’s why…”

[The first form is feminine, and the second is masculine.]

Myślę, że tak powinnam/powinienem postąpić. To dlatego z wami rozmawiam. 
“I believe this is the right thing to do. That’s why we’re having this conversation.”

Myślę, że tak powinnam/powinienem postąpić. To dlatego zainwestuję pieniędze.
“I believe this is the right thing to do. That’s why I’ll invest my money.”

  • Mam ku temu trzy powody. Po pierwsze… po drugie… po trzecie…
    “I do it for three reasons. First of all… Secondly… Last but not least…”

Mam ku temu trzy powody. Po pierwsze to dobra inwestycja, po drugie pomogę społeczności, po trzecie to nowe miejsce pracy.
“I do it for three reasons. First of all, it’s a good investment. Secondly, I’ll help the community. Last but not least, it’ll create job opportunities.”

Mam ku temu trzy powody. Po pierwsze to dobry uczynek, po drugie nic mnie to nie kosztuje, po trzecie to komuś pomoże. 
“I do it for three reasons. First of all, it’s a good deed. Secondly, it costs me nothing. Last but not least, it’ll help someone.”

  • To dobry pomysł, bo…
    “It’s a good idea because…”

To dobry pomysł, bo zwiększy produktywność.
“It’s a good idea because it’ll increase productivity.”

To dobry pomysł, bo tak jest szybciej. 
“It’s a good idea because it’s faster that way.”

  • To nie ma sensu, dlatego że… 
    “It makes no sense because…”

To nie ma sensu, dlatego że szef nigdy się nie zgodzi. 
“It makes no sense because there’s no way that the CEO will agree.”

To nie ma sensu, dlatego że ludzie tego nie kupią. 
“It makes no sense because people won’t buy it. ”

You should also check out our lesson on giving reasons in Polish using żeby and bo. If your motivation to learn Polish gets low at any point, remember that you can get it back with our lesson on the top five reasons to study Polish

4. Making Recommendations and Complaints

An Influencer Reviewing a Product

Other essential intermediate Polish phrases are those used for making recommendations or complaints. Here are just a few to get you started:

  • Powinieneś/Powinnaś tego spróbować! – “You should try this.”

  • To najlepsza/najlepszy/najlepsze [food], jaki jadłem/jadłam. – “It’s the best [food] I’ve ever eaten.”

    The first form of the verb jeść is feminine, and the second is masculine. The word najlepszy is in the feminine, masculine, and neuter forms, respectively.

  • To najlepsza/najlepszy/najlepsze [drink], jaki piłam/piłem. – “It’s the best [drink] I’ve ever drunk.”

    The first form of the verb pić is feminine, and the second is masculine. The word najlepszy is in the feminine, masculine, and neuter forms, respectively.

  • Bardzo nam się tam podobało. – “We really liked it there.”

  • Na pewno tam wrócimy. – “We’ll definitely come back.”

  • Zła obsługa klienta. – “Bad customer service.”

  • Niedobre jedzenie. – “Bad food.”

  • Nie polecam. – “I don’t recommend it.”

  • Odradzam wizytę. – “I discourage you from visiting.”

You should also check out our other lessons on complaining:

Complaining is important when it’s called for. However, it can be easy to overdo it! If you feel you complain too much, you may want to consider implementing some tips on how to complain less and be happier

5. Reacting to Everyday Situations

A Surprised Child

Being able to react to certain situations like a native speaker is another important skill. Here are some useful intermediate Polish phrases to help you express your amazement or disappointment: 

  • Super! / Ekstra! / Rewelacja! – “Awesome!”

  • Serio? / Naprawdę? / No co ty? – “Really?”

  • Nie żartuj! / Nie rób sobie jaj! / Bez jaj! – “You can’t be serious!”

    The first phrase is the most neutral one. The other two could be considered slightly vulgar by some people.

  • O matko! / O jezu!  – “Oh my goodness!”

    Some people could consider the second form sacrilegious, even though it’s commonly used.

  • Łał! – “Wow!”

    Are you surprised to see this one on the list? Anglicisms in Polish are quite common. These are words borrowed from English and used in Polish, sometimes modified and sometimes not.
  • To jest naprawdę super / ekstra / fajne! – “It’s really cool!”

  • Żałuję, że mnie tam nie było. – “I regret not being there.”

  • Masakra! / Koszmar! / Daj spokój! – “What a nightmare!”

It’s also important to know how to use such phrases in real life. A good idea is to just listen and try to pick up on what sort of phrases the Polish people around you use. Don’t have any Polish friends? No problem! Try watching series or movies!

Here’s a sample dialogue showing you how you might use the phrases provided above:

A: Świetnie się bawiliśmy. – “We had a great time.” 

B: Super! Żałuję, że mnie tam nie było. – “Great! I regret not being there.”

6. Etiquette Phrases in Social and Business Settings

People Shaking Hands

Politeness is extremely important across languages and cultures. In order not to offend anyone, you have to know the basic rules of wherever you are. Here are some polite Polish phrases for intermediate students: 

  • Smacznego! – “Bon appétit.”

  • Witamy! – “Welcome!”

  • Czy chciałabyś/chciałbyś coś do picia/jedzenia? – “Would you like something to drink/eat?”

    The first form of the verb chcieć is feminine, and the second is masculine.

  • Czuj się jak u siebie w domu. / Rozgość się. – “Please make yourself at home.”

  • Masz jakieś pytania? – “Do you have any questions?”

  • Czy mogę jakoś pomóc? – “Can I help you?”

  • Nie mogę się doczekać! – “I can’t wait!”

  • Spokojnej podróży! – “Have a safe trip!”

  • Udanych wakacji! – “Have a good holiday!”

Another important thing you should be able to do in Polish is refuse politely. We’re all allowed to have our preferences, but a simple “no” (nie) is as rude in Poland as anywhere else. 

Having said that, there are certain cultural differences between politeness in Polish and English. Sometimes good manners may be lost in translation, so try to consider the context before getting offended. 

7. Final Thoughts

Learning a language is a long journey, and memorizing Polish phrases at the intermediate level can definitely help you along the way. You just need to practice real-life conversations using the phrases we introduced today, and you’ll quickly notice an improvement in your speaking and listening skills.

Which of these intermediate phrases in Polish are you looking forward to using the most? Perhaps there’s one you’ve already heard? Let us know in the comments!

Unfortunately, no matter how handy or commonly used certain phrases are, they’re not enough on their own. To truly learn a language, you need to practice your speaking, reading, writing, and listening skills. You should also be patient; your understanding of Polish won’t improve overnight. The best way to improve your Polish is to use a tool designed specifically for language learning.

Fortunately, there’s PolishPod101, a platform where you can get a lot of exposure to how the Polish language is spoken. It’s full of video and audio recordings of native Polish speakers, and you’ll also find many other functionalities to help you learn the language. Explore our different subscription plans and create your free lifetime account with PolishPod101 today.

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Listen and Learn: The Best Polish-Language Podcasts in 2022

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Podcasts are becoming increasingly popular as a source of both entertainment and knowledge acquisition. They can also be used as a language learning tool! Yes, you can benefit from listening to Polish-language podcasts designed specifically for students of the language as well as those made for native Polish speakers. 

A massive benefit of podcasts is that you can find a wide variety of them. They’re also rather easy to fit into your schedule, as they can be played on numerous devices and in various circumstances. 

Are you ready to learn how to improve your Polish listening skills and vocabulary with podcasts?

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Polish Table of Contents
  1. Benefits of Using Podcasts to Learn Polish
  2. The Best Podcasts for Learning Polish
  3. Using Podcasts Effectively
  4. Final Words

1. Benefits of Using Podcasts to Learn Polish 

A Boy with Headphones On

As mentioned earlier, there are many benefits of using podcasts to learn Polish. Here are the most important ones: 

  1. Exposure to the real language

Listening to podcasts in Polish will allow you to learn the language as it’s spoken by Poles. With the exception of Polish-language podcasts designed specifically for language learners and recorded at a slower pace, most of them employ natural conversation speed. Whichever type of podcast you end up listening to, the vocabulary used will be very natural—a tremendous help in the language learning process.

  1. Widespread availability

Podcasts are available on many different platforms, easy to find with a quick search on the internet, and cover a wealth of topics. This will make it easy for you to find a podcast that interests you! Keep in mind that you’ll sometimes be able to access a podcast for free but need to pay for the transcript. Don’t get discouraged, though; even mere listening can help you improve your listening comprehension skills.   

  1. “On the go” listening

You can listen to podcasts on the go, which means it’s easy to squeeze them into your routine. You can listen while driving, running, cleaning, or standing in line. Let us know in the comments if you can think of any other situations where listening to a podcast would be a great use of time. 

2. The Best Podcasts for Learning Polish

You now know some of the reasons why podcasts can enhance your learning experience. There are plenty more we haven’t mentioned, but you’ll definitely discover those for yourself. Now, let’s look at our list of the best Polish-language podcasts for learners.

1 – PolishPod101

PolishPod101 Logo

PolishPod101 is a podcast designed specifically for Polish learning. Created and hosted by professionals, our lesson materials are great for students who are just starting out. At the same time, intermediate students can benefit from our podcast as we also provide more advanced lesson pathways. We discuss a wide variety of topics, which ensures that every moment you spend listening is a pleasure. New episodes are released a few times per month.  

2 – Real Polish

This is another podcast aimed at Polish learners, and it’s designed for students who are at the intermediate level or higher. The pace is slightly slower than a natural speaking pace, but it would still be challenging for beginners. It covers a diverse range of topics so that everyone can find an interesting episode for themselves. Like with many other Polish podcasts, free listening is an option. New episodes are released almost every week, but some of them are subscription-only.  

3 – Polski Daily 

Polski Daily is a podcast started by an experienced Polish teacher. Some of the recordings are interviews, but there are many other types of recordings as well. The topics vary and can relate to pretty much anything Polish, so it’s a Polish learning podcast with a twist. The slower pace is great for intermediate students or very ambitious beginners. You can expect between one and three episodes every month.

Are you interested in Polish culture? You can learn about the top five Polish pop culture icons and find out the answers to five important questions about Poland on our website!

4 – Sensacje XX wieku

Polish Soldiers

This Polish history podcast is really a radio play about fascinating events from the twentieth century. It’s available on many platforms, but it’s easiest to access from the author’s official website. Because of the history-related vocabulary, it’s best suited for upper-intermediate and advanced students. There are no new uploads for this podcast, but the library is extensive. Remember that you can also learn your Polish history with our lessons!

5 – Kryminatorium

This is one of the most popular Polish podcasts. It deals with many historical events around the world, particularly those involving crime. With plenty of episodes about true crime, this Polish history podcast is a perfect tool for upper-intermediate and advanced students who want to work on their listening comprehension skills. There’s a new episode almost every week, so you’ll never run out of things to listen to.

6 – Strefa Psyche Uniwersytetu SWPS 

Therapy

This is another well-known podcast, and it aims to popularize psychology. It covers interesting topics related to mental health and can help people deal with their life issues. We recommend this podcast for intermediate students in particular. Like many Polish podcasts on Spotify, it’s free. The number of episodes released each month differs, but you can count on new content being uploaded regularly. 

Mental health is just as important as general health. When you’re in Poland, it’s crucial that you’re able to take care of yourself when it comes to both. Here are some lessons from PolishPod101.com that should help you with this task: 


7 – Ja i moje przyjaciółki idiotki

This podcast is not only useful for language learning but also for entertainment. Its main topics are love, relationships, and dating. It’ll work well for intermediate students, and it’s available for free on Spotify. New episodes are uploaded fairly regularly, with at least one new episode every month (save for announced breaks in recording).

Love and related issues are as important to Polish people as they are to anyone. Check out our vocabulary lessons about a Polish wedding and romance and love in Poland.   

8 – Let’s Speak Polish

This is a pretty good Polish podcast for beginners or those who want to refresh their memory on key grammar points. The library is small and no longer updated, but it’ll allow you to work on your basic Polish skills. 

Alternatively, you could head straight to our Basic Bootcamp library, where you’ll find everything you need to have a basic Polish conversation. 

3. Using Podcasts Effectively

A Man Walking with His Headphones On

Passive listening will definitely improve your language skills, but there are ways to use podcasts more effectively. For the best results, you should complement your passive listening with a more focused approach. For example, you could write down new vocabulary and check the meaning of words/phrases that you don’t understand.

Another good way to use podcasts for language learning is to get used to a particular method. This is where a structured, widely available, and regularly updated podcast like PolishPod101 comes in handy! We give you access to countless recordings designed by experts to help improve your Polish skills, regardless of your current level. In addition, we have specially curated lesson pathways that include useful tools for enhanced learning: vocabulary lists, PDF lesson notes, and more. You’ll love listening to our bite-sized lessons and learning something new every day. 

In case you don’t quite catch something, you can rewind to listen again. This method is great for patient beginners. If you don’t get frustrated by listening to something over and over again, you can pause and rewind during more complicated podcasts. You can also listen without focusing too much and just catch the words you already know. This will help your listening comprehension just as much! 

Many devices allow you to adjust the audio speed for an optimal learning experience if you feel that the pace is too fast or too slow. While beginners and intermediate learners should mostly focus on understanding from the context anyway, it can definitely help to slow down the audio speed if the podcast hosts are going too fast! 

If you’re struggling to follow along, you can use transcripts. Reading the text while you listen is a great way to improve your comprehension skills. PolishPod101 allows you to access transcripts with each lesson, but not all podcasts will do this. 

4. Final Words 

Learning Polish is a long journey, and you can make it much nicer by listening to Polish podcasts in your spare time. You should look for podcasts that interest you in order to get the most out of the experience. The good news is that there are so many Polish-language podcasts out there on a huge number of topics! 

Unfortunately, no matter how interesting a given podcast is, it can’t give you everything you need to learn a language. A great way to improve your language skills is to invest in a full-access platform with well-structured lessons and resources designed for your level. 

PolishPod101 is exactly that kind of platform. With countless recordings from native speakers and a wealth of other resources (such as a word of the day and a Polish-English dictionary), we can significantly bolster your Polish learning. Curated pathways will allow you to access materials at the level you need.

Don’t hesitate. Join PolishPod101 today!

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The Most Useful Polish Phrases for Beginners

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When you start learning a new language, there is so much vocabulary to memorize that it may feel overwhelming. That’s why it’s a good idea to focus on the simple and essential words and phrases first. Without a proper study plan, though, you may simply get lost. 

How do you know which phrases to learn? What are the most important Polish expressions to know before having your first conversations? 

In this blog post, you’re going to encounter the most useful Polish beginner phrases in a number of categories: 

  • Greetings and introductions
  • Courtesy phrases and social expressions
  • Dining and shopping phrases
  • Expressions needed for getting help
  • Polish love phrases

Let’s dive in.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Polish Table of Contents
  1. Greetings and Introductions
  2. Courtesy Phrases and Social Expressions
  3. Dining and Shopping Phrases
  4. Asking for Help
  5. Polish Love Phrases for Beginners
  6. Final Thoughts

1. Greetings and Introductions

Two People Bowing to Say Hello

The most important Polish phrases for beginners include greetings and expressions for introducing yourself, so we’ll start there. 

Greetings

Here are some suggestions on how to say “hello” in Poland: 

  • Dzień dobry! – Good morning!
  • Dobry wieczór! – Good evening!

Both of the phrases above are used in formal contexts, such as when dealing with strangers or people who are older than you. This next one is more casual, used to say hello (or goodbye) at any time of day

  • Cześć! – Hello! / Goodbye!

Just like in English, you may also want to ask someone how they’re doing: 

  • Jak się masz? / Co słychać? – How are you? 

This is mostly used among friends, and people give more involved answers than “I’m fine, thanks” (Dobrze, dzięki). It’s rarely used in formal contexts.  

Introductions

Now, here are some useful Polish beginner phrases often used in introductions and first conversations: 

  • Miło mi Cię poznać. / Miło mi Pana poznać. / Miło mi Panią poznać. – Nice to meet you. 

The forms above are informal, formal to a male speaker, and formal to a female speaker, respectively.

  • Nazywam się… – My name is…
  • Jestem [name]/[nationality]. – I’m [name]/[nationality].
    • Ex. Jestem John. Jestem Anglikiem. – I’m John. I’m English.

  • Pochodzę z Poland. – I come from Poland. 
    • Ex. Pochodzę z Anglii. – I come from England.

  • Mieszkam w… – I live in… 
  • Mam [number] lat. – I’m [number] years old. 
    • Ex. Mam 20 lat. – I’m 20 years old.

Note: The word “years” in Polish can take different forms. Consult this resource to learn how and when to use which form. It’s pretty straightforward once you get the hang of it.

  • Jestem mężatką/żonaty. – I’m married. 

Traditionally, the first form is used by female speakers; it literally means “I’m husbanded.” The second form is used by male speakers, and it means “I’m wifed.”

  • Mam [X] dzieci. – I have [X] children. 
    • Ex. Mam dwoje dzieci. – I have two children.
  • Jestem niezamężna. / Jestem kawalerem. – I’m unmarried. 

Traditionally, the first form is used by female speakers; it literally means “I’m unhusbanded.” The second form is used by male speakers, and it means “I’m a bachelor.”

  • Nie mam dzieci. – I don’t have kids. 
  • Mam rodzeństwo. – I have siblings.
  • Nie mam rodzeństwa. – I have no siblings. 
  • Mam brata. – I have a brother.
  • Mam siostrę. – I have a sister.

To learn more must-know terms for family members, visit our lesson on the topic. 

2. Courtesy Phrases and Social Expressions

A Man Acknowledging Someone by Taking His Hat Off]

Politeness is an important skill for dealing with other people, no matter where you live. There may be some cultural differences, but people generally agree when it comes to what’s polite and what isn’t. Here are some important Polish phrases for beginners that will help you come across as a well-mannered person: 

  • Dziękuję. – Thank you. 
  • Dzięki. – Thanks. 
  • Nie ma za co. – You’re welcome. – Literally: “There’s not for what.”
  • Przepraszam. – I’m sorry. / Excuse me. 
  • Nie ma problemu. – No problem! – Literally: “There’s no problem!”
  • Przykro mi. – I’m sorry. 

You might use that last expression if something bad happened to someone. If you’re the wrongdoer, you would more likely say przepraszam.

  • Nie przejmuj się. – Don’t worry. [informal]
  • Proszę się tym nie przejmować. – Please, don’t worry. [formal]
  • Do zobaczenia! – See you! 
  • Powodzenia! – Good luck! 
  • Dobranoc! – Goodnight! 
  • Trzymaj się! – Take care! – Literally: “Hold on!”  

Speaking of politeness, do you know how to refuse politely in Polish? Check out our lesson to learn more about it.

3. Dining and Shopping Phrases

A Shopping Cart

Another important group of Polish beginner phrases consists of those used for dining and shopping. 

Let’s start with shopping expressions:

  • Przepraszam, czy mogę poprosić o… – Excuse me, can I get/ask for…
  • Przepraszam, czy sprzedajecie Państwo…? – Excuse me, do you sell…? 
  • Przepraszam, ile to kosztuje? – Excuse me, how much is this?
  • Przepraszam, czy może Pan/Pani powtórzyć? – Could you repeat, please?
  • Czy można płacić kartą? – Is a credit card okay?
  • Czy można płacić gotówką? – Is cash okay?
  • Poproszę [amount] ziemniaków. – I’ll have [amount] of potatoes, please.
    • Ex. Poproszę pięć kilo ziemniaków. – I’ll have five k.g. of potatoes, please.

If you like shopping, you may want to visit these lessons: 

Shopping for an Outfit in Poland
Shopping Online in Poland
Shopping for a Computer in Poland

A list of basic Polish phrases for beginners couldn’t be complete without expressions for ordering a meal in a restaurant. Here goes: 

  • Co Pan/Pani poleca? – What do you recommend? 
    • Said to a male and female waiter, respectively
  • Mam alergię na pomidory. – I’m allergic to tomatoes. 
  • Poproszę piwo w butelce. – A bottle of beer, please. 
  • Poproszę czerwone/białe wino. – Red/white wine, please. 
  • Nie, dziękuję. – No, thank you.
  • Tak, poproszę. – Yes, please. 
  • Poproszę rachunek. – Could I have the bill, please?

If you feel like you need more vocabulary for ordering lunch at a restaurant in Poland, make sure to visit our lesson. Knowing how to order is one thing…but knowing what to order is another. Here are 10 of the best Polish foods for you to try during your next visit to Poland.  

4. Asking for Help

A Public Servant Helping Someone

Life is unpredictable, and you may sometimes find yourself in trouble. These basic Polish phrases for beginners could come in handy if you ever need to ask for help.  

  • Przepraszam, gdzie jest [place]? – Excuse me, where is [place]? 
    • Ex. Przepraszam, gdzie jest toaleta? – Excuse me, where is the bathroom?

  • Przepraszam, jak dojść do [place]? – Excuse me, how do I get to [place]? 
    • Ex. Przepraszam, jak dojść do muzeum? – Excuse me, how do I get to the museum?
  • Przepraszam, czy mówi Pani/Pan po angielsku? – Excuse me, do you speak English? 
    • Used in a formal context when speaking to a male and female, respectively

  • Jak powiedzieć [word] po polsku? – How do you say [word] in Polish? 
    • Ex. Jak powiedzieć “cow” po polsku? – How do you say “cow” in Polish?

  • Przepraszam, ale nie rozumiem. – I’m sorry, but I don’t understand. 
  • Czy może Pan/Pani mówić wolniej? – Could you speak slower, please? 
    • Used in a formal context when speaking to a male and female, respectively

  • Co znaczy słowo [word]? – What does the word [word] mean? 
    • Ex. Co znaczy słowo “dom”? – What does the word “dom” mean?

If there’s no one around to help you understand a word, you can always use an online Polish-English dictionary. Having the website bookmarked on your phone or computer will allow you easy access whenever you need it.

  • Potrzebuję pomocy. – I need help. 
  • Potrzebuję lekarza. – I need a doctor. 
  • Pomocy! – Help!

These Polish beginner phrases are useful for getting help in many different situations. In case of an emergency, you may need to know the phone numbers of certain services (police, fire brigade, ambulance). You can find them here.

For less serious circumstances, such as simply needing help with language learning, we have a special lesson for getting help from the teacher in Poland.

5. Polish Love Phrases for Beginners

Book Pages in the Form of a Heart

Many people start learning Polish because they’ve fallen in love with a Polish person. Here are some Polish love phrases for beginners that you may want to whisper into someone’s ear: 

  • Kocham Cię! – I love you!
  • Tak bardzo Cię kocham! – I love you so much!
  • Poza Tobą świata nie widzę! – You mean the world to me! – Literally: “I don’t see the world apart from you.”

6. Final Thoughts

Learning Polish beginner phrases is a great way to start studying Polish. Being able to greet people, introduce yourself, show politeness, go out shopping or to dinner, and ask for help when required will cover the communication basics as you’re starting out. Memorizing these phrases will also help you gain some confidence in your ability to use the language.

If your plan is to speak Polish at an advanced or native level, this won’t be enough. You’ll need to learn much more vocabulary at different proficiency levels, including intermediate and advanced phrases. You should also practice your listening comprehension in order to more clearly understand what others are saying.

One way to hear a lot of Polish is to listen to the countless recordings we offer on PolishPod101.com. We provide lessons and study materials for learners at every level, which means you’ll have a comprehensive learning process from start to finish. In addition, our personalized pathways will allow you to get resources designed for your current level of Polish. 

Are you curious how it works? Don’t hesitate. Create your free lifetime account today!

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Advanced Polish Words for Experienced Learners

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On your way to Polish language mastery, you’ll need to memorize and learn how to use advanced Polish words. This stage usually occurs a few years into your Polish-language studies, once you’re able to understand fairly complex conversations and talk about a variety of topics.

What you’re missing at this point are more advanced words and phrases that allow you to speak freely about topics such as studies, university matters, politics, or medicine. In this blog post, you’ll find an advanced Polish word list along with certain phrases and examples of use.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Polish Table of Contents
  1. Advanced Academic Words
  2. Advanced College Vocabulary
  3. Advanced Business Words
  4. Advanced Medical Words
  5. Advanced Legal Words
  6. Advanced Political Vocabulary
  7. Final Thoughts

1. Advanced Academic Words

An Academic

The first set of advanced Polish words we’ll look at consists of terms related to academia. Learning these words will help you engage in more complicated conversations, discuss a greater variety of topics, and excel while studying at a Polish university. Here are the most important words and expressions in this category: 

Word or expressionPart of speechExample Translation
wysławiać się 
to articulate / to express oneself 
verbOn pięknie się wysławia. He has a way with words.
założenie 
assumption / objective
nounZałożeniem tego eseju jest omówienie tej problematyki.The objective of this essay is to discuss this problem.
stały 
constant
adjectiveStały wzrost gospodarczy dobrze wróży.Constant economic growth is a good sign.
dyskutować 
to debate 
verbNie mam ochoty o tym dyskutować. I don’t feel like debating it.
zbierać 
to collect / to gather
verbZbieramy dane na temat tego miasta. We’re collecting data about the city.
prowadzić 
to lead to 
verbTo prowadzi do deficytu. It leads to a deficit.
odpowiedni 
suitable / adequate
adjectiveSzukamy odpowiedniego kandydata.We’re looking for a suitable candidate.
szczegółowy 
detailed 
adjectiveJego raport jest szczegółowy.His report is detailed.
rozsądny 
reasonable
adjectiveOna jest bardzo rozsądna. She’s very reasonable.
subtelny 
subtle 
adjectiveMożna zauważyć subtelną tendencje spadkową. One can notice a subtle downward trend.
prawdopodobny 
likely
adjectiveTen scenariusz jest prawdopodobny.Such a development is likely.
nieprawdopodobny
improbable 
adjectiveTe wyniki są zupełnie nieprawdopodobne. These results are completely improbable.
dosłownie 
literally
adverbNie bierz tego dosłownie. You shouldn’t take it literally.
mimo że 
even though 
conjunctionMimo że się z nim nie zgadzam, nie powiem mu tego.Even though I disagree with him, I won’t tell him that.
w tym przypadku 
in this case 
conjunctionW tym przypadku to dobre rozwiązanie. In this case, it’s a good solution.
chyba że 
unless 
conjunctionPowiedz jej, chyba że się boisz. Tell her, unless you’re scared.
niemniej jednak 
nonetheless 
conjunctionNiemniej jednak, to ważny argument.Nonetheless, it’s an important point.
co więcej 
what’s more
conjunctionOn jest wykształcony. Co więcej, ma doświadczenie.He’s educated. What’s more, he’s experienced.
jako 
as 
conjunctionPracuję jako zastępca nauczyciela angielskiego.He works as a replacement for the English teacher.
mimo / pomimo 
despite 
conjunctionWypił herbatę mimo bólu gardła. He drank his tea despite his sore throat.
jeśli chodzi o 
as for 
conjunctionJeśli chodzi o moje referencje, to może Pan zadzwonić do mojego szefa.As for my references, you can contact my boss.
podczas gdy 
while 
conjunctionPodczas gdy ty odpoczywasz, ja pracuję. While you’re resting, I’m working.
spierać się
to argue 
verbNie będę się z Tobą spierać. I won’t argue with you.
wnioskować 
to conclude 
verbZ twojej odpowiedzi wnioskuję, że nie masz czasu. I conclude from your answer that you have no time.
dowód 
evidence 
nounNie ma dowodu na to, że Twoja teoria jest poprawna. There’s no evidence that your theory is true.

These advanced Polish vocabulary words will also help you when giving a speech or watching the news. Speaking of news, do you know how to react when getting some good news in Poland?  

2. Advanced College Vocabulary

A University Lecture

As an advanced student of Polish, you may want to study in Poland. If that’s so, you should check our lesson on looking for an apartment in Poland; finding accommodation is so much easier when you know the right words. College- and university-related vocabulary is also very useful when talking about your education. 

Here are the most important advanced Polish words and phrases related to this topic: 

Word or expressionPart of speechExample Translation
wykład 
lecture 
nounIdę na wykład.  I’m going to attend a lecture.
wykładowca (m.) / wykładowczyni (f.)

lecturer 
nounMój wykładowca / Moja wykładowczyni od literatury angielskiej jest super. My English literature lecturer is really cool.
sala wykładowa 
auditorium 
nounW sali wykładowej nie było już miejsc. There were no seats left in the auditorium.
praca licencjacka / praca magisterska 
BA thesis / MA thesis 
noun
Niedługo skończę pisać moją pracę magisterską. I’ll finish writing my MA thesis soon.
zajęcia 
class

Note: Polish universities usually have a mixture of classes in small groups and lectures.
nounChyba spóźnię się na zajęcia. 
I think I’ll be late for class.
lista obecności
attendance list 
nounWykładowca nie sprawdził listy obecności.  The lecturer didn’t check the attendance list.
ocena 
grade 
nounMam dobre oceny.I have good grades. 
średnia 
GPA 
nounMoja średnia jest niska.My GPA is low.
stypendium 
scholarship
noun
Potrzebne mi stypendium, aby przeżyć. I need the scholarship to make ends meet.
studia dzienne 
full-time studies 
nounDostałam się na studia dzienne! I’ve gotten in as a full-time student!
studia wieczorowe / studia zaoczne 
part-time studies 
nounStudia wieczorowe łatwiej pogodzić z pracą. It’s easier to work and study during part-time studies.
skończyć studia 
to graduate 
verb + nounNiedługo skończę studia. I will graduate soon.
absolwent 
graduate 
nounAbsolwentom nie łatwo znaleźć pracę. It’s not easy for graduates to find work.
staż 
internship 
nounMusisz znaleźć staż. You have to find an internship.
wymiana studencka 
student exchange / exchange program 
nounErasmus to świetna wymiana studencka. Erasmus is a great exchange program.
studiować 
to study

Note: This verb is only used in reference to studying at a university/in college. 
verbOn studiuje na Uniwersytecie Warszawskim.He’s a student at the University of Warsaw.
przygotowywać się do 
to study for an exam 
verbOn przygotowuje się do egzaminu. He’s preparing for an exam.
zdać 
to pass 
verbZdaliśmy egzamin!We’ve passed the exam.
oblać 
to fail 
verbNiestety oblałem ten egzamin.Unfortunately, I’ve failed this exam.
oblać kogoś 
to fail someone on an exam 
verbProszę mnie nie oblewać! Please don’t fail me! 
podejść do egzaminu 
to take an exam 
verbPodeszliśmy do egzaminu dwa razy. We’ve taken this exam twice.
poprawka 
retake 
nounPoprawka odbędzie się we wrześniu.The retake will take place in September.
zjazd absolwentów 
graduate reunion 
nounNie mam zamiaru iść na zjazd absolwentów. I have no intention of participating in the graduate reunion. 

This advanced Polish word list for college and university will allow you to have interesting conversations with people. It can also come in handy when talking about your university experience during a Polish job interview

3. Advanced Business Words

People Shaking Hands

Now that you’re an advanced Polish student, you may also be thinking about finding a job in Poland. Performing your job there or dealing with Polish clients will be much easier if you know some advanced-level Polish words for the workplace.

Word or expressionPart of speechExample Translation
dział 
department 
nounPracuję w dziale personalnym.  I work in the HR department.
siedziba 
headquarters 
nounSiedziba tej firmy jest w Warszawie. This company is headquartered in Warsaw.
zwolnienie 
dismissal 
nounJeśli nie zacznie pracować, czeka go zwolnienie. If he doesn’t start working, he can expect a dismissal.
zwolnić 
to fire / to dismiss 
verbOni go nigdy nie zwolnią. They’ll never fire him.
zwolnić się / złożyć wypowiedzenie 
to resign 
verbZwolnię się / Złożę wypowiedzenie, jeśli nic się nie zmieni. I’ll resign if nothing changes.
dochody 
turnover / revenue 
nounDochody mojej firmy są wysokie. My company has a high revenue.
wynagrodzenie 
fee / salary 
nounMoim zdaniem to wygórowane wynagrodzenie. In my opinion, the fee is too high.
ubezpieczenie (zdrowotne) 
health insurance 
nounWynagrodzenie jest dobre, ale firma nie oferuje ubezpieczenia.The salary is good, but the company doesn’t offer health insurance.
benefity 
perks 
nounLiczę na jakieś benefity w tej firmie. I’m hoping for some perks in this company.
oferta pracy 
job offer 
nounTo atrakcyjna oferta pracy. It’s an attractive job offer.
rynek
pracy job market 
nounRynek pracy jest słaby.The job market is weak.
złożyć podanie (o pracę) 
to apply (for a job) 
verbZłożył do nas podanie o pracę. He’s applied for a job with us.
zatrudnić 
to hire 
verbZatrudnimy tylko odpowiedniego kandydata. We’ll only hire the right candidate. 
umowa o pracę 
work contract 
nounJutro kończy mi się umowa o pracę.My work contract finishes tomorrow.
umowa o dzieło 
work contract for contractors 
nounNie jestem freelancerem, ale mam umowę o dzieło. I’m not a freelancer, but I have a work contract for contractors.
praca na cały etat 
full-time job 
nounMamy pracę na cały etat. We have a full-time job. 
praca na pół etatu 
part-time job 
nounPracuję na pół etatu i studiuję. I have a part-time job, and I study.
podróż służbowa 
business trip 
nounOna jest ciągle w podróży służbowej.She’s always traveling for work.
urlop macierzyński / urlop tacierzyński
maternity leave / paternity leave 
nounW Polsce urlop macierzyński trwa rok, a tacierzyński dwa tygodnie.In Poland, maternity leave is a year long and paternity leave is two weeks long.
urlop (wypoczynkowy) 
leave 
nounIdę na urlop.I’m going on leave.
chorobowe 
sick leave
nounJestem na chorobowym. I’m on sick leave.
zwolnienie lekarskie 
doctor’s note 
nounPrzy dwóch dniach nieobecności potrzebne ci zwolnienie lekarskie. When you’re absent for two days, you need a doctor’s note.
marka 
brand 
nounUwielbiam tę markę!I love this brand! 
znak towarowy
trademark 
nounZnak towarowy jest zastrzeżony. It’s a registered trademark.

In addition to these more advanced Polish words and phrases, make sure that you have the basic vocabulary for jobs / work covered too!

4. Advanced Medical Words

People in a Pharmacy

Being able to talk about diseases and medical conditions is an important skill for advanced students to possess. Such topics come up in everyday conversations and when reading the news. Here’s a list of advanced Polish vocabulary words related to medicine: 

Word or expressionPart of speechExample Translation
stany lękowe 
anxiety disorder 
nounCierpię na stany lękowe.I have an anxiety disorder.
depresja 
depression 
nounOn ma depresje. He suffers from depression.
zaburzenia dwubiegunowe 
bipolar disorder 
nounZaburzenia dwubiegunowe to choroba, która dotyka wiele osób.Bipolar disorder is a mental illness many people suffer from.
antydepresanty 
antidepressants 
nounOn bierze antydepresanty.He’s on antidepressants.
pomoc psychologiczna
psychological help 
nounW Polsce coraz łatwiej o pomoc psychologiczną.It’s easier and easier to get psychological help in Poland.
lekarz pierwszego kontaktu 
GP 
nounSkontaktowałam się z moim lekarzem pierwszego kontaktu.I’ve contacted my GP.
dermatolog
dermatologist 
nounMój syn chce zostać dermatologiem.My son wants to be a dermatologist.
okulista 
optometrist 
nounOkulista bada wzrok.An optometrist checks your eyesight.
kardiolog 
cardiologist 
nounKardiolog leczy choroby serca. A cardiologist treats heart conditions.
laryngolog 
ENT 
nounLaryngolog pomoże z problemami z uszami, nosem i gardłem.An ENT can help you with ear, nose, and throat issues.
dietetyk 
dietician 
nounDietetyk może zaplanować twoją dietę.A dietician can plan your diet.
wizyta 
a doctor’s appointment 
nounUmówiłam Cię na wizytę u dentysty na jutro.I’ve booked you a dentist appointment for tomorrow.
zbadać 
to examine 
verbDoktor bada pacjentów. A doctor examines patients.
znieczulić / dać znieczulenie 
to give an anesthetic
verbNie dam Panu znieczulenia!
I won’t give you an anesthetic!
zdiagnozować 
to diagnose 
verbZdiagnozowano u niego raka.He has been diagnosed with cancer.
leczyć 
to treat 
verbOn wie, jak leczyć dzieci. He knows how to treat children. 
operować 
to operate 
verbOn nigdy nic nie mówi, gdy operuje.He never says anything when he’s operating.
chemioterapia
chemotherapy 
nounChemioterapia to leczenie inwazyjne.Chemotherapy is an invasive treatment.
stół operacyjny 
operating table 
nounStół operacyjny musi być czysty.The operating table needs to be clean.
skalpel 
scalpel 
nounSkalpel musi być sterylny.The scalpel needs to be sterile.
tlen 
oxygen
nounSiostro, proszę podać pacjentowi tlen. Nurse, please give the patient oxygen.
śpiączka 
coma 
nounJej ojciec jest w śpiączce od 10 lat.  Her father has been in a coma for ten years.
zemdleć / stracić przytomność 
to faint 
verbNie stracił przytomności.He didn’t faint.
odzyskać przytomność
to regain consciousness 
verbPacjent wciąż nie odzyskał przytomności.The patient still has not regained consciousness.

Do you need to see a Polish doctor? Being able to call the Polish doctor’s office is one of the most important skills you should acquire as you approach an advanced level in Polish.

5. Advanced Legal Words

A Person Swearing on the Bible

Being able to talk and understand what’s being said about the justice system is a very handy skill. Learn these advanced Polish words and phrases to start off on the right foot: 

Word or expressionPart of speechExample Translation
sędzia 
judge 
nounTo sędzia Sądu Najwyższego.He’s a judge of the High Court. 
adwokat 
barrister 
nounJego adwokat ma rację. His barrister is right.
prokurator 
prosecutor 
nounProkurator nie ma dowodów. The prosecutor has no evidence.
zaświadczenie o niekaralności 
police clearance 
nounPotrzebne mi zaświadczenie o niekaralności.I need police clearance.
apelacja 
appeal 
nounMożemy złożyć apelację. We can lodge an appeal.
sądowy 
judicial 
adjective Proces sądowy może być skomplikowany.The judicial procedure may be complicated.
pozwać 
to sue 
verbPozwał ich do sądu.He sued them. 
sprawa (sądowa) 
(court) case 
nounTen adwokat nie chce wziąć mojej sprawy.This lawyer doesn’t want to take my case.
świadek 
witness 
nounTo świadek zbrodni.He is a witness to a crime.
zeznawać 
to testify 
verbChciałaby zeznawać, ale się boi.She’d like to testify, but she’s scared.
skazać 
to sentence 
verbSkazano go na trzy lata w więzieniu. He was sentenced to three years in prison.
kaucja 
bail 
nounKaucja nie jest wysoka.The bail was not set high.
uniewinnić 
to acquit 
verbNa szczęście został uniewinniony.Luckily, he was acquitted.
dożywocie 
life sentence 
nounDożywocie to najsurowsza kara w Polsce.A life sentence is the harshest punishment in Poland.
kara śmierci 
death penalty 
nounKara śmierci jest wykonywana w niektórych stanach w USA.The death penalty is still a thing in some states in the U.S.
kara grzywny / grzywna
penalty / fine
nounUkarano ich tylko grzywna. They only got a fine.
w zawieszeniu 
suspended sentence 
nounKara jest w zawieszeniu. The sentence is suspended.
nakaz 
warrant 
nounBez nakazu nie wolno nam go aresztować.We can’t arrest him without a warrant.
notariusz 
notary 
nounPotrzebny nam podpis notariusza.We need a notary’s signature.
spadek 
inheritance 
nounDzieciom należy się spadek.Children should get the inheritance.
porwanie
kidnapping 
nounPorwania to duży problem w tym kraju.Kidnappings are a big problem in this country.
morderstwo 
murder 
nounDużo morderstw popełnianych jest pod wpływem alkoholu.Many murders are committed under the influence of alcohol.
kradzież
theft 
nounOskarżono go o kradzież. He was accused of theft.
szantaż 
blackmail 
nounSzantaż to przestępstwo.Blackmail is a crime.
włamanie 
burglary 
nounWłamanie zostało zgłoszone.The burglary was reported.

We hope this advanced Polish word list will be helpful in your understanding of issues related to justice. Don’t forget to check out our lesson on calling for help to learn the vocabulary you might need in a dangerous situation. 

6. Advanced Political Vocabulary

The Democratic Party Logo

As an advanced student, you should be able to talk about politics. Advanced Polish vocabulary words like those below are crucial in everyday conversations, and they can also help you understand newspapers and magazines. Take a look: 

Word or expressionPart of speechExample Translation
Sejm 
the Polish Chamber of Deputies 
nounJutro wybory do Sejmu.Tomorrow, there’s the Chamber of Deputies’ election.
Senat 
Senate 
nounSenat to wyższa izba.The Senate is the higher chamber.
poseł 
MP / deputy 
nounChciałabym zostać posłem.I’d like to become an MP.
senator 
senator 
nounIle trwa kadencja senatora?How long is a senator’s term?
głosować 
to vote 
verbTrzeba głosować.One has to vote.
wybory 
election 
nounIdziemy na wybory!We’re going to vote!
prezydent 
president 
nounPrezydent Polski to Andrzej Duda. Andrzej Duda is the President of Poland.
rządzić 
to rule 
verbPrezydent rządzi krajem. The president rules the country.
podać się do dymisji 
to resign (about a politician) 
verbPrezydent podał się do dymisji.The president resigned from office. 
premier 
prime minister 
nounPremier dziś wygłosi przemówienie.The prime minister will speak tonight.
minister 
minister 
nounKto jest teraz ministrem sprawiedliwości? Who’s the Minister of Justice now?
ministerstwo 
ministry 
nounTo ministerstwo jest niedofinansowane.This ministry is underfinanced.
ustawa 
law 
nounNowa ustawa wejdzie w życie jutro.The new law will come into force tomorrow.
zawetować 
to veto 
verbPrezydent zawetował ustawę.The president has vetoed the law.
przegłosować 
to pass a law 
verbPrzegłosowano tę ustawę.The law has been passed.
nanieść poprawki 
to amend 
verbDo tej ustawy rząd naniesie jeszcze poprawki.The government will still make some amendments to the law.
przepisy 
regulations 
nounCzekają nas zmiany w przepisach.We’re awaiting changes to the rules. 
korupcja 
corruption 
nounMówi się o korupcji w rządzie.The corruption in the government is being discussed.
łapówka 
bribe 
nounTen urzędnik dostał łapówkę. This public official has been bribed.
przyjąć łapówkę 
to accept a bribe
verbCzy przyjąłbyś łapówkę? Would you accept a bribe?
protestować 
to protest 
verbOni protestują przeciwko rządowi.They’re protesting against the government.
partia polityczna 
political party 
nounNie głosowałem nigdy na tę partię. I’ve never voted for this party.
lewica 
left wing 
nounTo jest partia lewicy.It’s a left-wing party.
prawica 
right wing 
nounPrawica ma większość w rządzie. The right wing constitutes the majority of the government.
opozycja 
opposition 
nounOpozycja nie zgadza się z twoim zdaniem. The opposition disagrees with your opinion.

7. Final Thoughts 

Mastering a language means learning a lot of vocabulary. In this blog post, we’ve covered the essential advanced Polish words in various categories, including medicine, politics, and law. Learn these words and expressions, and you’ll see how much easier complex conversations will become. 

Did you know any of these words already? Which ones? We look forward to hearing from you! 

It would be impossible to provide all of the important advanced Polish words in one post. To learn much more vocabulary that you’ll need to get around, you should join PolishPod101. We have countless advanced Polish lessons for students like you. Our personalized pathways will give you access to materials that are appropriate for your level. Create your free lifetime account with us today!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Polish

Learn the Essential Intermediate Polish Vocabulary

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Learning vocabulary is easy when you’re a beginner. Almost every word is new and useful. However, as you proceed on your language learning journey, it’s good to become more selective. 

What vocabulary should you study as an intermediate-level Polish learner? Here at PolishPod101.com, we’ve prepared a list of essential intermediate Polish vocabulary words for you.


Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Polish Table of Contents
  1. Larger Numbers
  2. Personal Pronouns
  3. Intermediate Polish Nouns
  4. Intermediate Polish Adjectives
  5. Intermediate Polish Adverbs
  6. Prepositions
  7. Conjunctions
  8. Auxiliary Verbs and Modals
  9. Final Thoughts

1. Larger Numbers

Being able to count from 1 to 10 is a crucial skill to attain when you first start learning a new language. Now, as an intermediate student, you’re ready to take it a step further. Let’s have a look at larger numbers in Polish: 

  • 10 – dziesięć
  • 11 – jedenaście
  • 12 – dwanaście
  • 13 – trzynaście
  • 14 – czternaście
  • 15 – piętnaście
  • 16 – szesnaście
  • 17 – siedemnaście
  • 18 – osiemnaście
  • 19 – dziewiętnaście
  • 20 – dwadzieścia
  • 30 – trzydzieści
  • 40 – czterdzieści
  • 50 – pięćdziesiąt, 
  • 60 – sześćdziesiąt
  • 70 – siedemdziesiąt
  • 80 – osiemdziesiąt
  • 90 – dziewięćdziesiąt

If you want to say a number such as “twenty-two” or “thirty-one,” you just have to combine the appropriate numbers together: 

(20) dwadzieścia + (2) dwa = (22) dwadzieścia dwa

(30) trzydzieści + (1) jeden = (31) trzydzieści jeden

Now, you’re ready to count by the hundreds: 

  • 100 – sto
  • 200 – dwieście
  • 300 – trzysta
  • 400 – czterysta
  • 500 – pięćset
  • 600 – sześćset
  • 700 – siedemset
  • 800 – osiemset
  • 900 – dziewięćset

A Child Counting

Just like with tens, to form a number such as “976,” you simply add the numbers together: 

(900) dziewięćset + (70) siedemdziesiąt + (6) sześć = (976) dziewięćset siedemdziesiąt sześć

Then come the thousands: 

  • 1,000 – tysiąc
  • 2,000 – dwa tysiące
  • 3,000 – trzy tysiące
  • 4,000 – cztery tysiące
  • 5,000 – pięć tysięcy (note that the form is different from five thousand onward)
  • 6,000 – sześć tysięcy
  • 7,000 – siedem tysięcy
  • 8,000 – osiem tysięcy
  • 9,000 – dziewięć tysięcy
  • 10,000 – dziesięć tysięcy

There are also two more important big numbers: 

  • million – milion
  • billion – miliard

2. Personal Pronouns

As a beginner, you learned only a few personal pronouns in Polish. Unfortunately, this isn’t the whole story. Polish pronouns, like other parts of speech in Polish, undergo declension. This means that the forms change depending on the case. As an intermediate Polish student, you should know the different pronoun forms for each case

CasePronoun (1st person singular)
Nominative / Mianownikja 
Genitive / Dopełniaczmnie
Dative / Celownikmnie / mi
Accusative / Biernikmnie
Instrumental / Narzędnikmną
Locative / Miejscownikmnie

CasePronoun (2nd person singular)
Nominative / Mianownikty 
Genitive / Dopełniaczciebie / cię
Dative / Celowniktobie / ci
Accusative / Biernikciebie / cię
Instrumental / Narzędniktobą
Locative / Miejscowniktobie

CasePronoun (3rd person singular, masculine)
Nominative / Mianownikon 
Genitive / Dopełniaczjego / go / niego
Dative / Celownikjemu / mu / niemu
Accusative / Biernikjego / go / niego
Instrumental / Narzędniknim
Locative / Miejscowniknim

CasePronoun (3rd person singular, feminine)
Nominative / Mianownikona 
Genitive / Dopełniaczjej / niej
Dative / Celownikjej / niej
Accusative / Biernikją / nią
Instrumental / Narzędniknią
Locative / Miejscownikniej

CasePronoun (3rd person singular, neuter)
Nominative / Mianownikono 
Genitive / Dopełniaczjego / go / niego
Dative / Celownikjemu / mu / niemu
Accusative / Biernikje / nie
Instrumental / Narzędniknim
Locative / Miejscowniknim

CasePronoun (1st person plural)
Nominative / Mianownikmy 
Genitive / Dopełniacznas
Dative / Celowniknam
Accusative / Bierniknas
Instrumental / Narzędniknami
Locative / Miejscowniknas

CasePronoun (2nd person plural)
Nominative / Mianownikwy 
Genitive / Dopełniaczwas
Dative / Celownikwam
Accusative / Biernikwas
Instrumental / Narzędnikwami
Locative / Miejscownikwas

CasePronoun (3rd person plural, masculine)
Nominative / Mianownikoni 
Genitive / Dopełniaczich / nich
Dative / Celownikim / nim
Accusative / Biernikich / nich
Instrumental / Narzędniknimi
Locative / Miejscowniknich

CasePronoun (3rd person plural, feminine)
Nominative / Mianownikoni 
Genitive / Dopełniaczich / nich
Dative / Celownikim / nim
Accusative / Biernikje / nie
Instrumental / Narzędniknimi
Locative / Miejscowniknich

Not sure how to use Polish pronouns? You can learn more about them by visiting this Wikipedia page or heading over to our vocabulary list of the most useful Polish pronouns

3. Intermediate Polish Nouns

Nouns are another group of words that are important for intermediate students to learn. After all, you need more precise words in order to have more complex conversations. 

Time

Clock
  • century – wiek
  • half a year – pół roku
  • quarter – kwartał
  • decade – dziesięciolecie 
  • January – styczeń
  • February – luty
  • March – marzec
  • April – kwiecień
  • May – maj
  • June – czerwiec
  • July – lipiec
  • August – sierpień
  • September – wrzesień
  • October – październik
  • November – listopad
  • December – grudzień

It’s also useful to be able to talk about years in Polish: 

  • year – rok
  • two years – dwa lata
  • three years – trzy lata
  • four years – cztery lata
  • five years – pięć lat 
  • six years – sześć lat

Note that the form for the word “years” is lat from five years onward. With larger numbers, the form you use (lata or lat) depends on the second number:

  • thirty-five years – trzydzieści pięć lat
  • twenty-two years – dwadzieścia dwa lata

People

Different Professions

Our next set of intermediate Polish vocabulary words consists of nouns used to describe people. The first form provided is the masculine form, and the second form is feminine.

Professions

  • police officer – policjant / policjantka
  • nurse – pielegniarz / pielęgniarka
  • lawyer – prawnik / prawniczka
  • lecturer – wykładowca / wykładowczyni

Family Members

  • uncle – wujek
  • aunt – ciocia
  • grandson – wnuk / wnuczek (diminutive)
  • granddaughter – wnuczka
  • grandfather – dziadek
  • grandmother – babcia
  • child – dziecko
  • parents – rodzice

Do you know what to expect at a family reunion in Poland? Check out our lesson to find out all about Grandma’s pierogies…

Clothes

No list of intermediate Polish words would be complete without mentioning the essential clothing items: 

  • pants – spodnie
  • shirt – bluzka
  • bra – stanik / biustonosz
  • panties – majtki
  • boxers – bokserki
  • socks – skarpetki
  • shoes – buty
  • sweater – sweter
  • jacket – kurtka
  • cap – czapka
  • scarf – szalik 

To learn even more clothing vocabulary, check out our lessons on winter clothes and summer clothes and accessories. The weather in Poland can be surprising, so it’s good to be prepared!

Places Around Town

With your growing confidence in your Polish-language skills, you may feel more prepared to ask for directions. Here are some important places around town you may want to ask about: 

  • bank – bank
  • pharmacy – apteka
  • grocery store – sklep spożywczy
  • vegetable shop/stand – warzywniak
  • petrol station – stacja benzynowa
  • shopping mall – galeria handlowa
  • theater – teatr
  • cinema – kino
  • restaurant – restauracja
  • café – kawiarnia
  • museum – muzeum

People in a Museum

School and Office

Speaking of places to go, many people find themselves in schools or offices on a daily basis. Here are some useful vocabulary words on these topics:

  • mug – kubek 
  • eraser – gumka
  • laptop – laptop
  • screen – ekran 
  • printer – drukarka
  • scanner – skaner
  • bench – ławka
  • blackboard / whiteboard – tablica
  • charger – zasilacz / ładowarka

Getting ready to work in Poland? Remember to check out our lesson titled Polish for the Workplace beforehand.  

Body Parts

Now, here are some intermediate Polish words for naming the parts of the body. These words are important to learn, as you never know when you might end up needing medical assistance.

  • nail(s) – paznokieć / paznokcie
  • hair – włos / włosy

In Polish, we most often use the plural form of the word for “hair” (i.e. piękne włosy – beautiful hair).

  • eyelashes – rzęsy
  • eyelids – powieki
  • tooth / teeth – ząb / zęby
  • finger(s) – palec / palce
  • toe(s) – palec u nogi / palce u nogi

Food

Polish Donut

You may have learned the names of some basic foods as a beginner, but now it’s time to expand your intermediate Polish vocabulary by becoming familiar with even more words related to food and dining.

  • cucumber – ogórek
  • carrot – marchewka
  • potatoes – ziemniaki
  • cherry – wiśnia
  • strawberry – truskawka
  • grapes – winogrona
  • chicken – kurczak
  • beef – wołowina
  • pork – wieprzowina
  • sweets – słodycze
  • breakfast – śniadanie
  • lunch – obiad
  • dinner – kolacja
  • knife – nóż
  • fork – widelec
  • plate – talerz

You probably know that Polish food is delicious. If you can’t travel to Poland at the moment, check out these Polish recipes to make yourself something yummy.

4. Intermediate Polish Adjectives

Adjectives are another key part of speech, as they make your vocabulary richer and allow you to express yourself more precisely. 

Describing Clothes

Earlier, you learned the names of different clothing items in Polish. All you need to complete your clothing-related vocabulary are some adjectives!

  • tight – ciasny
  • loose – luźny
  • striped – w paski
  • checkered – w kratkę
  • dotted – w kropki
  • cotton – bawełniany
  • wool – wełniany
  • elastic – elastyczny
  • linen – lniany

Describing Colors

Being able to talk about colors is a practical skill you’ll be able to utilize in a variety of contexts. Take a look:

  • blue – niebieski
  • light blue – jasnoniebieski
  • navy blue – granatowy
  • purple – fioletowy
  • orange – pomarańczowy
  • yellow – żółty
  • pink – różowy

Picture from the Holi Festival

Describing Emotions

Describing emotions is another useful skill for intermediate Polish learners to acquire. Here are some adjectives you can use to let others know how you’re feeling: 

  • exhausted – wykończony
  • irritated – zirytowany
  • grateful – wdzięczny
  • calm – spokojny
  • nervous – nerwowy
  • demanding – wymagający
  • strict – surowy
  • lenient – pobłażliwy

Describing Positive Qualities

Have you just eaten the best dish of your life? Or met a truly remarkable person during your visit to Poland? Below, you’ll find a list of intermediate Polish vocabulary words you can use to offer praise where it’s due. 

  • super – super
  • unique – unikalny
  • special – specjalny
  • extra – ekstra
  • genius – genialny
  • funny – zabawny
  • cute – słodki
  • clean – czysty
  • strong – silny

Describing Negative Qualities

Of course, some situations or people might make you want to complain instead, which is an equally important skill.

  • horrible – okropny
  • ugly – brzydki
  • disgusting – obrzydliwy
  • rude – niegrzeczny
  • mean – wredny
  • cruel – okrutnynerwowy
  • dirty – brudny
  • weak – słaby

5. Intermediate Polish Adverbs

While adjectives describe nouns, adverbs describe verbs, adjectives, or even other adverbs. Here are some words to help you explain when, where, how, or to what extent something is done:

Adverbs of Time

  • already – już
  • still – jeszcze
  • now – teraz
  • then – wtedy
  • rarely – rzadko
  • often – często
  • never – nigdy
  • all the time – cały czas
  • usually – zwykle

At your level, you should already know how to ask “What time is it?” in Polish. But just in case you don’t, don’t waste any more time and amend it by visiting our lesson.

Adverbs of Place 

  • nowhere – nigdzie
  • everywhere – wszędzie
  • somewhere – gdzieś
  • up(stairs) – na górze
  • down(stairs) – na dole
  • far – daleko
  • near – blisko

Adverbs of Quality

Keep in mind that some of these Polish adverbs are considered adjectives in English, as this may be a bit confusing at first.

  • fast – szybko
  • slow – wolno
  • difficult – trudno
  • easily – łatwo
  • high – wysoko
  • low – nisko
  • cheap – tanio
  • expensive – drogo
  • young – młodo
  • old – staro 

Adverbs of Quantity

This is the last group of important adverbs for intermediate students of Polish: 

  • a lot – dużo
  • a little – mało
  • a bit – trochę
  • nothing – nic
  • everything – wszystko

6. Prepositions

Prepositions are little words that can change the entire meaning of a sentence—so don’t underestimate them! 

Prepositions of Time

  • after – po
  • before – przed
  • until – do
  • from…to – od…do

Prepositions of Space

A Child Hidden in a Box

  • on – na
  • in – w
  • under – pod
  • next to – przy

Other Prepositions

There are also a few other important prepositions that you should learn: 

  • without – bez
  • with – z
  • between – pomiędzy
  • thanks to – dzięki

7. Conjunctions

We use conjunctions (also known as “linking words”) to connect two or more parts of a complex sentence. Because they’re crucial for building longer sentences, it’s a good idea to add these words to your intermediate Polish vocabulary early on.

  • and – i / oraz
  • so – więc
  • because – ponieważ / bo
  • that’s why – dlatego
  • but – ale
  • nevertheless – niemniej jednak
  • even if – mimo że
  • or – albo / lub / czy
  • if – jeśli / jeżeli
  • neither…nor – ani…ani
  • either…or – albo…albo

8. Auxiliary Verbs and Modals

Last but not least, auxiliary verbs and modals are essential elements of any language. As you advance in your studies, you’ll find that they play a key role in many intermediate Polish grammar structures.

  • can – móc
  • have to – musieć
  • should – powinno się
  • to be – być (used to create the future tense)
  • to become – zostać 

9. Final Thoughts

Did you know any of these words already, or were they all new to you? We would love to hear from you in the comments! 

There are many intermediate Polish vocabulary words that you’ll have to learn beyond the scope of this blog post. However, after learning the words on this list, you’ll be able to see a significant difference in the way you express yourself in Polish.

There’s no single blog post or vocabulary list that can teach you a language. If you truly want to speak Polish, you should have a well-planned learning program. 

PolishPod101 is a platform that can give you exactly that. In addition to our vast number of free vocabulary lists, we provide audio and video lessons by native speakers—not to mention an array of other free resources at your disposal. If you’re not sure where to start, we recommend checking out our Intermediate Polish course.

Are you ready to give it a try? Create your free lifetime account today!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Polish

Hello? – Learn Polish Phone Call Phrases.

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Knowing Polish means being able to use it in many different situations. This includes talking on the phone with someone, whether for business or social purposes. But speaking on the phone in your own language can be frightening enough, let alone doing so in a foreign language!

In this blog post, you’ll learn the most useful Polish phone call phrases for both formal and informal contexts. Knowing these phrases and expressions by heart will allow you to navigate just about any phone conversation with ease.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Polish Table of Contents
  1. Picking up the Phone
  2. Introducing Yourself on the Phone
  3. Stating the Reason for Your Call
  4. Asking to Speak to Someone
  5. Asking Someone to Wait
  6. Asking for Clarification
  7. Leaving a Message
  8. Time to Say Goodbye
  9. Sample Phone Conversations
  10. Final Thoughts

1. Picking up the Phone

A Person Speaking on the Phone

The first set of Polish telephone phrases you should learn are those used when picking up the phone. Keep in mind that Polish differentiates between formal and informal language, and this extends to phone conversations.

Let’s start by looking at some things you can say when you’re the one making the call and someone picks up: 

  • “Hello?” – Słucham? 
  • “Good day!” – Dzień dobry! 
  • “Good evening.” – Dobry wieczór. 

When starting an informal conversation, you can simply say:

  • “Hi!” – Cześć! / Siema!

When you’re on the receiving end, you can say:

  • “Hello?” – Tak, słucham? / Halo? 
  • “[Name] speaking.” – [Name], słucham.

Another way to answer the phone in Polish is with the very informal “Yes?” – Tak?

What are some other ways of greeting people in Polish when not on the phone? See our lesson “Saying Hello No Matter the Time of Day” to find out! 

2. Introducing Yourself on the Phone

After someone picks up the phone, you’re expected to introduce yourself. Being able to give a self-introduction is crucial in many contexts, not just on the phone. Here’s a lesson where you can learn more about self-introductions and another on introducing yourself in a business meeting

Here are two common Polish telephone phrases for introductions: 

  • “[Name] speaking.” – Z tej strony [name]… 
  • “Is this [name]?” – Czy rozmawiam z [name – instrumental case]? 

Informally, we can be more relaxed and say: 

  • “It’s me, [given name].” – To ja [given name].
  • “[Given name] speaking.” –  Mówi [given name]. 

When you’re the receiver of the call, you can use one of these formal phrases: 

  • “How can I help you?” – W czym mogę pomóc? / W czym mogę służyć?

Informally, you can stick to: 

  • “(Sorry,) who am I speaking to?” – (Przepraszam,) z kim rozmawiam?

As you can see, people speak with a higher degree of politeness when the context is formal. In Polish, this is expressed through verb forms as well as word choice.  

3. Stating the Reason for Your Call

A Person on the Phone while Riding on Public Transportation

Now, it’s time to tell the receiver why you’re calling them in the first place. This is an important element of phone etiquette. Here are a few common Polish phone call phrases you can use here:

  • “I’m calling about…” – Dzwonię w sprawie…  
  • “I’d like to speak to…” – Chciałbym / Chciałabym rozmawiać z…

    For a male and female speaker, respectively.

  • “I have a question about…” – Mam pytanie w sprawie… 

In more casual contexts, you can allow yourself to be a bit more straightforward and use the second person singular: 

  • “Do you remember…?” – Pamiętasz…? 
  • “Do you know by any chance…?” – Wiesz może…? / Znasz może…?
  • “Can you recommend…?” –  Możesz mi polecić…? 

While this article isn’t about Polish verbs, we highly recommend you check out this article on Wikipedia to learn more about different verb forms in Polish. Additionally, you can upgrade your vocabulary with our article on the top 100 Polish verbs.

4. Asking to Speak to Someone

Sometimes, the person who picks up the phone is not who you were hoping to speak to. Luckily, there are a few expressions you can rely on when this happens: 

  • “Could I speak to [name]?” – Czy mogę rozmawiać z [name – instrumental case]?
  • “Could you call [name]?” – Czy można prosić do telefonu [name – instrumental case]?

In casual contexts, try the following phrases: 

  • “Can you pass [name]?” – Dasz [name – instrumental case]?
  • “Is [name] there?” –  Jest [name]?

If you want to impress people with your Polish skills by making a joke, you can also quote the Polish cult movie and political satire Seksmisja (Sexmission): Dzień dobry, czy zastałem Jolkę? (“Hello, is Jolka there?”) 

5. Asking Someone to Wait

A Person on the Phone with a Remote in Their Hand

If the person on the other end has asked for information about something or wants to be transferred, you may need to ask them to wait a moment. Here are a few formal Polish phone phrases you can use to do this: 

  • “Please wait a second.” – Proszę chwileczkę poczekać/zaczekać. 
  • “I’ll check in a second.” – Zaraz sprawdzę. 
  • “I’m asking him now.” –  Już go/ją proszę.
  •  “Unfortunately, he’s/she’s not here.” – Niestety go/jej nie ma.

As always, informal circumstances allow you to get straight to the point: 

  • “Wait a second.” – Zaczekaj chwilę… 
  • “I’m not sure whether he/she is here. I’ll check.” – Nie wiem czy jest. Sprawdzę. 

6. Asking for Clarification

During a Polish phone conversation, you may have difficulty hearing or understanding the other person. Below, you’ll find some expressions you can use to ask for clarification or repetition. Keep in mind that for each phrase, the first version we give is for when the other person is male. 

  • “Sorry, could you say that again?” – Przepraszam, czy może Pan/Pani powtórzyć?
  • “I’m sorry, but I’m having a hard time hearing you.” – Przepraszam, ale słabo Pana/Panią słyszę. 
  • “Could you spell your name/surname for me, please?” – Czy może Pan/Pani przeliterować swoje imię/nazwisko?  

And here are some phrases you might use during an informal conversation:

  • “Repeat, please.” – Powtórz, proszę.
  • “I almost can’t hear you.” – Prawie Cię nie słyszę. 
  • “Can you repeat your name, please?” – Możesz powtórzyć jak masz na imię?

Do you need more help in this regard? Then make sure to visit our lesson “Can You Say it Again in Polish?” 

7. Leaving a Message

A Man Writing Down a Message for Someone

What if the person you’re trying to reach is unavailable? You should have the opportunity to leave a message for them, so here are a few Polish phone call phrases you can use in this situation:

  • “Could I leave a message?” – Czy mógłbym zostawić wiadomość?
  • “Could you pass a message?” – Czy mogłaby Pani (f) / mógłby Pan (m) coś przekazać?
  • “Could you ask them to call me back?” – Czy może Pani (f) / Pan (m) poprosić, żeby do mnie oddzwonili?

And here are some options for informal contexts: 

  • “Could you pass a message?” – Możesz mu coś przekazać? 
  • “Can you ask him/her to call me back?” – Możesz go/ją poprosić, żeby do mnie oddzwonił/oddzwoniła?

Are you the one who’s been given the task of passing on a Polish message? Click on the link to find out how to do this. 

8. Time to Say Goodbye

When it’s time to finish a Polish phone conversation, these phrases may come in handy: 

  • “Thank you for your help! Goodbye!” – Dziękuję za pomoc, do widzenia!
  • “Have a nice day!” – Miłego dnia! 
  • “I’ll speak to you soon!” – Do usłyszenia!

As the receiver of the call, you may want to say: 

  • “Is there anything else I can help with?” – Czy mogę jeszcze jakoś pomóc? 
  • “I’m wishing you a good day!” – Życzę miłego dnia!

Are you ending a conversation with a friend? Try these expressions:

  • “Thanks for your help.” – Dzięki za pomoc. 
  • “Bye!” – Na razie! / Pa!

Do you know any other ways to say goodbye in Polish? Visit our lesson to add three more phrases to your vocabulary! 

9. Sample Phone Conversations

Someone Picking Up a Phone

Now that you’ve learned several Polish telephone phrases, it’s time to see how they might be used in real life. Below, you’ll find two dialogue examples: one informal and one formal. 

Informal

    Halo? – “Hello?”

    Cześć Ania! Mówi Ola! – “Hello Ania. It’s Ola.”

    Cześć Ola! – “Hi Ola!”

    Masz jakieś plany na jutro? Może wyskoczyłybyśmy na lunch? – “Do you have any plans for tomorrow? Maybe we could grab lunch together?”

    Świetny pomysł! O której? – “Great idea! What time?”

    Pasuje Ci 12:30? – “Will 12:30 work for you?”

    Trochę za wcześnie. Może być 13? – “It’s a bit too early. Can we do one o’clock?”

    Mi pasuje. Tam gdzie zwykle? – “Works for me. Shall we meet in our usual spot?”

    Nie, spróbujmy coś nowego? Może Cafe Nero? – “No, let’s try something new. How about Cafe Nero?”

    Brzmi super! Zrobię rezerwację! – “Sounds great! I’ll make a booking.”

    Dzięki, do zobaczenia! – “Thanks, see you!”

    Do zobaczenia! – “See you!”

It’s important not to be late to your Polish meeting. Setting up an appointment with a friend and being on time isn’t enough, though. You still need to make a booking for a restaurant, and that needs to be done using more formal language. To give you an idea, here’s what a formal phone call in Polish might sound like: 

Formal

    Cafe Nero, słucham? – “Cafe Nero, hello?”

    Witam, chciałabym zarezerwować stolik dla dwóch osób. – “Hello! I’d like to book a table for two people.”

    Na kiedy? – “For when?”

    Na jutro, na lunch. – “For lunch tomorrow.”

    Na którą godzinę? – “For what time?”

    Na 13. – “For one o’clock.”

    Oczywiście, żaden problem. Na kogo jest rezerwacja? – “Certainly, no problem. Under what name?”

    Na Olę. – “Ola.”

    Świetnie. W takim razie do zobaczenia jutro! – “Great. I’ll see you tomorrow then!”

    Do widzenia. – “Goodbye!”

If you’re wondering how Ania and Ola will order lunch once they’re in the restaurant, click on the link. You can also visit our lessons At the Table” and “Check, please!” to learn even more handy phrases. 

10. Final Thoughts

Being able to have a telephone conversation in Polish is an important skill for you to learn. To do so successfully, you need to know both formal and informal Polish phone phrases and how to use them. We hope that our article has helped you feel more confident in this respect. Let us know in the comments what your first telephone conversation in Polish will be!

Of course, you’ll need to know much more than the phrases outlined in this article to communicate in different day-to-day situations. In order to reach a more advanced level, you’ll need a comprehensive Polish learning course. And this is exactly what PolishPod101 gives you!

With countless recordings by native speakers and engaging lessons on a variety of topics, we’ll ensure you never have a dull moment. You’ll start to notice your comprehension and speaking skills improve before you know it.

Don’t hesitate. Create your free lifetime account today! 

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Learn the Most Important Polish Words for Beginners

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Learning a new language is an exciting adventure. 

When you first set out, it feels like you’re making progress every day. But at the same time, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with all of the new words and expressions you have to memorize!

We know it can be hard to choose where to start. That’s why we’ve prepared this masterlist of 200+ essential Polish words for beginners. As you study and practice using these everyday words, you’ll be able to start having your first conversations in Polish. 

Let’s get started.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Polish Table of Contents
  1. Polish Pronouns
  2. Numbers in Polish
  3. Polish Nouns
  4. Polish Verbs
  5. Useful Polish Adjectives
  6. Conjunctions and Linking Words
  7. Other Polish Beginner Words
  8. Final Thoughts

1. Polish Pronouns

This is the first crucial set of Polish words for beginners, and you should learn them early on. This is because they allow you to talk about yourself and the world around you—even if you’re struggling to find the exact word for something. 

Using pronouns can also make your speech sound more fluid and natural, but there are two things you should remember:

1) Polish pronouns undergo declension. This means that their form will change depending on their position in a sentence and the context. 

2) In Polish, we often drop personal pronouns. Because verbs conjugate for person and number, they can often be used without a pronoun as their form implies who or what is performing the action. You would only use a pronoun for emphasis or clarity.

Personal Pronouns

English Pronoun List

  • “I” – ja
  • “you” – ty
  • “he” – on
  • “she” – ona
  • “it” – ono 
  • “we” – my 
  • “you” – wy
  • “they” – oni (masculine) / one (feminine)

Demonstrative Pronouns

Demonstratives are another essential group of pronouns, and they’re used to “point” to a specific object, animal, or person. 

  • “this” – ten (masculine) / ta (feminine) / to (neuter)
  • “that” – tamten (masculine) / tamta (feminine) / tamto (neuter)
  • “these” – te (non-masculine) / ci (masculine)
  • “those” – tamte (non-masculine) / tamci (masculine)

Interrogative Pronouns

Last but not least, there are interrogative pronouns. These pronouns are used to ask questions: 

  • “what” – co
  • “who” – kto
  • “where” – gdzie
  • “how” – jak
  • “why” – dlaczego
  • “how much” – ile

These easy Polish words for beginners are useful for things like asking for directions, asking the time, or looking for a bathroom

2. Numbers in Polish

Numbers

The next set of words that beginners should add to their Polish vocabulary is numbers. Here are the numbers 1-10 in Polish:

  • “one” – jeden / raz
  • “two” – dwa
  • “three” – trzy
  • “four” – cztery
  • “five” – pięć
  • “six” – sześć
  • “seven” – siedem
  • “eight” – osiem
  • “nine” – dziewięć
  • “ten” – dziesięć

Would you like to take it past the beginner level? Then study the numbers 11 to 100 and 100 to 10,000 with us.  

3. Polish Nouns

Once you have the pronouns and basic numbers under your belt, it’s time to start focusing your attention on the nouns. This key category of Polish beginner words will allow you to form complete sentences when used with verbs, or even to get an urgent point across in a pinch!

Time

Telling the time and making plans are important skills for beginners to master. Here’s some time-related vocabulary to get you started on the right foot:

  • “hour” – godzina
  • “minute” – minuta
  • “morning” – rano
  • “afternoon” – popołudnie
  • “day” – dzień
  • “month” – miesiąc
  • “year” – rok
  • “Monday” – poniedziałek
  • “Tuesday” – wtorek
  • “Wednesday” – środa
  • “Thursday” – czwartek
  • “Friday” – piątek
  • “Saturday” – sobota
  • “Sunday” – niedziela 

Would you also like to learn the months of the year in Polish?

People

A Group of People

There are many nouns that you can use to label yourself or those who are close to you. Let’s start with some of the most common professions: 

  • “seller” – sprzedawca (m.) / sprzedawczyni (f.)
  • “waiter” – kelner (m.) / kelnerka (f.)
  • “principal” or “business director” – dyrektor (m.) / dyrektorka (f.)
  • “teacher” – nauczyciel (m.) / nauczycielka (f.)
  • “chef” – kucharz (m.) / kucharka (f.)
  • “police officer” – policjant (m.) / policjantka (f.)

Many Polish professions don’t have a feminine form; the masculine form is used for both genders. A good example is the word taksówkarz (“taxi driver”). Speaking of taxis, here’s some survival vocabulary for taking a taxi from the airport.

Equally important, here are the essential terms for family members: 

  • “mom” – mama 
  • “dad” – tata
  • “son” – syn
  • “daughter” – córka
  • “child” – dziecko 
  • “husband” – mąż 
  • “wife” – żona

So, how should you address people you’re not related to? In casual contexts, you should use the word “you” – ty. In formal contexts, you should rather use the words “Mr.” – Pan and “Ms.” – Pani.

Places

There are many basic Polish words for beginners that relate to places you can visit. To get you started, here are the names of places around town: 

  • “hospital” – szpital
  • “supermarket” – supermarket
  • “school” – szkoła
  • “hairdresser” – fryzjer 
  • “office” – biuro 
  • “gym” – siłownia
  • “park” – park


School and Office Essentials

An Office

If you plan to study or work in Poland for any period of time, you should learn these school and office essentials:

  • “pen” – długopis
  • “notebook” – zeszyt
  • “book” – książka 
  • “pencil” – ołówek
  • “crayons” – kredki
  • “desk” – biurko
  • “chair” – krzesło
  • “computer” – komputer
  • “mouse” – myszka
  • “keyboard” – klawiatura

Are you interested in how the Polish school system looks? Check out this article to get a glimpse! 

Body Parts 

Learning the names of body parts in Polish is a good idea if you plan on staying in the country for any length of time. You never know when you’ll need medical assistance

  • “eyes” – oczy
  • “nose” – nos
  • “face” – twarz
  • “arm” – ramię
  • “mouth” – usta
  • “leg” – noga
  • “ear” – ucho 
  • “knee” – kolano
  • “head” – głowa 
  • “stomach” – brzuch

A Person with a Hand on Their Stomach

Food 

Polish food is really delicious! While the names of Polish dishes often have no translation in English, there is some other food-related vocabulary you should learn as a beginner. Here are some easy words to get you started:

  • “vegetables” – warzywa
  • “fruit” – owoce
  • “meat” – mięso 
  • “milk” – mleko
  • “egg” – jajko
  • “sugar” – cukier
  • “salt” – sól
  • “apple” – jabłko 
  • “banana” – banan 
  • “chocolate” – czekolada

Do you have a sweet tooth? Read about the best of the best when it comes to Polish candy

4. Polish Verbs 

Verbs are crucial Polish words for beginners to learn, as they work with nouns to form complete sentences. Here are two lists of absolutely must-know verbs in Polish:

Daily Routine Verbs

As a Polish beginner, knowing how to talk about your daily routine will frequently come in handy. It will allow you to answer questions about your life that people may ask. In the list below, you’ll find the perfective (“completed”) verbs first and their imperfective (“incompleted”) counterparts second: 

  • “to get up” – wstać / wstawać
  • “to wake up” – obudzić się / budzić się
  • “to take a bath” – umyć się / myć się 
  • “to brush one’s hair” – uczesać się / czesać się
  • “to shave” – ogolić się / golić się 
  • “to eat” – zjeść / jeść
  • “to drink” – wypić / pić
  • “to go” – pójść / iść 
  • “to leave” – wyjść / wychodzić
  • “to work” – pracować 
  • “to study” – nauczyć się / uczyć się 
  • “to drive” – pojechać / jechać 

Other Common Polish Verbs

Here are some other essential Polish verbs that every beginner should learn straight away: 

  • “to give” – dać / dawać
  • “to get” – dostać / dostawać
  • “to do” or “to make” – zrobić / robić
  • “to let” – pozwolić / pozwalać
  • “to ask” – poprosić / prosić
  • “to smile” – uśmiechnąć się / uśmiechać się 
  • “to find” – znaleźć / znajdować 
  • “to read” – przeczytać / czytać 
  • “to write” – napisać / pisać  
  • “to buy” – kupić / kupować
  • “to pay” – zapłacić / płacić
  • “to talk” – porozmawiać / rozmawiać 

We have many other resources about Polish verbs on PolishPod101.com. Go exploring to learn even more useful verbs in Polish for beginners! 

5. Useful Polish Adjectives

The next category on our list of Polish words for beginners is adjectives. These are the words we use to describe or add information to a noun, and they can help liven up your speech or writing.

Adjectives for Describing Objects

  • “big” – duży
  • “small” – mały
  • “long” – długi
  • “short” – krótki
  • “vast” – szeroki
  • “narrow” – wąski 
  • “colorful” – kolorowy
  • “black” – czarny
  • “white” – biały
  • “green” – zielony
  • “gray” – szary
  • “red” – czerwony

Adjectives for Describing People

Being able to describe people is equally important as being able to describe objects (if not more important). Here are some adjectives you can use: 

  • “pretty” – ładny
  • “sporty” – wysportowany
  • “handsome” – przystojny
  • “tall” – wysoki
  • “short” – niski
  • “blond” – blondyn (m.) / blondynka (f.)
  • “brunette” – brunet (m.) / brunetka (f.)
  • “redhead” – rudy
  • “nice” – miły
  •  “sociable” – towarzyski

Adjectives for Describing Emotions and States of Being

A Happy Person
  • “happy” – szczęśliwy
  • “unhappy” – nieszczęśliwy
  • “sad” – smutny
  • “content” – zadowolony
  • “angry” – zły
  • “upset” – zdenerwowany
  • “stressed” – zestresowany
  • “tired” – zmęczony
  • “healthy” – zdrowy
  • “sick” – chory

Describing the Weather

Last but not least, you should be able to describe the weather. Here’s the vocabulary you’re going to need:

  • “rainy” – deszczowo
  • “cloudy” – pochmurnie
  • “windy” – wietrznie
  • “sunny” – słonecznie
  • “warm” – ciepło
  • “cold” – zimno
  • “hot” – gorąco

Are you planning to travel to Poland soon? You might want to study up on the climate in Poland first. 

6. Conjunctions and Linking Words

We’ve given you many words to study already, but you can’t really make a fluid sentence without using conjunctions. You should start practicing the following Polish beginner words as soon as possible. 

  • “and” – i
  • “but” – ale
  • “then” – wtedy
  • “because” – ponieważ
  • “so” – więc
  • “that’s why” – to dlatego

7. Other Polish Beginner Words

We’re almost done with our list of essential Polish words you need to learn as a beginner. Here’s the last set of words, which didn’t fit into any other category: 

  • “well” – dobrze
  • “not well!” – źle!
  • “really” – naprawdę 
  • “very” – bardzo
  • “little” – mało
  • “a lot” – dużo

8. Final Thoughts

If you want to speak like a native, then learning the Polish beginner words from our list is a great place to start. Once you master the essential nouns, verbs, adjectives, and other word categories, you’ll be able to start forming your first sentences. These words will serve as a solid foundation upon which to build your Polish skills over time. 

How many of these words did you know already? Were most of them new to you? We look forward to hearing from you in the comments!

Naturally, learning these words will not be enough to turn you into a fluent Polish speaker. To get there, you’ll need a well-designed and structured way of learning. The countless resources available at PolishPod101.com will help you do exactly that!

Our website and app provide many functionalities aimed specifically at helping you learn the vocabulary you need. In addition, our recordings and videos by native speakers will help you work on your comprehension skills. By following one of the carefully tailored pathways on our website, you can be sure that you won’t miss out on any important concepts.

Create your account today and check it out for yourself!

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The Most Common Polish Filler Words

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Speakers of all languages use filler words, even if they don’t realize it. Language purists hate them and sometimes they’re frowned upon, yet they persist despite these criticisms. 

Polish filler words are used in various situations. They can differ depending on what region the speaker is from or even how old they are. Due to their popularity, filler words are an essential component of the language that Polish learners should study to improve their speaking and comprehension skills.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Polish Table of Contents
  1. Filler Words: Why People Use Them
  2. The Top Polish Fillers
  3. Filler Words in Polish: Pros and Cons
  4. Final Thoughts

1. Filler Words: Why People Use Them 

English Fillers

Fillers are words or sounds that people use to let the other party know that they haven’t finished speaking yet. The primary use of filler words, then, is to buy the speaker some time. However, there are also other reasons why people use them. Here’s a breakdown of the main purposes fillers have in speech:

  • To buy time while the speaker thinks of what to say or looks for the right word
  • To agree with the other party
  • To show relationship between words, such as contrast or conclusion

Note that while prepositions can also perform that final function, filler words do so in a very gentle way. This makes it difficult to explain their exact meaning to others. 

And of course, many people use fillers only as a mannerism. This means that the speaker uses them out of habit and the words really have no meaning. 

2. The Top Polish Fillers

Now that you have a better idea of what Polish filler words are and how they’re used, let’s take a look at the most frequently used fillers. We’ll provide examples for each one so that you can see how they might appear in a conversation. 

Let me think about that: Hmmm and Ummm

These fillers are similar to their English equivalents. People use them to show that they’re thinking about something or to express uncertainty: 

A: Czy to on ci to powiedział? (“Did he tell you that?”)
B: Ummm… nie pamiętam dokładnie. (“Ummm… I don’t remember exactly.”)

A: Myślisz, że się wyrobimy na czas? (“Do you think we’ll make it on time?”)
B: Hmmm… mam nadzieję, że tak. (“Hmmm… I hope so.”)

Would you know how to ask other questions in Polish if you were chatting with a native speaker? Here are 10 questions you should know to get started. 

The famous Polish No

In English, “no” is used for negation. In Polish, however, it’s a word close in meaning to “well.” This is probably the most abused filler in the Polish language. It can be used to express agreement or disagreement, to strengthen what you’re saying, or to give you some time. It’s often used with other words: 

  • No nie! (“Oh no!”)
  • No tak. (“Well, yes.”)
  • No nie wiem, co mam Ci powiedzieć. (“I don’t know what to tell you.”)

A Person Shrugging Their Shoulders

That last sentence would be translated the same way whether the speaker had used no or not. This is why learning how to use Polish filler words well requires a lot of exposure to both the spoken and the written language.  

A: To okropne, co on zrobił! (“It’s horrible what he’s done.”)
B: Nooo. (“Yeah.”)

When used to express agreement, no is often prolonged in an exaggerated manner, like in the last example. 

Saying “You know,” in Polish

Polish has an exact equivalent for the often used English filler “you know.” It’s no wiesz. Another similar filler word is Wiesz? (“You know?”) with an interrogative intonation. 

  • To nie ma sensu. No wiesz, co mam na myśli. (“It doesn’t make any sense. You know what I mean.”)
  • No jak to się nazywa? No wiesz, o czym mówię. (“What’s the name of this thing? You know what I’m talking about.”)
  • Nawet bym się z nim zgodził, wiesz? (“I’d even agree with him, you know?”)
  • Ona ma cztery koty, wiesz? (“She has four cats, you know?”)

These two filler words in Polish can be used interchangeably in most situations. There’s a slight difference between them, in that no wiesz suggests the speaker is looking for understanding, while Wiesz? is used when the speaker assumes that the other person doesn’t know already (hence, the speaker is telling them).

Speaking of knowing, did you know learning Polish is considered a sport sometimes?

Exactly the right word: Właśnie

Two People Chatting

The next expression on our list of Polish filler words is właśnie. It means “exactly” or “precisely” according to the dictionary, but in reality it’s used to express a wide variety of things. The most common non-dictionary usage is to show contrast. Like many other filler words in Polish, it’s often used along with other words: 

  • No właśnie nie. (“In fact, no.”)
  • No właśnie tak mi powiedział. (“This is [exactly] what he told me.”)
  • Dlaczego właśnie tam? (“Why there [and not somewhere else]?”)
  • Właśnie, właśnie. O to mi chodzi. (“Yes, exactly. This is what I mean.”)

When you really can’t find a word: Ten

Ten and no i ten are the kind of expressions that teachers and certain fussy Polish speakers hate the most. It may be annoying when someone uses them excessively, but to forget a word here and there is only natural. These expressions roughly translate as “and” when used to buy time to find the right words: 

  • Ten, jako on się nazywa, Jacek. (“This, what’s his name, Jacek.”)
  • No i kupiłem, ten, no odtwarzacz DVD, no. (“And I bought this, ugh, well, a DVD player.”)
  • Poszedłem do pracy, no i ten, zapomniałem telefonu. (“I went to work and, ummmm, I forgot my phone.”)
  • No i ten i powiedziałem jej, co myślę. (“And what… and I told her what I thought.”)

In English, “ten” means 10. How strong do you feel when it comes to counting from 1-100 in Polish?

Basically: Po prostu

Do you know any English speakers who overuse the word “basically“? The Polish conversation filler word po prostu is quite close in meaning to this common English filler. In the dictionary, you’ll find that it means “simply.” However, in everyday use it doesn’t really add much meaning. For many people, using it is just a habit. 

  • No co? No po prostu mam dość. (“Well, what? I’ve simply had enough.”)
  • Po prostu powiedz mu prawdę. (“Just tell him the truth.”)
  • Nie wiem dlaczego, po prostu tak się stało. (“I don’t know why, it’s just happened.”)
  • Po prostu się pomyliłem. (“I’ve simply made a mistake.”)
  • Po prostu tak miało być. (“It was meant to be that way.”)

Simplicity is a great thing! Here are 5 simple tips to extraordinary Polish fluency

No way: Masakra

An Upset Person

Masakra is a modern way of saying “no way” in Polish, and it can also mean “it’s horrible.” You’ll hear it mostly from young people and millennials; you’re unlikely to hear anyone born in the 70s or earlier use it. People use this common filler in the Polish language to express being upset when talking about something negative. It’s also used in reaction to something surprising or negative being said. 

A: Zwolnił mnie, czaisz? No masakra, no. (“He’s fired me, do you get it? It’s horrible.”)
B: Tak Ci powiedział? Masakra! (“He told you so? No way!”)

A: Zabronili nam palić w pracy na przerwach. (“They’ve banned smoking during breaks at work.”)
B: No co ty? Masakra! (“You’re joking? No way!”)

You now know how to comment on something not-that-amazing with this popular Polish filler. But what about positive feelings? Here’s some slang to describe something cool

Say “Yyy” in Polish: Yyy and Eee

Like in English, filler sounds like yyy and eee are well-known in Polish. They’re mostly used when the speaker is looking for the right word or gathering their thoughts. These fillers are very commonly used when people give speeches, which for many is a stressful experience. 

  • Prosze spojrzeć na ten, yyy, wykres, pokazujący, yyy, nowe statystyki. (“Please have a look at this, uh, chart, showing, uh, new statistics.”)
  • Eee, no, nie wiem no. Możliwe. (“Ummm, well, I don’t know, actually. Maybe.”)
  • No na pewno twój, eee, mąż ma racje. (“Yeah, surely your, ummm, husband is right.”)

In general: Ogólnie and Generalnie

We’re sure you also know English speakers who use and abuse “in general.” In Polish, there are two words that are used in the same way (to generalize and as a filler word with little meaning): ogólnie and generalnie. Ogólnie is the “more Polish” version, while generalnie is an anglicism

  • Ogólnie to lubię filmy. (“In general, I like films.”)
  • Ogólnie to się nie znam. (“In general, I don’t know much about it.”)
  • Tak ogólnie to wiem, o czym mówisz. (“In general, I know what you’re saying.”)

Mannerisms: Nie, prawda, tak

The last expressions on our list of Polish filler words are nie, prawda, and tak. These three words are usually added to the end of a sentence. For many people, these are just mannerisms that they tend to use even if the words have no meaning.

Two People Chatting, One Person Saying a Lot, Another One Has a Question Mark Above Their Head
  • Powiedziałem mu, żeby dał już spokój, nie? Ale on sie uparł, nie? (“I’ve told him to drop the subject, no? But he’s being stubborn, no?”)

Speaking of nie, do you know how to use Polish negation?

  • Mówiłam Ci już o tym, prawda? (“I’ve told you about it already, right?”)

The word prawda here could be either a mannerism or a word used to seek affirmation. 

  • Kupili mu mieszkanie, tak? A potem samochód, tak? (“They bought him an apartment, yes? And then a car, yes?”)

3. Filler Words in Polish: Pros and Cons

The use of Polish conversation filler words has its pros and cons. Here are some reasons why it’s good to use them

  • Fillers make one’s speech sound more natural. It’s something you should keep in mind as a language learner, especially if you’d like to achieve a high level of fluency.

  • Sometimes, fillers are important in terms of cultural identity. People can be recognized as coming from one region or another by using certain fillers.

  • They can buy you time when you don’t know what you want to say next or when you’re looking for the right word.

However, fillers should not be abused as there are certain disadvantages involved: 

  • When you use too many fillers, it makes you sound like you don’t know the language well. It also gives a poor impression of your vocabulary. 

  • Some people get irritated when people use fillers. That’s particularly true of the older generation and language purists.

  • Relying too heavily on them may give a poor first impression, especially in a formal context. To make a good impression, you should both limit your use of fillers and brush up on your Polish manners.

4. Final Thoughts  

You’ve now learned the pros and cons of using filler words when you speak Polish. Our list of Polish filler words also introduced you to the most important expressions you should know as a learner of the language. Which one have you heard most often when listening to Polish conversations? Let us know in the comments section before you go. 

Fillers in the Polish language are important to know, but they are what they are: namely, fillers. You still need to be able to say other things in Polish in order to correctly use what you’ve learned today.

The best way to study the Polish language is through a structured learning curriculum. PolishPod101 can offer you exactly that, with personalized pathways filled with hundreds of lessons and recordings by native speakers. We have many functionalities and materials that you won’t find anywhere else. Create your free lifetime account today to start exploring them!

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Learn How to Form Negative Sentences in Polish

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Knowing how to form negative sentences in Polish is a crucial skill for learners of the language to acquire early on. There are a few different methods of Polish negation, and today we’ll cover the most important ones. 

Don’t worry too much, though.

It’s much simpler than many other aspects of Polish grammar, so we’re sure you’ll master these negation patterns in no time. The most important thing to keep in mind is that Polish is a different language. Trying to develop a “Polish mindset” will work better for you than striving to translate exactly what you have in mind in English.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Polish Table of Contents
  1. Polish Negation: Case Study
  2. Answering “No” to Questions
  3. Other Words Used for Expressing Negation
  4. Double Negatives
  5. Final Thoughts

1. Polish Negation: Case Study

The simplest pattern of Polish negation uses the word nie (“no”) in front of the part of speech being negated. This is unlike what you see in many other languages, where negation often needs two parts or uses different words depending on the context. You can learn more about affirmation and negation in different languages by clicking on the link. 

A- Polish Verb Negation

A Person Saying No with a Gesture

It’s only natural to speak up about things you don’t like or don’t want to do—it doesn’t make you a negative person! It’s equally important to know how to speak about negative emotions in Polish.

Negation in Polish works very differently from that in English. In English, there are many words that can negate the verb, depending on the tense used; in Polish, it’s always the same word. 

Have a look at the following examples: 

  • Nie lubię chodzić do kina. – “I don’t like going to the cinema.”
  • Nie czytaj gazety! – “Don’t read the newspaper!”
  • Nie mieszkali w Polsce. – “They didn’t live in Poland.”

As you can see in the examples above, the word nie is placed directly in front of the verb it’s meant to negate. This is true for all tenses and moods. Of course, this is only one way to negate a verb.

Once you gain more confidence in your Polish skills, you may want to start using verbs with opposite meanings (antonimy – “antonyms”). For instance, instead of simply saying Nie chcę (“I don’t want”) you can decide to use Odmawiam (“I refuse”). Start improving your vocabulary by studying our top 20 Polish verbs video series. Here you can find parts one, two, three, and four.

B- Negation of Adjectives

In Polish, negating adjectives is just as simple as negating verbs. There’s only a small twist – you need to remember to write nie together with the adjective.

A Girl Sticking Her Tongue Out
  • On jest niegrzeczny. – “He’s rude/badly behaved.” 
  • Ten samochód jest niedrogi. – “This car is inexpensive.”
  • Mój artykuł jest niedokończony. – “My article is unfinished.”

Of course, not all adjectives can be negated that way. Sometimes adding nie in front of an adjective will just make it sound funny or artificial. So what should you do in those situations? Start by learning high frequency adjectives with us. After that, remember to check out our lesson on using Polish adjectives and its follow-up

C- Negation of Adverbs

To make an adverb negative in Polish, you need to put the adverb after nie:

  • Na dworze było nieładnie. – “It was not pretty outside.”
  • Opowiadał nieciekawie o swoim życiu. – “He spoke about his life in a boring way.” 
  • Poczułam się niedobrze. – “I started feeling unwell.”

Unfortunately, the rules for how we write adverbs with nie are a bit more complicated than those for other parts of speech. Some adverbs are combined with the word nie to form a compound, while others are written separately. Instead of learning very specific rules in the beginning, we suggest that you just keep studying adverbs along with their spelling.

Don’t despair if you make mistakes from time to time. It happens even to Polish people! This list of must-know adverbs and phrases for connecting thoughts will definitely come in handy.

Let’s now learn about negation in Polish grammar for answering questions. After all, saying “no” sometimes is just a part of life! 

2. Answering “No” to Questions

To make a more complete negation in Polish when answering a question, you need to use nie twice: 

A: Idziesz jutro do kina? 
A: “Are you going to the cinema tomorrow?”

B: Nie, nie idę jutro do kina. 
B: “No, I’m not going to the cinema tomorrow.”

A: Chcesz coś do picia? 
A: “Would you like something to drink?”

B: Nie, nie chce mi się pić.
B: “No, I’m not thirsty.”

A Person Crossing Her Arms in Refusal

Do you know how to offer such an invitation in Polish? If not, head to our lesson on this topic by clicking on the link.

Another option is to simply answer nie, but it’s considered quite impolite. You should only use it with people whom you know well and who are unlikely to take offense. 

A: Chcesz coś zjeść?
A: “Would you like to eat something?”

B: Nie.
B: “No.”

A more polite way of refusing would be to answer: Nie, dziękuję. (“No, thank you.”) 

It’s also worth mentioning that some Polish people use nie at the end of declarative sentences. This special Polish negation case is a mannerism. It doesn’t really carry any specific meaning, it’s just something that some people say. Many people don’t like to hear it and consider it bad Polish, so we wouldn’t recommend developing this habit. Here’s an example of what this looks like: 

  • Kupiłem sobie kawę, nie? A potem dodałem cukru, nie? – “I’ve bought myself some coffee, no? And then I’ve added some sugar, no?” 

3. Other Words Used for Expressing Negation

To truly master negation in the Polish language, you need to study other words used for forming negative sentences in Polish. Here are some expressions that can be used for negation without changing form: 

  • nigdy – “never”

    Nigdy nie mów nigdy. – “Never say never.”

  • nigdy więcej – “never again”

    Nigdy więcej nie założę szpilek! – “I will never wear stilettos again.”

  • nigdzie – “nowhere”

    Nigdzie nie mógł znaleźć swoich okularów. – “He couldn’t find his glasses anywhere.”
  • nic – “nothing”

    Nic nie zapłaciłem. – “I’ve paid nothing.”
  • już nie – “not anymore”

    Już nie oglądam tego serialu. – “I don’t watch this series anymore.”
  • ani…ani – “neither…nor”

    Nie mam ochoty ani na lody ani na czekoladę. – “I don’t feel like eating neither ice cream nor chocolate.”

Neither...Nor Image

The one expression that does change is nikt (“no one” or “anyone”). It undergoes declension, just like many other parts of speech. This is why we’d say: 

  • Nie mam nikogo. – “I don’t have anyone.”
  • Nikt na mnie nie czeka. – “No one is waiting for me.” 
  • Nikomu nie jesteś nic winna. – “You don’t owe anything to anyone.”

Remember to pay particular attention to which case is used with this word. In this manner, you’ll avoid making mistakes or causing misunderstandings. 

Have you noticed how negative sentences in Polish seem to work slightly differently than in English? That’s because Polish allows—and often requires—double negation.

4. Double Negatives

Twin Sisters

Let us show you some more examples so that you can better understand how double negation in Polish works:

  • Nikt nigdy tu nie przychodzi. – “No one ever comes here.”
    • Literal translation: “No one never doesn’t come here.” 
  • Nikt mi o tym nie powiedział. – “No one told me about it.”
    • Literal translation: “No one didn’t tell me about it.” 
  • Nic mnie już nie obchodzi. – “I don’t care about anything anymore.”
    • Literal translation: “I don’t care about nothing anymore.”

For many Polish learners, this is a completely new concept and may be a bit difficult to get used to. It’s also a reminder that the rules of negation in English and Polish are different. Don’t worry, though. You’ll get the hang of this particular aspect of Polish negation with time. 

5. Final Thoughts

That’s it for today! As we say in Polish: Co za dużo to niezdrowo! (“Too much of a good thing!”)

We hope we’ve helped you learn about negation in the Polish language. It’s not as hard as it might seem at first, even if it differs from what you’re used to in English.

You can refer back to this blog post whenever you’re in doubt regarding how to say “no” in Polish. Keep in mind the spelling rules, don’t be scared of the double negation, and you’ll be fine. Write some examples of negation in the comments’ section to show us what you’ve learned!

Learning negation is very important, but there’s much more to the Polish language than that! To learn in a structured way, give PolishPod101 a try. Our platform gives you incredible resources to learn real-life Polish. We provide fun and engaging lessons on various topics, featuring recordings by native speakers to help you with your Polish comprehension as well as your vocabulary. Don’t hesitate, create your account today!

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