As you begin to learn how to speak the Polish language, you will find that using verbs properly will be one of your biggest challenges. This is largely because Polish verbs have a characteristic called “aspect” that the English language does not use. What this refers to is the fact that, in Polish, you can have perfective verbs and imperfective verbs.
Perfective verbs are used to indicate actions that are going to happen, or have already happened. Imperfective verbs are used to describe actions that are taking place currently. When using an imperfective verb, you do are not indicating in any way when the action is being completed.
This aspect characteristic of the verbs simply adds yet another category in which Polish Verbs can be placed. This means that whenever you are looking for the right verb to use in the Polish language, you must remember to consider:
• Whether it is perfective or imperfective
• The Gender – the verbs can be feminine, masculine, or neuter.
• The Person – Is it first person, second person, or third person?
• The Number – Singular or Plural
Conjugation of Polish Verbs
Once you know the tense, gender, person, and number for your verbs, you can conjugate the verb by adding the appropriate suffix to the end of the verb. Of course, the Polish language is quite complex, so it will take a lot of practice to learn the conjugation for every single verb exactly, but there are basic rules that you can learn to make the process much easier. The following is an example of subjects and their common corresponding verb suffixes for use in the present tense:
Ja: - ę
On: No suffix
The first step to learning how to conjugate verbs is to understand the suffixes that are used. Once you understand how to use the suffixes, you can take the stem of almost any verb and conjugate it correctly.
As you begin memorizing the different verb endings for conjugation, you will need to learn several different sets of endings depending on the tense of the verbs. For example, the set listed before are used for present tense. You would not use these Polish verb endings for sentences describing action that is taking place in the past or the future. You will need to learn the corresponding suffixes for those tenses. In order to best learn how to use Polish verbs properly, it is necessary to use study materials frequently in order to practice your conjugation. There are many great Polish language education resources available online that will help you learn.