Conjunctions Posted by on Mar 30, 2011 in Grammar

Some important conjunctions are a (and/but), i (and), ale (but),albo…albo…(either…or…), ani…ani…(neither…nor…),i….. i… (both… and),

English and is usually translated by i. However, if there is any contrast, i.e. if and can alternately be translated as but, it is translated by a:

Kasia jest studentem, a Marcin już pracuje. Kasia is a student, but Marcin is

already working.

Warszawa i Kraków są dość duże. Warsaw and Krakow are rather large.

Mateusz jest i zdrowy i lubi ćwiczyć. Mateusz is both healthy and likes to work out.

To jest muzeum, ale nie jest zbyt ciekawe. That’s a museum, but it’s not too


To jest albo muzeum, albo hotel. That’s either a museum or a hotel.

To nie jest ani muzeum, ani hotel. That’s neither a museum nor a hotel.

Important conjunctions introducing subordinate clauses include chociaż (although), bo (because), ponieważ (since), jeśli (if), to/wtedy (then).

The most important subordinating conjunctions are że (that) and czy (whether). The conjunction że, always preceded by a comma, may never be deleted, as it may be in English:

Słyszałem, że masz nową dziewczynę. I heard (that) you have a new girlfriend.

The conjunction jeśli (if) is not used as a subordinating conjunction. Use czy instead:

Nie wiem, czy on jest zajęty. I don’t know whether (not jeśli if) he is busy.

Questioning adverbs may serve as subordinating conjunctions:

Czy pamiętasz, gdzie on pracuje? Do you remember where does he work?

Nie wiem, jak to powiedzieć. I don’t know how to say that.

The factual conditional conjunctions are jeśli (if) and either to or wtedy (then). The then component of the sentence is less often omitted in Polish than it is in English:

Jeśłi będziesz tam tak siedzieć przed telewizorem, to (wtedy) ja pójdę spać. If you’re to sit there in front of the TV, (then) I’m going to bed.

The counter-factual condition conjunctions are gdyby or jeśliby (if) plus either to or wtedy. Part by is taken from the conditional form of the verb, and may take personal verb endings (-m –ś –śmy –ście).

In the counter-factual conditional, the conjunction expressing ‚then‘ is often omitted:

Gdybym wiedział, że wybierasz się do sklepu, poprosiłbym (or tobym poprosił) cię zawieźć mnie ze sobą. If I’d known you were headed into store, I would have asked you to take me with you.

Here is a list of major conjunctions and connectives:

although chociaż

not until dopóki nie

only just co dopiero

as soon as jak tylko

or albo

as though jak gdyby

since, as long as skoro

as…as… tak, jak…

since, for ponieważ

at the time when wtedy, kiedy…

so that, in order to żeby. aby

because dlatego, że…; bo

than niż

before zanim…

that (subord. conj.) że

both…and… i…i…

the way that tak, jak…

but ale

then to; wtedy

either…or… albo…albo…

therefore dlatego

for, because, since bo

until zanim; aż

if jeśli; gdy

whether czy

if… then… jeśli…to…

whether…or… czy…, czy…

neither… nor… ani…ani…

Do następnego razu! (Till next time…)

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About the Author: Kasia

My name is Kasia Scontsas. I grew near Lublin, Poland and moved to Warsaw to study International Business. I have passion for languages: any languages! Currently I live in New Hampshire. I enjoy skiing, kayaking, biking and paddle boarding. My husband speaks a little Polish, but our daughters are fluent in it! I wanted to make sure that they can communicate with their Polish relatives in our native language. Teaching them Polish since they were born was the best thing I could have given them! I have been writing about learning Polish language and culture for Transparent Language’s Polish Blog since 2010.


  1. Martin:

    Thanks for this Kasia!

  2. Mark:

    This helps a lot, thanks.