Even More Perfective and Imperfective Goodness Posted by Anna on Jan 20, 2009 in Grammar
Yes, I am still enjoying myself in Antigua and Barbuda. But I couldn’t just go away and leave you without a new post.
So, I thought we might as well continue with the perfective and imperfective stuff. It’s always a pain to learn, and I’m pretty sure we could keep talking about for the next 10 weeks and not get bored.
Remember how I mentioned once before that some Polish verbs turn from imperfective into perfective through the use of prefixes? I read somewhere that there are about 18 of those prefixes, but fortunately for us, these eight are the most common:
And I know you’re just itching to see them in action. So, here they come, just a few examples:
- czytać (imperfective) – przeczytać (perfective) – to read
- golić (imperfective) – ogolić (perfective) – to shave
- słyszeć (imperfective) – usłyszeć (perfective) – to hear
- pisać (imperfective) – napisać (perfective) – to write
- rozumieć (imperfective) – zrozumieć (perfective) – to understand
- robić (imperfective) – zrobić (perfective) – to do
- płacić (imperfective) – zapłacić (perfective) – to pay
- pić (imperfective) – wypić (perfective) – to drink
- jechać (imperfective) – pojechać (perfective) – to ride, to go (not no foot),
- dziękować (imperfective) – podziękować (perfective) – to thank
- gotować (imperfective) – ugotować (perfective) – to cook
- prosić (imperfective) – poprosić (perfective) – to ask
- myć (imperfective) – umyć (perfective) – to wash
- dzwonić (imperfective) – zadzwonić (perfective) – to ring, to call on the phone
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to predict which prefix goes with which verb. Sometimes a prefix that makes one verb perfective can completely change the meaning of another verb. So, sadly, the only way to figure it out is to memorize the verbs and the prefixes as you go along.