Heading Into Town Posted by Anna on Oct 30, 2009 in Uncategorized
The other day I was getting ready to go out and do some shopping, and because we live a bit outside the city center (ok, more than a bit, we live in the sticks) I said that I was going to town – do miasta. Idę do miasta. However, a friend who just happened to be visiting immediately corrected me that not “idę do miasta” but “idę na miasto”. Huh? And huh again?
Apparently there is a difference between those two. And apparently, I have been always using the wrong form.
But first things first. “Do” means “to”, and “na” means “on”, more or less and most of the time anyway.
So what’s the deal with “do miasta” and “na miasto”? I asked my friend to explain it to me using simple and easy to understand words, but even though she was the one who pointed out my incorrect usage, she was unable to actually articulate the difference. But that’s the Polish language for you. Nothing new here. We pride ourselves on being able to speak such a difficult language, but when it comes to explaining the finer points of this language we draw a blank.
So, I started to google, because I was sure that some learned person (with a PhD in Polish, no doubt) out there would know how to explain the difference between “do miasta” and “na miasto”. And what did I find?
The difference is there indeed, and it’s really simple. (Oh yeah, if it’s that simple how come I never figured it myself huh?)
So, you say “idę do miasta” if you are out of town and actually heading into town.
And you say “idę na miasto” if you are actually in town (as in: you live there) and are leaving your house (apartment, hotel room, whatever) to wander around a bit.
Simple? Maybe. If it were up to me, I’d get rid of the “na miasto” version, because it just rubs me the wrong way. Or maybe I’m simply jealous of people who actually live in the city and don’t have to go into town?
Build vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and more with Transparent Language Online. Available anytime, anywhere, on any device.