Polish language/Być

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Before learning this verb, we must first learn the Personal pronouns in the nominative case.

Personal Pronouns[edit | edit source]

  1. Ja - I
  2. Ty - You (singular)
  3. On - He
  4. Ona - She
  5. Ono - It
  6. My - We
  7. Wy - You (plural)
  8. Oni - They (male or mixed)
  9. One - They (female only)

When speaking to someone to whom we should show respect, e.g. those older or strangers, we should use the personal pronouns pan (m) and pani (f). When we do so, we use the On and Ona forms of the verb (i.e. in the third person).

Być - to be[edit | edit source]

Być is the Polish infinitive form of the English verb "to be". This is the most commonly used verb in the Polish language and should be the first verb learnt in any language. It is an irregular verb and, therefore, provides no pattern from which to learn other verbs. This verb has three tenses: past, present and future.

Past Tense[edit | edit source]

The past tense of Polish verbs depends entirely upon the gender of the subject.

  • Masculine
  • Ja byłem - I was
  • Ty byłeś - You were
  • On był - He was
  • My byliśmy - We were
  • Wy byliście - You were
  • Oni byli - They were

Feminine

  • Ja byłam - I was
  • Ty byłaś - You were
  • Ona była - She was
  • My byłyśmy - We were
  • Wy byłyście - You were
  • One były - They were

Neuter

  • ---------
  • ---------
  • Ono było - It was
  • ---------
  • ---------
  • ---------

Present Tense[edit | edit source]

The present tense does not depend on the gender of the subject.

  • Ja jestem - I am
  • Ty jesteś - You are
  • On jest - He is
  • Ona jest - She is
  • Ono jest - It is
  • My jesteśmy - We are
  • Wy jesteście - You are
  • Oni są - They are
  • One są - They are

Future Tense[edit | edit source]

Just like the present tense, the future tense does not depend on the gender of the subject.

  • Ja będę - I will be
  • Ty będziesz - You will be
  • On będzie - He will be
  • Ona będzie - She will be
  • Ono będzie - It will be
  • My będziemy - We will be
  • Wy będziecie - You will be
  • Oni będą - They will be
  • One będą - They will be

Summary[edit | edit source]

The verb "być" has three tenses: past, present and future. The past depends upon the gender of the subject but the present and future tenses do not.