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Most used Polish words

Most common Polish words




Why should we learn the most common words, if we want to know a language ? Word frequency. For example, in German first 30 word forms cover 32% of words of a text. 100 first word forms - it's already 48% of a text. If you know first one thousand words most used in English, it's already 78% of a text. But then, you can recognize some more words, because they are either proper names (like John or Vietnam) or international words used in many languages. So with 1000 most used words, one can already understand very much of a language. It's of course the same with Polish.

Numerals :
jeden = one

Nouns :
rok = year (plural lata = years): jeden rok
człowiek = man (plural ludzie = men) : jeden człowiek
czas = time
Polska = Poland
Polish nouns have inflexion forms - so called cases. Polish adjectives have also the category of gender. Noun cases are seven and the rules of their forming are pretty complicated. It is important to know that a vowel can be added to a Polish word or the last vowel can change: Polish cases . For example, our nouns can have following inflexion forms : roku, czasu, człowieka, czasie, Polski, Polskę, Polską.

Pronouns:
ten = this
to = this, it
To is a form of the neuter gender of "ten". It means "this" and "it".

Verbs
Polish verbs have three tenses : present, past and future tense. Polish word order is pretty free and putting the pronoun in the subject is not obligatory (in English one says only : I know, he knows - in Polish one can say : Wiem, wie, not using the pronoun).
It's better to memorize these forms for now : jest - is , są - (they) are, ma - has, może - can, wiem - I know, wie - knows.

być = to be : most frequent are forms of the present tense : jest = is, są = (they) are
Examples: To jest człowiek - This is a man. To jest Polska - This is Poland. John jest dobry - John is good. Robert jest w Polsce - Robert is in Poland.


mieć = to have : most frequent is : ma = has
Examples: Robert ma dom - Robert has a house. Robert ma czas - Robert has time.

móc = can, may, be able to : może = (he, she, it) can
wiedzieć = to know : wiem = I know, wie = he knows, wiesz = you know
powiedzieć = to say
Examples: Wiem to - I know it. Może to powiedzieć - He can say it. Ten człowiek to wie - This man knows it.

Adverbs and particles
nie = not, no : nie, nie wiem = no, I don't know (in Polish "nie" is before the verb). To nie jest Polska. John nie jest dobry.
tak = yes, so
może = maybe (yes, the same word means : he can / may and maybe) : może Robert jest w Polsce = maybe Robert is in Poland
czy = interrogation particle, whether
tylko = only
już = already : on jest
Examples : Czy Robert ma dom ? Does Robert have a house ?
Czy to jest Polska ? Is this Poland ? Tak, to jest Polska - Yes, this is Poland.
To nie jest Polska - This is not Poland. John nie jest dobry - John is not good.
Czy Robert to wie ? - Does Robert know it ? Tak, Robert to wie - Yes, Robert knows it.

Conjunctions:
i = and
że = that
a = and
jak = as, how
ale = but

Pronouns
These are most frequent pronouns : się = oneself, myself, yourself, himself... (and its other form siebie)
ja = I : ja wiem - I know
ty = you : ty wiesz - you know
on = he : on jest, on może, on wie - he is, he can, he knows
ona = she
ono = it
my = we
oni / one = they

jego = his : To jest jego dom = This is his house.
ich = their : To jest ich dom = This is their house.
który = which
co = what : co to jest = What is this ? Co wiesz = What do you know ?
swój = his, her, its
mój = my, mine
taki = such
inny = other
sam = alone, by himself
wszystko = all
mój = my

Nouns that can function as pronouns
pan = Mr., sir, you (polite) (its case forms can be pana, panu, panie)
pani = Mrs., Ms., lady, ma'am, you (polite to a woman)
Examples : Pan Robert jest w Polsce - Mr Robert is in Poland.
Pan jest w Polsce - You are in Poland. Pan jest dobry - You are good. Pani jest w Polsce - You (a woman) are in Poland. Czy pani ma czas ? - Do you have time ?

Prepositions
These prepositions are used extremely often. The problem is that different cases can stand after the prepositions.
Here there is a choice : either to start studying cases slowly, or simply to get used to the changing vowels. Polish cases.
Locative has most often endings -e, -ie, -u, instrumental -em, -ą, genitive -u, -a, -i, and accusative -a, -ę. It's explained in the grammar, but there will be time for these details. Now most important is to know the meaning of the prepositions.

w = in (most often with locative: w Polsce = in Poland, w czasie = in time)
na = on (most often with locative: na stronie = on the side, on the page, na czasie)
z = with (in this meaning with instrumental : z Polską = with Poland, z czasem = with time, z człowiekiem = with the man)
 = from (the second meaning is with genitive : z Polski = from Poland)
ze = another form of "z", mostly before a word beginning with two consonants
do = to (with genitive : do Polski = to Poland, do Roberta = to Robert)
o = about, at (o'clock) (most often with locative : o Polsce = about Poland, o czasie, o stronie, o człowieku)
po = after (most often with locative) : po roku = after a year, po czasie
 = for (in this meaning with accusative)
od = (always with genitive) from : od Roberta = from Robert, od czasu, od pana, od pani
przez = (always with accusative) by, through : przez Polskę = through Poland, przez pana, przez Roberta
za = (with instrumental) behind : za domem = behind the house
 = (with accusative) for : za Polskę = for Poland
dla = (always with genitive) for : dla Roberta = for Robert

Exercise.

Translate a word into English.

  1. rok
    year
    month
    day
    one

  2. być
    to have
    to be
    to take
    to smile

  3. tylko
    only
    never
    always
    inside

  4. czas
    human
    man
    only
    time

  5. w
    from
    take
    in
    lost

  6. człowiek
    female
    inside
    some
    man

  7. mieć
    to have
    to walk
    to give
    to run

  8. wiem
    I walk
    I know
    I go
    I run

  9. może
    suddenly
    maybe
    to say
    already

  10. ma
    is
    does
    already
    has

  11. ja
    I
    you
    he
    she

  12. dla
    in
    for
    above
    on

  13. ty
    you
    I
    he
    she

  14. lata
    humans
    men
    dogs
    years

  15. do
    from
    inside
    to
    yes

  16. mój
    his
    our
    cats
    my

  17. wiedzieć
    to know
    to walk
    to give
    to run

  18. jest
    has
    is
    does
    makes

  19. wszystko
    such
    all
    between
    inside

Polish vocabulary - most common Polish words - second part