How to talk in the past tense in Polish language

Category: Tenses

Learning the Polish tenses are very important. And they are (somewhat) straightforward!

Polish verbs - in the past tense

Quick introduction - How to conjugate the verbs in past tense in Polish

There is only one past tense in Polish. You basically take the stem of the verb (cut off the ending!) then add the correct past tense ending (depending on who is speaking)

For example, to read is czytać. I am reading (present tense) = czytam. The stem of this verb is czyta (in this example it means just taking off the ć at the end). So now you have the stem, if you wanted to say "I was reading" then you should add -łem/-łam (masc/fem). So you would say czytałem / czytałam (I was reading (masc/fem))

Who Ending (masc) Ending (fem) Ending (neut) Example
Ja (I) -łem -łam
Ty (You) -łeś -łaś
on/ona/ono (him/her/it) -ła ło
My (us) -liśmy -łyśmy
Wy (you) -liście -łyście
oni/one (them) -li -ły

Some examples of past tense

Coming soon!

How to say things like "last week", "last December" etc

  • zeszły = ubiegły = last
    • Use it with w Accusative for days of week (e.g. w ubiegły wtorek - last tuesday)
    • Use it with w Instrumental for things like last week/month/year (e.g. w ubiegłym tygodniu/miesiecu/roku)
    • Use it by itself when describing a period of time, e.g. 'last tuesday was rainy'

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