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Grammar Secrets - “To Go…”

May 22, 2017

In Polish we have several verbs of motion which are always translated into English as “to go”. Everything depends on whether we are going somewhere on foot or if we are planning to use machines with wheels such as  buses,  cars, bicycles, motorbikes, trams, the metro, or taxis. For example, if we want to say: “I am going to the cinema” we have to use the verb “iść” (to go on foot), because this activity (going to the cinema) in general use is by using the feet.

 

Dzisiaj idę do kina. (Today I go to the cinema,)

Teraz idę do kina. (Now I go to the cinema.)

If we want to go somewhere by means of transportation we must use the verb „jechać”.

Dzisiaj jadę do Warszawy. (Today I go to Warsaw.)

Jutro jadę do Paryża. (Tomorrow I go to Paris – the present tense used as the future tense.)

 

Another problem is when we want to tell somebody about going somewhere as a frequent activity such as regularly, every day, from time to time, rarely or never. To talk about going somewhere frequently on foot we must use “ chodzić” and to tell about going somewhere by transportation, we make use of “ jeździć”.

 

Codziennie chodzę na basen. (Every day I go to the swimming-pool.)

Zwykle nie chodzę do teatru. (Usually I do not go to the theatre.)

Regularnie chodzę na siłownię. (I regularly go to the gym.)

Zawsze chodzę do szkoły. (I always go to school.)

Często jeżdżę do Berlina. (I often go to Berlin.)

Rzadko jeżdżę do Rzymu. (I rarely go to Rome.)

Nigdy nie jeżdżę do Tokio, bo jest za daleko. (I never go to Tokio because it’s too far.)

Of course we have more verbs of motion, and it is useful to mention the verb “ to fly”.

To describe going somewhere by plain, we have to use the verb „lecieć” or „latać”.

Dzisiaj lecę do Madrytu. (Today I go to Madrid.)

Co tydzień latam do Monachium. (Every week I go to Munich.)

 

This is not the end of the challenges you have to accept about motion verbs. Motion verbs require different prepositions depending on the physical space we are going, such as inside a building, an open space, an island or to an event.

 

The sentences: „Idę do pubu.” (I go to the pub), “Idę do klubu.” (I go to the club), “Idę do szkoły” (I go to the school) requires preposition „do” using the Genitive case. The same with going to the country or city: “Jadę do Madrytu” (I go to Madrid), “Jadę do Szwecji” (I go to Sweden.) However, going to an island joins preposition “na” with Accusative case,  like: “Lecę na Dominikanę “ (I fly to Dominikana), “Lecę na Kubę” (I fly to Cuba). Exceptions regarding going to islands are: “Jadę na Litwę, na Łotwę, na Białoruś, na Ukrainę, na Białoruś, na Węgry”. (I go to Lithuania, Latvia, Belorus, Ukraine, Hungary).

 

Also if we want to tell somebody about going to some event, we must use the preposition „na” using the Accusative case. “Idę na koncert.” (I go to the concert), “Idę na piwo.” (I go for a beer.), „Jadę na spektakl.” (I go for a spectacle).

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