Monday, September 26, 2005

Past tense.
What I find really strange about Polish, is that the verbs are conjugated for person and number in the present tense, and person, number and Gender in the past tense. The actual past tense disappeared long ago in Polish, but what remained was a kind of perfect tense formed out of a participle and a form of być which gets attached to the end.

The past tense stem of być is był.
For masculine nouns in the singular it stays as był
For feminine nouns in the singular, it becomes była
For neuter nouns in the singular, it becomes było
In the plural, for groups including at least one man (virile) it becomes byli
In the plural, for groups not including any men (non-virile), it becomes były

On the end of this is appended a personal ending. The letter e is used as a buffer where there is no vowel at the end.

Byłem – I was (male speaker)
Byłam – I was (female speaker)
Byłom – I was (theoretically a chair would say this when speaking)
Byłeś – You were (to a male)
Byłaś – You were (to a female)
Byłoś – You were (if you don't freak out and calmly talk back to the chair)
Był – He was
Była – She was
Było – It was
Byliśmy – We were (where "we" means a group with at least one male)
Byłyśmy – We were (where "we" means a group of women and/or things)
Byliście – You are (where "you" means a group with at least one male)
Byłyście – You are (where "you" means a group of women and/or things)
Byli – They were (where "they" means a group with at least one male)
Byłi – They were (where "they" means a group of women and/or things)

The past tense stem of mieć is miał.

Miałem kota, ale teraz mam psa. - I had a cat but now I have a dog.
Miał coś. - He had something.
Miała kogoś. - She had someone.
Mialiśmy wszystko, ale teraz nie mialiśmy niczego. - We had everything and now we have nothing.

1 Comments:

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5:14 PM  

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