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  5. "Piję wodę i mleko."

"Piję wodę i mleko."

Translation:I drink water and milk.

December 11, 2015



What's the difference between Ja pije and Ja piję, and why does wodę have the ę?

EDIT: Sometimes I see just "pije" or "piję". I think I've seen each with a beverage or two after it (?!)

  • 2319

"Ja piję" is correct, "Ja pije" is wrong. However, in casual talk, ę is often pronunced as e.

Here is a table of conjugation:

Verb : pić (aspect: durative, conjugation model: Xa ) in present tense, indicative mood
person male, neutral & female forms
ja piję
ty pijesz
on/ono/ona pije
my pijemy
wy pijecie
oni/one piją


Ending "-ę" should be always prounounced as "e". Pronouncing ending "ę" with nasality is called hypercorrection and is perceived as wrong.


Writing e when there should be ę is a clear mistake.

Saying ę or e is complicated issue that has caused so many heated conversations here, I spent few days paying attention to how people actually say it. My verdict is- where I live people will say same word with various level of nasality in ę during one conversation.

http://www.polskieradio.pl/9/305/Artykul/275142,Wymowa-e Anybody brave enough to listen to Polish radio talking about Polish pronunciation to Polish people should check it out. Around 2.20 she is pronouncing a sentence 2 correct ways and 1 incorrect one.


My comment isn't about pronouncing "-ę" generally but only about ending "-ę". I read a lot of articles about it written by linguistic advisors. I just want to warn beginners not to pronounce "piję" (and any other word with ending "-ę") with nasality. It just sounds bad.

Polaków odsyłam do http://purestyle.pl/poprosze-kawe/ lub http://sjp.pwn.pl/poradnia/haslo/wymowa-e-i-a-na-koncu-wyrazu;7124.html


Let me say it again.

Actual living human beings in my town say ending -ę in with various levels of nasality. The most popular word=się can be spoken by one person differently in different situations.

All books say that over-pronouncing ę is a mistake, while they disagree if we should say ę with slight nasality, and saying e is "acceptable", or vice versa.

But for a foreigner trying to learn Polish it is the best to learn when to write -ę, but say -e, as it should be easier for them to pronounce, while accomplishing "slight nasality" might be difficult.


Nasality for English speakers can be easily achieved by saying "ang" or "eng", just trying not to stress the g.


„piję / ja piję” means „I drink”, and „(on/ona/to/ktoś) pije” is equivalent of „(he/she/it/someone) drinks”.

„Ja pije” is incorrect.


Here you can see the conjugation of this verb, beginning with the present tense: http://www.tastingpoland.com/language/verb/pic_drink_verb.html


I am not sure, but I think the ending on "pije" should match the ending of whatever you're drinking. So with water you have e with a tail at the end so "pije" assumes that letter at the end as well. I am just guessing though.


Sometimes it may seem like it, but it's just a coincidence. You just have to learn the noun cases and use the right ones for each verb. With the word "pić" (to drink) you use Accusative of "woda" (water), which is "wodę". You can read more here: https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Polish/Noun_cases


So, Wodę is accusitive of woda. and it does not mean "wodka". ofcourse!


The word wódka would literally mean a little (bottle of) water. It is, of course, uncountable, so normally it is not possible to say so.


No one uses word "wódka" for a small bottle of water ;) Small bottle of water is just "mała butelka wody", or shortened to "mała woda" (which literally means small water, but everyone knows what you mean).


Wódka usually means vodka.


We know (´∩。• ᵕ •。∩`)


Why does "water" take the accusative form, but not "milk"? Does declension only happen to the first thing in a sequence? Does "milk" being followed by "and" put it back in the nominative?

  • 2319

Mleko - milk; neutral declension type II


Case PL Sample questions Case EN singular plural
1. Mianownik kto? co? (jest) Nominative mleko mleka
2. Dopełniacz kogo? czego? (nie ma) Genitive mleka mlek
3. Celownik komu? czemu? (się przyglądam) Dative mleku mlekom
4. Biernik kogo? co? (widzę) Accusative mleko mleka
5. Narzędnik z kim? z czym? (idę) Instrumental z mlekiem z mlekami
6. Miejscownik o kim? o czym? (myślę) Locative o mleku o mlekach
7. Wołacz o! Vocative mleko! mleka!


Woda - water; female declension type VI with irregular forms, marked (!), in Dative (C), Locative (M) singular and in Genitive (D) plural


Case PL Sample questions Case EN singular plural
1. Mianownik kto? co? (jest) Nominative woda wody
2. Dopełniacz kogo? czego? (nie ma) Genitive wody wód (!)
3. Celownik komu? czemu? (się przyglądam) Dative wodzie (!) wodom
4. Biernik kogo? co? (widzę) Accusative wodę wody
5. Narzędnik z kim? z czym? (idę) Instrumental z wodą z wodami
6. Miejscownik o kim? o czym? (myślę) Locative o wodzie (!) o wodach
7. Wołacz o! Vocative wodo! wody!


The form "mleko" is both nominative and accusative case. Both things have to be in accusative :).


Wow, that makes much more sense than what br0d4 said.


One of the rules that will hold true for (almost?) all Indo-European languages is that neuter nouns have the same form for both nominative and accusative cases.


to drink (infinitive) - pić (bezokolicznik)

I drink (once a week) - Piję (raz w tygodniu)
I drink and you do not (emphasis: I, in opposition to you) - Ja piję, a ty nie

I drink water and milk (every day) - (Codziennie) Piję wodę i mleko
I am drinking water and milk (now) - (Teraz) Piję wodę i/oraz mleko

I drink/ I am drinking water (mixed) with milk - Piję/ Piję wodę z mlekiem
I drink/ I am drinking milk with water (watered milk) - Piję mleko z wodą

NOTE: If you do not specify, what you drink, most of the time it means... alcohol:
He drinks/ She drinks (He/ She has a drinking problem) - On pije/ Ona pije/ Pije


is "piję" simply "I drink?" What's the polish for "to drink", as in infinitive?

  • 2319

Infinitive is "pić" , and here you have the complete conjugation of "pić"


I wonder if they're drinking them together. For those of you who haven't tried it, milk and water just tastes more and more like skim milk, the more water you add.


probably not. If I added water to milk I'd say "Piję mleko z wodą", If I added some milk to water I' d say "Piję wodę z mlekiem". "Piję wodę i mleko" sounds separate.


Thanks for the reply, even though I was just making a joke. An un-funny one. :)


What is the difference in pronunciation between piję and pije? I'm having difficulty distinguishing one from the other. How can one tell which is intended?


Did the speaker say it like "iye" instead of "piję"? Why did she drop the "p"? Or was that a mistake?


The pronunciation is correct. Word-initial plosives are barely aspirated, that's why some English speakers might not hear them, but the p is definitely there.


I did mleko i wodę the wrong way round like unfair


what is the difference between i and a for "and"?

  • 2319
AND = "A" when there is any type of contradictory between both parts:
  • "I love you and you love him" - "Ja kocham ciebie a ty (kochasz) jego."
  • "He cooks and she cleans the house" - "On gotuje a ona sprząta dom"
  • "She is young and he is old" - "Ona jest młoda a on (jest) stary." (In the phrases containing contradiction, the repeated verb can be omitted). BUT: if the contradiction is not real, you only use different words to describe similar state, you go into nuances: "He is old and she is also not quite young" - "On jest stary a ona też niemłoda" (there is however some age difference between them, so she is younger than him) or "On jest stary i ona też niemłoda" (they are pretty similar, only you want to be polite and do not use the word "old" to describe a woman).
  • "Her blouse is white and her skirt is red" - "Jej bluzka jest biała a jej spódnica (jest) czerwona." - it is so when the used verb is concerns the clothes itself, not the person who wears them; It works the same for longer lists: "Her hat is blue, her blouse is white, her skirt is red and her shoes are black" - "Jej kapelusz jest niebieski, bluzka biała, spódnica czerwona a buty czarne." See also below.
AND = "I" when there is clear connection between both parts:
  • "I love you and you love me" - "Ja kocham ciebie i ty kochasz mnie." (Attention, in this very case it would be also correct "Ja kocham ciebie a ty mnie", to underline sort of dualism: "you"-"me", while usage of i underlines the mutual similarity. With the usage of a, the repeated verb should be omitted).
  • "He cooks and she cooks, too" - "On gotuje i ona też." or "On gotuje i ona też gotuje." or "On gotuje i ona gotuje."
  • "She is young and he is young" - "Ona jest młoda i on jest młody."
  • "Her blouse is white and her skirt is white" - "Jej bluzka jest biała i jej spódnica jest biała." or "Jej bluzka jest biała i jej spódnica też."
  • BUT: when you enumerate the parts of clothing that somebody wears i.e. it is about the person, and not about the clothes, you rather use i no matter, whether they are similar or different (as there is no contradictory within the person itself, and the verb relates to the person, not the clothing): "She wears a white blouse and a white skirt" - "Ona nosi białą bluzkę i białą spódnicę."; "She wears a white blouse and a red skirt" - "Ona nosi białą bluzkę i czerwoną spódnicę."


that helps a ton! thanks :)


I see my mistake. I translated contradiction as "sprzeczność" and for me your sentences seemed to be examples of opposition (przeciwstawności), not contradiction. What's more in my dictionary there is written that for "zaprzeczeczenie" (contradiction?) "a" should be used with "nie". Sorry for off-topic.


The best I could find is here: https://translate.google.com/#en/pl/and

The a includes "yet". I'm not sure, but the a might be used when there is a contradiction of some sort.


Is it like Ukranian?


Thanks!! I will keep my eye out for it.


Yes, "a" might be used as a contradiction but it must be used with "nie". Ja ciebie lubię, a ty mnie nie (lubisz). - I like you but you don't like me.

  • 2319

"Nie" is not always necessary to indicate contradiction, so the clause "must" is too strong.


To be honest I can't find any example without "nie". It would be nice if you came up with something.

  • 2319

You can see my above longer explanation, or think of contradictions like black/white , good/evil , day/night etc.


I'm confused. There's no "ja" or "jestem". Can the 1st person POV be implied? I put "drink water and milk" and it was incorrect.


«piję» already means «I drink» / «I am drinking», there is no reason to put «ja» before it. And if you want to say «drink water and milk» you should say «pij wodę i mleko», that is why it was marked as incorrect.


Okay, so the end of the verb determines from which point of view it is from.


Where's the subject?


It is so called in Polish "podmiot domyślny" - the subject is not 'physically' there, but it's obvious* because of how the verb conjugates. In these example it is "(Ja) piję wodę i mleko". "Piję" makes it clear that we are talking about 1st person singular - "I".

Polish drops the subject pronoun very often.

*with 3rd person singular (for our verb from this sentence - pije, with normal e instead of ę), it may not be clear without context whether it's he/she/it.


Thanks for the detailed explanation!


Why not 'Ja Piję'? Why does ja disappear?


It surely can be "Ja piję", it's okay. But as the form of the verb makes it obvious what is the subject, "Ja" is very redundant. The personal pronouns are omitted in most cases, because they are simply not needed. Sometimes they are used to stress that "it is ME who is drinking, not him".

The ones that stay most often in the sentence are 3rd person pronouns, as without the context the gender (on/ona/ono = he/she/it and oni/one = masculine/feminine they*) is not obvious.

*This division is not that easy, but you will stumble upon it soon, let's leave it for now.


So does the word 'the' exist in the polish languahe?

  • 2319

No. Polish does not have articles. If you really need to use one, there are pronouns ( zaimki https://pl.wiktionary.org/wiki/Aneks:J%C4%99zyk_polski_-_zaimki ) that may serve the function of definite articles. But in Polish often it is not necessary to use anything in place of English definite article.

There are also other words, that may serve the function of definite or indefinite articles. Indefinite - to stress the new information. You should only avoid to use to many of them: one indefinite and one definite per phrase is fine, two of them may be in some cases OK - more in most cases will lead to some misunderstanding.

  1. Indfinite: pewien/pewna (sing) / pewne (plural); jakiś/jakaś/jakieś

    • W mieście żył pewien chłopiec - A boy lived in the city
    • Czy masz jakąś książkę kucharską? - Do you have a cookbook?
  2. Definite: ten/ta/to/te/tę/tą ; ów/owa/owe ; wymieniony/-a/-e ; (wyżej, wcześniej) wspomniany/-a/-e, przytoczony/-a/-e, wymieniony/-a/-e , rzeczony/-a/-e ; przedmiotowy/-a/-e (and others)

    • Podasz mi książkę, o którą prosiłem? - Will you pass me the book I asked for?
    • Wyżej wspomniana sprawa nie leży w naszych kompetencjach - The above mentionned question does not fall within our competences


Why can't it be I am drinking water and milk???


It can, it's an accepted answer.


pije = drinking, wode = water, i = and mleka = milk, wondering where is "I am" in the whole sentence


Nowhere. English Present Continous construction (I am -ing) is just a construction. You shouldn't understand it too literally, or at least you shouldn't translate it literally.

Sometimes some people write things like "Ja jestem piję wodę". That doesn't make any sense, that means "I am I drink water".

Also, in Polish the verbs rarely show any difference between Present Simple and Present Continous. In 99% of the cases, both will be translated the same. So both "I drink" and "I am drinking" is "(Ja) piję".


where is the "I" in the sentence- I understand this as "drinking water and milk"

  • 2319

"I" is hidden in the form of the verb. In Polish, the personal pronouns are optional (similarly as in Spanish), because they are hidden in the inflection of the verbs. In English, the personal pronouns are obligatory (except imperative mood).

  • (ja) piję = I drink
  • (ty) pijesz = you (sing.) drink
  • (on/ona/ono) pije = he/she/it drinks
  • (my) pijemy = we drink
  • (wy) pijecie= you (pl.) drink
  • (oni/one) piją = they drink

  • pij! = drink!

As you see, in Polish imperative, the inflected ending is missing. It is the case in some, but by far not all the Polish verbs. It is sometimes called a "zero" ending, and in some inflection tables has a symbol of "ø". So if in a (Polish!) table of inflection you happen to find the symbol ø (it is a letter that does not exist in Polish language) - it means a none ending. In other words, "pijø!" = "pij!".


Je is for eating, not drinking.

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