"Ja idę."

Translation:I am going.

December 11, 2015

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In Polish there's only one present tense, but it can be translated both as present simple AND present continuous.


That doesn't explain why "I go" is wrong :(


"I go" is a correct translation. But "ja idę" usually means that I am doing it NOW, so "I am walking" is more natural.


Thanks but madam my question is still why we are told that present and present continuous are the same in Polish. Your kind reply will be highly appreciated.


There are a few so-called verbs of motion (5 or so) which have clear distinction between continous and frequentative meaning.


Awesome. thanks sir! and will they appear in advanced portion of the course?


Some of them will appear but they are not treated separately. They are mixed with other verbs. You can read this post: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/12724322. There are listed some of them.


"I go" doesn't really make any sense on its own in English. With action verbs like "go" we use Present Simple to talk about regular events or habits. We need to say where and/or when, or how often we go - "I go to classes at the weekend"

"I'm going", on the other hand, is fine on its own.


Why is "I go" wrong?


@WarsawWill wrote:

"'I go' doesn't really make any sense on its own in English. With action verbs like 'go' we use Present Simple to talk about regular events or habits. We need to say where and/or when, or how often we go - 'I go to classes at the weekend'

"'I'm going,' on the other hand, is fine on its own."


In everyday speech, would you say "Ja idę" or just "idę"? Is the "ja" there just for emphasis / clarity?


It is emphasis. I'd say "Ja idę" is an answer to "who is going to the concert tonight?" (I am going)

While "idę" is an answer to what are you doing right now. - I am walking


"Ja idę" could also emphasise that you are actually going in contrast to other people.


You are right, although I'd rather say it can emphasise that I walk while other people run/ride a bike/ go buy car/ go by bus etc.


It can also mean that I am doing it but not necessarily other people.


So in your explanation, adding "Ja" emphasizes the action (iść) rather than the subject (ja)?


Emphasizes the difference between me and someone else. So effectively, yes.


Exactly. Personal pronouns (ja, ty, on/ona/ono, my, wy, oni, one) in Polish are usually just for emphasis, as the verb is usually very explicit about the person. Some other languages always requite the personal pronoun (like English) because if you only say go there's no way in telling whether it's an imperative or a 1st, 2nd person singular or 1st, 2nd or 3rd person plural. In Polish the verbs very unambiguous, so there is usually no need for the persona pronouns outside of emphasis.


What about ja chodzę?


this course is trying to make a point that Ja chodzę=I go/walk ja idę= I am going/walking

It is not perfect, as there are circumstances that are not so clear cut, but It is good to make a point.


Mary you're the best! Your answers are the most effective and simple to understand. In Russian it's similar, I guess. Ja chożu/Ja idu


Why "Ja idę" is translated as i am walking and ''Ja chodzę" as i walk? Can ''Ja chodzę" translation be " i come" or " i am coming" ?

There is, if i understood, only one present time in polish. So why continuous present and simple present are not accepted in both cases?

Thank you for answer


Ja chodzę do szkoły. I go to school, as in being a student.

Ja idę do szkoły. I'm going to school, as in I am taking a walk to the building right now.


The difference between Present Simple and Present Continuous is irrelevant in Polish in 99% of the cases. But Verbs of Motion are among this 1% where it is crucial.

As va-diim showed:

chodzić = to go (on foot), to walk (generally, habitually, regularly)

iść = to be going (on foot), to be walking (right now)

to be walking around (no purpose/direction) is "chodzić" as well.

And the school context is tricky because as far as I understand "I am going to school" may actually be understood as "I am a pupil", so it messes with this distinction.


@Jellei "I am a pupil," is implied by "I go to school." Chodzę do szkoły.

"I'm going to school," Idę do szkoły, means that I am physically transporting myself to school. This also implies that I am a pupil. If I am not a pupil and am going there to ride my skateboard or shoot baskets, then we would say, "I'm going to the school."


I am unable to tell who, but I am sure that one of the native English speakers taking this course has guaranteed me, that "I am going to school" can be understood as a general "I attend school/I am a pupil" and therefore can be translated as "Chodzę do szkoły". Perhaps it's a regional thing...


Yeah, you can say that colloquially,

What do you do? --I'm going to school. Chodzę

but the implication is questionable.

Where are you going? --I'm going to school. Idę

What do you do? --I go to school. Chodzę

The implication here is definitive.

"Going to school" implies being a student, teacher, or administrator. "Going to the school" implies not being involved with the school."


"I go." - is not a correct solution here but when I point to the "idę" to look at its translations, there IS also "go". Due to the comments here, i understood that it is quite unnatural to use "I go." in such expression. But, if there is no "go" in the list, I would not make a mistake then.


Deleted "go" from the hints.


Thanks a lot for your reaction but there're still "go/goes" in "On idzie", "Oni idą", "Ja idę", "Wy idziecie", "Idę do szkoły" exercises. It's not really so principled for me already but I hope it'll be fixed soon anyway. )


I think I fixed it now, but it may take some time to apply. I actually still see "go" here despite removing it 7 hours before.


Świetnie! Dziękuję.


When you inquire in English if someone is to go (or to join you for going) somewhere, you can put the question in different tenses: "Will you go?"; "Are you going?", etc. Isn't it similar in Polish? And if you can use the answer "Ja idę." to express the idea of "I am to go", then you cannot say that the translation of "Ja idę." as "I go" is not fine.


"I go" in English implies a continuous or habitual aspect, like "I go to the movies every Thursday." In Polish, that would be ja chodzę in this context.

Ja idę implies a particular or specific aspect, like "I'm going to the movies tonight."

But without context, either translation can work


Besides va-diim said, "Ja idę" is a phase that I would say before leaving group of people. More likely it would be: "(To) ja (już/teraz) idę. Na razie."


I wonder why idę is spelt like that because it mostly soumds like ide


If -ę is the final sound of the word, most people would pronounce it as -e, or nasalize it just a little bit.


Polish words have stress on the penultimate syllable - try to say "idę" or any other word with the ending -Ę with not stressed last syllable and proper -Ę sound :). And than try to say whole sentences :).

So it's like Jellei said:

people would pronounce it as -e, or nasalize it just a little bit.

We know WHEN word have the -Ę ending. No, we often don't write what we hear - if someone tells you something else, ask him what the word dyktando means and for how many years, teachers have been checking spelling mistakes? :)

  1. Reflexive pronoun: genitive, accusative: SIĘ

  2. Second-person personal pronoun YOU: SG: genitive, accusative: CIĘ

  3. feminine demonstrative THIS/THAT: SG: accusative: This is one of the most common Polish mistakes - adjectives, ordinals and other feminine pronouns have ending -Ą in SG accusative. Why and not ? :( Especially that feminine plural in accusative is TE

  4. numerals: TROCHĘ (a little) - uninflected, PARĘ (a pair of) - nominative, accusative

  5. verb for JA: imperfecive/perfective

  6. feminine and masculine noun with ending -A: SG: accusative

  7. neuter noun (for litlle people and little animals) with ending -Ę: SG: nominative, accusative, vocative We often change ending -Ę to masculine -AK.

  8. Other words: brzemię (burden), imię (name), książę (prince), plemię (tribe), ramię (arm), siemię (canary seed), znamię (mark/stigma), zwierzę (animal), naprawdę (really), zaprawdę (indeed), gę-gę-gę (onomatopoeia, sound of geese)

That's all - naprawdę.


Is there a list of the word roots somewhere?


So i live in Poland, and it is common to use this verb for 'come': you stand at the door and say 'X idziesz' or the arriver says 'ja idę'. All this talk of perfective verbs is just classroom waffle, in comparison to the real life some of us experience every day.


Added "I am coming".


If idę implies that you are going on foot..could it also mean ' I am walking'? Like ja chodzę can mean 'I walk ' or 'I go' ? ( I think!


Yes, "idę" can also translate to "I am walking".

There is one nuance though "I am walking" (but NOT "I am going") can also be translated as "chodzę" if it's just walking around without any direction and destination.


It's to early in the lesson for this, but I thought iść meant go and chodzić meant come.


i wrote "i walk" i don't see where is the mistake . Please help me ?


"I walk" translates to "Chodzę", not to "Idę".

99% of verbs don't show any difference between Present Simple and Present Continuous, Verbs of Motion (like here) do.


If "I walk" or "I go" is incorrect, then it appears that the English answer is in gerund format; therefore I ask if Polish has such a gerund construction similar to Italiano. Per esempio: I walk = io cammino; I am walking = sto camminando. Previous lessons have allowed correct English answers as such: I am eating = I eat; I am drinking = I drink. Therefore, is the Polish verb for "ide" something special? Grazie mille.


Yes, it is something special. The following verb pairs show a distinction between habitual and progressive action:

  • biegać/biec, jeździć/jechać, pływać/płynąć, nosić/nieść, wozić/wieźć, latać/lecieć, chodzić/iść

They are all verbs of motion (or movement). The habitual form is called "indeterminate" and can also have a progressive meaning, but then it mustn't be directional. The other form is called "determinate" and is used for progressive action only.


Chodzę can mean:

  • I walk (to)
  • I am walking around

Idę can only mean:

  • I am walking (to)

Polish doesn't distiguish walk from go (if it's by foot), so you can also use go here.


Can it also translate as "I am leaving"?


I guess there could be a context in which such a translation makes sense, but I feel it's a bit too much to accept it here.


No, in this example I would't translate it to "I am leaving". This translation in the primary means "Ja wychodzę" which sound more like you are leaving for example a room, a building, a party etc. (polish native here)

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