"Nie bierz tego, weź coś innego."

Translation:Do not take this, take something else.

December 30, 2015



Is there a reason to choose bierz versus weź? And is it natural to switch between them in this way?

December 30, 2015


Bierz => brać (to take) (continuous action).

Weź => wziąć (to take) (single action).

There is no ' nie weź' - as an imperative.

Also "Nie bierz tego, bierz coś innego." is very coloquial, and I don't think entirely correct, maybe is some contexts.

You cannot switch between single and continuous action freely. And it could be hard to know when to use one or the other, because in many cases they do not translate literally from English.

December 30, 2015


Thanks! So is it always more common to use the imperfective form for negative imperative?

December 30, 2015


"Bierz to codziennie" - "Take it daily", "Weź to teraz" - "Take it now" ;)

December 30, 2015


I think there is only one way to use negative imperative - imperfective form, simply because for almost all verbs perfective form doesn't exist :).

Obvious exception is Idź (go, perfective) VS chodź (go, imperfective).

Nie idź tam - Do not go there (Do not end your journey (as moving from A to B) there)

Nie chodź tam -Do not go there (Do not make a habit of going there).

Also chodź can be used as an imperative of come - Come here! - Chodź tu!

But these are movement verbs - they are a challenge in every language, so good luck!

December 30, 2015


Unfortunately it's even more complicated than that with verbs of motion Iść (determinate) and chodzić (indeterminate) are both imperfective forms: you would need a prefix to make the perfective, e.g. pójść. In this case the perfective imperative would be pójdź.

September 5, 2018


"Positive commands usually occur in the perfective aspect, while negative commands occur in the imperfective."

Swan, Oscar (2008-10-12). Polish Verbs Essentials of Grammar, Second Edition (Verbs and Essentials of Grammar Series) (Kindle Locations 1305-1306). McGraw-Hill Education. Kindle Edition.


For English speakers there's an old-fashioned or colloquial form of negative command - "Don't be standing there!" (roughly equivalent to "Don't stand there") but its expressed in English in a continuous tense = imperfective.

So what will help me remember this is to translate the sentence into "Don't be taking this, take something else instead."

The above construction is very popular in Irish English. If you know this construction in your English then its a good way to remember that the imperfective is used in negative commands.

On the other hand switching the aspects to give: "Don't take this, be taking something else instead." is not seen / used in English.

February 15, 2016


Thanks, this is a funny but useful way to get my mind around it.

November 30, 2016


Thank you so much!

December 30, 2018


So, in Polish, could this mean something more like, "Mate, seriously, don't keep doing it like that - here, now, do it like this..." ??

April 10, 2019


I advise against using negated imperatives in the perfective aspect. It's very uncommon.

April 10, 2019


Thanks, Alik. I think I'm slowly getting a grip on this section. I think........ :)

April 12, 2019

<pre>15121098877322 </pre>

Bierz => brać (to take) (continuous action). Weź => wziąć (to take) (single action). Thank you for this explanation, but as for me both of the two actions are single actions...

May 27, 2018

  • 926

Well, "brać" can be considered something regular, like "Zawsze biorę..."

May 29, 2018
Learn Polish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.