Conjugation of Verbs in Polish
In Polish language there are several models of conjugation. According to the most popular of them, a simplified model by prof. Tokarski, there are 18 types of verbs + irregulars. It is not easy to make out the correct conjugation of a verb, especially that only the in-house DL courses can include conjugation tables... However, you can make it out yourself.
EDIT Dec. 2017 starts here
In a very easy way you can find all forms od any Polish word here. You can even swich the interface language to English. The only (small) problem is that it uses the model of gramamr by prof. Saloni, and not that by prof. Tokarski - but it does not influence the results, only the naming system.
EDIT Dec. 2017 ends here
We'll check for example the verb jeść [to eat]:
1. With Wikitionary
You can easily check conjugation of a verb in the Wikitionary. It is not 100% reliable, but inaccurate entries in pl.wiktionary.org are quite rare (in the contrary, en.wiktionary.org is not quite as much reliable).
Here is the entry for jeść . At first you will see only conjugation table for czas teraźniejszy [present tense] and czas przeszły (past tense) - click [pokaż▼] pozostałe formy to see all the forms and tenses. You can easily find other verbs just by writing the verb in infinitive at the end of URL address.
2. With Wielki słownik języka polskiego [The Big Dictionary of Polish Language]
This dictionary is currently a work in progress, so not all the words are yet available - but it is easy to operate, so it's worth checking. To check the forms of a word in Wielki słownik języka polskiego enter the word in search box. You can try any form of the verb or other word:
From the results, pick the verb (czasownik) - there can be more to choose from:
Then you get several collocations - if you need just conjunction, it should be not very important which one you choose:
Now, from the side menu, pick Odmiana [inflection]:
And you get a full table of inflection:
3. With Słownik języka polskiego PWN (PWN Dictionary of Polish Language)
While PWN is formally only a Publishing House, due to its specialisation and close cooperation with Rada Języka Polskiego (The Polish Language Authority), their publications are very reliable and may be treated as standardization of the Polish language.
You can find the conjugation by the group the verbs belongs to. But most English-Polish dictionaries do not include information about the type of conjugation, so you have to check it in a Dictionary of Polish Language. If you do not have a printed one, there is o very good - but paid one: Uniwersalny słownik języka polskiego PWN, containing about 100.000 entries. Luckily, you can use it also the free version, although it is a bit more complicated: you go to Słownik języka polskiego PWN and write the verb into the window:
Then you browse the results down to "Słownik języka polskiego pod red. W.Doroszewskiego":
and click on the verb "jeść". It takes you to scans of an old, but very good dictionary. For most verbs, at the beginning of the entry there is a information about the group of conjugation, for example for pić [to drink]:
it states that it is a durative (ndk) verb in Xa type of conjugation. See the types of conjugation below. But for jeść there is no group mentioned:
there are listed just the most troublesome forms. It means that it is an irregular verb, according to this popular model of conjugation.
4. The tables of conjugation
When you know the type of conjugation, you have to check the tables for the verb. The 18 types of conjugation by prof. Tokarski are listed here (together with the list of types of declension by prof. Tokarski). A concise table of all the 18 types is here (or more detailed table here)
You can also check a detailed table of conjugations (or the frame alone here) covering also other models of conjugation. The table includes a detailed model by prof. Tokarski (T1), popular model by prof Tokarski (T2 with these 18 types mentioned above), and some other models of conjugation by other authors.
5. Websites providing conjugation
There are some sites that give tables of conjugation for some more popular Polish verbs. They give beter-or-worse tables of conjugation of several hundred verbs (an extensive list of Polish verbs counts to 12.000, so your mileage may vary). However, for the most popular ones it might be worth to try:
- Mówić po polsku / Basic Polish verbs
- Po Polsku / Polish Conjugation Search for Foreigners
- TastingPoland / Tables of Conjugation of nearly 500 Polish Verbs
- bab.la Conjugation / Polish
P.S. The same ways you can check declension, except pos. 5. that covers only verbs.
You may also want to check:
- Aspect of Verbs in Polish, Verbs of Singular, Multiple and Completed actions
- What is Genitive Case Useful For
- The Meaningful Position of Adjective
- The Mysterious Pronouns swój, swoja, swoje
- Translating "and" into Polish explained
- The verbs znać, wiedzieć and umieć
- English "that" is sometimes Polish ten, sometimes tamten
- The versatile word to
Great post. Just a tip maybe as for the Wiktionary, be it only because I've had to learn this myself: Better don't get tempted into using the English version (only), even early on. It appears to be fairly comprehensive and there are many Polish lexemes included, true. You'd be missing out on a lot however, like usage examples, and especially when it comes to things like conjugations, the tables on en.wiktionary are sometimes incomplete. Or they contain errors. At least regularly countercheck entries of both versions. I am now chiefly using the Polish one, even though I certainly don't understand every definiton.
Thank you, I did not know that dictionary. I have included it in the article above. Have a lingot or two :)
I found it by chance and try to inform people of it ever since. But it is a work in progress so not all verbs are there. Also link always leads to pick collocation.