I've most often heard it as "I'm going for distance" (instead of accuracy), or "She's going for gold" (i.e. trying her best). I can understand it as "I'm going to the store for bread" with "to the store" left out, but I rarely if ever hear it that way. It may be a regional expression.
Both and many more. One could ask one's roommate: „Idę po chleb, chcesz coś z kuchni?” - I'm going to the kitchen to get the bread. Do you want me to get you sth from there?
„Idę po chleb, chcesz coś ze sklepu?” - I'm going to a shop to get (a loaf of) bread. Do you want me to buy you sth from there?
Or when you are asked what are you doing now/where are you going. „Idę po chleb”
This is my first post - so cut me some slack please!
According to my dictionary "po" has many English equivalent meanings. I read what is said by Ben Conway6 but, as another native English speaker, "I am going for bread" is (for me) a very natural phrase.
In my view it can mean - for the purpose of - I am going for (bread), (exercise), (pleasure) or, in other settings - after the manner of - as in Mowię po polsku.
"idę na" (or "idę do", probably more often) is used when you are simply going to some place. 'na' is usually used with open spaces and 'do' with closed ones, although there may be examples.
"po" is when you go to get something/someone. Imagine "Idę do sklepu po chleb" - I'm going to the shop to buy bread.
So here are two things:
1) pronounciation- TTS speaks final ę like "e". Some Poles do too.
2) Grammar: with verbs (as I assume your question is about verbs)
-ę is in the first person singular (ja idę= I go, ja gotuję=I cook)
-e is the third person singular (on idzie=he goes, on gotuje=he cooks)
(just so it is clear, not all first person verbs end with -ę , not all third person verbs end with -e)
'po' has many meanings, just as most prepositions do in most languages.
'po polsku' is a fixed construction that means something like "Polish-style", "the Polish way". That's how we talk about speaking some language, but the form 'polsku' nowadays only exists in this construction, you won't find it in the declension of the adjective "polski".
"po" can mean something like "around" in sentences like "I'm just walking around the park".
It can simply mean "after", like "Po szkole poszedłem do kina" = After school I went to the cinema.
And the meaning that you see here is equivalent to "to get", "in order to get". Bread (buying bread) is the reason you went to the store. You went there to buy bread.
"Po" has multiple meanings, which are usually distinguishable by the case of the noun following. https://www.clozemaster.com/blog/polish-prepositions/ shows three of them (table about three-quarters of the way down), and there is a fourth meaning which means "in the style of"/"using such-and-such a language"; that form takes an archaic Dative form (as in "mowię po polsku"->"I speak Polish")
Why does 'I am getting the bread." Not work? I would therefore assume "I am fetching the bread." Is not accepted either.
Does not saying "I am going to get the bread." Change its tense? we are still using only the imperfect (present) tense correct? So does not English use "I will [present verb]" and "I am going [infinitive verb] to express the future?
So is it not more correct in translation to be saying "I am getting/fetching the bread." Since it is an imperfect action as opposed to the future implication of "I am going to get the bread.", an action as of yet unperformed?
An interesting point.
["I am going" + infinitive] does indeed have one meaning which is a future tense.
However, there is a second more literal usage of "I am going" which literally means, I am physically taking my own self to a store, where I will do xyz. "Idę" here has that second, literal, sense....
I had looked up several grammatical sources before the post to confirm it.
I believe you are confusing it with the past continuous of "I am going".
Example: Q1: What are you doing (right now = present)? A1: I am going to the store (Present verb, prep is moving toward direction toward). Q2: What are you going to do when you get there (then= future)? A2: I am going to shop at/in the store (future, prep is within location).
The difference between using [going + infinite] vs [will +present] is the matter of intent . The first implies to plans or predictions based on present events while the latter refers to simple predictions or willingness.
Here, this this one I just found will posting this reply does a nice job of going through all the future situations: https://www.ef.edu/english-resources/english-grammar/future/
Jerry is right here, "I am going" is here indeed the literal "I am on my way to the shop". The problem is the preposition "po" which doesn't seem to have a natural equivalent in English... at least it doesn't seem so to a EFL learner, because there is quite a lot of upvotes for the (already accepted) variant "I am going for bread".
The English word "get" is quite problematic, because as far as I understand it may mean both "bring" and "buy", if not some other things... it's pretty vague. "I am going to [buy/get/fetch] bread" all work, but as for "I am getting the bread"... I'm not sure about this answer. Could you provide a context when you'd say that?
Yes, he is correct with the "I am going" part. The verb in question there is "to go". However, it is the addition of "to get" in "I am going to get" that makes the focus "to get" while "I am going" is now an auxillary used to express the tense of "get". Thus "I am getting/fetching" makes it present tense ( as opposed to future).
Read the link I provided above, as that provides a nice distinction.
I can not recall if "I am going for bread." was accepted. (It probably was the first translation.) I believe that would be the best literal translation and avoid adding in the verb "get/fetch" and removing "go" . It also works for "po" under the concept of "up to a point" such as "I am going for gold [olympic medal]." However, were I to translate for native English speakers, I would say "I am getting/fetching bread." since it is more naturally understood and does not change the tense.
"To get" means "to aquire". So that includes by buying, by bringing, by retrieving, by delivery, by inheritence, by theft, by skill......all matters. It is a vague, cover-all word.
Hmmm okay, unless you are saying you do not want to accept "to get" because it covers so many terms. Then I would suggest "retrieve" since that means you are going to go get it and bring it back. Fetch implies you are retrieving it for someone.
But Idę po  can be vague too as long as it is by foot, correct? So "I am getting my daughter from school." "I am getting lunch", I am getting my car from the garage" (i walk to my mechanic.), "I am getting the book from the library", "i am getting the bread from the kitchen", "i am getting clothes from the dryer". Right? I am uncertain if you didnt want to include get because of "buying" and such , but all those examples were free retrievals by foot .
As far as I know, no preposition can take the Nominative.
See Usage Notes for "Po" here. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/po#Polish . In this case "po" = "for", hence Accusative.
Also, https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/chleb (and press "show declension") will show that it can only be Nom. or Acc.
Well, I found the message in which a native speaker who helped our team back then answered:
It sounds like the bread has legs!! But 'after' can be used in the sense of 'in search of' or 'in pursuit of' and it's possible its use has become normalised in American English to simply mean 'for'. We can allow it, I think.
So I think it's not great and definitely not the main answer, but it seems possible.