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Na + accusative or do + genitive

How do I differentiate the use of na + accusative and do + genitive for expressing "to somewhere"? How do I know whether I should use na or do for countries, cities, buildings etc?

June 2, 2016



I've just seen a great resource for it. http://popolskupopolsce.edu.pl/pogotowie-jezykowe #12 czasowniki oznaczające ruch i stan

Unfortunately it's all in Polish, but:

iść do+genitive ; być w+ locative ; wracać z + genitive

  • kraj=country ;
  • miasto=town/city;
  • building (house, theatre),
  • "green architecture"=park, forest

iść na +accusative; być na +locative wracać z+ accusative

  • important institution (post, railway station)
  • sport activity
  • big area
  • "ear" concert, lecture
  • "eye" movie, spectacle
  • "mouth" coffee, lunch/dinner

iść do+genitive ; być u+accusative ; wracać od + genitive

  • a person (professor, grandmother, friend)


This is a great link, thank you. Looking at #12, though, I think perhaps you have the accusatives and genitives switched? For example in the first group for kraj, miasto, etc. it's iść do + dopełniacz, być w + miejscownik; wracać z + dopełniacz


thank you. you are right.


Can "to my sister" (etc.) also use a preposition like k (like Slovak k mojej sestry) - does Polish also have this? Or is it always do?


Polish has a preposition "ku" but it is more like "towards". It is "do" in "to my sister".



I'm a Polish native speaker and I'll try to help you out :).

I'd say you use "do+genitive" more often, like, for instance:

Jadę do Stanów Zjednoczonych. - I'm going to the USA.

Idę do szkoły. - I'm going to school.

Jadę do Madrytu. - I'm going to Madrid.

I think you'd use "do" for all countries and cities.

You'd use "na" in some cases, like

Idę na basen. - I'm going to the swimming pool.

Idę na imprezę - I'm going to the party.

Unfortunately, I don't know why it is so or whether there is an explanation ;/.

Nevertheless, I hope this has helped you a little.

Let me know if you have any other questions and maybe I'll be able to help. :)


There's an exception: Jadę na Słowację - I am going to Slovakia.


It's not the only one exception. Simlarly we say "Jadę na Ukrainę/Słowację/Węgry/Litwę/Łotwę/Białoruś".


Of course, you're right! :) Completely forgot about it.

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