Like vs another like vs yet another like vs love vs another love...

I did try to find something about this already, but there was nothing in the Useful Polish Discussions post and all the search results I got were for other languages... So time for a new one.

There are a ton of ways of saying "like" and "love" in Polish, and I'm pretty thoroughly confused about when to use which. As far as I can make out, there are three ways to say "like":
- lubić
- podobać się
- spodobać się

When do I use which one? What slight differences in meaning are there? Will I get weird looks if I use the wrong one? Anything else I should know about them?

"Love" also has a couple translations:
- kochać
- uwielbać

Again, which is used when? What differences in meaning are there? Is there anything else I should know about them?

All help is much appreciated. Dziękuję z góry!

October 11, 2016


You can read about them in this PDF on the page 150:

"Podobać się" and "spodobać się" differ in their aspect. "Podobać się" is imperfective and "spodobać się" is perfective.

Similarly, we can derive perfective forms from "lubić" - "polubić" and "kochać" - "pokochać", "zakochać się" (fall in love).

October 11, 2016

Thank you very much! One question. If "kochać" should only be used for people and pets, then why does Duo have sentences along the lines of "Kocham kawę"?

The other question is who invented aspect so that I can give him the treatment he deserves, but that question can wait longer for an answer. :) Aspect is the bane of my existence...

October 11, 2016

Perfective aspect with love/like means "start".

You know now, how we use "podobać się" to state "first impression". - it is important to be carefull with this regarding people- without context "Podobasz mi sie" = "I find you attractive".

Kochać vs uwielbiać

With people - we usually use kochać, uwielbiać is rarely used. ( I feel like it's more intense)

with God- kochać is love (feeling), uwielbiać is adore/worship (a form of prayer)

with ideas- (freedom, Poland) - kochać- to think somethinig is very important , and have it in high regard, to care about it and feel emotonal connection

with activities and things - dctionaries say "uwielbiać"- to like something very much, "kochać" to find great pleasure in doing something. "I feel like the line is really thin here."

I think if a noun is a symbol of activity - I use "kocham" (you don't love books, you love reading books), with clothes and things like that I'd use "uwielbiam".

October 11, 2016

Dziękuję bardzo! So the sentences like "Kocham kawę" are bizarre and you wouldn't typically say them?

October 11, 2016

For me, yes – but I think this amounts to idiolect differences, some people use „kochać” like that and for others it is weird/strange.

This might be a result of English popularity(where such use is not at all strange), so I think it's mostly younger Polish speakers who use it like that, since compulsory English in education is relatively new thing(since 1993, iirc – before that it wasn't mandatory, so only some schools had it in curriculum).

So, while I agree with immery, I wouldn't necessarily say that it's absolutely never said by native speakers of Polish – for some it will be strange, but for others it will be perfectly OK. Still, „uwielbiać” is probably 'safer' as it works for everybody. ;)

October 11, 2016

no. I would definitely say "kocham kawę" but not "kocham tę kawę". It would mean I love drinking coffee. I agree with Emwue that what it heavilly depends on a speaker.

October 11, 2016

Not that much. The most visible, acute difference is when you talk directly to a person: kocham cię vs. uwielbiam cię. The fist is meaningful declaration of love the second usually means that there is something in the character, the way of behaving etc of that person that we like. The more the the term is abstract or people are "out of the reach" the less can be the difference like when a girl says that she kocha/uwielbia a singer.

October 11, 2016

Thank you all. I guess I'll stick to "uwielbiać" for now. This is all far more complicated than liking and loving in French... Hopefully it gets easier with time and practise like that did!

October 11, 2016
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