1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Polish
  4. >
  5. Translating "and" into Polish…


Translating "and" into Polish explained

  • 1898

In other words: the English conjunction "and" is Polish "a" or "i"?

AND = "A" when there is any type of contradiction or clear contrast between the parts of the phrase .

If in English phrase you can replace and by but, while, whereas without changing much of the meaning - then in Polish it has to be translated into a.

  • "I love you and you love him" - "Ja kocham ciebie a ty (kochasz) jego."
  • "He cooks and she cleans the house" - "On gotuje a ona sprząta dom".
  • "She is young and he is old" - "Ona jest młoda a on (jest) stary." (In the phrases containing contradiction, the repeated verb can be omitted). BUT: if the contradiction is not real, you only use different words to describe similar state, you go into nuances: "He is old and she is also not quite young" - "On jest stary a ona też niemłoda" (there is however some age difference between them, so she is younger than him) or "On jest stary i ona też niemłoda" (they are pretty similar, only you want to be polite and do not use the word "old" to describe a woman).
  • "Her blouse is white and her skirt is red" - "Jej bluzka jest biała a jej spódnica (jest) czerwona." - it is so when the used verb is concerns the clothes, not the person who wears them; It works the same for longer lists: "Her hat is blue, her blouse is white, her skirt is red and her shoes are black" - "Jej kapelusz jest niebieski, bluzka biała, spódnica czerwona, a buty czarne." see also below.

AND = "I" when there is a clear connection or similarity between both parts:

If in English phrase you can replace and by also, as well as, in addidion - then in Polish it has to be translated into i.

  • "I love you and you love me" - "Ja kocham ciebie i ty kochasz mnie." (Attention, in this very case it would be also correct "Ja kocham ciebie a ty mnie", to underline sort of dualism: "you"-"me", while usage of i underlines the mutual similarity. With the usage of a, the repeated verb can or sometimes even should be omitted).
  • "He cooks and she cooks, too" - "On gotuje i ona też." or "On gotuje i ona też gotuje." or "On gotuje i ona gotuje."
  • "She is young and he is young" - "Ona jest młoda i on jest młody."
  • "Her blouse is white and her skirt is white" - "Jej bluzka jest biała i jej spódnica jest biała." or "Jej bluzka jest biała i jej spódnica też."
  • BUT: when you enumerate the parts of clothing that somebody wears i.e. it is about the person, and not about the clothes, you rather use i no matter, whether they are similar or different (as there is no contradictory within the person itself, and the verb relates to the person, not the clothing): "She wears a white blouse and a white skirt" - "Ona nosi białą bluzkę i białą spódnicę."; "She wears a white blouse and a red skirt" - "Ona nosi białą bluzkę i czerwoną spódnicę."



I am not a linguist, but an engineer who loves his mother tongue. If there is something missing above, something is wrong or unclear, please do not hesitate to suggest corrections.


You may also want to check:

October 4, 2017



Nice summary. I'd like to add some further examples and meanings from Wikisłownik:

  • (implication) As pogryzł Alę, a to oznacza wściekliznę. - As (Ace) has bitten Ala. That means (she will get infected with) rabies.
  • (explanation) Ala ma Asa, a jest to mądry pies. - Ala has As, which (by the way) is a clever dog.

Also a can be used to start a question or to stress something.

  • A nie mówiłem! - I told you so!
  • A ten cały austriacki kapral,... jak on się nazywał? - This Austrian corporal... what was his name?
  • Porozmawiajmy chwilę. -A musimy teraz? - Let us talk for a moment - Do we really need to do it now?

  • 1898

Thanks. Have a lingot!


Polish is hard but I want to learn it for all those people who work abroad in Europe

Learn Polish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.