Site Feedback

Resolved questions
Verbs for speaking/talking/saying

I'm confused by all of the verbs describing talking/speaking in Polish.

So far I've seen


, and there seems to be more that I haven't absorbed yet.

I understand that some (powiedzieć for example) are perfective and some are imperfective. Can someone show me how the perfective / imperfective verbs match up? And also explain the differences and similarities between the different pairs?

Any examples would also be very helpful.

For learning: Polish
Base language: English
Category: Language


1 comment

    Please enter between 2 and 2000 characters.



    Sort by:

    Best Answer - Chosen by Voting
    In English there are also many verbs that can be used ;)

    perfective - imperfective - description
    1. powiedzieć - mówić - these are the basic verbs for speaking/talking. "Powiedzieć" is used basically in past or future tenses: powiedziałam Ci coś - I told you something. "Mówić" is more like speak or tell. Mówię po polsku - I speak Polish. It can be used also like tell: Mówię Ci, że... - I'm telling you that...
    2. porozmawiać - rozmawiać - means to talk to each other, to converse. Used very often. Możemy porozmawiać? - Can we talk? Nie chcę o tym rozmawiać - I don't want to talk about it.
    3. przemówić - przemawiać - means to talk in public, in front of a crowd, to make a speech.

    And yes, there are some others with similar meanings. Like:
    opowiedzieć - opowiadać - to tell a story
    przedyskutować - dyskutować - to discuss
    pogadać - gadać - colloquial, used often, it's the same as rozmawiać, but don't use it in formal situations :)

    Very good answer by Anna.

    To make thing harder to remember, let me add "pomówić" = porozmawiać. "Muszę z Tobą pomówić".

    I was trying to match these to English words, but unfortunatelly it's not 1 to 1 :-) If I understand correctly, the two words for "mówić" - say / tell - differ mostly by the structure (if you use "tell" you have to mention a recipient), but I think they mean both powiedzieć / mówić komuś and opowiedzieć / opowiadać coś komuś
    speak to someone - (po)rozmawiać z kimś
    discuss - omówić, (prze)dyskutować

    And of course there's a number of other words that have "mówić" in it, but mean something else:
    wymówić - pronounce
    zamówić - order (Zamówiłam trampki na Allegro)
    namówić - convince / persuade, referring to the future (Namówił brata żeby pojechać do kina)
    wmówić - convince / persuade, with bad connotation (Wmówił bratu, że to on zbił wazon)
    odmówić - refuse

    Submit your answer

    Please enter between 2 and 2000 characters.

    If you copy this answer from another italki answer page, please state the URL of where you got your answer from.


    More open questions for learning Polish