Describing dimensions

When you are describing dimensions in English, you can use an adjective (przymiotnik) or a noun (rzeczownik).

wide – szeroki
long – długi
high/tall – wysoki

width – szerokość
length – długość
height – wysokość

This means there are two different ways to say the same thing. Remember that when we are describing a person or a thing we normally use the verb be and not have, like you do in Polish.

be + adjective

The box is wide. – Pudełko jest szeroki.

This box is 10 centimetres wide. – To pudełko jest szerokie na 10 cm.

This box is 10 centimetres long. – To pudełko jest długie na 10 cm.

This box is 10 centimetres high/tall. – To pudełko jest wysokie na 10 cm.

When we use a noun to describe a dimension, we have to add the word in before the noun.

be + in + noun

The box is 10 centimetres in width. – Pudełko ma 10 cm szerokości.

The box is 10 centimetres in length. – Pudełko ma 10 cm długości.

The box is 10 centimetres in height. – Pudełko ma 10 cm wysokości.

Some words to describe dimensions do not have an adjective form, so we must use a noun and add the word in, as we do with other nouns.

diameter – średnica
weight – waga

The circle is 2 metres in diameter. – Okrąg ma 2 m średnicy.

The box is 2 kilogrammes in weight. – Pudełko ma wagę 2 kg.

There is one other way we can describe something using a noun.

with a + noun + of

He drew a circle with a diameter of 10 centimetres. – Narysował okrąg o średnicy 10 cm.

He drew a line with a length of 10 centimetres. – Narysował linia o długości 10 cm.

He built a house with a height of 10 metres. – On zbudował dom wysoki na 10 m.

He bought a new computer with a weight of (only) 1 kilogramme. – On kupił nowy komputer o wadze (tylko) 1 kg.

When we want to talk about the weight of something, we often use a verb and, just like in Polish, there are different verb forms we can use. Notice that we use the verb in the Simple form.

weigh – ważyć

The box weighs 2 kilogrammes. – Pudełko waży 2 kg.

The box weighed 2 kilogrammes. – Pudełko ważyło 2 kg.

We can also use the present participle (verb+ing) to talk about weight, especially when we want to talk about the maximum weight something can be.

weighing – ważące

She has a bag weighing 5 kilogrammes. – Ona ma torbę ważącą 5 kg.

She has a bag weighing less than 1 kilogramme. – Ona ma torbę ważącą mniej niż 1 kg.

You can have hand luggage weighing up to 5 kilogrammes (or less). – Możesz zabrać ze sobą bagaż podręczny ważący do 5 kg (lub mniejszy).