Present Simple

There are two aspects in Polish, niedokonany and dokonany. English has three aspects, simple, continuous and perfect.

To show which aspect you are using in Polish, you use a different main verb e.g. iść and pójść. To show which aspect you are using in English, you use a different auxiliary verb e.g. do, be and have.

If we want to use the simple aspect we use the verb do. For present tenses, the verb do has the following forms:

I do
you do
he, she, it does
we do
they do

Positive sentences

Normally, we use the auxiliary verb to tell us which aspect and tense we are using, and we then only need to remember one form of the main verb for each aspect:

simple – do + infinitive (bezokolicznik)

continuous – be + present participle (imiesłów czasu teraźniejszego – verb+ing)

perfect – have + past participle (imiesłów czasu przeszłego – 3rd form)

Using these rules, we should make the present simple by using a present form of the verb do + infinitive for the main verb.

I do go
you do go
he, she, it does go
we do go
they do go

This form is correct, but it is used as a special way to emphasize a verb;

I do like that film. – Ten film naprawdę lubię.

Yes, I do often go to the pub, but I like beer. – Masz rację, że często chodzę do pubu, ale lubię piwo!

When we use the present simple in a positive sentence, and we don’t need to emphasize the main verb, we don’t use the auxiliary verb do.

The form of the auxiliary verb do is usually the same as the infinitive. This means that we also don’t need to change the main verb and can use the infinitive form.

I do like that film. -> I like that film. – Ten film lubię.

I do often go to the pub. -> I often go to the pub. – Często chodzę do pubu.

There is however one problem, the he, she, it form of do has the ending es added to it.

He, she, it does

In this situation, we have to move the es ending from the auxiliary verb, which we don’t use, to the main verb.

He, she it does go -> He, she, it goes

This why we have to remember to add s or es to the main verb in positive sentences.

I like that film. – Lubię ten film.
He likes that film. – On lubi ten film.

I often go to the pub. – Często chodzę do pubu.
He often goes to the pub. – On często chodzi do pubu.

For negative sentences and questions we always use do or does as the auxiliary verb, so we can always use the infinitive form of the main verb.

Negative sentences

I don’t like that film. – Tego filmu nie lubię.

He doesn’t often go to the pub. – On nie często chodzi do pubu.

Questions

Do you like that film? – Czy lubisz ten film?

Does he often go to the pub? – Czy on często chodzi do pubu?

Present Continuous and Present Simple

Do these sentences mean the same thing?

On idzie do sklepu.

On (zawsze) chodzi do sklepu.

Which sentence tells you that somebody is walking to the shop right now, at the moment you are speaking? How do you know?

Which sentence tells you that somebody walks to the shop regularly, but that he isn’t walking to the shop right now, at the moment you are speaking? How do you know?

In Polish, you sometimes use a different verb to show the difference between something somebody is doing right now and something which somebody does regularly.

Do these sentences mean the same thing?

On czyta gazetę.

On często czyta gazetę.

Which sentence tells you that somebody is reading a newspaper right now, at the moment you are speaking? How do you know?

Which sentence tells you that somebody reads a newspaper regularly, but that he isn’t reading a newspaper right now, at the moment you are speaking? How do you know?

In Polish, you sometimes add an adverb to show the difference between something somebody is doing right now and something which somebody does regularly.

In English, we don’t have to use a different verb or add an adverb to show the difference between ‚right now’ and ‚regularly’. We use the same verb, but use two different aspects – continuous and simple.

In Polish, you don’t always see it as important to show the difference between ‚right now’ and ‚regularly’. If it’s necessary, you can show the difference by using a different verb or an adverb or you can use the context of the situation to decide on the meaning.

In English, we always show the difference by using the simple or continuous aspect.

Using the examples from earlier we would write:

He is walking to the shop. – On idzie do sklepu.

He walks to the shop. – On (zawsze) chodzi do sklepu.

He is reading a newspaper. – On czyta gazetę.

He reads a newspaper. – On zawsze czyta gazetę.

Notice that we can add an adverb if we want to say how often something happens, but this isn’t necessary.

He often reads a newspaper. – On często czyta gazetę.

He sometimes reads a newspaper. – On czasami czyta gazetę.

 

Present Continuous answers the question: Co robisz (w tej chwili)?

Present Simple answers the questions: Co robisz (ogólnie, regularnie)? and Jak często …?