Verbs conjugation groups

In Present Tense the form of the verb depends on the subject of the sentence. In the table below you can see all the possible subjects. Pan / Pani is the formal way to address a man / woman. Panowie / Panie / Państwo is the formal way to address men / women / men and women. So when you want to speak to someone in formal way, then you should start the sentence with Pan / Pani / Panowie / Panie / Państwo and then use the adequate form of the verb in third person singular or plural.

Subject (singular) – English Subject (singular) – Polish Subject (plural) – English Subject (plural) – Polish
I Ja We My 
You Ty  You Wy 
He / She / It On  / Ona  / Ono 

Pan  / Pani 

They Oni  / One 

Panowie  / Panie  / Państwo 

In present tense there are 4 groups of endings. Usually they are called Classes. Below I present you all of them:

First class: -ę -esz verbs

subject (singular) ending subject (plural) ending
I ę We emy
You esz You ecie
He / She / It e They ą

Second class: -ię/ę -isz/ysz verbs

subject (singular) ending subject (plural) ending
I ię/ę We imy/ymy
You isz/ysz You icie/ycie
He / She / It i/y They ią/ą

Third class: -am -asz verbs

subject (singular) ending subject (plural) ending
I am We amy
You asz You acie
He / She / It a They -ają

Fourth class: -em -esz verbs

subject (singular) ending subject (plural) ending
I em We emy
You esz You ecie
He / She / It e They -eją

These are all the endings in Present Tense. The biggest struggle is to know to which class each verb belongs. More information about it in the next section. Before that, below you can see example conjugation for each class:

pisać  – to write

subject (singular) verb subject (plural) verb
I piszę  We piszemy 
You piszesz  You piszecie 
He / She / It pisz They piszą 

myśleć  – to think / słyszeć – to hear

subject (singular) verb verb subject (plural) verb verb
I myślę  słyszę  We myślimy  słyszymy 
You myślisz  słyszysz  You myślicie  słyszycie 
He / She / It myśli  słysz They myślą  słyszą 

śpiewać  – to sing

subject (singular) verb subject (plural) verb
I śpiewam  We śpiewamy 
You śpiewasz  You śpiewacie 
He / She / It śpiew They śpiewają 

rozumieć  – to understand

subject (singular) verb subject (plural) verb
I rozumiem  We rozumiemy 
You rozumiesz  You rozumiecie 
He / She / It rozumi They rozumieją 

Deciding to which class a verb belongs

There are quite complicated rules deciding to which class of endings a verb belongs and it is not recommended to learn them. It is not effective at all. If you want to know to which class a verb belongs, then better solution is to learn its first form from conjugation (first person singular – I). Additionally, if the first form ends with ę, then you should also learn its second form (second person singular – You). The two first forms are sufficient to correctly predict the class of the verb.

Here are the two first endings from each class:

I You (singular) Class
ę esz -ę -esz verbs
/ę isz/ysz -ię/ę -isz/ysz verbs
am asz -am -asz verbs
em esz -em -esz verbs

Here is an example of how the deduction of the class works. Let’s say you have this verb:

myśleć – to think

This is the infinite form of the verb to think (inifnite form is the form of the verb, which you can find in dictionary). Can you tell now to which class of endings this verb belongs? I guess no 😉 Now let’s see its first form:

myśleć – to think

myślę – I think

This time I provided you the first form of the verb. Look at the ending. Can you tell now, to which class this verb belongs?

It is still not possible, because there are two classes (-ę -esz verbs, -ię/ę -isz/ysz verbs), which match this ending. But for sure this verb doesn’t belong to the last two classes from the table above. Let’s add another form:

myśleć – to think

myślę – I think

myślisz – You (singular) think

Can you now tell to which class this verb belongs? 🙂 Yes! It belongs to the second class.

As you can see, you have to learn the first two forms of the verb only for the first two classes, but I encourage you to learn the first two forms for all the verbs, because it will help you later with the irregularities during conjugation! These irregularities happen quite often, more about them in the next section below.

 

How to conjugate a verb

So far you know to which class a verb belongs, but how to conjugate it? There is an easy rule to follow. Look at the examples below, maybe you’ll be able to guess the rule! Focus on the stem of the verb in each form. Remember, that you always know the first two forms, because you should learn them together with the infinite form of the verb.

brać  – to take

subject (singular) verb subject (plural) verb
I biorę  We bierzemy 
You bierzesz  You bierzecie 
He / She / It bierz They biorą 

jechać  – to drive

subject (singular) verb subject (plural) verb
I jadę  We jedziemy 
You jedziesz  You jedziecie 
He / She / It jedzi They jadą 

myśleć  – to think

subject (singular) verb subject (plural) verb
I myślę  We myślimy 
You myślisz  You myślicie 
He / She / It myśli  They myślą 

Do you see the pattern? If not, look on the table below:

subject (singular) verb subject (plural) verb
I X We Y
You Y You Y
He / She / It Y They X

So following the pattern the rule says:

  • (Y) to create the third person singular, the first person plural and the second person plural forms, you should take the verb stem from the second person singular and then add the adequate ending
  • (X) to create the third person plural form, you should take the verb stem from the first person singular and then add the adequate ending

The only thing left unclear is the second class of verbs, because it has two versions of endings. Which one should you use? The answer is easy – just follow the same pattern. In the second class of verbs:

  • (Y) the third person singular, the first person plural and the second person plural take left side ending, if the second person singular takes left side ending. They take right side ending, if the second person singular takes right side ending
  • (X) the third person plural takes left side ending, if the first person singular takes left side ending. It takes right side ending, if the first person singular takes right side ending.

You can observe this behaviour above in the verb myśleć. It has always the same verb stem myśl, but the endings are both left side and right side depending on the first two forms of the verb and the pattern.

subject (singular) verb subject (plural) verb
I myślę  ię/ę We myślimy  imy/ymy
You myślisz  isz/ysz You myślicie  icie/ycie
He / She / It myśli  i/y They myślą  ią/ą

Next article

Irregular verbs


5/5 (1)

Rate this article

1 thought on “Verbs conjugation in Present Tense”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *