PP46 Będę czytać książkę czy będę czytał książkę?


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Cześć! Hello. My name is Przemek and this is Podcast polski. This podcast has been created for those who are learning Polish. Today we start something new - lessons carried out in English. So, I am very excited. Usually, episodes of this podcast are recorded entirely in Polish to let people practice listening comprehension and to let them have contact with a living language.

In Polish, the future tense expresses actions that will continue or will happen in the future after the moment of speaking. It can also involve probability, possibility and uncertainty.

In Polish, there are two future tenses: simple and compound. The simple future is used with perfective verbs, the compound is used with imperfectives. In this episode we will be talking about the compound future.

As I mentioned, this episode will differ. It will look more like a lesson with some grammatical explanations so I decided it would be better to do it in English.

So, without further ado, let’s begin!

Today we will be talking about the compound future tense. We use the compound future to express an action in itself. What interests us is the process of doing something, not the result or completion of the action. For example:

Wieczorem będę czytał książkę.

or Wieczorem będę czytać książkę.

Both sentences are translated into: Tonight, I will be reading a book.

I am not interested in the outcome. I may read the whole book and finish reading it, but it doesn’t interest me at this moment. I am only saying that I will be in the process of reading a book at a given moment in the future.

As you see, there are two ways of creating this tense in Polish. Both are interchangeably used. Let’s look at how we build them. As it is called “compound future”, it is formed with two parts, with two verbs. The difficulty is that both verbs behave in a different way. We’ll look at this closer in a few seconds.

First part, the first verb is być = to be. Let’s recall, let’s revise the conjugation of this verb.

ja będę

my będziemy

ty będziesz

wy będziecie

on będzie / ona będzie / ono będzie

oni będą / one będą

Of course, normally in Polish we don’t use pronouns. I used them here to show that the form of the verb “być” doesn’t depend on gender.

One more remark: The verb “być” itself in the future doesn’t have a compound tense. It has just simple future forms. So, it will always be: ja będę, ty będziesz etc. etc.

Let’s move to the second part of this compound structure. We have two choices here. So, it gets more interesting here.

  • First option: we add an infinitive of the main verb that expresses the action. 
  • Second option: we add special forms which are the same as third person past forms. Sounds complicated? 

But first, let’s see how we use the form with the infinitive which is much easier than the second option. Let’s take the verb “grać” - to play.

ja będę grać

my będziemy grać

ty będziesz grać

wy będziecie grać

on będzie grać / ona będzie grać / ono będzie grać

oni będą grać / once będą grać

Easy-peasy, isn't it? Now it's your turn. Let’s take the verb: czytać. I will read the sentence in English, then I will make a pause for you to say the sentence in Polish. Ready?

  • I will read a book tonight. = Dzisiaj wieczorem będę czytać książkę.

(Well done!)

  • You will read a book tonight. = Dzisiaj wieczorem będziesz czytać książkę.
  • Marek will read a book tonight. = Dzisiaj wieczorem Marek będzie czytać książkę.

(Well done again!)

  • Anka will read a book tonight. = Dzisiaj wieczorem Anka będzie czytać książkę.
  • The child will read a book tonight. = Dzisiaj wieczorem dziecko będzie czytać książkę.
  • We will read a book tonight. = Dzisiaj wieczorem będziemy czytać książkę.
  • You will read a book tonight. = Dzisiaj wieczorem będziecie czytać książkę.
  • Marek and Krzysiek will read a book tonight. = Dzisiaj wieczorem Marek i Krzysiek będą czytać książkę.
  • Anka and Marta will read a book tonight. = Dzisiaj wieczorem Anka i Marta będą czytać książkę.

As you see the forms of the third person singular are the same, and also the forms in the third person plural are the same. So, why did I want you to make the same sentences? I wanted to show you that the forms in this option, with the infinitive, are the same. But, as we will see in a few seconds, it’s not true for the second option.

So, let’s look at it. This structure is created with the verb “być” plus special past tense forms of the second verb, of the action verb. What is so special? The thing is that we take past tense forms of the 3-person singular or plural.

Do you remember that in the past we have masculine and feminine forms? Looks complicated, doesn't it? Let’s look at these forms. We will take the verb “grać” again as an example.

Do you remember the third person forms of “grać” in the past? Let’s review them.

  • In singular we have: masculine - on grał, feminine - ona grała, neuter - ono grało.
  • In plural the forms are: masculine personal - oni grali, others - one grały.

We also call this group “others” - “non masculine personal”. We put here everything that is not masculine personal. So, if we are talking to or about a human male, we use masculine or masculine personal. When we are talking about feminine in the singular form, we use feminine, when we are talking about neuter in the singular, we use neuter. But when we are talking about feminine, neuter or masculine objects in the plural we use this special form, non-masculine personal or others.

I hope it’s clear now. So now we can try to build these future forms. Let’s do it!




będę grał

będę grała

(będę grało)

będziesz grał 

będziesz grała

(będziesz grało)

będzie grał 

będzie grała

będzie grało

First, we will be using a masculine form: będę grał, będziesz grał, będzie grał.

Do you see the pattern here? The first part, the verb “być” is conjugated according to a person, it has just one gender form, we would say, these forms are unisex.

The second verb has this “special” past form, taken from the third person past. “Grał” is a masculine form in the singular in the singular past, so we can use it only when we are talking about masculine individuals. Once again: będę grał, będziesz grał, będzie grał.

  • Jutro będę grał w koszykówkę.
  • Jutro będziesz grał w tenisa.
  • Marek jutro będzie grał w piłkę nożną.

Now your turn! Let’s talk about reading a book. I will say a sentence in English, then I will make a pause for you to say it in Polish. Ready?

  • Tonight, I will be reading a book. = Dzisiaj wieczorem będę czytał książkę.
  • Tomorrow morning you will be reading a book. = Jutro rano będziesz czytał książkę.
  • Marek will be reading a novel. = Marek będzie czytał powieść.

Well done!

Let’s move to the feminine structure. The first part is the same. The second one is the feminine singular past form of “grać” which is “grała”. We receive the following forms: będę grała, będziesz grała, będzie grała. For example:

  • Będę jutro grała na pianinie.
  • Będziesz jutro grała na fortepianie.
  • Anka będzie jutro grała na gitarze.

Now your turn!

  • Tomorrow I will be playing cards. = Jutro będę grała w karty.
  • This afternoon you will be playing chess. = Dzisiaj po południu będziesz grała w szachy.
  • At six Anita will be playing basketball. = O szóstej Anita będzie grała w koszykówkę.


And lastly, we have a neuter gender, which grammatically has all the three forms: ja, ty, ono. But in reality, we use the third one, as we rather not talk to neuter individuals in daily life. But you may see these forms in poems. Anyway, let’s look at all the forms: będę grało, będziesz grało, będzie grało. And let’s have an example. As I said, only in the third person.

  • Moje dziecko jutro będzie grało w siatkówkę.

Now let’s look at the plural forms. As we already said, there are two grammatical genders in the past. So, we can create only two structures in the compound future.

masculine personal

non-masculine personal (others)

będziemy grali

będziemy grały

będziecie grali

będziecie grały

będą grali

będą grały

  • Będziemy grali, będziecie grali, będą grali. These forms are for masculine personal.
  • And for others we have: będziemy grały, będziecie grały, będą grały.

Let’s have some examples:

  • W niedzielę będziemy grali w tenisa.
  • A my w niedzielę będziemy grały w karty.
  • We wtorek będziecie grali w piłkę nożną.
  • A wy we wtorek będziecie grały w szachy.
  • Oni w środę będą grali w rugby.
  • A one w środę będą grały w siatkówkę.

Now your turn! This time let’s take the verb “oglądać” - to watch. First, masculine plural forms.

  • Tonight, we will be watching “Casa de papel”. = Dzisiaj wieczorem będziemy oglądali “Casa de papel”.
  • Tomorrow you will be watching your favorite series. = Jutro będziecie oglądali wasz ulubiony serial.
  • On Sunday they will be watching a match on TV. = W niedzielę oni będą oglądali mecz w telewizji.

Now let’s create some feminine forms.

  • Tonight, we will be watching “Casa de papel”. = Dzisiaj wieczorem będziemy oglądały “Casa de papel”.
  • Tomorrow you will be watching your favorites series. = Jutro będziecie oglądały wasz ulubiony serial.
  • On Sunday they will be watching a match on TV. = W niedzielę będą oglądały mecz w telewizji.

Well done!

There is one more thing to remember. This structure, with the past tense forms, not the one with the infinitive, it must be used to form the future of modal verbs. This group contains the verbs: mieć (to have), musieć (must), móc (can), chcieć (to want), potrafić (to be able to), umieć (to know), woleć (to prefer). This construction has to be used also with a verb of movement: iść (to go).

Let’s look as some examples:

  • Będę musiał coś z tym zrobić.

We can’t say: Będę musieć coś z tym zrobić.

(I will have to do something with it.)

  • Za rok będziesz mógł robić to, co będziesz chciał.

We can’t say: Za rok będziesz móc robić to, co będziesz chcieć.

(In a year you will be able to do whatever you want.)

I hope it’s clearer now if you can use “będę grać” or “będę grał”, and if you can use “będę musieć” or rather “będę musiał”.

I prepared plenty of exercises which will help you internalize and master this construction. You can download them as a pdf file for free from the website.

Czas przyszły złożony - Ćwiczenia i odpowiedzi (plik PDF)

And this was all for this episode of Podcast polski. I hope you liked it. If you liked it, just give a thumb here on You Tube or on the Facebook page of Podcast polski. And if you don’t want to miss any new episodes like us, follow us on Facebook and YouTube. You can also find us on Instagram.

You can also share this link with your friends, with someone who is learning Polish and wants to learn more, who wants to practice.

That’s all for this episode. Thank you very much for being with us. And see you soon!

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