Describing What You Like, Love, Adore and Prefer in Polish
Being able to explain the things you enjoy doing, the things you like, including your taste in food, clothes, travel and people - along with the things that you dislike - is a central skill to casual conversation and socialising the world over. In Polish, as in English, you can explain your hobbies and likes in a variety of ways, from the simple, sweet, 'I like', to the passionate 'I love' and the negated, harsh 'I hate'. Here, we will look at the sentence structures, vocabulary and associated grammar, for saying what it is you do like, and how you can express the varying degrees of this.
Lubię: How to say 'I like'
The Polish verb 'to like' in its infinitive form is 'lubić', and this is what we use to introduce something you like. Naturally, we will need to conjugate the verb to reflect the subject of the sentence and change the meaning to what it is we want to say (whether it's 'I like', 'you like', 'they like', etc). This is done by changing the ending of the verb as follows:
Lubić [infinitive]: Lubię (I like), lubisz (you like), on/ona lubi (he/she likes), lubimy (we like), lubicie (you [plural] like), oni/one lubią (they like).
'Lubię piłkę nożną' (I like football) and 'ona lubi psy' (she likes dogs), are two usage examples, which show how the noun in the sentence changes its ending when we use it with any form of 'lubić'. This happens because we’re using a 'transitive verb' (roughly speaking a verb which is directed at a particular object - my like is for football), and that requires us to put any following nouns and their associated adjectives into the accusative grammar case.
With the correct intonation (and this is the same as in English, usually a raised pitch towards the end of the sentence), these can also form questions: Lubisz piwo? (do you like beer), or 'ona lubi psy' (does she like dogs?) for example.
Kocham: How to say 'I love'
If you're really into something you may want to take it a step further and use the Polish verb Kochać (to love) instead. The various endings for this are as follows:
Kochać [infinitive]: Kocham (I love), kochasz (you love), on/ona kocha (he/she loves), kochamy (we love), kochacie (you [plural] love), oni/one kochają (they love).
Again, kochać is a transitive verb, which means we need to use the accusative case with any associated nouns and adjectives: Kocham czarną herbatę (I love black tea).
You can also use this to say 'I love you'. Just make the object of the sentence the reflexive pronoun 'Cie' (you) and use the accusative case: Kocham cię (I love you).
Uwielbiam: Saying 'you adore'
You can even go one step further and say you 'adore' something by using the verb uwielbiać, which again needs to have ending changes specific to the subject of the sentence. They are as follows:
Uwielbiać [infintive]: Uwielbiam (I adore), uwielbiasz (you adore), on/ona uwielbia (he/she adores), uwielbiamy (we adore), uwielbiacie (you [plural] adore), uwielbiają (they adore).
It's not third time lucky here either; the accusative case is still required for any associated nouns and adjectives: Uwielbiasz tego dużego psa (you adore that big dog).
Wolę: How to say 'I prefer'
Use the verb woleć (to prefer) to describe what it is you prefer: Kocham herbatę, ale wolę kawę (I love tea, but I prefer coffee). Again, there are a variety of endings for different sentence subjects (wolę/isz/i/imy/icie/ą) and you will still need to use the accusative case on nouns and adjectives.