Travel Verbs (by foot/by vehicle) - iść, jechać, chodzić, jeździć

Travel Verbs (by foot/by vehicle) - iść, jechać, chodzić, jeździć Table of contents

There are a few very important verbs that you should know when it comes to travelling. You use these verbs to say things like "I am going by train", or "I am going (by foot) to the park".

The Polish language has a few important concepts when it comes to this that you need to be aware of:

  • There are two main verbs for going by foot, and two main verbs for going by vehicle
  • By foot: iść, chodzić
  • By vehicle: jechać, jeździć
  • The reason for there being two versions for each is that one is used when it is happening right now or just once (I am going to the stadium, I went for the first time to the park). The other one is used when it is part of a usual routine (I always go to the restaurant, I never go to the park).
  • This is similar to the whole perfect/imperfective system that the Polish language has, but it has slightly different rules for these set of verbs so it isn't really the same. Just learn these separately! See below on our section on perf./imp. versions of these verbs.

When to use each verb:

once, right now (i am going... I went to the park) Part of regular routine, often, etc (I often go to the park, I go to the cinema (regularly), I have never been to the cinema)
Iść (by foot) / Jechać (by vehicle) Chodzić (by foot) / jeździć (by vehicle)

And to confuse things more - learn the perfect/imperfect version of those verbs!

  • To go by car/vehicle
    • Pojechać (perfect)
    • jechać (imperfect)
    • and then you also have jeździć, which is imperfect (only used in present, sometimes past tense)
  • To go by foot
    • Pójść - perfect
    • Iść - imperfect
    • chodzić is also imperfect, only exists in present tense (sometimes past))

Be sure to learn this too:

You should also read up on how to use 'na' or 'do' when using these verbs! See here.

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