Periods of life


I get on with my younger brother quite well but I wish he would come up to school age. Although he is not an infant anymore, he is still a toddler who cannot play football or surf the Net. He is a two-year-old child who has to grow up to be a good company for his older brother.


The life of a teenager is not easy. Youth is wonderful but as long as I am under age I have to obey my parents’ decisions. I try to discuss my future with them but they keep on saying I am still a minor and I do not know what is good for me. When I get angry they claim it is because of the difficult time of puberty.

Being an adult

My older sister is in her twenties and she has already set up a family. She gave birth to a baby girl last week. She was extremely irritable during her pregnancy so we are glad that the difficult time is over. My mum is happy to be a grandmother. She is in her prime and she looks extremely young for her age. She has never shown any signs of mid-life crisis. It is a pity she has not reached retirement age yet as she cannot help my sister take care of the baby. I am seventeen so I believe I am responsible and mature enough to babysit for my sister when she wants to go out with her husband?



Childhood – dzieciństwo

  • newborn baby – noworodek
  • baby – niemowlak
  • infant – niemowlak, małe dziecko
  • infancy – okres niemowlęcy, wczesne dzieciństwo
  • toddler – dziecko dopiero uczące się chodzić, szkrab, malec
  • two-year-old child – dwulatek
  • child – dziecko
  • kid – dzieciak (potocznie)
  • to grow – rosnąć
  • to come up to school age – dojść do wieku szkolnego

Adolescence – wiek dojrzewania

  • teenager/ adolescent – nastolatek
  • puberty – dojrzewanie
  • to be under age – być osobą niepełnoletnim
  • youth – młodość
  • to grow up – dorastać
  • to mature – dojrzewać
  • juvenile – młodociany
  • minor – nieletni

Being an adult – dorosłość

  • mature – dojrzały
  • maturity – dojrzałość
  • adult, grown-up – dorosły
  • to reach majority – osiągnąć pełnoletność
  • to be of age – być osobą pełnoletnią
  • to come of age – osiągnąć pełnoletność
  • to set up a family – założyć rodzinę
  • to get pregnant – zajść w ciążę
  • pregnancy – ciąża
  • to expect a baby – spodziewać się dziecka
  • to give birth to a baby girl – urodzić córeczkę
  • to bring up a child – wychowywać dziecko
  • to be in one’s prime – być w kwiecie wieku
  • mid-life crisis – kryzys wieku średniego
  • to get old – starzeć się
  • to look young for one’s age – wyglądać młodo jak na swój wiek
  • to reach retirement age – osiągnąć wiek emerytalny
  • old age pensioner, retired person, senior citizen – emeryt
  • to be in one’s twenties, thirties etc. – być w wieku 20, 30 lat
  • She is in her early forties. – Ona ma około 40-43 lat.
  • He is in his mid fifties. – On ma około 54 – 56 lat.
  • They are in their late teens. – Oni mają około 17 – 19 lat.



I have a very big family. We meet once a year to celebrate my grandma’s birthday. All my relations: aunts, uncles and cousins sit together at a long table. Everybody tries to be kind and polite even if they do not like one another. My father finds it difficult not to quarrel with his brother-in law so he usually takes his seat between my great grandfather and my brother in order to be as far from his opponent as possible. Mum always has a headache because her nieces and nephews are extremely noisy but she never complains as she does not want to spoil the good atmosphere of a family meeting. She is a godmother of one of the four-years-old twins and she always buys beautiful presents for him.


  • parents – rodzice
  • mother – matka
  • mum – mama
  • stepmother – macocha
  • stepsister – córka ojczyma, macochy
  • father – ojciec
  • dad – tata
  • stepfather – ojczym
  • stepbrother – syn ojczyma, ­macochy
  • stepson, stepsister – pasierb, pasierbica
  • daughter – córka
  • son – syn
  • grandparents – dziadkowie
  • grandmother/ grandma – babcia
  • grandfather/ grandpa – dziadek
  • grandchild – wnuk/ wnuczka
  • great-grandmother – prababka
  • great-grandfather – pradziadek
  • sister – siostra
  • half-sister – siostra przyrodnia
  • brother – brat
  • half-brother – brat przyrodni
  • twin – bliźniak
  • twin brother/ sister – brat bliźniak, siostra bliźniaczka
  • only child – jedynak
  • aunt – ciotka
  • uncle – wujek
  • niece – siostrzenica, bratanica
  • nephew – siostrzeniec, bratanek
  • cousin – kuzyn
  • daughter-in-law – synowa
  • son-in-law – zięć
  • mother-in-law – teściowa
  • father-in-law – teść
  • sister-in-law – szwagierka
  • brother-in-law – szwagier
  • godmother – matka chrzestna
  • godfather – ojciec chrzestny
  • godchild – chrześniak
  • relations, relatives – krewni
  • close relation – bliski krewny
  • close family – bliska rodzina
  • distant relation – daleki krewny
  • orphan – sierota
  • the family tree – drzewo genealogiczne
  • a family reunion – zjazd rodzinny
  • motherhood – macierzyństwo
  • fatherhood – ojcostwo



In the morning

I hate mornings. Mum wakes me at half past six but I usually stay in bed half an hour longer. I get up at seven o’clock so I have to hurry up to be at school on time. I wash, clean my teeth and comb my hair. Then I get dressed and drink two cups of coffee. I do not have time to have a decent breakfast because I have to leave the house at half past seven.

in the morning – rano

  • to wake up – obudzić się
  • to get up – wstawać
  • to go to the loo – iść do toalety
  • to have a wash – myć się
  • to brush one’s teeth – czyścić zęby
  • to comb, to brush one’s hair – czesać się, szczotkować włosy
  • to have a shave – golić się
  • to get dressed – ubrać się
  • to have breakfast – jeść śniadanie
  • to drink coffee – pić kawę
  • to leave the house – wyjść z domu
  • to go to school – iść do szkoły


My parents say I should study a lot so I have very few chores to do at home. I make the bed, tidy my room and water the plants. My sister has to wash up, dust and do some ironing. The rest is done by my parents. Mum cleans up the flat, cooks and does the washing. Dad does the shopping on his way home from work.

housework – prace domowe

  • to clean up a flat – posprzątać mieszkanie
  • to clean – sprzątać, czyścić
  • to tidy (up) – sprzątać, porządkować
  • to sweep (the floor) – zamiatać (podłogę)
  • to dust (the shelves) – ścierać kurz (z półek)
  • to polish (silver) – polerować (srebra)
  • to scrub (the floor) – szorować (podłogę)
  • to vacuum, to hoover – odkurzać
  • to air (the room) – wietrzyć (pokój)
  • to make the bed – pościelić łóżko
  • to wash up – myć naczynia
  • to cook – gotować
  • to do the shopping – robić zakupy
  • to wash, to do the laundry – prać
  • to iron (a shirt) – prasować (koszulę)
  • to water the plants – podlewać kwiaty

In the afternoon/ evening

I have not much free time during the week. I come back home at five o’clock. I have dinner and rest for half an hour before I start doing my homework. Then I walk my dog, watch TV or read a book. I hardly ever go out as I have to get up really early. I have a bath or take a shower at 10 p.m. and go to bed half an hour later. I fall asleep the moment my head hits the pillow.

in the afternoon/ evening – po południu/ wieczorem

  • to have dinner – zjeść obiad
  • to do one’s homework – odrobić pracę domową
  • to rest – odpoczywać
  • to have/ to take a nap – zdrzemnąć się
  • to walk the dog – wyprowadzić psa
  • to do the gardening – pracować w ogrodzie
  • to have a bath – kąpać się
  • to take a shower – wziąć prysznic
  • to wash one’s hair – myć włosy
  • to undress – rozebrać się
  • to set the alarm clock – nastawić budzik
  • to go to bed – iść spać
  • to fall asleep – zasnąć


Mark, I have two tickets to the theatre for Saturday evening and I hope you will go with me. I think you spend too much time at home. Your mum says you play computer games or surf the Internet all days. You should go out more often and do some sports. What about going swimming or roller-skating on Sunday? We could also play chess and listen to my new CDs after that.


I really need a new hobby. I used to collect stamps, postcards and coins but I got bored with it and I gave my collection to my younger brother. I am interested in art so I considered collecting works of art and antiques but it turned out to be too expensive. I also wanted to take up painting or drawing but I am not talented enough to be any good at it. Mum advises me to start knitting, embroidery or sewing as it is a useful hobby which requires a lot of patience. However, this idea does not seem appealing to me. I think I will try DIY or modelling although it is said to be a rather unusual hobby for girls.

leisure – wolny czas

  • to read books, magazines, newspapers – czytać książki, czasopisma, gazety
  • to watch TV – oglądać telewizję
  • to watch a video – oglądać film na wideo
  • to go to the cinema – iść do kina
  • to go to the theatre – iść do teatru
  • to listen to music – słuchać muzyki
  • to listen to the radio – słuchać radia
  • to go to a club – iść do klubu
  • to go to a disco – iść na dyskotekę
  • to play computer games – grać w gry komputerowe
  • to surf the Internet – surfować po internecie
  • to play cards – grać w karty
  • to play chess – grać w szachy
  • to do sport – uprawiać sport
  • to go swimming – uprawiać pływanie
  • roller-skating – jazda na rolkach

hobby – hobby

  • painting – malowanie
  • drawing – rysowanie
  • photography – fotografowanie
  • dancing – taniec
  • pottery – ceramika
  • DIY (do-it-yourself) – majsterkowanie
  • modelling – modelarstwo
  • knitting – robienie na drutach
  • embroidery – haftowanie
  • sewing – szycie
  • to collect – zbierać, kolekcjonować
    • stamps – znaczki
    • postcards – widokówki
    • coins – monety
    • car models – modele samochodów
    • autographs – autografy
    • ornaments – bibeloty
    • antiques – antyki
    • works of art – dzieła sztuki


Family celebrations

We have had a lot of family celebrations this year. In January my baby brother was christened. Two weeks later my seven-year-old niece had her Holy Communion. Then all my family gathered to celebrate my grandma’s ninetieth birthday. In February my parents had their wedding anniversary and it is our family tradition to spend it in the mountains.

family celebrations – uroczystości rodzinne

  • christening, baptism – chrzest
  • birthday – urodziny
  • Holy Communion – Pierwsza Komunia Święta
  • wedding anniversary – rocznica ślubu
  • to celebrate – obchodzić, świętować
  • tradition – tradycja
  • custom – zwyczaj, obrzęd


My cousin Mary is finally getting married in May. It has been the longest engagement I have ever heard of. Mary’s fiancé proposed to her three years ago. She accepted his proposal but they decided to wait with the wedding until they graduate from university.

I went to a wedding last Saturday. My brother was getting married and he asked me to be his best man. The bride looked beautiful in her silk wedding dress and a long veil. The groom looked very handsome too. The ceremony took place in a small, wooden church. The atmosphere was great and the moment of exchanging wedding rings was really touching. After the church ceremony everybody was invited to the reception. First the bride threw her wedding bouquet but I did not manage to catch it. Then we danced, drank and ate until the newlyweds set off for their honeymoon.

wedding – ślub

  • fiancée – narzeczona
  • fiancé – narzeczony
  • to propose to sb – oświadczyć się
  • proposal – oświadczyny
  • engagement – zaręczyny
  • engaged – zaręczony
  • to get married – pobrać się
  • marriage – małżeństwo
  • bride – panna młoda
  • (bride) groom – pan młody
  • newlyweds – nowożeńcy
  • wife – żona
  • husband – mąż
  • bridesmaid – druhna
  • best man – dróżba
  • wedding dress – suknia ślubna
  • wedding bouquet – bukiet ślubny
  • veil – welon
  • wedding ring – obrączka
  • wedding reception – przyjęcie weselne
  • honeymoon – miesiąc miodowy
  • separation – separacja
  • divorce – rozwód
  • divorced – rozwiedziony
  • an ex-wife – była żona
  • to get custody of one’s child – otrzymać prawo opieki nad dzieckiem (po rozwodzie)
  • to remarry – ponownie zawrzeć związek małżeński

Church holidays

The most important Church holiday is Easter. The preparation for this event is called Lent which starts with Ash Wednesday. However, the most popular holidays are Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Everybody in Poland celebrates also All Saints and All Souls Days. It is the time of contemplation and memorising those who are no longer with us. Other important religious holidays in Poland are Corpus Christi and Assumption Day.

church holidays – święta kościelne

  • Palm Sunday – Niedziela Palmowa
  • Epiphany – Trzech Króli
  • Ash Wednesday – środa popielcowa (Popielec)
  • Whitsun, Pentecost – Zielone Świątki
  • Corpus Christi – Boże Ciało
  • Assumption Day – Wniebowzięcie
  • All Saints Day – Wszystkich Świętych
  • All Souls Day – Zaduszki
  • New Year’s Eve – wieczór sylwestrowy
  • New Year – Nowy Rok
  • Advent – adwent
  • Shrove Tuesday – wtorek przed Wielkim Postem
  • Lent – Wielki Post


Traditional Polish Christmas dishes

Christmas is the most popular family holiday in Poland, Britain and many other countries all over the world. The most important rituals are celebrated on Christmas Eve. When the first star appears, people take seats at the table, leaving an empty place for an unexpected guest. Before they start eating, they share the holy wafer. The number of courses is strictly established, but it varies in different regions of Poland. The most popular dishes are: beetroot soup, ravioli stuffed with mushrooms and cabbage, noodles with poppy seed, carp and herring. Dessert consists of poppyseed cake, gingerbread and cheesecake.
After the Christmas Eve Supper everybody is allowed to unwrap presents, which are placed under the Christmas tree. Later, the family gather around the tree and sing the carols.
In Britain people also sing carols and get presents. On Christmas Eve children hang up a Christmas stocking on the fireplace or at the foot of their bed for Santa Claus to fill. All gifts are opened in the morning on Christmas Day.

Christmas – Boże Narodzenie

  • Christmas Eve – Wigilia Bożego Naradzenia
  • Christmas Day – pierwszy dzień świąt Bożego Narodzenia
  • Boxing Day – drugi dzień świąt Bożego Narodzenia
  • Christmas tree – choinka
  • to decorate the Christmas tree – przystroić choinkę
  • to share a wafer – dzielić się opłatkiem
  • to leave an empty chair for an absent family member – pozostawić puste miejsce przy stole wigilijnym dla nieobecnych krewnych
  • to sing carols – śpiewać kolędy
  • Christmas Eve midnight mass – pasterka
  • to send/ receive Christmas cards – wysyłać/ otrzymywać kartki świąteczne
  • Santa Claus, Father Christmas – Święty Mikołaj
  • reindeer – renifer
  • fairy lights – kolorowe światełka na choinkę
  • to kiss under the mistletoe – pocałować się pod jemiołą
  • to unwrap a present – rozpakować prezent
  • nativity play – jasełka
  • to hang up Christmas stocking – powiesić długą skarpetę na prezenty
  • to build a snowman – ulepić bałwana
  • to put up Christmas decorations – udekorować dom z okazji Bożego Narodzenia
  • Christmas Eve supper – wieczerza wigilijna
  • twelve courses – dwanaście potraw

Traditional Polish Christmas dishes – tradycyjne polskie

potrawy wigilijne

  • beetroot soup – czerwony barszcz
  • mushroom soup – zupa grzybowa
  • carp – karp
  • herring – śledź
  • ravioli stuffed with mushrooms and cabbage – uszka z grzybami i kapustą
  • poppyseed cake – makowiec
  • cheesecake – sernik
  • gingerbread – piernik
  • boiled wheat with poppy seeds and honey – kutia


I spent last Easter in the mountains. We went there on Good Friday and stayed till Monday afternoon. It was really great to observe local customs and traditions there. On Saturday morning we prepared a basket. We put painted eggs, some bread, salt, Easter lamb and Easter Bunny into it and went to church to have the food blessed.

Easter – Wielkanoc

  • Good Friday – Wielki Piątek
  • Easter Sunday – Niedziela Wielkanocna
  • Resurrection – Zmartwychwstanie
  • to paint eggs – malować jajka
  • to bless food – poświęcić potrawy
  • Easter lamb – baranek wielkanocny
  • Easter Bunny – zajączek wielkanocny
  • Easter Egg – czekoladowe jajko wielkanocne



In my opinion people have forgotten how to enjoy life. They lead a hectic lifestyle as work has become a priority for them. They are overworked, suffer from stress and have not enough time to rest and relax. I think they should adopt a healthier lifestyle, start thinking positively and find more time for family and entertainment. If they are more optimistic, they will not lose a feeling of happiness in their lives.

lifestyle – styl życia

  • priority – priorytet, pierwszeństwo
  • to be socially active – być aktywnym społecznie
  • to live too fast – żyć za szybko
  • to lead a hectic lifestyle – żyć w szalonym tempie, być zabieganym
  • to suffer from stress – cierpieć z powodu stresu
  • to adopt a healthy lifestyle – przyjąć zdrowy tryb życia
  • to enjoy life – cieszyć się życiem
  • to think positively – myśleć pozytywnie
  • optimist – optymista
  • feeling of happiness – uczucie szczęścia
  • to be a born pessimist – być urodzonym pesymistą
  • healthy lifestyle – zdrowy tryb życia
  • well-balanced diet – wyważona dieta


A lot of people who desperately want to satisfy the needs of their families spend more and more time at work. They do not notice the moment when they become workaholics and their career turns out to be more important than their family. Although they are overworked and worn out, they say they do not need a holiday. A stressful lifestyle they lead can easily ruin their family lives.

career – kariera

  • to satisfy one’s needs – zaspokajać swoje potrzeby
  • to be promoted – awansować
  • to share responsibilities with sb – dzielić z kimś obowiązki
  • workaholic – pracoholik
  • exhausted – wyczerpany
  • overworked – przepracowany
  • totally worn out – skrajnie wyczerpany
  • to cope with sth – poradzić sobie
  • stressful lifestyle – stresujący styl życia


The life of a celebrity is not always as glamorous as we tend to imagine. The cost of fame is sometimes very high. Famous people are in the spot light all the time so they have to give up privacy and they live under constant pressure. Nosy paparazzi make their lives so difficult that they start to wish they were ordinary people again.

fame – sława

  • to give up privacy – zrezygnować z prywatności
  • to live under pressure – żyć pod napięciem
  • celebrity – znana osobistość, sława
  • ordinary people – zwykli ludzie
  • glamorous – olśniewający
  • to be recognised – być rozpoznawanym
  • privileges – przywileje
  • to be in the spotlight – być w centrum uwagi
  • tabloid – brukowiec
  • nosy – wścibski
  • sensational – sensacyjny



Generation gap

The problem of generation gap is as old as the hills and it results from the inability of the younger and the older generation to understand each other. It is especially strong during the period of adolescence when teenagers want to be more independent and look for their own identity. Nevertheless, they are not self-sufficient and their parents want to influence their choices. As long as they are under age, they need their parents’ consent. Teenagers would like to be equal partners and begin to rebel against limits set by their parents. They start to answer back to adults, fly into a rage easily, quarrel a lot and in extreme cases run away from home.

generation gap – konflikt pokoleń

  • one’s own identity – własna tożsamość
  • independence – niezależność
  • self-sufficient – samowystarczalny
  • to make choices – dokonywać wyborów
  • values – wartości
  • inability – niemożność
  • to fly into a rage – wpaść we wściekłość
  • support – wsparcie
  • relationship – stosunki
  • an equal partner – równy partner
  • to run away from home – uciec z domu
  • discussion – dyskusja
  • family row – kłótnia rodzinna
  • to quarrel – kłócić się
  • argument – kłótnia, sprzeczka
  • to argue – kłócić się, sprzeczać
  • to fall out with sb – poróżnić się z kimś
  • to go one’s separate ways – rozstać się, iść każdy w swoją stronę
  • rebel – buntownik
  • to rebel against sth – buntować się przeciwko czemuś
  • to get on well with one’s parents – dobrze żyć z rodzicami
  • parents’ consent – zgoda rodziców
  • to set limits – ustalić granice
  • to scold sb, to tell sb off – besztać kogoś, okrzyczeć
  • to answer sb back – odzywać się niegrzecznie do kogoś, odszczekiwać się
  • rebellion – bunt
  • rebellious, disobedient – nieposłuszny
  • to get on sb’s nerves – grać komuś na nerwach


Alcoholism is a tragedy not only for an addict but also for his family. It is a shameful and embarrassing addiction which can ruin family life. Alcohol abuse has disastrous results for the health. It damages one’s liver, brain and heart and it has extremely bad psychological effect. It is extraordinarily difficult to give up drinking without a professional help. Fortunately, there exist anti-alcohol centres and self-help groups in every bigger city. Before an alcohol addict becomes an absolute teetotaller he should undergo therapy and work hard on his character.

alcoholism – alkoholizm

  • alcoholic – alkoholik, alkoholiczka
  • to be addicted to sth – być uzależnionym od czegoś
  • addict – osoba uzależniona
  • alcohol abuse – nadużywanie alkoholu
  • weakness – słabość
  • treatment – leczenie
  • disastrous results – zgubne, katastrofalne skutki
  • to damage one’s liver – uszkodzić wątrobę
  • shameful – haniebny
  • embarrassing – krępujący, wprawiający w zakłopotanie
  • to give up drinking – rzucić picie
  • self-help group – grupa samopomocy
  • anti-alcohol centre – centrum antyalkoholowe
  • teetotaller – abstynent
  • to undergo therapy – poddać się terapii

Domestic violence

We are planning to organise a wild-scale campaign against domestic violence. We want to defend battered wives and mistreated children who rarely report the acts of violence to the police. They keep it secret because of fear and shame. Children from the families where cruelty and humiliation take place suffer from trauma all their lives. It is high time someone spoke for the rights of the abused and ill-treated. There is a great difference between smacking a child and beating him up.

domestic violence – przemoc w rodzinie

  • acts of violence – akty przemocy
  • maltreatment – maltretowanie
  • to beat sb up – pobić kogoś
  • to ill-treat, mistreat – źle traktować, znęcać się
  • to abuse sb – prześladować kogoś, maltretować, także: wykorzystywać seksualnie
  • cruelty – okrucieństwo
  • fear – strach
  • shame – wstyd
  • humiliation – poniżenie
  • punish – karać
  • smack – dać klapsa
  • bruises – siniaki
  • dignity – godność
  • to report sth to the police – zgłosić coś na policję
  • defend – bronić
  • battered wife – maltretowana żona
  • trauma – stres, uraz


A divorce is always a painful experience both for adults who decide to split up and for children who observe their family disintegrate. There are a lot of cases when one of the couple neglects his or her family or commits adultery. His or her partner finds it difficult to put up with this situation and files for divorce. The matters get worse when the custody battle starts. The children suffer because only one parent is awarded custody of them. The other one can usually see them from time to time and he or she has to pay alimony.

divorce – rozwód

  • disintegrate – rozpadać się
  • to split up – rozstać się, zerwać
  • to demand a divorce – żądać rozwodu
  • to file for divorce – złożyć pozew o rozwód
  • unfaithful – niewierny
  • unfaithfulness – niewierność
  • affair – romans
  • to commit adultery – dopuścić się zdrady pozamałżeńskiej
  • to neglect one’s family – zaniedbywać rodzinę
  • to abandon sb – porzucić, opuścić kogoś
  • in court – w sądzie
  • legal reason – powód prawny
  • family duties – obowiązki rodzinne
  • painful experience – bolesne doświadczenie
  • to suffer – cierpieć
  • to put up with sth – wytrzymywać, znosić coś
  • to pay alimony – płacić alimenty
  • to be awarded custody of children – otrzymać prawo opieki nad dziećmi
  • custody battle – walka o prawo opieki nad dzieckiem


It is really sad that there are so many children in orphanages waiting for adoption. The situation seems a bit ‘better’ when the mother puts the baby up for adoption soon after the delivery. In such case it is easier to find foster parents for the infant so that he or she will not suffer from emotional deprivation in the future. There are a lot of childless couples who want to become adoptive parents. Nevertheless, the procedure is long and complicated. Before somebody becomes a legal guardian, the court has to give its decision and parents have to relinquish their parental rights.

adoption – adopcja

  • legal guardian – prawny opiekun
  • childless couple – bezdzietna para
  • to put the baby up for adoption – oddać dziecko do adopcji
  • to abandon a child – porzucić dziecko
  • orphan – sierota
  • orphanage – sierociniec
  • foster parents – rodzice zastępczy
  • adoptive parents – rodzice adopcyjni
  • emotional deprivation – niedostatek uczuć
  • disabled child – dziecko niepełnosprawne
  • retarded, mentally handicapped – upośledzone
  • to relinquish one’s parental rights – zrzec się praw rodzicielskich