Wysłuchaj mnie, proszę.


Can someone explain the difference between ‘wysłuchaj’ and ‘posłuchaj’. I think both versions of this verbs are imperative, urging the other person to listen to the speaker. But is there a difference between saying to someone ‘Posłuchaj mnie, proszę’ and ‘Wysłuchaj mnie, proszę’? Does the first version mean ‘Please, listen to me’, however the latter means ‘Hear me out, please?’ (in other words, let me finish speaking). The only reason I ask is that the prefix ‘wy-’ on a Polish verb usually suggests something moving outwards/leaving. Thanks.


You’ve hit the nail on the head, “wysłuchaj” is indeed equivalent to “hear me out”. “Posłuchaj” is more like “listen to me”, as in “give me your attention for a moment”.

You could also make this distinction in some other contexts. “Posłuchać płyty” means to give a CD (album) a quick listen, perhaps put it on in the background for 10 minutes. “Wysłuchać płyty” means to listen to it from the first track to the last while, and probably give it a lot of your attention.

Apart from leaving, the prefix “wy-” can also mean bringing some action to completion, or doing something thoroughly. For example, “wypić” means to drink something until not a single drop is left, while “wyczyścić” means to clean something until it’s squeaky clean.