"Moja mama ma trzydzieści trzy lata."

Translation:My mom is thirty-three years old.

April 19, 2016

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Why is 'lata' used here instead of 'lat'?


because the number ends with trzy.

(if the number ends with dwa(2), trzy(3), cztery(4)- numerals act like adjectives. (2,3,4,22, 23,24, 32,33,34,...102,103,104, 122,123,124...)

for all rest numbers, nouns act weird (nominative and accusative change to genitive)


Thank you for explaining. In Russian, nouns after 2,3, and 4 take genitive singular form, and nouns after 5 or above take genitive pleural form. I wonder if Polish is the same. I wish Polish Duo has more official teaching comments/explanations in each topic as in other languages.


It is not the same as Russian, but I guess the line between different cases is the same (2,3,4 vs 5,6,7,8,9)

Contributors are working on the Tips and Notes but it may take a while before anything new is added.

If you need to learn more about numerals I think this can help:


http://www.placedauphine.net/random/PolishGrammar.pdf page 47


I have a question. Do you know whether such complex system has any practical reason?


This second link is really useful, thx!

In that pdf, the first sentence of the "numerals" section sums it up very well: "The Polish numeral system strikes most people by its complexity"...


Hmmm many doubts:

lata is the nominative/acusative plural form of rok, ok? The genitive plural would be lat.

So, unlike Russian, trzy lata in this sentence are in the same case and that happens also with dwa and cztery. In Russian the numbers 2, 3 and 4 are always followed by genitive singular... This rule seems not to exist in Polish, if I understood well.


Yes, I remember learning that in Russian and thinking "eeee... what? singular? what?". Although on the other hand "pięć kaczek" (five ducks) is grammatically singular, it would take a singular form of a verb (Pięć kaczek je kanapki), so maybe I shouldn't be that surprised.

In Polish after 2/3/4 you use the Accusative form, Accusative plural.


I know there's a system n all but it all takes the illogical form at the moment! Maybe one day I'll get it....


What do you mean by "the illogical form"?

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