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Easy way to remember kolacja

As the Tips and Notes indicate, "kolacja" is only translated as "dinner" in English because of the time of day it is eaten. It is not the main meal. We actually have such a word in English however: "collation: a light, informal meal." This makes the Polish word much easier to remember for me.

May 10, 2016



Hi! I'm a little bit confused by this. Normally, we learn in school that "dinner" is "obiad" (the main meal, eaten usually between 13:00 and 18:00) and that word "kolacja" (the last meal of the day) should be translated as "supper". Is that not correct? Am I living a lie? ;)


Not necessarily. A supper is a light evening meal. However, most of the English-speaking world has the main meal in the evening so that we have "lunch" around noon and "dinner" in the evening. That isn't true in the southern United States where the tradition is to have "dinner" at noon and "supper" in the evening, which seems to be the Polish tradition as well. So if you're not in the southern U.S., "supper" might sound a little strange but it would certainly be understood and to speak of "dinner" at noon would leave them a little confused.


This stumped me until i learnt the Polish have different meal times/amount/sizes


The obiad / kolacja debate is controversial. My polish wife argues "kolacja is a cold food and can be a sweet desert eaten in the evening, obiad is hot dinner what ever time it is eaten".


"obiad" is the main meal of the day and is eaten usually between 12pm and 18pm, "kolacja" is the last meal of the day eaten in the evening,


I can remember it because there are a lot of Czech speakers an hour away from where I live and there are a few famous places to get "kolaches"


when to use kolacja and kolacje????????


To jest kolacja, a na kolacje bedziemy jesc kanapki (this is a dinner, and for dinner we will eat sandwiches).

Mianowni (kto?co?): to jest kolacja (this is a dinner) Dopelniacz (kogo?czego?): nie ma kolacji( there is no dinner) Celownik (komu?czemu?): przygladam sie kolacji (I am looking at dinner) Biernik (kogo?co?): widze kolacje (I see dinner) Narzednik (z kim? z czym?) z kolacja (with dinner) Miejscownik (o kim? o czym?) o kolacji (about dinner) Wolacz (!) kolacjo ( dinner!)

forms of polish noons change depending how they are used in sentence (see grammar).


so kolacja is used before a certain time of day and kolacje is used for a different time??????????????????? If so then why is jem sniadanie i kolacje correct if one is breakfast and the other is dinner?


Everything here is about cases. "kolacja" is Nominative - it's the basic form of the noun, the one that you will find in dictionaries. "kolację" is Accusative - it's one of the most important cases, needed by a lot of common verbs, such as "widzieć" (to see): "On widzi kolację" or "jeść" (to eat): "Ja jem kolację".

If the notion of cases confuses you, take a look at this post and look at some links in the "Cases" section. They are absolutely crucial to Polish, without cases nothing makes sense.


Interesting way to remember it, but it sounds helpful! haha

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