In Poland, on the last Thursday before Lent people celebrate what has become known as the Fat Thursday – tłusty czwartek. It is a traditional Christian feast associated with the celebration of Carnival. Traditionally we eat doughnuts, which are large deep fried pieces of especially rich dough, traditionally filled with rose petal jam and topped with powdered sugar, icing or glaze.
On this day long queues emerge near coffee shops and bakeries and supermarkets make lots of preparations for the “doughnut madness”.
While enjoying yummy doughnuts, let’s revise numerals.
The basic ,dictionary form of doughnut is pączek, let’s add one doughnut and it becomes jeden pączek. Jeden can vary in forms so as soon as I asked you how many doughnuts you ate and you were good and ate just one you will say zjadłem / zjadłam jednego pączka. After jeść we use the accusative case and pączek follows the rule for masculine animate nouns, hence zjadłam jednego pączka.
jeden pączek (Nominative)
Zjadłam jednego pączka (Accusative)
I ate one doughnut
Dwa, trzy i cztery pączki
Let’s get some more calories in…For numerals dwa (2) trzy (3) and cztery (4) apply the plural form of pączek – pączki. Again, in combination with my question about how many you have eaten, this time you have to use the accusative plural and the good news is that’s the same form as the basic nominative form.
dwa / trzy/ cztery pączki (Nominative)
Zjadłam dwa / trzy/ cztery pączki (Accusative)
I have eaten two/ three / four donuts
Five is a magic number in Polish and from there onwards you use the genitive case of the plural nouns and in this example the form is pączków (not always though, read until the end!)
Zjadłem pięć pączków
I have eaten five donuts
99 pączków i 103 pączki
The rule is that you use this form for any number above five and in combinations such as:
However if in your combination are 2, 3 or 4 then you go back to the rule with these numerals
UWAGA! 12 , 13 and 14 , although they contain 2, 3 and 4, they follow “5 and above rule”
Let me illustrate this with the following table:
Now, let’s grab a pączek , bite and enjoy!