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Fat Thursday – eat doughnuts and revise numerals in Polish

Tłusty czwartek

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”.

Jeden pączek

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

Pięć pączków

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:

56 pączków 

1239 pączków


However if in your combination are 2, 3 or 4 then you go back to the  rule with these numerals

42 pączki

93 paczki

674 pączki

UWAGA!  12 , 13 and 14 , although they contain 2, 3 and 4, they follow “5 and above rule”

12  pączków

113 pączków

2014 pączków

Let me illustrate this with the following table:

Now, let’s grab a pączek , bite and enjoy!



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