How Old Are You?

Now that we’ve covered Polish numbers, it’s fairly straightforward to explain how to ask and answer ‘How old are you?‘.

In Poland, you have an age and the verb mieć (to have) is used (we learned how to conjugate this in Class 3 Verbs.)

The question is therefore ile masz lat? informally, meaning literally ‘how many years do you have?’. In the familiar third-person form used for making questions more formal (see introductions), an alternative is ile pan/pani ma lat?.

The question is answered with ‘I have X years’ – with one slight complication. Here are two examples:

Mam dwadzieścia siedem lat. I am 27 years old.
Mam trzydzieści cztery lata. I am 34 years old.

Notice that the first uses lat and the second, lata. To see which word you need to use, look at the last digit of the age and follow these rules:
Age ending with 2,3 or 4 lata
Age ending with any other number lat

The only exceptions are 12-14 which are lat and the number one (on its own). 1 year is not 1 lat or 1 lata, but 1 rok
The reason why lata (year) changes to lat has to do with cases (when quantifying things, the noun usually takes the genitive case for numbers except those ending 2, 3 or 4, in which case it takes the nominative). The cases are summarised here but we’ll be covering them all in more detail soon!
Elderly People Crossing

Read More

Learn Polish Numbers

The last few posts have explained how to, greet someone, introduce yourself and ask and answer ‘Where are you from?’ and ‘Where do you live?’ in the Polish language, as well as talk a little about things you love to do.

A natural next step in a conversation might be to ask someone’s age, but before doing that, we’ll need to learn Polish numbers. The table below gives you everything you need to count to 100. Note that forming, say, 37 is as easy as putting 30 and 7 together to make trzydzieści siedem.

0 zero 10 dziesięć 20 dwadzieścia
1 jeden 11 jedenaście 30 trzydzieści
2 dwa 12 dwanaście 40 czterdzieści
3 trzy 13 trzynaście 50 pięćdziesiąt
4 cztery 14 czternaście 60 sześćdziesiąt
5 pięć 15 piętnaście 70 siedemdziesiąt
6 sześć 16 szesnaście 80 osiemdziesiąt
7 siedem 17 siedemnaście 90 dziewięćdziesiąt
8 osiem 18 osiemnaście 100 sto
9 dziewięć 19 dziewiętnaście


The video below will help with the pronunciation of 1-10.

The two words most commonly confused when trying to learn Polish numbers are dziewięć (9) and dziesięć (10). Try to remember that all of the ‘tens’ – 10,20,30 etc. up to 90 all have a ś / si sound in them, just like 10.

Another thing to note is that when counting or numbering things in a series, the word raz (once) is often used instead of jeden.

Read More