There are 3 common words you’ll see when talking about years.
Rok – One year
Lat / Lata – Years (plural)
As with other numbers, there’s a special rule for when to use Lat and when to use Lata, which is connected to the Genitive (Dopełniacz) case, which I’ll explain in a moment. First though I’d like to point out where the word comes from, because once you know, you’ll remember it forever and that’s another free word in your memory!
The word for Summer in Polish, is Lato.
So when you’re counting in years, you’re actually counting in summers.
Lato is a neuter noun and since we’re dealing with counting, we’re going to be converting it to either :
|Lat||Genitive plural (Dopełniacz) for numbers greater than 5|
|Lata||Nominative plural (Mianownik) for numbers ending in 2, 3, 4 (but not 12, 13, 14)|
Masz 1 rok : You are 1 year old
Masz 2 lata : You are 2 years old
Masz 3 lata : You are 3 years old
Masz 4 lata : You are 4 years old
Masz 5 lat : You are 5 years old
Masz 12 lat : You are 12 years old
Masz 22 lata : You are 22 years old
Masz 25 lat : You are 25 years old
Or perhaps it would be easier to remember in this format :
|2, 3, 4||lata|
|5 – 21||lat|
|22, 23, 24||lata|
|25 – 31||lat|
|32, 33, 34||lata|
|x5 – x1||lat|
|x2, x3, x4||lata|