4es 6os While travelling on tram 4 or 6 along the Nagykörút (Big Ring) in Pest you will come across this public sign referring to inexpensive socialising places (pubs). To solve the riddle of the endings – AS/- ES/- OS/-ÖS, here is the explanation. Numbers have three forms, the cardinal numbers ONE = EGY converted into ordinal number FIRST = ELSŐ but there is third form, number converted into a noun EGYES – KETTES – HÁRMAS –NÉGYES – ÖTÖS – HATOS, most often behaving as an adjective followed by a noun: HATOS VILLAMOS – TRAM #6. So, the way you should read the sign is NÉGYES – HATOS referring to the tram lines. In the same way banknotes are called SZÁZAS, EZRES, ÖTEZRES, etc.

Whenever it comes to designating something by number you are supposed to use this form which implies the word ‘number’ i.e. #). For example: ÖTÖS SZÁMÚ VÁGÓHÍD was the translation of Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five.