In Russian grammar, the system of declension is elaborate and complex. Nouns, pronouns, adjectives, demonstratives, most numerals and other particles are declined for two grammatical numbers (singular and plural) and six grammatical cases (see below); some of these parts of speech in the singular are also declined by three grammatical genders (masculine, feminine and neuter). This gives many spelling combinations for most of the words, which is needed for grammatical agreement within and (often) outside the proposition. Also, there are several paradigms for each declension with numerous irregular forms.

Russian is more conservative in its declensions than many other modern Indo-European languages (English, for example, has almost no declensions remaining in the language).


Nominal declension is subject to six casesnominative, accusative, genitive, prepositional, dative, instrumental – in two numbers (singular and plural), and absolutely obeying grammatical gender (masculine, feminine, and neuter). Up to ten additional cases are identified in linguistics textbooks,[1][2][3] although all of them are either incomplete (do not apply to all nouns) or degenerate (appear identical to one of the six simple cases). The most recognized additional cases are locative (в лесу́, на мосту́, в крови́ — in the forest, on the bridge, in (the) blood), partitive (ча́ю, са́хару, коньяку́ — (some) tea, sugar, cognac), and several forms of vocative (Го́споди, Бо́же, о́тче — (O) Lord, God, father). The adjectives, pronouns, and the first two cardinal numbers further vary by gender. Old Russian also had a third number, the dual, but it has been lost except for its use in the nominative and accusative cases with the numbers two, three and four (e.g. два стула [dvɐ ˈstulə], "two chairs", now reanalyzed as genitive singular).

Russian noun cases often replace the usage of prepositions in other Indo-European languages.[4] Their usage can be summarised as:

There are no articles, neither definite nor indefinite (such as the, a, an in English), in the Russian language. The sense of a noun is determined from the context in which it appears. That said, there are some means of expressing whether a noun is definite or indefinite. They are:

The category of animacy is relevant in Russian nominal and adjectival declension.[5][6] Specifically, the accusative has two possible forms in many paradigms, depending on the animacy of the referent. For animate referents (sentient species, some animals, professions and occupations), the accusative form is generally identical to the genitive form (genitive-accusative syncretism). For inanimate referents (simple lifeforms, objects, states, notions), the accusative form is identical to the nominative form (nominative-accusative syncretism). This principle is relevant for masculine singular nouns of the second declension (see below) and adjectives, and for all plural paradigms (with no gender distinction). In the tables below, this behavior is indicated by the abbreviation N or G in the row corresponding to the accusative case.

In Russian there are three declensions:

There is also a group of several irregular "different-declension nouns" (Russian: разносклоня́емые существи́тельные), consisting of a few neuter nouns ending in -мя (e.g. вре́мя "time") and one masculine noun путь "way". However, these nouns and their forms have sufficient similarity with feminine third declension nouns that some scholars such as Litnevskaya[7] consider them to be non-feminine forms of this declension, as written in the tables below.

Nouns ending with -ий, -ия, -ие (not to be confused with substantivated adjectives) are written with -ии instead of -ие in Prepositional: тече́ниев ни́жнем тече́нии реки́ "streaming – in lower streaming of a river". (As none of these endings are ever stressed, due to vowel reduction the pronunciation difference between -ие and -ии may be hardly noticeable in fluent speech.) But if the words в течение and в продолжение are representing compound prepositions meaning "while, during the time of", they are written with -е: в тече́ние ча́са "in the course of an hour". For nouns ending in -ья, -ье, or -ьё, using -ьи in the Prepositional (where endings of some of them are stressed) is usually erroneous, but in poetic speech it may be acceptable (as we replace -ии with -ьи for metric or rhyming purposes): Весь день она́ лежа́ла в забытьи́ (F. Tyutchev).

First declension

The first declension group belongs to nouns with the ending -а and -я. These nouns are typically feminine, but include masculine nouns that have a feminine ending as well.[8]

Singular Plural
Nominative -ия 1 -ии
Accusative -ию N or G
Genitive 1 -ии -ий
Prepositional -ах -ях -иях
Dative -ам -ям -иям
Instrumental -ой2 -ей3 -ией -ами -ями -иями
  1. After a sibilant (ж, ч, ш, щ) or a velar (г, к, or х) consonant, и is written.
  2. After a sibilant, о is written when stressed; е when unstressed.
  3. After a soft consonant, ё is written when stressed; е when unstressed.

Examples: рабо́та – a work/job, ба́ня – a bathhouse, кни́га – a book, ли́ния – a line

Note: In the instrumental case, -ою and -ею instead of -ой and -ей endings may be encountered in the singular.

Singular Plural
Nominative рабо́та ба́ня кни́га ли́ния рабо́ты ба́ни кни́ги ли́нии
Accusative рабо́ту ба́ню кни́гу ли́нию
Genitive рабо́ты ба́ни кни́ги ли́нии рабо́т ба́нь книг ли́ний
Prepositional рабо́те ба́не кни́ге рабо́тах ба́нях кни́гах ли́ниях
Dative рабо́там ба́ням кни́гам ли́ниям
Instrumental рабо́той ба́ней кни́гой ли́нией рабо́тами ба́нями кни́гами ли́ниями

Second declension – masculine nouns

Nouns ending in a consonant are marked in the following table with – (thus no ending).

Singular Plural
Nominative -ий 1 -ии
Accusative N or G N or G
Genitive -ия -ов2 -ей -ев3 -иев
Prepositional -ии -ах -ях -иях
Dative -ию -ам -ям -иям
Instrumental -ом4 -ем3 -ием -ами -ями -иями


  1. After a sibilant (ж, ч, ш, щ)[9] or a velar (г, к, or х) consonant, и is written, or, for some words, а (глазглаза, доктордоктора, etc.).
  2. After a sibilant, ей is written.
  3. After a soft consonant, ё is written when stressed; е when unstressed.
  4. After a sibilant, о is written when stressed; е when unstressed.

Examples: фильм – a film/movie, писа́тель – a writer, геро́й – a hero, коммента́рий – a comment

Singular Plural
Nominative фи́льм писа́тель геро́й коммента́рий фи́льмы писа́тели геро́и коммента́рии
Accusative писа́теля геро́я писа́телей геро́ев
Genitive фи́льма коммента́рия фи́льмов коммента́риев
Prepositional фи́льме писа́теле геро́е коммента́рии фи́льмах писа́телях геро́ях коммента́риях
Dative фи́льму писа́телю геро́ю коммента́рию фи́льмам писа́телям геро́ям коммента́риям
Instrumental фи́льмом писа́телем геро́ем коммента́рием фи́льмами писа́телями геро́ями коммента́риями

Second declension – neuter nouns

Nouns ending in -о and -е are neuter.[10]

Singular Plural
Nominative 1 2
Accusative N or G
Genitive / -ей4
Prepositional 3 -ах -ях
Dative -ам -ям
Instrumental -ом1 -ем2 -ами -ями
  1. After a sibilant, о is written when stressed; е when unstressed.
  2. After a soft consonant, ё is written when stressed; е when unstressed.
  3. For nouns ending in ие in the nominative singular, и is written (but е when stressed — for the word остриё).
  4. After a consonant use ей otherwise use й.
  5. Also: some masculine nouns ending in in the nominative singular (доми́шко, diminutive from дом 'house'); there is only one masculine noun ending in in this declension: подмасте́рье.

Examples ме́сто – a place, мо́ре – a sea, зда́ние – a building

Singular Plural
Nominative ме́сто мо́ре зда́ние места́ моря́ зда́ния
Genitive ме́ста мо́ря зда́ния мест море́й зда́ний
Prepositional ме́сте мо́ре зда́нии места́х моря́х зда́ниях
Dative ме́сту мо́рю зда́нию места́м моря́м зда́ниям
Instrumental ме́стом мо́рем зда́нием места́ми моря́ми зда́ниями

Third declension

The third declension is for predominantly feminine nouns, without a specific termination as listed in the above tables.

Singular Plural
Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine
Nominative -мя дитя́ путь -мена де́ти пути́
Accusative N or G дете́й
Genitive -мени дитя́ти пути́ -ей -мён(-мян) путе́й
Prepositional -ях1 -менах де́тях путя́х
Dative -ям1 -менам де́тям путя́м
Instrumental -ью -менем дитя́тей путём -я́ми1 (ьми́) -менами детьми́ путя́ми
  1. After a sibilant, а is written.

Examples: кость (f) – a bone, мышь (f) – a mouse, и́мя (n) – a name

Singular Plural
Nominative ко́сть мы́шь и́мя ко́сти мы́ши имена́
Accusative мыше́й
Genitive ко́сти мы́ши и́мени косте́й имён
Prepositional костя́х мыша́х имена́х
Dative костя́м мыша́м имена́м
Instrumental ко́стью мы́шью и́менем костя́ми мыша́ми имена́ми

Irregular plural forms

There are various kinds of irregularities in forming plurals. Some words have an irregular plural form, but a few use suppletion, being substituted by a different root altogether. Historically, some of these irregularities come from older declensional patterns that have become mostly obsolete in modern Russian.

Singular Plural
Change of root/ suppletion
ребёнок (m) – child де́ти
челове́к (m) – human лю́ди
ёнокя́та for animals' children
ребёнок (m) – child ребя́та
телёнок (m) – calf теля́та
волчо́нок (m) – wolf cub волча́та
Old imparisyllabic nouns (suffix is added)
чу́до (n) – miracle чудеса́
не́бо (n) – sky небеса́
мать (f) – mother ма́тери
дочь (f) – daughter до́чери
сын (m) – son сыновья́ (also сыны́ in certain cases)
кум (m) – godfather кумовья́
Remnants of the dual number
коле́но (n) – knee коле́ни
плечо́ (n) – shoulder пле́чи
у́хо (n) – ear у́ши
ве́ко (n) – eyelid ве́ки
я́блоко (n) – apple я́блоки
Plural in -ья/ья́
брат (m) – brother бра́тья
брус (m) – baulk, timber бру́сья
граф (m) – count гра́фы/графья́
гроздь (f) – bunch гро́здья
де́верь (m) – brother-in-law деверья́
де́рево (n) – tree дере́вья
дно (n) – bottom до́нья
друг (m) – friend друзья́
звено́ (n) – link зве́нья
зять (m) – son-in-law зятья́
клин (m) – wedge кли́нья
клок (m) – shred, scrap кло́чья
князь (m) – prince князья́
кол (m) – stake ко́лья
ко́лос (m) – ear of a plant коло́сья
крыло́ (n) – wing кры́лья
лист (m) – leaf ли́стья1
муж (m) – husband мужья́
перо́ (n) – feather пе́рья
поле́но (n) – log поле́нья
по́лоз (m) – runner, coluber поло́зья/по́лозы
помело́ (n) – broom поме́лья
прут (m) – twig пру́тья
собра́т (m) – confrere, fellow собра́тья
струп (m) – scab стру́пья
стул (m) – chair сту́лья
сук (m) – branch су́чья (branches, as a collective noun)
суки́ (several individual branches)
ши́ло (m) – awl ши́лья
шу́рин (m) – brother-in-law шурья́/шу́рины
-но / -а́
су́дно (n) – ship суда́
Loses a suffix
цвето́к (m) – flower цветы́ (flowers, as a collective noun)
цветки́ (several individual flowers)
хозя́ин (m) – owner, host хозя́ева
сосе́д (m) – neighbor сосе́ди
  1. If the word лист has the lexical meaning "paper", then its declension is normal (листлисты). If it has lexical meaning "leaf (of a tree)", its declension is листлистья.

Undeclined nouns

Some nouns (such as borrowings from other languages, abbreviations, etc.) are not modified when they change number and case. This appears mostly when their gender appears to have no ending in any declension which suits the final part of the word: these are masculine names on vowels different from -а/-я, female names on hard consonants (names like Триш "Trish" won't take the soft sign to go into third declension like native мышь "mouse"). Most borrowed words ending in Russian in э/е, и, о, у and stressed а are not declined:[11] кафе, пальто (French: paletot), Дюма etc. Most abbreviations are undeclined (one exception is вуз). Many people also think that Georgian surnames on -ия like Данелия (Georgian: დანელია) shouldn't be declined since they are originally something like Russian possessive genitives.[citation needed]

Personal names

Traditionally, a full Russian name consists of a person name (и́мяgiven name or first name), patronym (о́тчество – father's name as middle name) and a family name (фами́лияsurname or last name). All of these words have the same grammatical gender as biological one. Slavic, as well as Greek, Roman, Jewish and other person names of European or Semitic origin loaned centuries ago, have gender-specific versions of respective patronyms. To produce a patronym, suffixes -вич- and -вн- are used with final vowel addition or modification: for hard consonant (Петро́вич/Петро́вна ⇐ son/daughter of Пётр), -ье for -ий (Григо́рьевич/Григо́рьевнаГриго́рий), and for other cases (Матве́евич/Матве́евнаМатве́й, И́горевич/И́горевнаИ́горь). Some person names also have versions for both males and females (Алекса́ндрАлекса́ндра, Евге́нийЕвге́ния).

Additionally, Slavic names have short forms, usually meant for affectionate calls (Ива́нВа́ня, А́ннаА́ня; equivalent of Johnny, Annie, etc.). Short forms by themselves can form "reemerging" vocative case (sometimes called neo-vocative); it is used for calling a familiar person, substituting nominative singular by removing last vowel (АртёмТёмаТём, О́льгаО́ляОль). For this reason, neo-vocative is not possible for male names that can't produce short forms with a final vowel (including some popular ones: Влади́мир, Вита́лий, И́горь). Likewise, there is a neo-vocative form for close relatives: матьма́мамам (mother – mommy – mom), оте́цпа́папап (father – daddy – dad). When replacing nominative plural (used for always plural nouns), it can be used for collective calls: ребя́та ("guys, lads") – ребя́т, девча́та ("gals") – девча́т.

Most family names in Russia are also gender-specific (shown below in male/female pairs) and declinable like most words (including plural form to denote a married couple or a whole family, as "The Smiths"). They can be divided in these categories (sorted by occurrence):


male female family or couple
Nominative Ю́рий Алексе́евич Гага́рин Валенти́на Ива́новна Гага́рина Гага́рины
Accusative Юрия Алексеевича Гагарина Валентину Ивановну Гагарину Гагариных
Genitive Валентины Ивановны Гагариной
Prepositional Юрии Алексеевиче Гагарине Валентине Ивановне Гагариной
Dative Юрию Алексеевичу Гагарину Гагариным
Instrumental Юрием Алексеевичем Гагариным Валентиной Ивановной Гагариной Гагариными

Here male name is composed of 2nd declension nouns, but there are exceptional endings for Instrumental (patronym: -ем, not -ом; family name: -ым, not -ом). Female name is in 1st declension, but ending -ой is used for a family name in all oblique cases. Plural follows adjectival declension, except that Nominative is short .


A Russian adjective (и́мя прилага́тельное) is usually placed before the noun it qualifies, and it agrees with the noun in case, gender, and number. With the exception of a few invariant forms borrowed from other languages, such as беж 'beige' or ха́ки 'khaki',[note 1] most adjectives follow one of a small number of regular declension patterns, except for some which provide difficulty in forming the short form. In modern Russian, the short form appears only in the nominative and is used when the adjective is in a predicative role; formerly (as in the bylinas) short adjectives appeared in all other forms and roles, which are not used in modern language, but are nonetheless understandable to Russian speakers as they are declined exactly like nouns of the corresponding gender.[13]

Adjectives may be divided into three general groups:

Adjectival declension

The pattern described below matches the full forms of most adjectives, except possessive ones; it is also used for substantivated adjectives as учёный and for adjectival participles.

Singular Plural
Masc. Neut. Fem.
Nominative -ый -ое -ая -ые
Accusative N or G -ую N or G
Genitive -ого -ой -ых
Prepositional -ом
Dative -ому -ым
Instrumental -ым -ыми
  1. After a sibilant or velar consonant, и, instead of ы, is written.
  2. When a masculine adjective ends in -ой, the -ой is stressed.
  3. After a sibilant consonant, neuter adjectives end in ее. This is sometimes called the хорошее rule.
  4. Accusative in the masculine singular, and in the plural for all genders, depends on animacy, as for nouns.
  5. Instrumental feminine ending -ой/ей for all adjectives has alternative form -ою/ею, which differs only stylistically from the standard form.

Russian differentiates between hard-stem (as above) and soft-stem adjectives. Note the following:


но́вый – new
Singular Plural
Masc. Neut. Fem.
Nominative но́вый но́вое но́вая но́вые
Accusative N or G но́вую N or G
Genitive но́вого но́вой но́вых
Prepositional но́вом
Dative но́вому но́вым
Instrumental но́вым но́выми
си́ний – blue
Singular Plural
Masc. Neut. Fem.
Nominative си́ний си́нее си́няя си́ние
Accusative N or G си́нюю N or G
Genitive си́него си́ней си́них
Prepositional си́нем
Dative си́нему си́ним
Instrumental си́ним си́ними
высо́кий – tall
Singular Plural
Masc. Neut. Fem.
Nominative высо́кий высо́кое высо́кая высо́кие
Accusative N or G высо́кую N or G
Genitive высо́кого высо́кой высо́ких
Prepositional высо́ком
Dative высо́кому высо́ким
Instrumental высо́ким высо́кими
хоро́ший – good
Singular Plural
Masc. Neut. Fem.
Nominative хоро́ший хоро́шее хоро́шая хоро́шие
Accusative N or G хоро́шую N or G
Genitive хоро́шего хоро́шей хоро́ших
Prepositional хоро́шем
Dative хоро́шему хоро́шим
Instrumental хоро́шим хоро́шими
большо́й – big
Singular Plural
Masc. Neut. Fem.
Nominative большо́й большо́е больша́я больши́е
Accusative N or G большу́ю N or G
Genitive большо́го большо́й больши́х
Prepositional большо́м
Dative большо́му больши́м
Instrumental больши́м больши́ми

Before 1917, adjectival declension looked quite different, at least in writing; for example, there were special feminine plural forms, as in French. In modern editions of classical poetry some elements of this system are still used if they are important for rhyme or metrics. A notable example is ending -ыя (bisyllabic) instead of -ой (monosyllabic) for genitive single female adjectives, which were considered bookish and deprecated even in the times of Alexander Pushkin but were still used by him in lines such as «тайна брачныя постели» («Евгений Онегин», IV, L).[14]

Comparison of adjectives

Comparison forms are usual only for qualitative adjectives and adverbs. Comparative and superlative synthetic forms are not part of the paradigm of original adjectives but are different lexical items, since not all qualitative adjectives have them. A few adjectives have irregular forms that are declined like ordinary adjectives: большо́й 'big' — бо́льший 'bigger', хоро́ший 'good' — лу́чший 'better'. Most synthetically derived comparative forms are derived by adding -ее or -ей to the adjective stem: кра́сный 'red' — красне́е 'more red'; distinguishing such adjectives from the comparative adverbs whose forms they share is at best difficult, if not impossible.[13] Superlative synthetic forms are derived by adding suffix -ейш- or -айш- and additionally sometimes prefix наи-, or using a special comparative form with наи-: до́брый 'kind' — добре́йший 'the kindest', большо́й 'big' — наибо́льший 'the biggest'.

Another method of indicating comparison uses analytical forms with adverbs бо́лее 'more' / ме́нее 'less' and са́мый 'most' / наибо́лее 'most' / наиме́нее 'least': до́брый 'kind' — бо́лее до́брый 'kinder' — са́мый до́брый 'the kindest'. This pattern is rarely used if special comparative forms exist.

Possessive adjectives

Possessive adjectives are used in Russian to a lesser extent than in most other Slavic languages,[15] but are still in use. They answer the questions чей? чья? чьё? чьи? (whose?) and denote only animated possessors. Alternative for possessive adjectives are possessive genitives which are used much more commonly.[16] There are three suffixes to form them: -ов/ев, -ын/ин and -ий.

Suffix -ов/ев is used to form adjective from a word denoting single human which is masculine and ends on consonant; selection depends on if the stem hard or soft. Suffix -ын/ин is similar but is attached to feminine words or masculine ending in -а/я. Both types are more common in spoken language than in literary (though being acceptable in both styles) and generally are forms of kinship terms, given names and their diminutives:[15] ма́мама́мин 'mom's', оте́цотцо́в 'father's', Са́шаСа́шин 'Sasha's' /for diminutives from both Alexandr and Alexandra/. Words of this type also are common as Russian surnames, like Пушкин (derived from пу́шка 'gun' which used to be a nickname).

Adjectives on -ов and -ин are declined via mixed declension: some of their forms are nominal, some are adjectival, and some are ambivalent.

ма́мин – mom's
Singular Plural
Masc. Neut. Fem.
Nominative ма́мин ма́мино ма́мина ма́мины
Accusative N or G ма́мину N or G
Genitive ма́миного, ма́мина ма́миной ма́миных
Prepositional ма́мином
Dative ма́миному, ма́мину ма́миным
Instrumental ма́миным ма́миными

Adjectives on -ий (speaking about suffix, not case ending; before vowels, this suffix deceases to single sound /j/ and is written as ь) are used for deriving adjectives mostly from animal species (in Old East Slavic, this suffix derived possessive adjectives from plural possessors[16]): лиса 'fox' — лисий 'of a fox', 'likely for a fox'. Declension of such adjectives is nominal in nominative and accusative (except masculine and plural animated accusative) and adjectival for other forms.

ли́сий – fox's
Singular Plural
Masc. Neut. Fem.
Nominative ли́сий ли́сье ли́сья ли́сьи
Accusative N or G ли́сью N or G
Genitive ли́сьего ли́сьей ли́сьих
Prepositional ли́сьем
Dative ли́сьему ли́сьим
Instrumental ли́сьим ли́сьими

There exist many stable expressions which include possessive adjectives following either of the two declensions shown above: но́ев ковче́г (Noah's ark, from Ной "Noah"), эвкли́дова геоме́трия (Euclidean geometry, from Эвкли́д "Euclides"), ма́рсово по́ле (the Field of Mars), а́вгиевы коню́шни (the Augean stables, from А́вгий "Augeas"), во́лчий аппети́т (a wolfish appetite, from волк "wolf"), крокоди́ловы слёзы (crocodile tears, from крокоди́л "crocodile"), ка́ждый бо́жий день (every God-given day, from Бог "God"), etc. Notice how the latter two differ from the general rule: крокоди́лов has -ов ending as if a crocodile were a male human, and бо́жий has -ий ending as if God is treated as an animal or (in Old Russian) a crowd (perhaps, symbolizing Holy Trinity).


Personal pronouns

Singular Plural Reflexive
1st 2nd 3rd 1st 2nd 3rd
Neut. Masc. Fem.
English I / me you it he / him she / her we / us you they / them -self
Nominative я ты оно́ он она́ мы вы они́ сам
Accusative меня́ тебя́ (н)его́ (н)её нас вас (н)их себя́
Prepositional мне тебе́ нём ней них себе́
Dative (н)ему́ (н)ей нам вам (н)им
Instrumental мной
(н)им (н)ей
на́ми ва́ми (н)и́ми собо́й

Demonstrative pronouns

этот (this)
Masc. Neut. Fem. Plur.
Nominative э́тот э́то э́та э́ти
Accusative N or G э́ту N or G
Genitive э́того э́той э́тих
Prepositional э́том
Dative э́тому э́тим
Instrumental э́тим э́тими
тот (that)
Masc. Neut. Fem. Plur.
Nominative тот то та те
Accusative N or G ту N or G
Genitive того́ той тех
Prepositional том
Dative тому́ тем
Instrumental тем те́ми

Possessive adjectives and pronouns

Unlike English, Russian uses the same form for a possessive adjective and the corresponding possessive pronoun. In Russian grammar they are called possessive pronouns притяжа́тельные местоиме́ния (compare with possessive adjectives like Peter's = пе́тин above). The following rules apply:

мой (my, mine)
Masc. Neut. Fem. Plur.
Nominative мой моё моя́ мои́
Accusative N or G мою́ N or G
Genitive моего́ мое́й мои́х
Prepositional моём
Dative моему́ мои́м
Instrumental мои́м мои́ми
твой (your, yours) for a singular possessor
Masc. Neut. Fem. Plur.
Nominative твой твоё твоя́ твои́
Accusative N or G твою́ N or G
Genitive твоего́ твое́й твои́х
Prepositional твоём
Dative твоему́ твои́м
Instrumental твои́м твои́ми
свой (one's own) for a subject possessor
Masc. Neut. Fem. Plur.
Nominative свой своё своя́ свои́
Accusative N or G свою́ N or G
Genitive своего́ свое́й свои́х
Prepositional своём
Dative своему́ свои́м
Instrumental свои́м свои́ми
наш (our, ours)
Masc. Neut. Fem. Plur.
Nominative наш на́ше на́ша на́ши
Accusative N or G на́шу N or G
Genitive на́шего на́шей на́ших
Prepositional на́шем
Dative на́шему на́шим
Instrumental на́шим на́шими
ваш (your, yours) for a plural possessor
Masc. Neut. Fem. Plur.
Nominative ваш ва́ше ва́ша ва́ши
Accusative N or G ва́шу N or G
Genitive ва́шего ва́шей ва́ших
Prepositional ва́шем
Dative ва́шему ва́шим
Instrumental ва́шим ва́шими

Interrogative pronouns

кто ('who') and что ('what')
кто что
Nominative кто что (read: што)
Accusative кого́ (read: каво́)
Genitive чего́ (read: чиво́)
Prepositional ком чём
Dative кому́ чему́
Instrumental кем чем
чей ('whose')
masculine neuter feminine plural
Nominative чей чьё чья чьи
Accusative N or G чью N or G
Genitive чьего́ чьей чьих
Prepositional чьём
Dative чьему́ чьим
Instrumental чьим чьи́ми


Russian has several main classes of numerals (числи́тельные): cardinal, ordinal, collective, and fractional constructions. It also has other types of words, relative to numbers:

Here are the numerals from 0 to 10:

Nouns are used in the nominative case after "one" (один рубль, 'one ruble').
After certain other numbers (following Grammatical number rules in Russian) nouns must be declined to genitive plural (десять рублей, 'ten rubles').
Cardinal Numbers Ordinal Numbers
(Nominative case, masculine)
Collective Numbers
0 ноль or нуль (m.) нулево́й
1 оди́н (m.), одна́ (f.), одно́ (n.), одни (pl.)

(раз is used for counting; един- is used in some compound words)

2 два (m., n.), две (f.) второ́й дво́е
3 три тре́тий тро́е
4 четы́ре четвёртый че́тверо
5 пять пя́тый пя́теро
6 шесть шесто́й ше́стеро
7 семь седьмо́й се́меро
8 во́семь восьмо́й (во́сьмеро)[note 2]
9 де́вять девя́тый (де́вятеро)
10 де́сять деся́тый (де́сятеро)

Declension of cardinal numerals

Different Russian numerals have very different types of declension. The word оди́н (one) is declined by number, gender (in the singular), and case. The word два (two) is declined by gender and case, all other numbers have only case to decline by. The words for 50, 60, 70, 80, 200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700, 800, 900 are unique for Russian, as they decline not only with ending in their end, but also with part of word in their middle (since they are originally composed from two words): Nom. пятьдеся́т (50) – Gen. пяти́десяти etc. (compare пять деся́тковпяти́ деся́тков "five tens").

Compound number phrases are created without any unions: сто пятьдеся́т три ры́бы "153 fish". All numerals are declined concurrently, albeit not always in the spoken language. If numeral is in Nominative or Accusative, ending of the noun is defined by the last numeral word (the least order, see examples below), but this may not be true for an adjective attached to this noun.[17]

Most numbers ending with "1" (in any gender: оди́н, одна́, одно́) require Nominative singular for a noun: два́дцать одна́ маши́на (21 cars), сто пятьдеся́т оди́н челове́к (151 people). Most numbers ending with "2", "3", "4" (два/две, три, четы́ре) require Genitive singular: три соба́ки (3 dogs), со́рок два окна́ (42 windows). All other numbers (including 0 and those ending with it) require Genitive plural: пять я́блок (5 apples), де́сять рубле́й (10 rubles). Genitive plural is also used for numbers ending with 11 to 14 and with inexact numerals: сто оди́ннадцать ме́тров (111 meters); мно́го домо́в (many houses). Nominative plural is used only without numerals: э́ти дома́ (these houses); cf. три до́ма (3 houses; G. sg.). These rules apply only for integer numbers.[18] For rational numbers see below.

In oblique cases, noun and number take both this case, except that the numbers ending with "thousand", "million", "billion" etc. (nouns: ты́сяча (f.), миллио́н (m.), миллиа́рд (m.)) in singular or in plural are regarded as nouns and always require Genitive case in plural: пятью́ ты́сячами (Instr.) маши́н (Gen.); cf. пятью́ маши́нами and пятью́ ты́сячами тремяста́ми маши́нами (all Instr.). Initial (leftmost) numeral "1" can be omitted in combinations (одна́) ты́сяча (ты́сяча и одна́ ночь – 1001 nights), (оди́н) миллио́н, etc.

Nouns со́тня ("approximately 100", f.) and па́ра ("pair", f.) can be declined and can form compound numerals: три со́тни (≈300), пять пар носко́в (5 pair of socks). Approximate numbers are colloquially formed by reversing word order, exchanging numeral and noun: мину́ты три (≈3 minutes). Ranges (hyphenated) are also possible: пять-шесть дней (5–6 days), дней пять-шесть (probably 5–6 days). The word ми́нус (minus) declines if standalone, but does not for negative numbers: минус три гра́дуса – minus three degrees (wrong: *минуса три градуса); however: три минуса – three minuses.

один (one)
Masc. Neut. Fem. Plural
Nominative оди́н одно́ одна́ одни́
Accusative N or G одну́ N or G
Genitive одного́ одно́й одни́х
Dative одному́ одни́м
Instrumental одни́м одни́ми
Prepositional одно́м одни́х
два (two), три (three), четы́ре (four)
two three four
Nominative два (m./n.), две (f.) три четы́ре
Accusative N or G
Genitive двух трёх четырёх
Dative двум трём четырём
Instrumental двумя́ тремя́ четырьмя́
Prepositional двух трёх четырёх
пять (five), шесть (six), семь (seven), во́семь (eight), де́вять (nine), де́сять (ten);
five six seven eight nine ten
Nominative пять шесть семь во́семь де́вять де́сять
Accusative N or G
Genitive пяти́ шести́ семи́ восьми́ девяти́ десяти́
Instrumental пятью́ шестью́ семью́ восемью́ девятью́ десятью́
Prepositional пяти́ шести́ семи́ восьми́ девяти́ десяти́
special cases: ноль/нуль (zero), о́ба (both, m./n.), о́бе (both, f.)
zero both
m./n. f.
Nominative ноль о́ба о́бе
Accusative N or G
Genitive ноля́ обо́их обе́их
Dative нолю́ обо́им обе́им
Instrumental нолём обо́ими обе́ими
Prepositional ноле́ обо́их обе́их

Dative, Instrumental and Prepositional cases for "zero" more often use нул- root instead of нол-. The numbers from 11 to 19 are: оди́ннадцать, двена́дцать, трина́дцать, четы́рнадцать, пятна́дцать, шестна́дцать, семна́дцать, восемна́дцать, девятна́дцать. They decline in the same way as 20 (два́дцать).

20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100
20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
Nominative два́дцать три́дцать со́рок пятьдеся́т шестьдеся́т се́мьдесят во́семьдесят девяно́сто сто
Genitive двадцати́ тридцати́ сорока́ пяти́десяти шести́десяти семи́десяти восьми́десяти девяно́ста ста
Instrumental двадцатью́ тридцатью́ пятью́десятью шестью́десятью семью́десятью восемью́десятью
or восьмью́десятью
Prepositional двадцати́ тридцати́ пяти́десяти шести́десяти семи́десяти восьми́десяти
200, 300, 400, 500, 600, 700, 800, 900
200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900
Nominative две́сти три́ста четы́реста пятьсо́т шестьсо́т семьсо́т восемьсо́т девятьсо́т
Genitive двухсо́т трёхсо́т четырёхсо́т пятисо́т шестисо́т семисо́т восьмисо́т девятисо́т
Dative двумста́м трёмста́м четырёмста́м пятиста́м шестиста́м семиста́м восьмиста́м девятиста́м
Instrumental двумяста́ми трeмяста́ми четырьмяста́ми пятьюста́ми шестьюста́ми семьюста́ми восьмьюста́ми девятьюста́ми
Prepositional двухста́х трёхста́х четырёхста́х пятиста́х шестиста́х семиста́х восьмиста́х девятиста́х
ты́сяча (1,000), feminine
Singular Plural
Nominative ты́сяча ты́сячи
Accusative ты́сячу
Genitive ты́сячи ты́сяч
Dative ты́сяче ты́сячам
Instrumental ты́сячью, ты́сячей ты́сячами
Prepositional ты́сяче ты́сячах
миллио́н (1,000,000), masculine
Singular Plural
Nominative миллио́н миллио́ны
Genitive миллио́на миллио́нов
Dative миллио́ну миллио́нам
Instrumental миллио́ном миллио́нами
Prepositional миллио́не миллио́нах

For numbers above 1,000 Russian uses a modified short scale with the following loanwords: миллио́н (106, million; as for both long and short scales), миллиа́рд (109, milliard; as for long scale – an exception), триллио́н (1012, trillion), квадриллио́н (1015, quadrillion), квинтиллио́н (1018, quintillion), etc. (continued as short scale). They decline in the same way as миллио́н. Russian uses words биллио́н (billion) and numerals with -ard endings only in historical texts or literal translations. Also, биллиа́рд (billiard) is a noun meaning a cue sport.

51 meters 6 944 meters 32 197 meters
Nominative пятьдеся́тn=a оди́нn=a метрn=a шестьn=a ты́сячG девятьсо́тn=a со́рокn=a четы́реn=a ме́траg три́дцатьn=a двеn=a ты́сячиg стоn=a девяно́стоn=a семьn=a ме́тровG
Genitive пяти́десяти́g одного́g ме́траg шести́g тысячG девятисо́тg сорока́g четырёхg ме́тровG тридцати́g двухg ты́сячG стаg девяно́стаg семи́g ме́тровG
Dative пяти́десяти́d одному́d ме́труd шести́d ты́сячамD девятиста́мd сорока́d четырёмd ме́трамD тридцати́d двумd ты́сячамD стаd девяно́стаd семи́d ме́трамD
Instrumental пятью́деся́тью́i одни́мi ме́тромi шестью́i ты́сячамиI девятьюста́миi сорока́i четырьмя́i ме́трамиI тридцатью́i двумя́i ты́сячамиI стаi девяно́стаi семью́i ме́трамиI
Prepositional пяти́десяти́p одно́мp ме́треp шести́p ты́сячахP девятиста́хp сорока́p четырёхp ме́трахP тридцати́p двухp ты́сячахP стаp девяно́стаp семи́p ме́трахP

Note for superscript case notations: small letters denote singular forms, capitals denote plural. Метр is masculine (important for "51"); both метр and тысяча are inanimate (important for Accusative). Blue digits are indicatives of case endings, marked by blue letters.

Collective numerals

Collective numerals (Russian: собира́тельные числи́тельные) are used in Russian (and many other Slavic languages) instead of usual cardinal ones in specific lexical and semantic situations. Russian collective numerals are different from the cardinal numerals in that the former emphasize ‘the totality’ or ‘the aggregate as a whole’, while the latter – ‘the individuated quantity’.[19] Only numerals from 2 (двое) to 7 (семеро) are actively used nowadays, while 8 to 10 are seldom used and 11–13 are not normative;[20] word о́ба (both) is also considered to be collective numeral.[19] In nominative and accusative, they always force the noun into genitive plural form (while their own accusative form is dependent from animacy of the noun): трое друзей на охоту пошли, вижу двоих мужчин, вижу двое саней. (Three friends went hunting [together], I see two men [together], I see two sleighs [together].) These numerals are seldom used in oblique cases, especially instrumental.[20] A brief table of usage situations follows:

Usage of Russian collective numerals
Usage Number Case Example Notes
Mandatory 2–4 Pluralia tantum nouns in nominative case[21] двое ножниц, трое похорон With paired objects, construction with classifier пара are preferred: две пары ножниц
Normative 5–7 пятеро прений
Likely mandatory 3, 4 Masculine (and common-gender as masculine and mixed-gender) nouns in -а/-я[17] трое мужчин, о четверых судьях
Preferred 2–7 Masculine (and rarely neuter) personal nouns, including common-gender but excluding presumed female groups[21] трое друзей, пятеро мальчиков, шестеро мужчин Collective numerals are used to emphasize the cohesiveness of the group, while cardinal (пять мальчиков etc.) shows more individuality. In oblique cases, there is no preference to collective numerals.
Colloquial Feminine nouns denoting people[21] трое подруг
Unlikely used Terms of high rank[21] два министра (instead of *двое министров), два короля (instead of *двое королей)
Prohibited First names[17][20] три Коли, not *трое Коль
Preferred 2–7 With дети (children), especially about number in a family[21] У неё двое детей 8–10 are seldom used; in oblique cases is optional
Preferred 2–7 With masculine[19] substantivated adjectives[20] двое рабочих, пятеро учёных Mostly in nominative
Preferred 2–7 With ребята (children), внук][21] пятеро ребят, трое внуков
Colloquial 2–7 With animal's cubs in -ата/ята[21] пятеро щенят
Highly likely 2–7
As noun denoting people group[21] or with personal pronoun[19] Нас было четверо. Шестеро бились против десятерых

Dobrushina and Panteleeva (2008),[20] having analyzed usage of два/двое in a Russian corpus, summarize cases of usage of collective numerals in the following common rules:

  1. Collective numerals denote number of persons likely to have collective behaviour, i.e., existence in groups, not one by one: боевики́ 'militants', жи́тели 'inhabitants', пассажи́ры 'passengers', солда́ты 'soldiers'.
  2. Collective numbers are used while denoting several persons to emphasize unity, cohesion of this group.
  3. Contexts of nominal groups with collective numerals have properties showing their individualization and dedication: referentness, empathy, definiteness; they are unlikely to be out of focus.

Ordinal numerals

Ordinal numbers have grammatically no differences with adjectives. While forming them, upper three orders of numerals are agglutinated to nearest dividing power of 1000, which results in constructing some of the longest natural Russian words, e.g. стапятидесятитрёхты́сячный (153,000-th), while the next is сто пятьдеся́т три ты́сячи пе́рвый (153,001-st). In the latter example, only the last word is declined with noun.


Fractions are formed as: (how much parts), expressed by cardinal number in case of the phrase, plus (of how numerous parts), expressed by ordinal number; the construction is formed as like it were related to word часть "part" (grammatically feminine), which is usually omitted. Noun to such construction always comes in Genitive single, also as like it belonged to word часть: девяно́сто две пятидеся́тых то́нны "92/50 tons". If an integer precedes a fraction, it is bound to it usually with the conjunction и, while the noun remains in Genitive: два и три восьмы́х оборо́та "2 3/8 turns" (оборо́т is masculine, so the numeral is два, not *две).

Fractions 1/2, 1/3 and 1/4 have proper names (nouns): полови́на, треть and че́тверть, which are used instead of ordinal numbers. They are also often added with preposition с, while form of noun appears to be related to the integer part rather than to the fraction: де́сять с че́твертью [Instr.] оборо́тов [Gen.] "10 1/4 turns". Prefixes пол- (with Genitive) and полу- (with Nominative) are used for "half" of something: пол-лимо́на (half of a lemon), полчаса́ (half an hour; but: полови́на ча́са); полуме́сяц (half moon, crescent). Words with пол- are not declined, and there is a set of rules for writing with or without dash.

For "1 1/2" there is a special word полтора́ (feminine полторы́; in oblique cases полу́тора; requires Genitive): полтора́ я́блока – 3/2 apples. It can be used with larger numbers (полторы́ ты́сячи – 1 500, полтора миллио́на – 1 500 000) and, for approximate values, with smaller numbers (полтора деся́тка – ≈15, полторы со́тни – ≈150). There was also now-outdated form полтора́ста for exactly 150. As with other single-word numerals, it's possible to form nouns and multiplicative adjectives, associated with "1.5": полу́торка (old truck with 1.5 tonnes of payload capacity), полтора́шка (1.5 liter plastic bottle for beverage); полу́торный (something of 150% amount). Also (colloquially): полтора́ челове́ка "almost nobody" (lit. one and a half men).

To read decimal fractions,[note 3] convert them to simple ones: 2,71828 = 2+71828/100000 - два и се́мьдесят одна́ ты́сяча восемьсо́т два́дцать во́семь стоты́сячных. After integer in such cases is often used word це́лая (substantiated adjective "full, integer", which also refers to omitted word часть and thus is feminine): 3,14 – три це́лых (и) четы́рнадцать со́тых (union is often omitted); word це́лая can appear also in naming non-decimal simple fractions: 2 3/8 – две це́лых три восьмы́х. Zero before comma is often read: 0,01 = 0+1/100 – ноль це́лых одна́ со́тая (shortly: одна́ со́тая). Informally, decimal fractional part can be read more conveniently as sequence of simple digits and numbers: два и семь-восемна́дцать-два́дцать во́семь. Same method is used to read long numerals unrelated to a noun (phone numbers, address indexes, etc.), grouping two or three digits: 123406 – сто два́дцать три четы́реста шесть, двенадцать три́дцать четы́ре ноль шесть (forced ноль added to avoid missing digit).

Count form

Russian also has so-called "count form" (счётная фо́рма) for use by nouns in numerical phrases instead of genitive plural (for some words mandatory, for others optional), mainly with units of measure (especially derived from names): во́семь бит (8 bits; not *би́тов), шестна́дцать байт (16 bytes), две́сти два́дцать вольт (220 volts), пять килогра́мм(ов) (5 kilograms; optional). But: коли́чество ба́йтов (amount of bytes), изба́виться от ли́шних килогра́ммов (get rid of excess kilograms).

Count form also exists for paucal numbers (1.5, 2, 3 and 4); usually it coincides with genitive singular, but has notable exceptions with stressed endings: два часа́ (2 hours), but середи́на ча́са (middle of an hour); два́дцать два шара́ (22 balls), but объём ша́ра (volume of the ball); три ряда́ (3 rows/lines), but вы́йти из ря́да (step out of the line); четы́ре шага́ (4 steps), but полша́га (half a step). Полчаса́ (half an hour) is additional exception; other nouns with пол- prefix does not have stressed ending.

A few nouns have unrelated suppletive genitive plural forms: 4 го́да, but 5 лет (years); 3 челове́ка, but 30 люде́й/челове́к (people; optional). Count forms for adjectives and nouns with adjectival declension after numerals require genitive plural and nominative plural: два лу́чших (G. pl.) игрока́ (G. sg.) "2 best players"; три зелёные (N. pl.) прямы́е (N. pl.) lit. "3 green straight lines", but три зелёных (G. pl.) прямы́х (G. pl.) штриха́ (G. sg.) lit. "3 green straight strokes".


  1. ^ These are adjectives and not adverbs, since they can't modify verbs.
  2. ^ Collective numerals for more than 7 are seldom used.
  3. ^ In Russian, the comma is used as the decimal separator.


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