How to count things

Russian has a very strange rule for nouns if they follow numbers.

Do you remember how strangely we speak about the time?  We say:

  • 1 час – 1 o’clock / 1 hour
  • 2, 3, 4 часа – 2, 3, 4 o’clock / 2, 3, 4 hours
  • 5 (and more) часов – 5 o’clock / 5 hours

So the rule of changing of words works not only for the word “час”. It also works for any noun following the numbers. For example:

  • 1 телефон – 1 telephone
  • 3 телефона 2 telephones
  • 10 телефонов – 10 telephones

So we don’t change words with the number 1.

  • 1 дом, 1 машина (1 house, 1 car)

We put a noun into the genitive case singular form if it follows numbers 2, 3 or 4.

  • 2 дома, 2 машины (2 houses, 2 cars)

We put a noun in the genitive case plural form if it follows any number more than 5 and till 20. After 20 the choice depends on the last number (1 – no change, 2-4 – genitive singular, 5 and more – genitive plural).

  • 5 домов, 5 машин (5 houses, 5 cars)

Pay attention!

After the number 20 the choice depends on the last number:

21 дом, 22 дома, 25 домов.

Don’t forget that masculine and feminine nouns have different endings in the genitive case. This is why  we say, “2 дома и 2 машины; 5 домов и 5 машин”.


So let’s see how you understand the rule. Here in the picture you can see some food:

  1. апельсин – orange
  2. персик – peach
  3. ананас – pineapple
  4. банан – banana
  5. гриб – mushroom
  6. яблоко – apple
  7. хотдог – hot dog


How many oranges, bananas, pineapples, peaches, mushrooms, hot dogs and apples do you see?

I hope you have said:

Я вижу:

  • 2 апельсина,
  • 4 персика,
  • 1 хотдог,
  • 5 ананасов,
  • 8 грибов,
  • 4 персика,
  • 6 бананов
  • 3 яблока.

Keep practicing with counting things and very soon you will be perfect with it!

Everything you need to know about CASES

Russian cases seem to be the hardest part of the Russian grammar for non-Slavic speakers. Today I will try to explain what the cases are and share with you my tables of all cases with endings and usage.

So the CASE is a grammar category which expresses the position and the role of a word in a sentence. Let me explain you what I mean.  Let’s use as an example a simple sentence like,

Дочка любит маму. – Daughter loves her mother.

So we can say that “the daughter” is a subject (she makes an action), and “the mother” is an object because she is the object of her daughter’s love. And when we speak English we cannot change the order of words. Because if I say:

Маму любит дочка                       Mother loves her daughter.

We can see that the subject and the object have changed (Now the daughter is an object). But they haven’t changed in Russian. Because the word “мама” is in the accusative case (it has the ending ). And we use the accusative case for objects (things or people we love, hate, look at etc.).

So thanks to the cases we can change the order of words in a sentence and the meaning will be the same.

Now you are going to learn all 6 cases and when we have to use them.

когда использовать падежи

Only nouns, pronouns, adjectives, possessive adjectives and numerals have to be changed in cases. Look at these tables. The first one shows you personal pronouns and endings of nouns in cases. Pay attention that masculine, feminine or neuter gender nouns have different endings. Plural nouns also have different endings.

окончания существительных в падежах

And here you can see how we change adjectives, possessive adjectives or ordinal numerals (they have the same endings in cases).

окончания прилагательных и притяжательных местоимений в падежах

If you learn it for the very first time in your life you may think that it is too difficult. But in time you will be able to use it pretty successfully. Many of my students first say that it is impossible to learn and then after some time, they can speak very good Russian using this.  So If you really want to be good at this, I recommend you to print these 3 tables I gave you and use them when you do grammatical exercises or try to make up some sentences. After some time you will naturally learn all the cases.

I hope today lesson was useful for you! Have fun with this :)

Have a great day! See you soon!


We have these objects (Michael, Tamara, pizza and mashrooms):

instrumental case in russian for beginners

How you would say in Russian, “Michael and Tamara love pizza with mushrooms”? Try to say that before reading further.

Every time when there is a preposition “с(with), you should use the instrumental case, which means, you should change the endings of nouns. Look at the table of endings of the Instrumental case for masculine, feminine, neuter and plural nouns.

instrumental case_table

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