Lesson 4: Numbers

At some point of your communication in Russian will require knowledge of basic numbers use. No matter if you need to tell/understand time or count your money.

Russian numbers might not be hard to remember, yet the real problem is that they keep changing based on the cases. Since we do not know anything about Russian cases yet we will learn today the basic numbers in their nominative case, i.e. the form that is used in dictionaries.

0-9

Let’s start with the numbers from 0 to 9. You will definitely use them more often than the rest.

0 – ноль

1 – один

2 – два

3 – три

4 – четыре

5 – пять

6 – шесть

7 – семь

8 – восемь

9 – девять

An important thing here to remember is that the number 1 (один) can change its form even in Nominative case, based on the gender it is used with.

For example,

Masculine – один (один дом = one house)

Feminine – одна (одна книга = one book)

Neuter – одно (одно облако = one cloud)

The number 2 (два) also depends on the noun it is used with.

For example,

Masculine, Neuter  – два (два дома = two houses, два облака = two clouds)

Feminine – две (две книги = two books)

Also, pay attention to the endings of the nouns in plural. Do not try to remember them yet; just see that they are different.

The rest of the numbers from 3 to 9 will not depend on the gender. No matter if it is 3 books, 5 houses and 9 clouds.

3 книги

5 домов

9 облаков

10-19

Now let’s move further and discover the numbers from 10 to 19.

10 – десять

11 – одиннадцать

12 – двенадцать

13 – тринадцать

14 – четырнадцать

15 – пятнадцать

16 – шестнадцать

17 – семнадцать

18 – восемнадцать

19 – девятнадцать

If you see the pattern it will not be complicated for you to remember them.

Starting from 11 you take a number from 1-9 and add  -надцать. You only have to ignore the soft sign in the numbers from 5 through 9, and see that you take a feminine form of 2. The rest is pretty simple.

20-99

Now we are going further and it gets even simpler. We will have to learn the numbers 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 and in order to get 21 or 32 or any other number we will add the respective number from 1 through 9.

20 – двадцать

30 – тридцать

40 – сорок

50 – пятьдесят

60 – шестьдесят

70 – семьдесят

80 – восемьдесят

90 – девяносто

Here you can see some patterns too.

For numbers 20 and 30 you take a respective number (2 or 3) and add -дцать.

For numbers 50, 60, 70, 80 you take a respective number (5, 6, 7, or 8) and add –десят.

You will only have to remember 40 (сорок) and 90 (девяносто).

Now, in order to make a complex numbers such as 21 or 35, you just add a respective number from 1 to 9 where appropriate.

21 – двадцать один

35 – тридцать пять

94 – девяносто четыре

Exercise: Write down the following numbers – 33, 49, 24, 55, 61,78, 86, 97.

Remember that for numbers that have 1 or 2 as their second part the rule about genders applies.

Двадцать один дом but двадцать одна книга

100-999

100 – сто

200 – двести

300 – триста

400 – четыреста

500 – пятьсот

600 – шестьсот

700 – семьсот

800 – восемьсот

900 – девятьсот

It is not complicated to figure out a pattern now when you know what to search for, right?

The rest comes easy.

201 – двести один

330 – триста тридцать

426 – четыреста двадцать шесть

You just add numerals as needed.

1,000-1,000,000

The rest of the numerals one way or the other follows similar patterns.

1,000 – тысяча

2,000 – две тысячи (the word “тысяча” is feminine)

3,000 – три тысячи

4,000 – четыре тысячи

but

5,000 – пять тысяч

6,000 – шесть тысяч

7,000 – семь тысяч

8,000 – восемь тысяч

9,000 – девять тысяч

1,0000 – десять тысяч

but

21,000 – двадцать одна тысяча

22,000 – двадцать две тысячи

23,000 – двадцать три тысячи

24,000 – двадцать четыре тысячи

The pattern repeats itself.

1,000,000 – один миллион

Now you can practically build any numbers you want to if you follow the simple patterns that we have learned.

Ordinal numbers

Ordinal numbers are numbers like the first, second, etc.

Here is the list of Russian ordinal numbers from 1 to 10.

Первый – the first

Второй – the second

Третий – the third

Четвертый – the fourth

Пятый – the fifth

Шестой – the sixth

Седьмой – the seventh

Восьмой – the eighth

Девятый – the ninth

Десятый –the tenth

Одиннадцатый – the eleventh

Двенадцатый – the twelfth

Тринадцатый  – the thirteenth

Четырнадцатый – the fourteenth

Пятнадцатый – the fifteenth

Шестнадцатый – the sixteenth

Семнадцатый – the seventeenth

Восемнадцатый – the eighteenth

Девятнадцатый – the nineteenth

Двадцатый – the twentieth

Starting from the 21st it is pretty simple. Only the second word will be changed and it changes the same way as in the list above.

Example:

21st – двадцать первый

33rd – тридцать третий

59 – пятьдесят девятый

etc.

The ordinal numbers are changing depending on the gender, the case and the plural. Basically they have the same changes as adjectives do. But we will deal with it at some later stage. For now, let’s just learn the numbers.

In our next lesson we will talk a little bit more about gender in the Russian language.

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