Russian numbers? Move your clothes onto the lower peg!

I’ve been learning about Russian numbers – I had to laugh out loud when I read back my notes:

  • If the number is 1 then use the nominative singular with ¬†nouns.
  • If the number is 2, 3 or 4 then use the genitive singular except for 11, 12, 13 and 14 in which case you use the genitive plural
  • If the number is 5 or more (including 0) then use the genitive plural
  • If the number is 1 and you have an adjective with your number, use the nominative
  • If the numer is 2, 3 and 4 and your number is masculine or neuter, use the genitive plural for your adjective and the genitive singular for your nouns – except for 11 12, 13 and 14, in which case you use the genitive plural for the adjectives and the genitive plural for your nouns
  • If the number is 2, 3 and 4 and your number is feminine, use the adjective in the nominative plural and the noun in the genitive singular – except for 11, 12, 13 and 14, in which case you use the genitive plural for the adjectives and the genitive plural for the nouns.
  • If the number is 5 or more (including ¬†0 ) you use the genitive plural for both the adjective and the noun. (HOORAY!!!!)

I was reminded of this Monty Python classic sketch about a schoolmaster giving instructions. Now, whenever I think of numbers in Russian, I’ll always think of moving my clothes onto the lower peg…..

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