Russian Grammar

Plural Nouns in Russian

 Lesson comments

Russian nouns can be either singular or plural. You know that to form a plural in English you need to add –s to the singular form. In Russian, the basic principle is the same but there are four different endings to form plurals. In addition, you will have to remove the last letter from the singular form of the noun before adding a new letter.

Study the table below to get an idea of how to form plural form of Russian nouns. Right now you do not have to know the meaning of the words in the table, just follow the process of taking the letters off and adding new endings.

      1. Take singular noun      
   2. Remove last letter   
  3. Then add ending  
  4. Get plural noun  

masculine Russian nouns
Институт
Конь
Трамвай


-
ь
й


ы
и
и


Институты
Кони
Трамваи

feminine Russian nouns
Мама
Таня
Тетрадь


А
Я
Ь


ы
и
и


Мамы
Тани
тетради

Neuter Russian nouns
Окно
Море


О
E


а
я


Окна
моря

As you see, forming plural nouns in Russian is not difficult. At first, remember that there are four possible plural endings: Ы, И, А and Я. Then you must learn which of them to use in which cases. Here is a couple of rules to follow.

  • Add the plural ending И if the original singular form of a Russian noun is masculine or feminine and ends in К, Г, Х, Ш, Щ, Ж, Ч, a vowel letter, or a soft sign. For example, книгИ, ручкИ, ножИ, тетрадИ, ключИ
  • Add the plural ending Ы for the rest of masculine and feminine nouns
  • Add the plural ending Я if the singular noun is neuter and ends in E
  • Add the plural ending A if the singular noun is neuter and ends in O
  • Singular feminine noun ends in -A it acquire the ending -Ы in the plural
  • Singular masculine nouns ending in a hard consonant acquire the ending -Ы in the plural

You are almost an expert on Russian plural nouns now. All you need to do is make a sticky on several exceptions and refer to it whenever you form your plurals.

Друг –друзья, стул – стулья, дерево – деревья, учитель – учителя, человек – люди,  сын – сыновья, дочь – дочери, доктор – доктора, ребёнок – дети, брат – братья, муж – мужья

Mini Quiz #1

Form the plural form for the following singular Russian nouns:

Друг
Брат
Подруга
Соседка
Сестра
Студент
Ребёнок
Жена
муж
стул
дерево
учитель
семья
доктор
Мама
папа
бабушка
дедушка
человек
сын
дочь

Answers:

друзья, братья, подруги, соседки, сёстры, студенты, ребята, жёны, мужья, стулья, деревья, учителя, семьи, доктора, мамы, папы, бабушки, дедушки, люди (exception), сыновья, дочери

Mini Quiz #2

Determine the gender and/or number of the following Russian nouns. Follow the example.

Example: Машина – This is a feminine singular noun. The plural form is машины.

Соседки
Учителя
Сын
Студенты
Столы
Друзья
Письмо
сестра

Answers:

соседки (plural), учителя (plural), сын (masculine, singular), студенты (plural), столы (plural), друзья (plural), письмо (neuter, singular), сестра (feminine, singular)








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