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Collective numerals

Probably, you have already known about such categories of numerals as cardinal (answer the question "сколько?" (how much/many?) - один, четыре, двадцать - 1, 4, 20) and ordinal numerals (первый, четвертый, двадцатый - the first, the fourth, the twentieth). In this article we give consideration to collective numerals.

Notice the difference between cardinal and collective numerals.
Два - двое [dva - dvoye]
Три - трое [tri - troye]

It is necessary to know the category of ordinal numerals for well-bred speech and because they are often used in everyday situations. For example, when you want to book a table in restaurant (на двоих - for two people). Besides, this grammar topic is quite simple, even if the topic on numerals seems to be difficult for you.

Memorize the numeral "оба" [oba] - both. It differs from those collective numerals which are described below and it is changed in gender (masculine and feminine). Other collective numerals are not changed in gender but declined in cases. These are the numerals: двое [dvoye], трое [troye], четверо [chetvira], пятеро [pyatera], шестеро [shestira], семеро [semira], восьмеро [vas'mero], девятеро [divyatiro], десятеро [disyatiro]. We use them in the following cases:

1. Nouns denoting people of masculine gender.
Двое актёров - Two actors.
(but we cannot say "двое актрис")

2. Nouns of common gender. If you don't know the concept of common gender, then look - these are the words which are used with feminine nouns as well as with masculine ones without changing.
Четверо коллег - Four colleagues.

3. Nouns denoting animals' babies.
Семеро щенков - Seven puppies.

4. Words "дети" (children) and "люди" (people).
Двое детей - Two children.

5. Nouns which are used only in the plural form and pairs.
Трое суток - Three days.
Двое штанов - Two trousers.

6. Personal pronouns.
Нас четверо - There are four of us.

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