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Classes of Numerals

For denotation the quantity of objects, their oreder at calculation, and also abstract numbers in Russian cardinal, ordinal, fraction and collective numerals are used. 

  Cardinal Numerals  Fraction Numerals  Ordinal Numerals  Collective Numerals

denote counting abstract numbers or definite quantity of items

denote fraction abstract numbers (fractions) or fractional quantity of items denote the sequence order of items when counting denote the quantity of items as a whole
Question  answer the questions: how many? answer the questions: how many? answer the questions: which? which in succession? answer the questions: how many?
Examples  оди́н (one)
пятна́дцать (fifteen)
со́рок (forty)
се́мь (seven)
сто пятьдеся́т три (one hundred fifty three)
во́семь домов (eight houses)     пятьдеся́т лет (fifty years)
две тре́тьих (two thirds)
семь со́тых (seven hundredths)
три деся́тых секунды (three tenths of the second)
полтора́ года (one and a half year)
пе́рвый (the first)
второ́й (the second)
тридца́тый (the thirtieth)
со́рок девя́тый (the fourty ninth)
двухсо́тый (the two hundredth)
тро́е друзе́й (three friends)
се́меро козля́т (seven kids)
о́бе школьницы (both schoolgirls)


Pay attention!

As a rule, only collective numerals from дво́е (two) to се́меро (seven) are used in modern Russian. The forms во́сьмеро (eight), де́вятеро (nine), де́сятеро (ten) are outdated. 

Collective numerals have limited usage; they can be combined only:

  1. With nouns, denoting males: дво́е студе́нтов (two students)
  2. With nouns, having only plural form: тро́е су́ток (three days)
  3. With nouns, denoting pairs or items, consisting of two parts: дво́е воро́т (two gates), тро́е брю́к (three trousers), че́тверо носко́в (four socks) (=4 pairs)
  4. With nouns: де́ти (children), ребя́та (guys), лю́ди (people) and лицо́ (individual): пя́теро ребя́т (five guys), ше́стеро неизве́стных ли́ц (six unknown individuals)
  5. With personal pronouns in plural: нас се́меро (there are seven of us), их че́тверо (there are four of them)
  6. With nouns, denoting young animals: тро́е котя́т (three kittens)
  7. In some situations - instead of nouns (so called «substuntivized numerals»): вошли́ тро́е (three walked in = individuals, people, men or women, children etc. – definite meaning is unknown), разы́скиваются че́тверо (four are sought for = individuals, people, men, criminals etc.)

According to the structure we distinguish:

  1. Simple numerals – with underived stem
    один (one), два (two), де́сять (ten), сто (one hundred), ты́сяча (one thousand), дво́е (two), пя́теро (five)
  2. Complex – with derived stem, formed with  some stems
    трина́дцать (thirteen), восемна́дцать (eighteen), пятьдеся́т (fifty), двена́дцатый (the twelfth), семидеся́тый (the seventieth)
  3. Compound – consisting of two or more words
    два́дцать три (twenty three), сто пятьдеся́т четы́ре (one hundred fifty four), две седьмы́х (two sevenths), со́рок четвёртый (the forty fourth), три́ста во́семьдесят пя́тый (the three hundred eighty fifth)

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