Russian Nouns

In Russian there is no article. Russian nouns decline by number, gender and case.

Grammatical Gender in Russian

There are three grammatical genders in Russian:

  • masculine (m)
  • feminine (f)
  • neuter (n)

The gender is often, but not always, indicated by the ending of singular nouns in their basic form (Nominative Singular).
In Russian, the gender can always be recognised by the ending of a defining adjective.

Nouns ending with a consonant, -й or -ь. (rarely also -а (-я)).
Examples: стол (table), музей (museum), словарь (dictionary), папа (Dad), дядя (uncle)

Most nouns ending with -а (-я) or -ь and all nouns ending with -жь, -чь, -шь, -щь.
Examples: поездка (journey), неделя (week), кровать (bed), ночь (night), мышь (mouse)

Nouns ending with -о, -е (-ё) or –мя.
Examples: облако (cloud), собрание (meeting), время (time)

Some Russian nouns can be masculine or feminine depending on the person they describe.
Она такая плакса! – She is such a cry-baby!
Он такой непоседа! – He is such a fidget!

Grammatical Number in Russian


There are two numbers in Russian:

  • singular
  • plural

In plural most Russian nouns take the ending or . Some nouns follow other rules, though. Note that some plural nouns have a stress on a different vowel compared to the singular form. Stressed vowels are written in italic here.

Plural ending in -и

Masculine and feminine nouns:

  1. with a soft stem consonant
    словaрь – словари (dictionary); музeй – музeи (museum)
  2. with stem consonants -г, -к, -х
    книга - книги (book); язык – языки (language, tongue)
  3. ending in sibilants (-ч, -ж, -ш, -щ)
    клещ – клещи (tick); ключ – ключи (key)

Plural ending in -ы

Masculine und feminine nouns with a hard stem consonant.
стол – столы (table); мечта – мечты (dream)

Plural ending in -а, -я

1) Neuter nouns with:

  • hard stem consonants take the ending
    место – места (place)
  • soft stem consonants take the ending
    здание – здания (building)

2) Some masculine nouns. There is no rule.
город – города (town, city); дом – дома (house);
учитель – учителя (teacher)

Following groups of Russian nouns can be memorized:

  • Job titles with the ending –op
    доктор – доктора (doctor); директор – директора (director)
  • Things that come in pairs
    глаз – глаза (eye); берег – берега (bank of a river)

Irregular Plural in Russian

1) Some masculine nouns with disappearing vowels e and oin word roots
день – дни (day); рот – рты (mouse)

2) Plural ending -ья
друг – друзья (friend); муж – мужья (husband);
дерево – деревья (tree); стул – стулья (chair)

3)Change of word root
ребёнок – дети (child - children)