Nouns. Nominative plural

  1. The nominative plural endings of nouns in Russian are very easy to remember, if you keep in mind your spelling rules.
  2. Keep in mind that in Russian the hardness or softness of a stem should always be preserved as you put endings on it. If you are not sure how to tell if a consonant is hard or soft, review the section on palatalization.
  3. Most masculine and feminine nouns in the nominative plural will have the ending if the noun stem ends in a hard consonant:
    gendersingularplural
    mascжурналжурналы
    femгазетагазеты
  4. If you are dealing with a feminine noun, you always drop the feminine ending (, or ) before you add the plural ending.
  5. If the noun stem ends in a soft consonant, or if it ends in the consonants к, г, х, ч, ж, ш, щ ( Spelling Rule 1), the nominative plural ending will be :
    gendersingularplural
    masculine портфель портфели
    галстук галстуки
    feminine книга книги
    тётя тёти
  6. Remember to drop the soft sign (-ь) in masculine nouns before you add the plural ending.
  7. Some masculine nouns in Russian have what is called a fill vowel immediately before the last consonant. The fill vowel, usually the vowel -е-, is dropped when you add the plural ending to such nouns:
    singularplural
    отецотцы
    американецамериканцы
  8. Neuter nouns that end in -o in the singular (hard stem), have the ending -a in the nominative plural:
    singularplural
    письмо письма
  9. Neuter nouns that end in -e in the singular (soft stem), take the ending in the nominative plural:
    singularplural
    упражнение упражнения
  10. Remember to always drop the final vowel of a neuter noun before you add the plural ending.
  11. There are some Russian nouns that are borrowed from other languages, and that in the singular look like neuter nouns. These nouns in Russian don't have endings for any case. Here are some examples:
    кафе, кофе, радио, пальто
  12. Russian, like English, has many irregular plurals. These you have to memorize as you learn them. Here are several examples of such nouns:
    singularplural
    дом дома
    муж мужья
    сын сыновья
    мать матери
    дочь дочери
    сосед соседи
  13. If a borrowed noun ends in a consonant, in Russian it is treated like a masculine noun.
  14. If a borrowed noun ends in the vowels -a, or , it is treated like a feminine noun.
  15. If a borrowed noun ends in any other vowel, it will not take any endings.

Exercises: 0018, 0019