The Declension of Plural Nouns

There is no strict distinction between declensions of plural nouns in Russian. The charts below sum up the endings for plural nouns and give examples.

First declension

Cases Plural nouns endings

Examples *

Nominative -ы, -и страны лилии
Genitive стран лилий
Dative -ам, -ям странам лилиям
Accusative -ы, -и страны лилии
Instrumental -ами, -ями странами лилиями
Prepositional -ах, -ях (о) странах (о) лилиях

* Stressed vowels are underlined. Endings are in bold.

Second declension

Cases Plural nouns endings

Examples *

Nominative окна города
Genitive -ов окон городов
Dative -ам окнам городам
Accusative окна города
Instrumental -ами окнами городами
Prepositional -ах (об) окнах (о) городах

Third declension

Cases  Plural nouns endings 

 Examples * 

Nominative ладони
Genitive ладоней
Dative -ям ладоням
Accusative ладони
Instrumental -ями ладонями
Prepositional -ях (о) ладонях

As you can see from the charts, the nouns of all three declensions have the same endings in the dative, instrumental and prepositional cases.

In the nominative and accusative cases, the plural nouns may have the endings:

  • -ы/-и -- typical of nouns of any declension
  • -а/-я -- typical of second declension nouns only (берега, озёра, моря)

Learn the plural nouns which get the ending in the nominative: волосы (hair), договоры (contracts), выборы (elections), инженеры (engineers), конструкторы (constructors), офицеры (officers), слесари (fitters), торты (cakes), тракторы (tractors), шофёры (drivers).

Test yourself

1. Choose the correct forms of plural genitive nouns.

A. Падежов, телёнков
B. Падежей, телят

2. Choose the correct forms of plural nominative nouns.

A. Шофёры, договоры, инженеры
B. Шофера, договора, инженера

 

Answers: 1. B, 2. A

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