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Learning to count in Russian

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Russian Numbers

Let's learn the Russian numbers. These are the "cardinal" numbes (counting).

We'll deal more extensively later with the word "one" as it has some twists depending on how its used. For now, lets begin simply.

0 ноль [nohl]  

1 один  [ah-deen]

2 два  [dvah]

3 три  [tree]

4 четыре  [che-ti-ryeh]

5 пять  [pyat']

6 шесть  [shest']

7 семь  [syem]

8 восемь  [voh-syem]

9 девять  [dyeh-vit']

10 десять  [dyeh-sit']

The zero puzzle: (Okay if spelled as нуль)

Our good friends at Listen2russian have a great website which includes the ability to listen to these numbers spoken. A very helpful feature is the ability to listen to the words spoken normally and slowly but native speakers. Here are numbers 1-5:

Listen to numbers 6-10:

Time out for learning a "pattern." Thank goodness there are lots of patterns in Russian and once you start working with the language those will begin to fall into place.

Here is a pattern to help with the next set. The numbers 11-19 are formed by adding "-надцать" to the corresponding numbers 1-9.

11 одиннадцать  [ah-dee-nat-sat']

12 двенадцать  [dvi-nat-sat']

13 тринадцать  [tree-nat-sat']

14 четырнадцать  [chye-tir-nat-sat']

15 пятнадцать  [pyat-nat-sat']

16 шестнадцать  [shes-nat-sat']

17 семнадцать  [sim-nat-sat']

18 восемнадцать  [vahsim-nat-sat']

19 девятнадцать  [divit-nat-sat']

20 двадцать  [dvat-sat']

Listen2Russian is a great way to hear these spoken, here are numbers 11-15:

Here are numbers 16-20:

Now let's count by 10's:

10 десять  [dye-sit']

20 двадцать  [dvat-sat']

30 тридцать  [treet-sat']
40 сорок  [soh-rahk]
50 пятьдесят  [pit-dee-syat]
60 шестьдесят  [shes-dee-syat]
70 семьдесят  [syem-dee-syat]
80 восемьдесят  [voh-sim-dee-syat]
90 девяносто  [di-vee-nohs-tah]
100 сто  [stoh]

Here are a few quick patterns that if learned will help a lot down the road with not only other numbers but also other word patterns:

- Ten, Twenty and Thirty have what in common?

The soft sign, ь, is moved to the end of the word.

- Twenty and thirty are formed by removing some of the letters from the teens (надцать) but keeping дцать.

Ex: два is 2. Add дцать and it becomes двадцать 20.

Same for три 3. Add дцать and you have тридцать which is 30.

- 50, 60, 70, 80 are formed by taking the single digit adding the word for "ten" to the end.

50 пятьдесят  [pit-dee-syat]; пять is 5. Add 10 десят to the end and it becomes 50.
60 шестьдесят  [shes-dee-syat]
70 семьдесят  [syem-dee-syat]
80 восемьдесят  [voh-sim-dee-syat]

- One more pattern: On 50, 60, 70, and 80 the soft sign, ь, is placed at the end of the digit name and not at the end of the "ten" name.

Next, 40, 90 and 100 are exceptions.

40 сорок  [SOH-rahk] has nothing in common with the others.

90 девяносто  [di-vee-nohs-tah] also.

100 сто  [stoh]


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