Lesson 081

Russian ordinal numbers

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We have already covered all cardinal Russian numbers. Cardinal numbers are used to count things. Today is the turn of ordinal numbers (i.e. first, second, third etc.)

In Russian, as in English and many other languages, the ordinal numbers look differently than their cardinal counterparts.

Ordinal numbers from 0 to 10

0: ноль – нулево́й
1: один – пе́рвый
2: два – второ́й
3: три – тре́тий
4: четы́ре – четвёртый
5: пять – пя́тый
6: шесть – шесто́й
7: семь – седьмо́й
8: во́семь – восьмо́й
9: де́вять – девя́тый
10: де́сять – деся́тый

Used with nouns, Russian ordinal numbers change the same way as Russian adjectives do, by gender, number, and case. For example:

пе́рвый эта́ж the first floor
втора́я попы́тка the second try
тре́тье ме́сто the third place
четвёртая маши́на спра́ва the fourth car on the right side
пя́тое окно́ сле́ва the fifth window on the left side

Check out the declension of Russian adjectives here.

Russian Pod 101

Ordinal numbers starting from 10

To form a Russian ordinal numeral starting from 10, in most cases you will need only to remove the last and add another ending depending on the gender and number:

-ЫЙ for masculine
-АЯ for feminine
-ОЕ for neuter
-ЫЕ for plural

Examples:

де́сять столбо́в – деся́тый столб
ten posts – tenth post (masculine)

оди́ннадцать попы́ток – оди́ннадцатая попы́тка
eleven attempts – eleventh attempt (feminine)

два́дцать кре́сел – двадца́тое кре́сло
twenty armchairs – twentieth armchair (neuter)

However, there is a number of exceptions from this rule…

Tens

When it comes to tens, they follow the rules above with some nuances. Here are all of them:

20: два́дцать – двадца́тый

30: три́дцать – тридца́тый

40: со́рок – сороково́й

50: пятьдеся́т – пятидеся́тый

60: шестьдеся́т – шестидеся́тый

70: се́мьдесят – семидеся́тый

80: во́семьдесят – восьмидеся́тый

90: девяно́сто – девяно́стый

Obviously, you can also use feminine, neuter and plural endings. Try to do it yourself as a practice.

Hundreds

Hundredth in Russian is со́тый:

100: сто – со́тый

Hundreds starting from 200 change their first part into Genitive plural form, and use со́тый instead of the last part:

200: две́сти – двухсо́тый

300: три́ста – трёхсо́тый

400: четы́реста – четырёхсо́тый

500: пятьсо́т – пятисо́тый

600: шестьсо́т – шестисо́тый

700: семьсо́т – семисо́тый

800: восемьсо́т – восьмисо́тый

900: девятьсо́т – девятисо́тый

Compound ordinal numbers

To compose a two-digits ordinal number, you only need to change the last digit, as in English:

21st: два́дцать пе́рвый

33d: три́дцать тре́тий

45th: со́рок пя́тый

89th: во́семьдесят девя́тый

Same, if you want to compose a 3-digit ordinal number. Except for the cases when last two digits have their own special form (shown earlier). For example:

301st: три́ста пе́рвый

457th: четы́реста пятьдеся́т седьмо́й

511th: пятьсо́т оди́ннадцатый

990th: девятьсо́т девяно́стый

Practice to compose various ordinal numbers in Russian in different genders and numbers.

Train your pronunciation with the audio file.

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4 comments on “081 – Russian ordinal numbers”

  1. Jean Emmanuel Cesar says:

    Before long, my Russian will be pretty fine.

  2. Jean Emmanuel Cesar says:

    I am a Haitian, but, apart from Creole and French, I speak English and Spanish. I have been teaching them for 19 years. Actually, I both speak and read them pretty well. I have always been dreaming about speaking more than seven foreign languages. That’s why I took up learning particularly Russian three days ago. When I started learning English and Spanish, I was 12 years old. Now it’s time for me to study Russian. As linguist, languages mean a lot to me.
    I really appreciate the way you put these Russian lessons available for the people concerned. I am much obliged to you. Keep doing like this.

    1. Learn Russian Step by Step says:

      Hello Jean Emmanuel,

      Thanks for your comment. We wish to keep your motivation to learn Russian as high as it is now. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask! 🙂

  3. ssentamu joseph says:

    i would like to learn russian

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