Numbers in Russian: A Quick Guide 

 February 19, 2020

By  Jovanka

Let's talk about numbers in Russian. They are an integral part of every Russian's life. No matter how complicated it may seem at first glance, they are an excellent introduction to this fascinating language.

Once you learn to pronounce 'девятна́дцать' (nineteen) or 'четырёхсотый' (four hundredths), you will be able to handle sophisticated mathematical intelligence typical of the Russians.

The Russian way of counting is logical. There are two types of numbers, including cardinal and ordinal ones. To help you learn them in the easiest possible way, I will list them side by side. With a few exceptions that require a little more effort, you will quickly understand the system.

Numbers in Russian

The First Ten Cardinal Numbers

After understanding a simple structure of the first nine cardinal numbers, the complex ones will be a piece of cake. Let's see.

The cardinal (counting) numbers show quantity and help you to determine 'how many' of something there is. For example:

  • Один мужчина (One man)
  • Двое мужчин (Two men)
  • Три женщины (Three women)
  • Это один мужчина (It is one man)
  • Есть двое мужчин (There are two men)

Cardinal numbers

0ноль (nol')/
1оди́н (odin)одна́ (odna)одно́ (odno)/
2два (dva)две (dve)два (dva)дво́е (dvoe)
3три (tri)тро́е (troe)
4четы́ре (četyre)че́тверо (četvero)
5пять (pjat')пя́теро (pjatero)
6шесть (šest')ше́стеро (šestero)
7семь (sem')се́меро (semero)
8во́семь (vosem')во́сьмеро (vos'mero)
9де́вять (devjat')де́вятеро (devjatero)
10де́сять (desjat')де́сятеро (desjatero)

The First Ten Ordinal Numbers

The ordinal (position) numbers fit the corresponding cardinal numbers, but they show the place between two people or objects.

  • Первое место (The first place)
  • Второй день (The second day)
  • Третий человек (The third man)

Ordinal numbers

0Нулево́й (nulevój)
1первый (pyervy)пе́рваяпе́рвоепе́рвые
2второй (ftaroy)втора́явторо́евторы́е
3третий (tryety)тре́тьятре́тьетре́тьи
4четвертый (chytvyorty)четвёртаячетвёртоечетвёртые
5пятый (pyaty)пя́таяпя́тоепя́тые
6шестой (shystoy)шестаяшесто́ешесты́е
7седьмой (syd'moy)седьмаяседьмо́еседьмы́е
8восьмой (vas'moy)восьмаявосьмо́евосьмы́е
9девятый (dyvyaty)девя́таядевя́тоедевя́тые
10десятый (dysyaty)деся́таядеся́тоедеся́тые

Cardinal Numbers from 11 to 19

As you can see, you will form these numbers by adding 'надцать' to the numbers from 1 to 9. Please pay attention that the first four of them have some irregular variations. To make learning more comfortable for you, our shy suffixes have blushed.

NumberCardinal numbersOrdinal numbers
11оди́ннадцать (odinnadcat')оди́ннадцатый (odinnadcatyj)
12двена́дцать (dvenadcat')двена́дцатый (dvenadcatyj)
13трина́дцать (trinadcat')трина́дцатый (trinadcatyj)
14четы́рнадцать (četyrnadcat')четы́рнадцатый (četyrnadcatyj)
15пятна́дцать (pjatnadcat')пятна́дцатый (pjatnadcatyj)
16шестна́дцать (šestnadcat')шестна́дцатый (šestnadcatyj)
17семна́дцать (semnadcat')семна́дцатый (semnadcatyj)
18восемна́дцать (vosemnadcat')восемна́дцатый (vosemnadcatyj)
19девятна́дцать (devjatnadcat')девятна́дцатый (devjatnadcatyj)

Cardinal Numbers from 20 to 29

To form numbers from 21 to 29, you should add an adequate number (1 to 9) to 'двадцать' (twenty). If you apply the same system to all tens, you will find out that complex numbers in Russian are actually quite easy to learn. In fact, we do the same in English. For example:

  • Два́дцать оди́н (twenty-one)
  • Два́дцать шесть (twenty-six)
  • Два́дцать во́семь (twenty-eight)

NumberCardinal numbersOrdinal numbers
20два́дцать (dvadcat')двадца́тый (dvadcatyj)
21два́дцать оди́н (dvadcat' odin)два́дцать пе́рвый (dvadcat' pervyj)
22два́дцать два (dvadcat' dva)два́дцать второ́й (dvadcat' vtoroj)
23два́дцать три (dvadcat' tri)два́дцать тре́тий (dvadcat' tretij)
24два́дцать четы́ре (dvadcat' četyre)два́дцать четвёртый (dvadcat' četvërtyj)
25два́дцать пять (dvadcat' pjat')два́дцать пя́тый (dvadcat' pjatyj)
26два́дцать шесть (dvadcat' šest')два́дцать шесто́й (dvadcat' šestoj)
27два́дцать семь (dvadcat' sem')два́дцать седьмо́й (dvadcat' sed'moj)
28два́дцать во́семь (dvadcat' vosem')два́дцать восьмо́й (dvadcat' vos'emoj)
29два́дцать де́вять (dvadcat' devjat')два́дцать девя́тый (dvadcat' devjatyj)

The best of all is that you can apply the same system to other genders without too much brain strain.

Other Tens in Russian

As I have already mentioned, you can quickly create any number you want after memorizing basic tens and the first nine numbers. For example:

  • Три́дцать два (thirty-two)
  • Пятьдеся́т семь (fifty-seven)
  • Девяно́сто де́вять (ninety-nine)

NumberCardinal numbersOrdinal numbers
30три́дцать (tridcat')тридца́тый (tridcatyj)
40со́рок / соро́к (sorok)сороково́й (sorokvoj)
50пятьдеся́т (pjat'desjat)пятидеся́тый (pjat'desjatyj)
60шестьдеся́т (šest'desjat)шестидеся́тый (šest'desjatyj)
70се́мьдесят (sem'desjat)семидеся́тый (sem'desjatyj)
80во́семьдесят (vosem'desjat)восьмидеся́тый (vosem'desjatyj)
90девяно́сто (devjanosto)девяно́стый (devjanostyj)

  • Со́рок пя́тый (forty-fifth)
  • Се́мьдесят пе́рвый (seventy-first)
  • Во́семьдесят четвёртый (eighty-fourth)

Hundreds and Thousands in Russian

I will give you all the hundreds and thousands because you should know the system of forming complex numbers. However, I have a lovely surprise for you. Follow me!

NumberCardinal numbersOrdinal numbers
100сто (sto)со́тый (sotyj)
200две́сти (dvesti)двухсо́тый (dvuxsotyj)
300три́ста (trista)трёхсотый (trëxsotyj)
400четы́реста (četyresta)четырёхсотый (četyrëxsotyj)
500пятьсо́т (pjatsot)пятисо́тый (pjatisotyj)
600шестьсо́т (šest'sot)шестисо́тый (šestisotyj)
700семьсо́т (sem'sot)семисо́тый (semisotyj)
800восемьсо́т (vosem'sot)восьмисо́тый (vosemisotyj)
900девятьсо́т (devjat'sot)девятисо́тый (devjatisotyj)
1000ты́сяча (tysjača)ты́сячный (tysjačnyj)
1 millionмиллио́н (million)миллио́нный (millionnyj)
1 billionмиллиа́рд (milliard)миллиа́рдный (milliardnyj)

The rule is that each number making the complex one needs to have the right suffixes! For example, imagine that you have 3 479 apples. In Russian, it will sound like:

  • У меня есть три тысячи четыреста семьдесят девять яблок.

Once you understand the pattern, you will be able to write any number without too much effort. The question is - why would you? It is better to make it shorter and simply write:

  • У меня есть 3 479 яблок.

It is quite acceptable for everyone! I told you that I have excellent news for you. You are welcome!

Declension of Cardinal Numbers in Russian

Congratulations! You have learned the easier part! Before you pass out, I can tell you that declensions in Russians just look scary, but don't worry. Once you figure out the pattern, they will still look scary. Kidding! Let's do it together!

Case in Russian012
Nominativeноль/нульоди́нодна́одно́одни́два/ две/ два/ дво́е

As you have already noticed, the first four numbers are always different. All other numbers have the same suffixes in a proper case.

Case in Russian3456789

To make learning more comfortable for you, I will tell you that there are three numbers you will love. Unlike others, they have just two forms. One is in the nominative and accusative:

  • 40 (сорок)
  • 90 (девяносто)
  • 100 (сто)

Another is in other cases:

  • 40 (сорока)
  • 90 (девяноста)
  • 100 (ста)

How lovely!

Case in Russian1020304050

Once you figure out suffixes for the number 50, you can say that you have already learned declensions for all the remaining tens. Except 90, of course. It is the one we love.

Case in Russian60708090

I have already made you happy by showing how simple the declension for the number 100 is. Now, you need to figure out how to handle 200, 300, and 400.

Case in Russian100200300400

I have already made you happy by showing how simple the declension for the number 100 is. Now, you need to figure out how to handle 200, 300, and 400.

Case in Russian500600700800900

I will also give you the declensions for 1,000 and 1,000,000,000, but it shouldn't bother you too much. As a nation that values mathematics and uses numbers a lot, the Russians have found a system that makes it more comfortable to handle large ones.

106 - миллио́н (million)
109 - миллиа́рд (billion)
1012 - триллио́н (trillion)
1015 - квадриллио́н (quadrillion)
1018 - квинтиллио́н (quintillion)

Case in Russian1,000 (feminine)1,000,000 (masculine)
Instrumentalты́сячью, ты́сячейты́сячамимиллио́номмиллио́нами

If you read all these numbers at least once, I can tell you that you have done fantastic work! I have no intention to trick you. Learning all of them won't be a quick job at all! However, you have made the first step, and the next one can't be harder. Well done!


Тhe Russian language is my passion, probably because my grand-grandparents came to Serbia after the Russian Revolution. Except for the love of culture and language of the nation I partly belong to, I finished a three-year Russian language school and have been working as an English-Serbian-Russian translator for years. My life is a mix of family love, traveling, and writing, and I wouldn't change a thing there.

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