The Plural of the Russian Nouns in the Nominative Case: Exceptions

Posted on January 24th, 2013

Hey guys! Welcome to Fun Russian Grammar Lessons!
In the previous lesson you learned how to form the plural of the nouns in the Nominative case. Today, we will talk about some of the exceptions from the rules. If you haven’t seen the previous lesson, you can watch it now – the Plural of the Russian Nouns in the Nominative Case. If you have already seen the lesson, let’s learn some exceptions from the rules you learned last week!

You can also read more about the Russian nominative case and watch the video lesson in the article – Cases of the Russian Nouns & The Nominative Case.

1. Words of Foreign Origin Ending in –o, -и and –у:

Words of foreign origin ending in –o, -и and –у never change their form, they are indeclinable. This means that you don’t need to memorize any other endings, as the ending of the noun will not change!
For example:
Пальто
Такси

2. Masculine Nouns Ending with –ок, -ец
Some masculine nouns ending with –ок, -ец, drop –o or –e when the ending is added to the word:
Итальянец – Итальянцы
Подарок – подарки
Кулачок – кулачки

3. Nouns ending with -ец, -еец, -аец, -иец:

Ending -ец, is popular with the names of nationalities. However, not all names of nationalities are formed by adding –ец. Today, we’ll only talk about the ones that are. A couple of examples:
Американец – Американцы
Вьетнамец – Вьетнамцы
Канадец – Канадцы

As you can see in all of the above examples, -e was dropped and ending –ы was added.

You will also come across other endings that help to form the names of nationalities, for example:
-еец, -аец, -иец:
Европеец – Европейцы
Китаец – Китайцы
Австралиец – Австралийцы
Австриец – Австрийцы

In all of these endings –e is also mobile, and when forming the plural it’s being swapped by –й:
Европеец – Европейцы
Китаец – Китайцы
Австралиец – Австралийцы
Австриец – Австрийцы

Sometimes you will notice that the stress is being shifted when the plural form of the noun is formed. You’ll just need to memorize the new pronunciation of these words. Below are a few examples:
Облако – облака
Словарь – словари

5. Unpredictable Nouns
A few nouns don’t correspond to any of the above rules, they are unpredictable, and you will need to memorize them.

The biggest category of exceptions is masculine nouns that end with the
stressed -a:
Дом – дома
Паспорт – паспорта

And a few more exceptions:
Дочь – дочери
Друг – друзья

Again, these words are exceptions from the rules and you will need to memorize them.

Now, that you are an expert in how to form the plural of the Russian nouns, let’s practice! Please form the plural of the nouns below (in the Nominative case) and leave your answer in the comment section below:
Мать
Свитер
Украинец
Радио
Подарок

Let me know if you have any questions!

Have fun learning Russian!

Viktoria.

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