Category: Cardinal numbers
We previously mentioned that if a Russian number phrase is the subject of a verb, except when the number ends in one, it induces neuter singular verb agreement in the past:
|Прошло два года.||Two years went by.|
|Прошло пять лет.||Five years went by.|
|Прошло десять лет.||Ten years went by.|
There is another exception. If the number is preceded by an adjective in the nominative plural, then the verb shows plural agreement in the past:
|Эти два года были очень насыщенными. (adapted from this source)||Those two years were very rich.|
|Все эти пять лет были удачными в финансовом отношении.||All five years were profitable.|
|Те десять лет прошли прекрасно. (adapted from source)||Those ten years went by marvelously.|
Curses. On Saturday I again proposed to Luludya. She insists, despite our five sons, that she can never marry a man who is not Roma. This insistence nonetheless leads me to a certain point of view in this posting. What if Luludya had agreed to marry me? I could have produced many of following sentences.
Let's assume that Luludya and I have been married for more than a year. The first anniversary has passed. In that case, I may freely say:
|Мы женаты уже один год.||We have been married for a year now.|
Interestingly enough, if we use an ordinal number instead of a cardinal number, then we get a different meaning:
|Мы женаты только первый год.||We are in our first year of marriage.|
The use of the ordinal number indicates that the first year has not yet ended. The same thing happens with other years. If our second anniversary has already passed, I can say:
|Мы женаты уже два года.||We have been married for two years now.|
But if our second anniversary hasn't passed yet, we will say:
|Мы женаты уже второй год.||We are in our second year of marriage.|
Let's say you are working at a company. The fifth anniversary of your employment has already passed. You can say either «Я здесь работаю уже пять лет» or «Я здесь работаю уже шестой год». Both sentences say essentially the same thing, but one uses the word пять, and the other uses the word шестой.
And now to return to reality...
|Лулудя отказывается выходить за меня замуж пять лет.||Luludya has refused to marry me for five years. (In other words this is now the sixth year, and she still refuses.)|
|Лулудя отказывается выходить за меня замуж уже шестой год.|