Category: "Cardinal numbers"


by Don  

The other day I came across a story that included the following line:

Этой ночью кошка в надцатый раз нагадила под диван. Last night the cat pooped for the umpteenth time under the couch.

I had never encountered the word на́дцатый before, but instinct immediately told me it meant ‘umpteenth.’ Instincts always have to be double checked when you are dealing with a language not native to you, so I consulted a dictionary and found confirmation; and to my shock I also found out that there is a number ‘umpteen,’ which is на́дцать. That is very cool. These words are jocular, of course, not something you would write in a professional document or presentation, but everyone understands them. The noun form declines like this:


and the adjective form declines like a standard adjective:

Masc Neut Fem Pl
Nom на́дцатый на́дцатое на́дцатая на́дцатые
Acc * на́дцатую *
Gen на́дцатого на́дцатой на́дцатых
Pre на́дцатом
Dat на́дцатому на́дцатым
Ins на́дцатым на́дцатыми

Remember that these words are slightly humorous, so you will see them in informal contexts. Here are some theoretically possible sample sentences.

Тань, не поверишь, но вчера Серёга в надцатый раз пристал ко мне. Я больше терпеть не могла, так что пришлось просто отшить его. Tanya, you won't believe it, but yesterday Sergei hit on me for the umpteenth time. I couldn't take it any more so I
ended up having to get rid of him.
Ванька, я уже тебе надцать раз сказала, чтобы ты не забывал опускать сиденье унитаза! Если ещё раз забудешь, тебе будет плохо. Johnny, I've already told you umpteen times not to forget to put the toilet seat down! If you forget again, you'll be in big trouble.

Here's the whole story I mentioned before (source). Enjoy!

Этой ночью кошка в надцатый раз нагадила под диван. Last night the cat pooped for the umpteenth time under the couch.
Пришлось вставать и убирать. I had to get up and clean it.
Естественно, я не выспался: на завтрак пожарил себе йогурт; Of course, I didn't get enough sleep: at breakfast I ended up frying my yogurt.
на работе в сердцах разбил ксерокс, который отказывался работать — оказалось, это был сканер; At work in a fit of anger I broke a copy machine that didn't want to work; turned out it was a scanner.
вместо любовницы позвонил шефу и пять минут уговаривал его на интимную ночь с шампанским при свечах. I tried to call my girlfriend but accidentally called my boss and spent five minutes sweet-talking him into an intimate evening with champagne and candles.
Когда я сообразил, кому звоню, он уже почти согласился. By the time I had realized who I had called, he had practically agreed to come.
Пришел вечером домой и запер кошку в стиральной машине — I got home in the evening and shut the cat in the washing machine:
пусть сидит и думает над своим поведением. he needs to sit there a while and think about what he did.

Год (часть пятая)

by Don  

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.

Год (часть четвёртая)

by Don  

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.