by Don  

The most common word for four in Russian is четыре. If четыре occurs in the nominative case, then it is followed by the genitive singular form of the noun:

четыре сына four sons
четыре дочери four daughters
четыре письма four letters

However, just as with the numbers два/две and три, if you put an adjective between the number and the noun, you don't use the genitive singular. So what for do you use? Well, that depends...

If you are dealing with masculine or neuter nouns, then you have to use an adjectival form that copies the genitive plural:

четыре красивых сына four handsome sons
четыре длинных письма four long letters

If you are dealing with feminine nouns, it is usually best to use an adjectival form that copies the nominative plural:

четыре красивые дочери four pretty daughters

Here are some sample sentences:

На крыше загорали четыре хорошенькие туристки. There were four cute [female] tourists sunbathing on the roof.
У инопланетянина были четыре зелёные лапы и два красных глаза. The alien had four green paws and two red eyes.
Четыре старых космонавта играли в покер в парке. Four old cosmonauts were playing poker in the park.
У меня четыре японских мобильника. I have four Japanese cell phones.

¹ You will sometimes also encounter четыре красивых дочери, аlthough красивые is better style these days.

1 comment

Comment from: dimmik [Visitor]

“The most common word for four in Russian is четыре.”
What are other, not so common, words for “four"?

Don responds: Четверо.

02/25/11 @ 04:06

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