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  5. "five minutes"

"five minutes"

Translation:пять минут

November 10, 2015



It seems like English is much easier than Russian!


I wrote: пять минуты Isn't "minutes" the plural of "minute"? I don't understand why pluralizing "minute" in Russian was incorrect.

[deactivated user]

    The noun forms used with numbers in Russian are a bit tricky.

    For numbers ending in 1 (except numbers ending in 11) you use the nominative singular form: одна́ мину́та 'one minute', ты́сяча и одна́ но́чь 'a thousand [nights] and one night', два́дцать одна́ карти́на ‘twenty-one paintings’, три́дцать оди́н слон 'thirty-one elephants'.

    For numbers ending in 2, 3, 4 (except ending in 12, 13, 14) you use the geninive singular form: две мину́ты 'two minutes', три карти́ны 'three paintings', четы́ре соба́ки 'four dogs', три́дцать четы́ре слона́ ‘thirty-four elephants’.

    For all the other numbers (numbers ending in 0, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11—19), you use genitive plural form: пя́ть мину́т, шесть слоно́в (6 elephants).

    Why 3 different cases? Well, in the past they were 3 different numbers! Slavic Languages used to have dual number (слон 'elephant' — слона '2 elephants' — слоны '3 or more elephants'), which got lost in Russian (in fact, in most Slavic languages except Slovenian), but dual got replaced with a different case form. (Why dual was used not only with 2, but also with 3 and 4? No idea. :D)


    Ahhh, thank you so much for the detailed clarification! I read the Duolingo notes but I didn't quite understand them until you came to my rescue (haha, perhaps I should go to sleep; it's late in my time zone ^^")


    This just seems ridiculously overcomplicated. How about a Russian language revolution to make all numbers nominative singular? Lol


    фабрика звёзд just popped up in my mind


    Do i smell pantera in here?


    It is 1 МинутА 2,3,4... 22,23,24.... Х2, Х3, Х4. МинутЫ 5,6,7,8,9,10-20МинуТ 21, 31 , 41 ,.... 101 .... Х1 МинутА.

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