1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Russian
  4. >
  5. "Тебе уже пять лет?"

"Тебе уже пять лет?"

Translation:Are you already five years old?

January 8, 2016



Why тебе? And not тебя?


Indicating age is done in dative case (lit. “you are given 5 years”), so you use тебе which is dative, unlike тебя, which is both accusative and genitive.


Года vs лет?


"Года" is genitive singular, "лет" is the irregular genitive plural. Genitive plural is used with numbers ending 5 and up. Genitive singular is used with numbers ending 2-4, except 12-14 which are also genitive plural.


Distinctions like this make me need to cry a little bit before plowing ahead.


It really makes me wonder what advantage such a thing creates to make it worthwhile in a natural language. I guess a native russian speaker will never mix up numbers ending with 2-4 and 5 and up.


It doesn't exist because it has an advantage. It exists simply because it does. It's a remnant of a language that existed before modern Russian. Such things like numbers and cases change slowly if most speakers of the language are natives, because we learn them in our early childhood and by the time we are old enough to consider whether it's practical or not it's already too ingrained into our brain, so any change feels unnatural. Most languages has some peculiarity of this sort.


This is my grandma when she hasnt seen me for a while


I find it intriguing that the number is the only subject in sentences concerning age.


She has no intonation of the interrogative sentence. I do not look at the text, but listen, and later, wondering why the mistake. I always need to read. I should always read, not just listen. :)


"have you already turned five" is here false but it works for 18 ...


1 год.. for the numbers ending in 2,3,4 года.. for the numbers ending in 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 0 is used лет. But the exception is that for 11, 12, 13, 14 is used лет.

51 год, 72 года, 95 лет...

Learn Russian in just 5 minutes a day. For free.