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  5. "Ей три года."

"Ей три года."

Translation:She is three years old.

January 10, 2016



Would a literal translation be: there are three years to her?

I know this sentence doesn't make sense in English. I'm just curious to how the dative case works.


You guessed almost right, it's"three years to her".


That's why we need to use dative?


Shouldn't лет be used like when I say "Я XX лет"?

[deactivated user]

    With numbers, three forms are used:

    • If a number ends in «один» (for masculine nouns), «одна» (for feminine nouns) or «одно» (for neuter nouns), singular nominative is used (мне тогда́ был оди́н год 'I was one year old back then', мне два́дцать оди́н год 'I'm 21 years old').
    • If a number ends in «два» or «две» (for feminine nouns), «три», «четы́ре», then singular genitive is used (мне три́дцать два го́да 'I'm 32 years old).
    • For all the other numbers, we usually use genitive plural. However, when counting years, we don't use «годо́в»; instead, we use a different form «лет» which is actually a form of the number ле́то 'summer'. So, we basically count not years, but summers. (мне два́дцать ле́т 'I'm twenty years old', мне со́рок пять лет 'I'm fourty-five years old').

    Since «три» ends in «три» (well, it not only ends in that, it's the only word), we use «го́да» and not «лет».


    331 years old ends in «один» but google translates it as «лет». Is google wrong?

    [deactivated user]

      Yes, it should be «331 год» (три́ста три́дцать оди́н год).

      Here's a real-life usage example:

      Эта ветвь рода за 331 год дала столице Ганзы 15 членов городского совета и 5 бургомистров. http://www.rus-hanse.ru/9_30.htm


      I read that on a question further down the category, but thank you anyway, I'm sure this is a common question!


      in the phrase ей три года, or any other phrase where the speech is about age, the numbers are subject and the person, who is e.g. 3 years old is an object, that's why the person (pronoun/ name) changes the case

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