год и лет

When should I use "год" and when should I use "лет?"

January 16, 2016


Год is nominative, года is genitive and лет is the (irregular) genitive plural. Numbers ending with -1 (except 11) require the nominative (год, час, минута). Numbers ending with -2, -3, -4 (such as 2, 23, 54...) require the genitive (лета, часа, минуты) Numbers ending with -5, -6, -7, -8, -9 (such as 6, 75, 89, 5) and ALL NUMBERS from 5 to 20 require the genitive plural. Moreover do numbers like 20, 30, 50, 70... require the genitive plural (such as лет, часов, минут)

January 17, 2016

Thank you all!

Now, when someone talks about a date, it seems to always be года. Is this true?

I guess you're talking about ordinal numbers used with год, like in "первое января две тысячи шестнадцатого года" (January 1, 2016). With ordinal numbers it's always год, not лет, but the form of год depends on the case. "Две тысячи шестнадцатого" in the example above is in the genitive case, hence "года".
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