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"два человека"

Translation:two people

February 12, 2016



What is the difference between человека and люди?


Люди is the plural of человек, except when it's after numerals. "People are happy" - Люди счастливы. "Thirty people" - Тридцать человек. (See section 'Usage notes' here ). Note that this sentence (два человека) cannot possibly use люди anyway, because два requires a noun in singular form genitive case.


But the lesson instructions said to use людей with numbers under 5...?

"When you are counting people, use "челове́к" for numbers that end in «пять» (5) or more. Anywhere else use the normal Genitive plural "люде́й" (with много and мало both are possible, but I'd stick to люде́й)."


I think the lesson notes are incomplete. You use:

  • «челове́к» for numbers that end in «пять» (5) or more. (and «один» (1))
  • «челове́ка» for numbers that end in 2, 3, 4.
  • there are special "collective" numerals that can only be used in certain cases. Such as «двое» (2) or «шестеро» (6). With these numerals you can use both «людей» and «челове́к» (but not «челове́ка»).
  • if there are no numerals, always use «люде́й».

You definitely cannot say «два люде́й», it doesn't even fit grammatically.


Okay, thanks very much.


Great explanation. Have a lingot.


Thank you for the answer! :)


Лю́ди sounds like humanity.


So 2 человека is wrong... lazyness isnt tolerated or what?


Numerals are accepted when translating to English. Not what translating to Russian, because they want to make sure you're actually learning the names of the numbers.


Interesting pronunciation. It sounds more like the word is spelled "человейка" - but a recording at forvo.com backs up the computer, https://forvo.com/search/%D1%87%D0%B5%D0%BB%D0%BE%D0%B2%D0%B5%D0%BA%D0%B0/


Two young people = два молодых человека
молодых is a genitive plural adjective
человека is a genitive singular noun
I believe that два is nominative masculine/neuter plural

Does anyone know anything about this oddity of grammar?


The numerals два (or две), три, and четыре all require the following item to be presented in the genitive singular form. The numeral два has two forms: два for masculine and neuter items and две for feminine items.


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