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Какой-нибудь vs Кто-нибудь and also какой-то . . .

. . . and also что-то, кто-то. What's going on here?

These pronouns are driving me crazy. Do they all mean the same thing, or do you use them in different contexts? Does it matter if the things are animate or not, or would I use кто-то to refer to something inanimate yet masculine?

October 13, 2016



Everything with КТО (who) is animate: кто-нибудь, кто-то.

Everything with ЧТО (what/that) is inanimate: что-нибудь, что-то.

"Какой-нибудь" and "какой-то" can be both animate and inanimate because they require an extra word after them that clarifies everything: какой-нибудь человек, какой-нибудь дом, какой-то человек, какой-то дом.

Now we still have "-нибудь" vs. "-то".

It seems to me that "-нибудь" more or less equals "any" while "-то" is rather "some".


Concerning your question about something being inanimate yet masculine I can say that the fact that inanimate objects have gender still doesn't make it possible to refer to them with "кто" (who) and vice versa.


КТО-НИБУДЬ, дайте хоть КАКОЙ-НИБУДЬ ответ про "КАКОЙ-ТО"? КТО-ТО должен ЧТО-ТО знать! ;-D


"My Russian knowledge I know I had had had had a complete meltdown."

See, I can construct grammatically correct but semantically infuriating sentences in my native language too! :P

But seriously, thanks to you, I understand the difference between кто and что, but I'm still confused on the difference between "-нибудь" vs. "-то." Are they interchangeable?


They are very useful when you don't want to answer...use -to. Use the other when it does not matter.

Куда ты? Куда-то. Where you going. Somewhere but I'm not telling you where to. Кто помогает? Не знаю но кто-нибудь. Who will help? I don't know, but certainly somebody will help. Hmmm. Hard to translate..the idea is anyone...who is unimportant. I hope my examples help.

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