Он работает с двух часов.

After the preposition "с" (=since,from) we need to use the genitive case. "двух" is in genitive and as far as I know, два requires the noun to be in genitive singular(часа) after itself. But in the above sentence it is in genitive plural("часов"). Why?

  • well, just because it's the way it is and should be memorized. one can hardly present you a scientific formula of that.
    – shabunc
    Dec 12, 2016 at 7:32

1 Answer 1


Indeed с governs genitive when it means from (с двух часов, убрать со стола, слезть с дерева). It governs instrumental when it means with (картошка со сметаной, поговорить с клиентом, пойти в кино с девушкой).

When the case is neither nominative nor accusative, numericals do not affect the case or number of the following noun (or intervening adjectives). There is only one exception to that rule: numericals which end by один/одна/одно still govern singlular.

  • nominative plural: часы, два часа, пять часов
  • genitive plural: часов, двух часов, пяти часов
  • dative plural: часам, двум часам, пяти часам
  • accusative plural: часы, два часа, пять часов
  • instrumental: plural часами, двумя часами, пятью часами
  • prep. plural: о часах, о двух часах, о пяти часах

So what is going on in your sentence он работает с двух часов? The preposition с governs genitive, and, since the case is not nominative or accusative, the numerical два is now powerless to affect the following noun.

Finally, there is a caveat with the word час. In this word, if the genitive case is due to numerical, e. g. два (три, четыре) часа́ the stress is on the last syllable. If the genitive case is due to other cases (e. g. «Бодрствуйте, потому что не знаете ни дня, ни ча́са» - Евангелие от Матфея), the stress is on the first syllable. I don't know why, and cannot think of other similar words.

  • can you give an example where the case is accusative and два is powerful to affect the following noun?
    – xpr34
    Dec 12, 2016 at 11:20
  • @xpr34 - I'll think about it.
    – user31264
    Dec 12, 2016 at 11:36
  • @xpr34 - я вижу столы -> я вижу два стола
    – user31264
    Dec 12, 2016 at 11:37
  • Thanks. And what about an example of двух in accusative that affects the noun?
    – xpr34
    Dec 12, 2016 at 11:40
  • @xpr34 - I removed it, as it was wrong. You have двух only when the noun is animate, but in this case the noun is the same as it would be without двух, e.g. я вижу котов -> я вижу двух котов. Thats because for animate nouns, accusative plural and genitive plural are the same.
    – user31264
    Dec 12, 2016 at 11:42

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