I know how to make plurals using numerals and nouns, but how does one use numerals with demonstrative pronouns or even just regular pronouns? Examples:

I need two of these.

I will select three of you to help me.

  • 1
    What things you are referring to? Animate, inanimate, masculine, feminine, neuter? – Anixx Jan 9 '17 at 0:11
  • @Anixx I meant in general; not a specific scenario. – casey Jan 9 '17 at 0:40
  • It depends on the context. While shopping in the store I would point at the items behind the counter and ask a store employee, "Дайте две штуки", or "Дайте две пачки". The latter phrase is used referring to multiple small objects packaged in boxes. I would not use "эти/этих" at all in this case. – Vitaly Jan 20 '17 at 14:12

Мне нужно <выбрать> двоих из них.

See lemmata двое


Я выберу троих из вас.

See lemmata 'трое'

Next: четверо, пятеро, шестеро, семеро...

Would you normally use the regular number if it is higher than 7? I heard it's not normal to use collectives after 7


See gramota.ru: http://new.gramota.ru/spravka/buro/search-answer?s=274656

Q: В словарях зафиксированы собирательные числительные "восьмеро", "девятеро", "десятеро". Насколько употребительны именно эти числительные в современном языке?

A: Они малоупотребительны в начальной форме, но частотны в косвенных падежах: нет восьмерых, девятерых, десятерых.

and topic about 30:

Собирательные числительные — это замкнутая группа слов: двое, трое, четверо, пятеро, шестеро, семеро, восьмеро, девятеро, десятеро; в разговорной речи образуются и числительные типа одиннадцатеро, двенадцатеро (но не двадцатеро, тридцатеро). Собирательные числительные называют количество, понимаемое как нечто целостное, единое.

Современный русский литературный язык / Под ред. П. А. Леканта — М., 2009г.

  • Would you normally use the regular number if it is higher than 7? I heard it's not normal to use collectives after 7. – casey Jan 8 '17 at 14:29
  • 3
    I think "I need two of these" more likely refers to things, not individuals, so you can't use двое in the first example. – Nikolay Ershov Jan 8 '17 at 17:59
  • @NikolayErshov could I say "два из этих" if I were pointing to things? – casey Jan 8 '17 at 18:01
  • 3
    @casey That would sound a little unusual; normally you'd say два таких / две такие. – Nikolay Ershov Jan 8 '17 at 18:04
  • @Nikolay Ershov not only the first, all examples would be wrong. – Anixx Jan 9 '17 at 0:09

In Russian it actually changes a lot depending on whether the things you are referring to are animate or inanimate. Animate and inanimate nouns are declined in different ways; the same goes with pronouns that refer to them. I am not an English native speaker, but it seems like the first sentence refers to inanimate objects, and the second — to animate. In this case you would say it like this:

Мне нужны два таких

(If those "two" are masculine.)

Мне нужны две такие

(If they both are feminine.)

If you would refer to animate objects, you would probably use the word "двое".

What goes to the second phrase:

Я выберу троих из вас, чтобы помочь мне.

As we don't expect the narrator to be talking to inanimate objects in this way, we definitely go this way.


The main feature of these examples is that they don't have a noun attached to the numeral, while the “container” of the things counted is mentioned and attached with the preposition “of”. Actually, your question is: how do I get rid of the noun when I use a numeral, and should I? I can see three ways to solve the problem.


I need thirty of these. — Мне нужно тридцать штук.

I will select fifty of you to help me. — Я отберу среди вас пятьдесят человек себе в помощь.

That is, I don't get rid of the noun at all, I just use something generic that does not interfere. This is a very common way: «Хорошо, мне нужно две штуки.» ("Okay, I need two of these.") is what you probably would say in a shop.

2) When the noun is implied by repetition, I can just omit it. For example, a simple arithmetic problem:

Есть 100 коробок с леденцами, из них две содержат зелёные леденцы, десять — красные, а остальные — жёлтые. Сколько коробок с жёлтыми леденцами?

3) I can use a collective numeral as the other answer suggests («из них трое» as a substitute for «из них три игрока»: «В команде двадцать три игрока, из них трое не пожелали выйти на поле.»). But «трое телевизоров» ("three TV boxes") makes no sense at all to me, I think the collectives are reserved to something animate. «Трое псов» ("three dogs") is fine. With the number two, the numeral «оба» also quite works, whether the thing is animate or not. But it means not only “the two of them”, but also “all of them”, i. e. it's not always applicable.

Sometimes, the second option is valid in place of the third; that is, the use of a collective numeral may be not necessary.


I need two of these.

Let me remind you that Russian numerals agree in gender, number and case with the nouns (even if there's obviously no noun in the clause, it is often clear from the situation when you point at a certain thing or person ) Thus, there can't be a universal answer. I don't think "these" can refer to people(sounds pejorative ).

Мне нужны две такие(ручки), два таких (карандаша).

I will select three of you to help me.

Я выберу троих/трех (ребят), трех (девчонок) из вас себе в помощь.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.