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I learnt that the form of the number changes according to the gender of the noun.

Пример : Одна ручка (жен.) Две ручка (жен.)

Question : How do I construct the form of the number for три, четыре, пять etc.?

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With quantities of 10n + 1, except for 100n + 11, use the single nominative: одна/девяносто одна/сто сорок одна ручка, but тысяча пятьсот одиннадцать ручек;

With quantities of 10n + 2, 3, or 4, except for 100n + 12, 13, or 14 use the single genitive: тридцать две/двести девяносто три/четыреста четыре ручки;

With any other quantities, including zero, use the plural genitive: ноль/восемь/сто пятнадцать ручек.

  • @user31264: thanks for adding the 100n + 11 exception, forgot to mention that. – Vadim Landa Jun 19 '17 at 7:43
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    actually, there is one more exception. Велик могучим русский языка! – user31264 Jun 19 '17 at 8:22
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  • Nominative: одна ручка, две(три,четыре) ручки (genitive singular), пять ручек (genitive plural)
  • Genitive: одной ручки (genitive singular), двух(трёх, четырёх, пяти) ручек (genitive plural), пяти ручек (genitive plural)
  • Dative: одной ручке (dative singular), двум(трём, четырём, пяти) ручкам (dative plural)
  • Accusative for inanimate: одну ручку (accusative singular), две(три, четыре) ручки (genitive singular), пять ручек (genitive plural)
  • Accusative for animate: одну кошку (accusative singular), двух(трёх, четырёх) кошек (accusative plural=genitive plural), пять кошек (accusative plural=genitive plural)
  • Instrumental: одной ручкой (instrumental singular), двумя (тремя, четырьмя, пятью) ручками (instrumental plural)
  • Prepositional: об одной ручке (prep. singular), o двух (трёх, четырёх, пяти) ручках (prep. plural).

Note also how the numericals declense in each case.

The "miracles" happen only when the phrase is either in nominative or in accusative for inanimate.

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Пример : Одна ручка (жен.) Две ручка (жен.)

Actually Две ручки, as the noun also changes appropriately (here it's in plural form).

How do I construct the form of the number for три, четыре, пять etc.?

Only numbers один (1) and два (2) are changed (and also numbers ending in 1 or 2, except 11 and 12, e.g. 21, 42 etc.). 3, 4, ..., 9 are not.

Thus you have to teach only the following:

один стол (masc.) - одна комната (fem.) - одно окно (n.) - одни стулья (pl.)
два стола (masc.) - две комнаты (fem.) ... два "everything else"
три ... "everything else"
(btw. "один" also means "only", so "одни стулья" pretty much reads as "only chairs")
  • So the nouns change into nominative case plural form? – SolacunaRT Jun 19 '17 at 8:32
  • @Rin.T For 2-4, it's Genitive Sing. For 5-9 and zero it's Genitive Pl. – Matt Jun 19 '17 at 8:40

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