Наконец-то нашлась моя книга.

In this sentence, the passive verb "нашлась" agrees with the feminine singular subject "книга". But then...

Не найдется таких слов, чтобы оправдать ...

I wonder why this sentence, on the other hand, needs to take the impersonal, omitted subject "it" instead of directly using the plural "слов" as the subject? Why is it incorrect to use the 3rd-person plural "найдутся" that corresponds to the plural noun "слов"?

Не найдутся таких слов, чтобы оправдать ...

{or}: Таких слов ne найдутся, чтобы оправдать ...


1 Answer 1


The reason is that you use negation with genitive.

"слов" is in genitive case and therefore lose the role of subject in the sentence.

If instead you switch to nominative, the verb will change to plural as you expected:

Не найдутся такие слова.

  • Hi. Is this word order acceptable, too: "такие слова не найдутся"? Jan 30, 2018 at 9:56
  • 1
    @alone-Zee, it is unusual word order. It might work in the following speech: "Найдутся ли слова, чтобы [to do something]? Нет, такие слова не найдутся!". Generally, when you move object to the beginning of the sentence, it is the same thing when you put definite article before a word in English - you reference something already mentioned.
    – AlexVB
    Jan 30, 2018 at 10:26
  • @alone-Zee, sorry, I now see in your sentence "слова" is not an object, but otherwise the comment is correct.
    – AlexVB
    Jan 30, 2018 at 10:35

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