According to the sources I've checked, only numbers from 1 to 4 have an animate ending (meaning that the accusative case will be the same as the genitive, endingwise). Numbers from 5 upward will have a common accusative for both animate and inanimate nouns.

However, in compound numerals, all components decline... what if I want to decline a number like 21, 22?

Since 1 and 2 also have an agreement in gender, will 1 and 2 decline as animate numerals, whereas "20" declines the usual way?

Example: What would be an animate accusative of двадцать одна (admitting that the agreement in gender happens)? Двадцать одну?

And двадцать один? Does it become двадцать одного?

  • If I understand your question correctly, it does become двадцать одну and двадцать одного. Would you be able to provide some example of complete sentences?
    – SaltyNuts
    Commented Mar 28, 2018 at 5:33

1 Answer 1


Yes, двадцать одна becomes двадцать одну in the accusative and двадцать один will be either двадцать одного if it qualifies an animate noun or двадцать один if inanimate:

  • Компания приняла на работу двадцать одного человека.
  • Компания приобрела двадцать один компьютер.

With 22, 23 and 24 the inanimate pattern is more preferable:

  • Компания приняла на работу двадцать два человека (less preferably: двадцать двух человек).
  • Компания приобрела двадцать два компьютера.

Animacy, gender and number are dictated by the noun. Yes, you can say 'one' in plural:

  • Купи одни ножницы. = Buy one pair of scissors.
  • Он не курит уже двадцать одни сутки.

Unfortunately, there is no grammatically acceptable way of saying 22 сутки (or 23, or 24). 25 and up are OK: двадцать пять суток.

  • 2
    practically speaking i guess двадцать двух человек would unlikely be ever used being replaced with двадцать два человека effectively falling back on the inanimate pattern simply because двадцать doesn't inflect and creates discordance Commented Mar 28, 2018 at 10:47
  • "двадцать одни сутки" is translated as "twenty and something days"? Can't we say 22 сутка? As far as I know, 2/3/4 demand the genitive singular.
    – swrutra
    Commented Mar 28, 2018 at 11:51
  • You should just change the sentence Он не курит "в течение двадцати двух /трех/четырех суток"
    – V.V.
    Commented Mar 28, 2018 at 12:49
  • 1
    @swrutra to me двадцать трое суток sounds palatable, not so much двое or четверо, but on the other hand... in colloquial usage they would do as well Commented Mar 28, 2018 at 12:56

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