I know that, in order to tell "people" (plural) with no numerals, we must say люди. Человек is used either for singular with no numeral, or for plural with numerals. Consequently, 2/3/4 is followed by человека, whereas from 5 upward it's once again человек, a kind of irregular genitive plural with null ending (like the words волос, сапог, грузин).

Like the word for person/people, the word for "kid" features two different roots, either for no-numeral plural (дети, not counting the expression трое детей) and for singular (ребёнок).

That said, which word should be used when trying to attach a numeral to the idea of "kid"?

2 kids - два ребёнка?

5 kids - пять ребёнок?

1 Answer 1


Special cases for number of kids 1-4:

  1. Один ребёнок.
  2. Два ребёнка / двое детей.
  3. Три ребёнка / трое детей.
  4. Четыре ребёнка / четверо детей.

For number of kids 5-10:

  1. Пять (пятеро) детей.
  2. Шесть (шестеро) детей.

For number of kids ending with 1-4 if number of tens is not equal to 1:

  1. Двадцать один ребёнок.
  2. Двадцать два ребёнка.
  3. Двадцать три ребёнка.
  4. Двадцать четыре ребёнка.

And so on for (31-34, 41-44, ..., 101-104, 121-124, ...).

For all other number of kids:

5. Пять детей.
6. Шесть детей.
36. Тридцать шесть детей.
128. Сто двадцать восемь детей.

and so on.

  • And now the same for all grammatical cases please ;) Apr 2, 2018 at 0:01
  • When saying "У меня X детей" ('I have X number of kids') it is more common to use двое, трое, четверо детей rather than два, три, четыре ребенка. Apr 2, 2018 at 0:11
  • Those numerals ending in 1-4 exclude 11, 12, 13 and 14, which take the genitive plural, right?
    – swrutra
    Apr 2, 2018 at 12:48
  • @swrutra Yep, 11-14, 111-114, ... are the case "all other number of kids".
    – Dmitry
    Apr 2, 2018 at 12:56
  • Additionally, when collective numerals are used, then one would use "пятеро ребят / пятеро детей".
    – Vitaly
    Apr 2, 2018 at 19:46

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